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The Most Talked About Packing List & Tips by Denny Dumas

After 25 years of experiences on the island, I will give you my personal list of favorites.

 # 1. Pancho's Backyard. A lot of people never find this excellent restaurant located in the courtyard actually inside Cinco Soles [large souvenir/art/furniture store] on Rafael Melgar [the main road along the water] north of the plaza about 4 blocks. It has a menu offering dishes not found anywhere else on the island[Plantain (a type of banana, if you're not familiar with it) and walnut stuffed chile rellenos is a dish worth killing for] and the atmosphere and ambiance of the place is outstanding. Romantic and peaceful. The boat people hardly ever find it. In my opinion, the best "Mexican" food on the island. 

# 2. La Prima has the best Italian food available with daily specials and great deserts. 

# 2a. Pizza being a separate subject from Italian food, go to Guido's Pizza [formerly Pizza Rolandi]. It is one of the finest pizza's in the Caribbean. Their garlic bread is an outstanding and unusual treat, make sure to have some with a salad while waiting for the pizza. 

# 3. Its a toss up between 4 places for the best in seafood. 

La Mission. {not the one near La Prima that's La Mission II}, just east of the Church a couple of blocks. On Avenida Benito Juarezz between Av. 10 and Av. 15. 

La Choza, just east of La Prima on the opposite side of the street on the southwest corner. 

El Moro. A favorite spot for locals and the diving crowd who frequent the island. It's a taxi ride east on 75th near the new Pemex station, but well away from the downtown crowds and never frequented by cruise ship people. Great seafood and great prices. 

Costa Brava, just around the corner from the Hog's Breath Saloon, whoops I hear it's gone. Their conch fillet dinners are the best I've found so far.

# 4. For breakfast, The Rock and Java's food is superior to Jeannie's Waffle House or Ernesto's. I'm sure you will find lots of people who will have numerous other choices for you so, guess what. You'll just have to try them all, and what a great way to spend your time. SPECIAL FOOD CATEGORY SHAVED ICE: Go to the east side of the Church just off the plaza and you will find a nice young man selling shaved ices. He can save your life on those hot days in summer and winter. Over pay him and you get oversized servings, I recommend about 3 servings per day in June. It is one of the basic food groups isn't it?


Be sure to ask at your hotel for a taxi fare schedule. They should have one that will show the cost from your hotel to the major destinations on the island [Plaza in town, Chankanaab Park, San Gervasio ruins, El Cedral, north hotel zone/south hotel zone, airport, a drive around the island, San Francisco beach etc.]. The drivers are mostly very honest and don't try to overcharge, but you may always find a rotten apple in any barrel. When you are ready to leave town and return to your hotel, simply cross Ave. Melgar to the water side and the taxis are lined up along the walk next to the ferry pier in the southbound lane. Taxi etiquette in Cozumel says that you take the first taxi in the line, that way they move up in orderly fashion without causing traffic problems. One taxi is just like any other taxi, so don't think you can shop around and find a better deal. 


For you first time snorkelers, think about buying a mask and snorkel before you come down. You will get a better fit if you buy your mask stateside at a dive store, or sporting goods store than with a rental "one size fits all", and you will know who had the snorkel in their mouth last. Ask the people at the dive shop to help you fit a mask, they are there to help you. When buying your mask, place the mask on your face, without putting the strap on your head. Breath in through your nose and let go of the mask. If the mask stays on your face with the vacuum you've created, you can be sure that there is little chance of it leaking water when you are snorkeling. This is the most important thing. A leaky mask is no fun and will take away all of the pleasure of snorkeling. Next most important is getting a snorkel with a big enough tube to let you breath easily. Purchase fins if you choose, but in snorkeling, the quality of the fins is of less importance than the mask and snorkel. The mask and snorkel take up little room in your bags, whereas the fins can use up a fair amount of space. They can be rented once you get there and the rental ones are quite sufficient for your needs. 

Spend one day at Chankanaab Park for the best snorkeling from shore. It's $7.00 per person to get into the park, but there are palapas for shade[get there early, around 9:30 or 10;00 to grab one] a great restaurant [El Bucanero, try their Caribbean sea food chowder, great for a lunch], plenty of waiters traveling the beach ready to bring you whatever you want to drink, from bottled water and cokes to those big drinks in hollowed out pineapples and coconuts with the hybiscus blossom and umbrella in them. You will also find a fine archaeological area in the park, a short walk from the beach, with great copies of the archaeological styles of the Maya, Aztec, Toltec, Olmec, and Mixtec cultures from all over Mexico. A large botanical garden to walk through indentifying the plants of the jungle environment is adjacent to the beach and lagoon. A fair sized colony of Golden Iguanas live next to the path around the lagoon making for great photo ops. You will find an enormous male with his harem of smaller females at the north end of the lagoon. You can rent snorkeling and diving equipment at any of the 3, or is it 4, dive shops on the beach. There are some statues sunk in the bay to snorkel down to, a small sunken boat, old cannons and several nice large coral heads, more fish than you can imagine. If you feel it's worth the money, you can pay $120 to swim with the dolphins. Shore diving is also worthwhile at the park. It's not unusual to see huge tarpon, giant barracuda, octopi and other creatures in the calm protected waters when the chop makes boat diving impossible. Gear and tanks can be rented very reasonably at the dive shops on the beach. You will also find showers and lockers available at the beach. You can buy underwater disposable cameras in the locker area, but it's cheaper to buy a few before you leave home. Make sure they have a flash, otherwise, everything will look rather blue.

WARNINGS: There are several underwater creatures that sting, bite , or puncture. 

Sting rays: The small Yellow Stingray lies hidden in the sand, only about 1' in diameter, they are hard to spot unless they are in motion. When wading in shallow water, shuffle your feet [the "Stingray Shuffle"] if you make contact with one, it will move away. But if you take steps and come down on top of one, they will strike with their tail in a natural defensive manner causing minor to severe lacerations. 

Scorpionfish: one of the few venomous creatures around. They also lie on the bottom looking like a pile of coral and sea weed. They have poisonous spines along their dorsal{spine area} ridge. These guys will require medical assistance as quickly as possible. 

Sea urchins: Be careful where you put your hands when snorkeling around the corals and rocks. The spines of these creatures will puncture you when brushed against or pushed on. They will break off under the skin and cause bleeding and infection from the toxins they secrete. I carried spines in my leg for over 20 years, before they all finally worked their way to the surface, from a slip I took while returning from a shore dive in the Mediterranean in 1968. Soak the injury in hot water as soon as possible. 

Morays: while not actively aggressive, if you put your hand in their den, you may quite likely come out wearing one of these guys. Since the teeth curve back into their mouths, you must push your hand in further before you can withdraw. The slime in their mouths, while not toxic in itself carries several bacteria that can cause infections. 

Sharks: Though rarely seen, hammerheads and tiger sharks have been found around the island. No need to discuss these guys any further. They are not user friendly. Nurse Sharks on the other hand can be found on a regular basis while diving. They seem to hang out in generally the same location all the time. While not aggressive, it is not a good idea to harass them. Some divers seem to think it's cute to tug on their tails while they are sleeping. Bad idea! Last year after doing this to a 3' nurse shark, off the coast of Florida, a 16 year old diver had the shark still attached to his chest several hours later when the emergency room crew broke the shark's jaw to remove it. Now think about trying to get back on board the dive boat with a 14' shark attached to your chest. 

Barracudas. While probably the meanest looking fish in the ocean, they are usually only curious about divers and snorkelers and not a real threat. But they may sometimes mistake a shiny piece of jewelery [necklace, bracelet, etc.] for a small fish and they may grab for it. Any bite by a barracuda results in severe loss of blood and possibly death by shock or blood loss. Recorded attacks by barracuda are rare and usually only happen in murky water where the visibility is questionable. This is rarely the case around the island of Cozumel. 

Jellyfish. They sting, some more severely than others. You may never see the one that stings you because they can be very tiny. Put vinegar and water on the stings for a quick way to relieve the burning and itching. Lavender oil [the real stuff, not cheap perfume] also works quite well and smells better than vinegar. I always carry a small bottle in my first aid kit. A little goes a long way. 

Stinging Corals: Do not touch any corals. You can easily destroy several years of growth by even brushing against the living coral of the reef. But if you brush against Fire Coral, you will have a very painful experience to add to your memories of your dive trip. there are other stinging corals, but this is the worst. The welts will reappear for up to 3 months after the encounter, when you take a hot bath. 

Surgeonfish[blue tangs, ocean surgeons, doctorfish] Do not try to grab these little guys. If you look near their tail you will find a curious whitish horizontal mark. This is a sheath hiding a razor sharp blade which is used as a defense from being grabbed by bigger fish. It can and will cut you if you are quick enough to lay hands on one of these fellows. 

Fire Worms, Bristle Worms. Lovely to look at, not delightful to hold. The Bearded Fireworm is found in shallow waters and are quite attractive, usually reddish in color [also a greenish variety] and appear to be covered by tiny hairs. Do not touch. The bristles will break off easily, penetrate the skin and can cause moderate to severe burning sensation that may persist for several days. Snorkelers watch out for these guys on the rocks and coral. Warn your kids not to touch anything they see. The Red Tipped Fireworm is found at greater depth. Usually encountered by divers. 

Seadoosaurus. There is nothing more dangerous to divers than a tourist on a jet ski. Many have no sense of the danger they present to themselves or the hapless diver who gets in their way. They have no training on rules of the water where dive floats or flags are concerned. They will purposely ram dive floats being towed by the divers below on shallow drifts or on faster reefs such as Barracuda or San Juan. They seem to think that these are toys put there for their entertainment. Make sure you listen for the sound of their motors as you ascend, watch for them, for they will not watch for you. 

Divers here's a few things for you to consider: As far as diving, the best book to get on the subject of diving at Coz is called "DIVING COZUMEL" by Steve Rosenberg. You can get through Do not confuse it with "THE DIVING AND SNORKELING GUIDE TO COZUMEL" by Lewbel and Martin. The Rosenberg book gives excellent detail about each reef and dive spots, including a cutaway side view of the each dive spot, showing the general dive profile. There is also lots of info about the island itself as well as great photos above and below the water. Take a 3mm suit along, you won't need anything heavier and to dive without something can lead to a chill even in 80degree water. A shorty is what I use and am quite comfortable, plus the safety factor in protection of your skin. There are several kinds of stinging corals that are very unpleasant to bump into. With the currents, and the passthroughs in the reefs, it's not unusual to make contact with some of these guys. You will notice most of the dive masters will wear a hood on the second dive of the day because of the chill factor. You're still breathing cold air and it helps to reduce your core temp. Remember with over 75 dive shops on an island this size, you will get lots of different quality operators. Make sure your boat is equipped with the safety equip.[oxygen, respirator, etc.] 

Start tanning at a booth about now to get a enough of a start to keep from being burned from the sun down there. It is very intense. Sun block is discouraged for use by divers because of the harm it does to the reef. So tan up a bit before you go. Plus the fact then you will have an incredible tan instead of an incredible burn in those photos you bring home. Dive knives and gloves are not allowed on any shore dives you might want to do at Chankanaab National Underwater Park. Gloves are not permitted on any dives on the reefs. Chankanaab has 4 dive concessions right on the beach supplying tanks, "quickie courses" and equipment quite reasonably. Once you get away from the snorkelers, and move south along the shore you can find some very interesting fish life. I've seen big eagle rays in 20 foot of water, fair sized octopus out in daylight, tarpons 5'+, barracuda bigger than me, at least he looked bigger than me in that tight cavern. Actually the caverns are fairly open and at the right time of day are lit moderately ok. Dive lights are not permitted, and the are signs at the entry to the caves stopping entry beyond the cavern area. The big tarpon are to be found in the caverns during the day, since they are night feeders. Easy to find scorpionfish on the bottom if you take your time, peacock flounder, big Angelfish [French and Gray] Lots of Stoplight Parrotfish. Negligible current. If you're a photographer, this is the place for macros and close-ups.

Santa Rosa Wall is one of the more spectacular dives. If you enter the reef in the north section, in about 60' of water then pass through a tunnel for 25-35 yards. When you exit the tunnel you are looking down into a 3000'+ drop-off. Be prepared for the adrenalin rush. Beautiful wall. Huge sponges, lots of big fish. Moderate current. Watch your depth gauge it's too easy to drift down this wall deeper than you want to be. Take your wide angle lens. 

If you're into fast current dives, and are an experienced diver, get your dive master to take you to San Juan reef and Barracuda Reef at the northern end of the island. They will only take small groups or singles. The current runs between 6- 10 knots on these two. They are young reefs, so a little different structure. Totally covered with big schools of fish. Lots of color. Do not wander away from your dive master. The current runs out and over a 3000'dropoff. Good place to find big eagle rays. Occasional shark. Big groupers.

Start asking questions about the dive operations now and try to book ahead. See who really answers your questions in a personal manner instead of a standard form letter reply. The ones that are going to give you good personal service are the ones who will listen to your questions and address themselves to what you want to know. The ones that send you a form letter answer/advertisement are impersonal cattleboat operators who could care less about who you are and what your personal needs are. Try ones like Manta Raya, Pascual scuba or Sea Urchin dive [look up in search].

NEW TO DRIFT DIVING AND UWPHOTO TIPS Your safety stop is usually hanging in the water at 25' for 2 minutes and then 15' for 3 minutes. With the drift you can still enjoy the scenery as you drift along during your safety stop. It's a new experience, yes, just maintaining the 15 foot level with no anchor rope to hang on to. Just watch your depth gauge carefully and you'll be alright. Your dive master will go over the dive plan with you before you leave the boat. He will let you know how much psi to start to your first safety stop with, each dive master has his own ideas on this. There is no hard and fast rule to this, except that you should return to the boat with no less than 300 psi minimum in you tank. If you are made to return to the surface when the first heavy breather runs out of air in 20 minutes, find another dive outfit. A good dive master will send to heavy breathers up when they run low and stick with the more air efficient divers until they are ready to return to the surface. 

Different spots will be dived differently depending on speed of currents. Some times you will enter the water with your BC inflated and then when everyone is in the water, you will deflate and descend. Other times with a stronger current, you will hit the water and head straight down to depth. The currents are variable on all of the reefs, speed wise. They will change directions, but usually not during the course of your dive. But it gives you a chance to sharpen your shooting skills. You can usually find a few spots to get on the down current side of big coral heads and walls to shoot the local creatures. A lot of the time you will be passing through the reefs in tunnels and cut throughs. The current is negligible in these usually and you will find nurse sharks resting out of the current and occasionally fair sized groupers in there. 

If you want to stop and shoot, don't grab the reef. You can stick one or two fingers down into the sandy bottom to hold yourself, or lay on the bottom where the current is the mildest to shoot some of the creatures that hang out under the ledges and rocks. Be careful about stirring up the sand so the next guy can get a good shot to instead of a lot of backscatter in his shot. Drifting along the walls, you will have time to shoot some good stuff because you can just face the wall as you drift parallel to it and will have time for a couple of shots of most things. It will really sharpen your skills as a photographer. As a wildlife Photographer, I've always had to shoot many of my subjects on the move, so I got a lot of practice on dry ground before getting wet. For good close-up and macro shots, spend the day at Chankanaab. The current is almost nil. The dives are shallow,25-35 feet at most. Good range of all sizes of creatures. 8'eagle rays to tiny blennies, octopus to 5' tarpons, 7' barracudas to scorpionfish. I sometimes do a number of short dives, shooting a roll of film and returning to the beach for awhile between dives to offgass and change film. There are places to rinse your cameras at the dive and snorkel rental places. The faster reefs like Barracuda and San Juan can be a bit hard to take photos on and it's usually recommended that you leave your cameras on the boat and just enjoy the ride. It's hard for me to go under without a camera, though, so I take one. The key to drift diving is just to relax and keep an eye on your dive buddies. The dive master will usually be keeping a close watch on the entire group as much as he can. That is, if you have a good dive master, and most of them are. But, they can't be everywhere at once, so be sure to stay in sight of the other divers, but don't feel like you have to race to keep up with the speed freaks who think the point of the dive is to travel further faster than everybody else. These people never see the world around them. Just travel along at the speed of the current, you have nothing to prove to anybody. Drifting is just that. A peaceful relaxing ride. Since you are drifting with the current and not having to swim into it, the camera is a negligible factor when it comes to resistance, it only means something else to be aware of when moving through more confined areas such as the tunnels and pass throughs.

AVOIDING THE CROWDS: Wednesday is when there are more cruise ships in the harbor than any other day, so it's a good day to rent a car [we recommend the VW convertibles] and drive around the island. The east side of the island is not to be missed. Long expanses of beach, no hotels, no town, plenty of privacy. Take your time, stop at the 5 or 6 little cantina/restaurants, have a cold cerveza, eat a good cheap fresh seafood lunch, walk on the beaches and pick up shells[yes it's legal to pick up shells on the beach, just don't bring up anything from the water while snorkeling or diving]. Head back to town for the evening for a meal. Since the main island road is only about 45 miles in a loop, it's a nice daytrip with plenty of time to stop and hang out, buy souvenirs, eat, drink a cold drink. Try going to the Punta Celerain lighthouse and beyond to Punta Sur. Just before the road turns back to the west at the south end of the east side, go straight. There will be a gate and a guard house, stop and wait and if the road is open, a guard will open up and let you in. Lately they've been doing some work on a new park in the lighthouse area, so it may be closed, but try anyway. There is a protected turtle nesting area along the shore and crocodiles can be found in the Laguna de Columbia. The VW convert is the best rental on the island- depending on where you are staying, there will be a discount through your hotel. If you plan to drive north from Mezcalitoes on the east side of the island, go with an organized tour like Tarzan tours , and travel on ATV's. I've stopped recommending traveling by 4wd up this way because it's become too rough and unsafe for such driving. The tours will take you to spots to snorkel and swim safely [major undertow along this side of the island makes it unsafe to jump in just anywhere]. Have a bottle of El Sol for me at Mezcalitos and tell Mike, the owner "Hi."

Avoid the mopeds/scooters. The island roads can be treacherous for scooter riders. The roads are too rough in many places, there are speed bumps [topes] which can throw the unwary rider [road rash is no fun]. The cabs and other cars move at high rates of speed and the roadways are narrow. There is no shade on any of the main roads around the island, due to the low jungle growth. The sun will broil you and the wind will finish the job of dehydrating you and taking off the last layer of skin the sun missed. Stick with a vehicle with 4 wheels on the pavement, and a top that you can put up or down, you'll be more comfortable and won't feel like you've been beat up at the end of your trip around the island. When renting your vehicle, check the lights and windshield wipers to see if they work, or that they are even there. It's no fun trying to make it back to town with no headlights and nonworking windshield wipers in a rainstorm right after dark. Believe me, I've tried it. Sunday night is fiesta night in town on the plaza. Make sure you are there. The locals all come out, bringing the most beautiful tiny Mayan kids you've ever seen in your life dressed in their fanciest clothes. There is always live music [salsa/samba/meximodern/mariachi] people dance and have a great time. It is not to be missed. There is a miniature golf course just a couple of blocks east of the plaza run by a nice couple. It is quite unique in that they supply you with walky-talkies to order drinks while you are playing the course. It's also a good outlet for some the energy your kids may have built up while you were doing all that shopping. Your best shopping bets are the shops a block or two away from the square. These merchants are more willing to bargain. The shops are not up for bargaining when the cruise ship people are in town, but they are gone by evening and prices come down. Your best bargains come near closing time [about 9:00 pm] when they want to make one more sale before they close up shop. Cinco Soles has very high quality items for reasonable prices. They will not bargain, prices are set. They are large enough to have a wide variety of goods from artwork and pottery, to very nice jewelry to furniture and every kind of tequila you could hope to find. They even have a lot of their tequilas and liqueurs out for free tasting. You can taste the tequilas here that you only dream about ever seeing at your local bar. When buying silver items look for the stamp on the item showing the purity of the silver. If it's not stamped 9.25 , it's not the real thing. There are some vendors who will try to fool you. Be aware and look for the stamp on the back. On those hot mid-day trips to town, there is a nice kid who sell shaved ices on the east side of the catholic church. All in all Cozumel is a totally safe place to walk around town, anytime day or night, so don't be afraid to take a stroll around the neighborhoods away from the square. If you do want to "party til you puke" there is Carlos and Charlies. It is a bunch of drunks with a building around them. A lot of fun for the college age crowds and for those who never grew out of that stage of their lives. I haven't spent anytime there [except to use their restrooms] in several years. One other good thing to remember. Public restrooms can be found in the courtyard area behind "Fat Tuesday's". There are restrooms upstairs and down in the back corner of the courtyard past the shops. Mayan Ruins: The best place on the island to see the ruins is at San Gervasio {pronounced Hervasio}. It cost about $2.50 per person to tour the ruins, more if you use a guide. But if you have the time, it is advisable to take a tour of ruins on the mainland since they are much more spectacular than the small ones on the island. Chichen Itza is by far the best one to visit. You should plan on flying to these ruins [your hotel will have info about the tours]. You will leave early in the day and be at the ruins before the hottest part of the day and well ahead of the crowds that come by bus from Cozumel, Cancun, and Playa Del Carman. While they are touring in the hot noonday sun, you will be enjoying your lunch in the shade before your flight back to the island. You'll be back on Cozumel in the water and relaxing while they are still in a 95 degree "air conditioned" bus with a bunch of other grumpy tourists. Believe me, the extra money spent on the flight tour is well worth it. Your cost [approx.$129] will include a guide at the ruins and airport transfers. You can also take a tour of Tulum by taking a ferry to the mainland at Playa del Carman and then taxi to the ruins. These are smaller ruins than Chichen Itza, but the setting is spectacular, a cliff site overlooking the Carribean. Most tours will also include a stop at Xel Ha lagoon park for snorkeling. If you've already snorkeled on the island, this may be a little dissapointing. The water in the lagoon is not as clear as the waters around the island and there are usually lots of other folks in the water, making it seem like a large swimming pool. All the reputable hotels supply plenty of bottled water, and if you need more, pick up a few bottles at any of the supermarkets on the island, it's cheap. 

IGUANA HEALTH ALERT One more thing, while in the area you will run across quaint natives with pet iguanas you may hold and take pictures with [for a small fee], remember if you do this, wash your hands immediately afterwards. ALL and I mean ALL iguanas carry salmonella. It is just a natural gift of nature they bear. It is not a pleasant way to spend a vacation, or to have a bout of it when you return home. So, carry along some of those little handy wipes from your local barbecue restaurant[ you know, the little alcohol hand washing napkin things] because there may not be clean water and soap when you need them. CALLING HOME If you call from your room, use your credit card, do not charge it to the room. The sticker shock is pretty bad. You never know how much they will charge for a call. You might want to purchase some of the international pre-paid calling cards to take along. There also pay phones around the plaza you can use with your credit card. If you can think of any other questions that you have, feel free to e-mail me, Cozumel is one of my favorite subjects. To see some of the beautiful tropical fish from the reefs, visit my website . Denny Dumas Fish Creek Photos Custom Shirts 

LITTLE KNOWN FACTS: The sand on the beaches never gets hot. It is referred to locally as air conditioned sand. It is quite comfortable to walk barefoot on the beaches even in the hottest weather. A major portion of the white sand on the beaches is produced by the Parrotfishes. While eating the algae from the corals, they ingest some of the hard coral, grind it up and eject is as a waste product. So, you see, you'll be walking on Parrotfish poop, no wonder it stays so cool under our feet.

P.S. Below is suggested lists of items for both summer and winter travel to the island. 

Winter Travel List don't forget to bring: 

  • casual clothes
  • long sleeve shirts [2 or 3] [cool evenings]
  • warm weather clothes [ mid to upper 80's daytime]
  • light jacket/ sweater 
  • 2-3 long pants 
  • 2 bathing suits [slow drying in humidity]
  • hat to protect from sun 
  • sandals 
  • tennis/running shoes
  • beach coverup/sarong{can buy great stuff down there, though, cheap.} 
  • pj's/or not 
  • books/magazines 
  • sunglasses and sunscreen {a must} 
  • water bottle 
  • energy bars, power bars, clif bars, pemmican bars for betwen dives
  • cameras, lots of film [no cheap film down here] 
  • batteries 
  • ziplock bags couple of sizes.protect {film from moisture,humidity, keep snacks less limp] 
  • medication [aspirin, pepto biz, etc.] 
  • documents[ county issued birth certif. with raised seal, driver lic., passport(not critical]
  • knapsack, totebag. 
  • extra suitcase for souvenirs. 
  • ziplock bags 
  • trash bags for wet clothes on return trip 
  • small first aid kit with sting swabs, bandaids, alcohol wipes, aloe vera gel [for all burns and abrasions]tweezers, vinegar water and lavender oil [jelly fish stings, sea urchin spines and punctures], isopropyl alcohol [for irrigating ears to clear water] 
  • sewing kit 
  • aloe vera gel for sunburn
  • dive and snorkel gear. 

Summer Travel List don't forget to bring

  • casual clothes for hot weather 
  • shorts, tee shirts, tank tops. 
  • white cotton fancy dinner places here. 
  • 2or 3 bathing suits [slow drying in humidity]
  • hat to protect from sun 
  • sunscreen. you might want some.
  • sandals/tennis/running shoes 
  • beach coverup/sarong{can buy great stuff down there, though, cheap.} 
  • sunscreen [probably a good idea]
  • books/magazines
  • sunglasses and sunscreen {a must} 
  • water bottle. 
  • energy bars, power bars, clif bars, pemmican bars for betwen dives 
  • medication [aspirin (not tylenol, this is for sunburn protection, another little known fact take 4 a day to protect against sunburn.), pepto biz, etc.] 
  • small first aid kit with sting swabs, bandaids, alcohol wipes, aloe vera gel [for all burns and abrasions]tweezers, vinegar water[jelly fish stings], lavender oil[jellyfish stings], isopropyl alcohol [for irrigating ears to clear water] 
  • ziplock bags 
  • trash bags for wet clothes on return trip
  • sewing kit dive and snorkel gear 
  • documents[ county issued birth certif. w/ raised seal, driver lic., passport(not critical). knapsack, totebag. extra suitcase for souvenirs. 
  • did I mention sunscreen? an absolute necessity.

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