On The Wild Side

The famed other side of Cozumel — the roguish, older brother of the more developed, touristy mainland-facing coast — is a must-do while on the island. If you haven’t yet paid off the Mexican policia for a rollick on a deserted beach with your lover, well then you haven’t lived. (But that’s a story for the memoir, folks!)

The east side is, simply put, gorgeous. One long highway threads south from the hotel zone, then rounds the base of the island back north again. The route’s peppered with ramshackle bars serving buckets of ice cold Sol and fried fish. But you need a scooter or a car to get there, like our glamorous rental, this cherry red hatchback.

After getting a bit lost, we made our way to Mezcalito’s, plopped down in a hammock, and ordered a bucket of beer. I felt like I was a young Milla Jovovich in Return to the Blue Lagoon, a movie I happened upon when I was 10 or so, and which helped solidify my fascination with crystalline water and capable, naked island men.

Nothing to do but have good conversation, practice my Spanish with my lover, and the most important part of it all: relaxing.

After a few beers it was time to get our toes wet. We drove to a beach, parked in the median, and had ourselves a time. The waves were a bit ferocious, as is the norm, but the water was so crisp, and so clear.