CARIBBEAN CHARM IN COZUMEL, MEXICO
Cozumel has established itself as a popular and affordable destination for North American triathletes looking for a break from the northern winter climate while working in some quality training. Travelling directly to Cozumel is relatively easy as the island is serviced by a number of major North American airlines. Once you are in Cozumel, local travel is uncomplicated. The island is small and the roadway system is easily navigated, so renting a vehicle is stress free. Taxi travel is strictly regulated, abundant and offers an inexpensive alternative to local transportation or renting a car.
The island of Cozumel, is located 20 kilometres off the east coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The island is 16 km wide and 46 km long. Set in the Caribbean Sea, it boasts waters that have earned international acclaim as one of the premier diving destinations in the Western Hemisphere.
Of late, this paradise of an island has become a haven for triathletes primarily because of the community’s unwavering support for the ITU, Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races and other multi-sport events that are held annually in Cozumel. The local and state governments have invested in and supported tourism that targets visitors looking for an active lifestyle vacation. A roadway encircles the entire island which offers cyclists a 70 km loop and features many newly paved bike path sections. Riders are treated to views of isolated beaches and the coastline along the Caribbean Sea on one side and lush fertile green vegetation on the other. The winds on the coast more than make up for the lack of elevation. There are competition pools available, as well as lots of access to the beautiful waters of the Caribbean for swim workouts or non-wetsuit open water swim sessions. There are endless options for road running, and there is a local track available for those wishing to get some speedy intervals done.
Hotel and resort choices are plentiful and cater to everything from cozy and quaint, to lavish and luxurious. Most of the lodging features sweeping ocean views with easy or direct access to the many beaches. You may choose from all-inclusive hotels, find a bed and breakfast, or a room with kitchen facilities. There are many grocery store options that stock fresh foods for every diet imaginable.
Thereisplentytodoafteryourworkout:youshouldmaketimeforsome non-training experiences while in Cozumel, too. The “must-do” experiences on the island are the unlimited diving and snorkelling options. Check out the spectacular underwater life by renting a mask and fins and heading off from the beach, or accessing some of the world famous dive sites with many of the dive charter companies on the island. Other, more adventurous pursuits include all-terrain vehicle, dune buggy and Jeep caravan jungle tours, deep-sea fishing, surfing and kite boarding, swimming with the dolphins, or motorcycle and horseback touring and hiking.
There are numerous historic sites throughout the island that will expose you to the Mayan culture, structures and artifacts. Reading a good book in the sun and sand, while occasionally cooling off with a quick dip in the ocean provides a rejuvenating recovery after a long workout.–