For the Love of Travel – Cozumel, Shopping, ATV’s and Beaches

by Ed Estlow, Photos by Ed Estlow & Daryl Carson

Good times on the Yucatán peninsula

Isla Cozumel, that beautiful little beach & jungle island jewel off the coast of the Mexican Yucatán peninsula. We try to go back every few years. We love it – the weather, the warmth, the laid back attitude and lifestyle, the shopping and the beaches.

In San Miguel de Cozumel, shop for souvenir t-shirts and trinkets, and bargain for silver jewelry. In fact, you can find everything from fake Rolexes to the real thing (Shopping tip – it’s tempting but don’t buy the fake variety.


They’re illegal to bring into the US, and who wants to be a poseur anyway?) Sandwich an ATV tour of the island’s interior between your shopping and days at the beach. You’ll challenge your driving skills on the rocky trails, and see caves, iguanas, and cenotés (Mayan meaning sacred well) the mysterious underground streams & lakes of the Yucatán, Be careful. The rough trails make steering a challenge, and you can accidentally drive right off into the  bush. That got my wife in trouble once. The tour operators warned her, “Señora, the road is THEES way!” And of course, the beaches. Playa San Francisco – San Francisco Beach – began with a single sleepy little beach club.


Through the years, Paradise  Beach Club and Carlos & Charlie’s Beach Club sprang up on either side. It’s easy to see why – the sand is soft and white and the water is the impossibly electric blue turquoise of the Caribbean. Playa Palancar is near the southern end of the island, opposite the famous dive reef of the same name. The beach club is quiet and well removed from the cruise ship traffic, and the drinks are nicely chilled. There’s lots more to do on Cozumel, but ATVs, beaches and shopping will get you started. Enjoy!

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Ed Estlow is a freelance writer and marketing consultant writing about luxury watches and travel from his home base in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. He also writes for,, and American Hard Assets magazine. You can reach Ed via his website.

This guest column features fun travel stories from friends and associates. If you would like to submit an original story for consideration from your travels, please email the story and photos to

Ed Estlow

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