Lynne and I had never even heard of Cozumel until we began our summer holiday research in June. This tiny, underdeveloped Caribbean island off the coast of Mexico with its coral reefs and endemic wildlife certainly lived up to expectations. The all-inclusive "El Cozumelino Hotel" at the north of the island gave us everything we needed for our two week stay: free flowing beer, food and wildlife. What more do you need?
I walked along this beach from our hotel every day during our two-week stay. After 5 minutes walking, I would enter the water and snorkel back to the hotel, taking photos amongst the coral. A gentle sea current brings you back, so you don't even have to swim: just float.
As well as awesome snorkelling, this hotel sits directly opposite Cozumel Golf Course: brilliant for early morning birding. Be sure to "look for the manager" between the hours of 6am and 8am, when nobody is around but birds are plentiful.
There's no shortage of reptiles on Cozumel, here are just a few I bumped into...
The highlight of the trip, however, had to be the Whale Sharks. At this time of year, hundreds of these sharks gather just off the Mexican coastline. Many companies offer day trips to see these massive beasts up close and personal. The following images are stills from movies I made during our encounter...
Boat trips are good for spotting other wildlife too...
All in all, a pleasant two weeks. Would I go again? No need to really (although I still need to see a Cozumel Vireo and a Cozumel Thrasher, the latter is presumed extinct). We covered most of the island in our two-week stay and saw a lot of wildlife, some of which I wasn't really expecting. This blog includes just a small fraction of the total number of species photographed, more will appear on the main pages soon.