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I am interested in doing some hiking and seeing some Mayan temples while in Cozumel are there any non-guided trails or trail maps you can tell me about? I would rather not do an a group tour I would rather enjoy Cozumel without a swarm of people herding around me.
If you are a serious hiker you are going to love Cozumel. My suggestion is a hike up the east coast from Mescalitos (that is where the road stops going north, and turns back to town). There is a "road" from Mescalitos but it is beyond primitive, but may be OK for sneakers. Last year it took me 2 hours to go 6 km then it burnt out my 4x4s transmission! But as an adventure hike I'd highly recommend it. We at Aldora have spent the last 5 years trying to open up that side of the island for diving, are quite familiar with most of it, but with mixed results.
The dirt/rock road is cut in many places by boulders and deep sand but the road passes by some interesting places. The first thing you'll find is a small Mayan building at km 3.1. About 4 km up there is a army outpost that is serviced by a Hummer once a month. They won't bother you as long as they don't suspect you of being a narc.
Not far past the army outpost the road ends ( I mean it really ends) at Hanan beach. Incredibly beautiful and pristine, the fringing reef is an absolute delight for snorkeling. Hanan is where we have found a sunken galleon and numerous unique coral formations. Occasionally we get to take dive groups there when the wind is right but not very often. So since you won't need a boat--take a mask and fins. The inside of the fringing reef is magical for snorkeling.
After Hanan I suggest that you hike the beach about 2 km more to a virtually unseen Mayan temple called El Castile (The Castle). It is right next to the beach on a small cliff and rivals anything you would see at Tuluum.
I think it could be a easy day trip but be sure to take plenty of water and insect repellant in addition to the mask and fins.
I did this hike as Dave states it. Actually I do it every time I go to the island. I have never crossed paths with other hikers. For real it is almost virginal of tourists or seems that way.
But do make sure you take lots of water. The heat is gruelling if your not used to it.
Two army boys popped out of the bush as we where walking the road. Startled the sh** out of me. They where out looking for bales thrown off the boats. The adventure is great around there.
The walk at San Gervasio(?) is nice also. Has the flavour of tourist trap but it's nice. The ruins are very well preserved and info is well provided about the ruins you see.
In judging others a man labours to no purpose, commonly errs, and easily sins, but in examining himself, he is always wisely and usefully employed. Thomas A Kempis
[countdown=06/12/2011 12:30 AM]Count down:[/countdown]until Kev's on Coz
[countdown=2/12/2011 12:45 AM]Count down:[/countdown]until Kev hits Coz again
There is also the Melgar hiking trail. You will see in its natural habitat the "cruise ship passenger."
Although most times not dangerous you should bring funny balloon hats to bring out their natural behavior... drinking and buy t-shirts. Remember this animal is not native to the island and has no natural enemies so it will continue to thrive here.
Sorry for the hijack.
I agree with Dave give the North a try
I might have the numbers wrong, so correct me if I have them wrong.
We did an atv tour on the road/path that goes north from Mezcalitos. It was almost exactly 5 miles to the turn around which is the ruins which I think Dave is pointing out as being at 3.1 km (or is there another one?)
On google maps it shows the distance from Mezcalitos out to the light house as being about 28 miles round trip. You guys who are doing this or have done it, my hats off to you, that roughly 10-14 hours of hiking in heat, sand and humidity, not counting the time for sight seeing while you are doing it!
They stopped the ATV tours years ago, thank goodness. I don't know what turn around you are referring to but at Hanan the "road" now comes to a complete (face in the jungle) end and is VERY hard to turn around in. That dead end point is a little more than 6 KM from Mescalitos. The small Mayan structure I referred to is more or less 3.1 km from Mescalitos. El Castillo which is north of Hanan, and very worthy of a visit I have been to only by boat so my estimate of an additional 2 KM was no more than a wild ass guess.
PS Don't end your hike at dusk or after as the mosquitos there will stop biting only after all the blood is gone!
I don't think anyone could make the lighthouse at the north end and back in one day. The big ruin, El Castillo, is the one that I think might be possible on a day hike. Again the foot trek to Hanan should be pretty easy on the "road", but the extra 4 km round trip to El Castillo may be a problem as your only choices are along a very rough and rocky beach (some sandy places), through dense jungle, or croc infested swamps. Do we have any Steve Irwins out there?
PS I have considered tourist/snorkel day trips over the north end in our big boat but have not figured out if there is a market for what it would cost...maybe $150 a head.
i think the La Palma ruin is around 8 ks from the crossroads. About 1 k past that is the military outpost. Maybe Dave was reading his mileage in miles vs kilometers but I am certain La Palma ruin is not 3 ks from the crossroads. Punta Molas is around 23 ks from the crossroads. Hannan begins around 13 K from the crossroads.