Cozumel – An Island in front of Playa del Carmen that has 75,000 residents and about 480 square km. Cozumel is in Quintana Roo and mainly known as a divers’ spot. On this little island a small scooter is enough to go anywhere.
Moving Around in Cozumel – Scooter or Cab
The two best ways to go anywhere in Cozumel are scooters and cabs. To be a bit more independent, we rented a scooter. You can do that almost anywhere. You only need to walk around in town (port promenade) or at the cruise port and you find several offers everywhere.
Online, I do find quite an amount of warnings. But things worked quite well for us. Driving is not that difficult. At the beginning, you need to be careful: if you accelerate too much the scooter will start quickly and kind of jump away. In the beginning make sure to check how the scooter responds to accelerating and slowly test how to speed up. Apart from that, you cannot do anything wrong. Traffic between San Miguel and the cruise port is a bit stressful because there are many cars and cabs on the road. Yet, all the drivers are considerate, don’t cut tourists on scooters and don’t take over stupidly. As long as you go slowly on the right, they can easily pass and you are still fine. As soon as you can go to the small road, parallel to the main road, things are easy-going. There are no more cars around and you can drive without a problem. Things even works on the east and south of the island.
In the end, I think most accidents happen because scooter driver feel very insecure. If that is you, better don’t take a scooter. But I don’t see a reason to refrain from scooter. If you can drive a car in Germany, you can drive a scooter. It’s really doable.
Renting a Scooter in Cozumel
Cozumel’s scooters are sometimes in a rather funny condition. One of our rental scooter had more than 350,000 km on the speed indicator. The meter was not even moving any more. How you can collect that many kilometers on such a small island is a big mystery to me.
The rental companies insist that driver and co-rider wear a helmet. They give you these helmets. Anyways, both helmets did not fit properly. From a German point of view, don’t look too closely at them.
We rented a scooter, drove for about 30 minutes and all of a sudden the scooter broke. It did not respond to acceleration anymore. While we were standing at the small street, people were extremely helpful! There are some athletes in Cozumel (cyclists, training for Ironman). The stopped right away and helped us. Our phones did not work in Mexico; we could not call the rental company ourselves. They did that for us and we even could not prevent them from giving us a water bottle. They said it’s so hot and you never know how long it takes.
They both left and we waited for the rental car company. About 10 minutes later, the automobile association (the guy who help you with you vehicles when you are in trouble) comes along. The guy had a pick-up truck and wanted to load the scooter right away. He called the company again and we all waited for the guy from the company. He was there real quick, we were far south and he could not be there much faster. He came with a new scooter, which he gave to us and went back with the other guy in the pick-up truck.
All the Mexicans were saying the scooters chain was broken. That seems to happen a lot.
This was an easy and quick way to solve our problem; we got help from everywhere and did not have to pay any extra money.