You’ll wish to add diving in Cozumel to your journey to Mexico when you get pleasure from a little bit of underwater exploration. On this put up, we’ll take a more in-depth take a look at all issues associated to scuba diving in Cozumel.
I used to be licensed in 2008, and in 2021 I spent every week diving Cozumel with Scuba Tony. I spent greater than 12 hours underwater across the island. I met up with some native Padi Instructors and spoke with the homeowners of dive retailers to ensure I had the entire info appropriate for this put up.
I’ve spent numerous time diving in Mexico, significantly across the Yucatan Peninsula, and I’ve to say that (for my part) Cozumel diving is a few of the finest in Mexico.
Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Mexico: A Full Information
The island of Cozumel is unquestionably one of many best places for scuba diving in Mexico. Right here you may go diving within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef system.
It’s a part of a protected marine park with spectacular partitions of coral and greater than 500 species of fish. You may see turtles, sharks, and eagle rays right here along with all of the tropical fish just like the endemic splendid toadfish.
Even famend explorer Jacques Cousteau declared the island of Cozumel to be a world-class diving vacation spot when he visited again in 1961. Diving in Cozumel actually is an unbelievable expertise!
Learn on for an in depth information to scuba diving on this gorgeous island within the Yucatan. I’ll cowl the perfect time to go to, common prices, typical marine life, a few of the finest dive websites, prime scuba firm and much more.
When to Go Diving in Cozumel
Cozumel scuba diving is nice year-round.
I visited Cozumel within the shoulder season of late April and early Might, however you may actually come right here for diving any time of the 12 months. There actually isn’t a foul time to go scuba diving in Cozumel!
That being mentioned, some months are undoubtedly higher than others relying on what you wish to see.
The water is sort of heat and nice in all seasons, normally between 78 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC). Whereas the water is all the time good, the temperatures on land could be downright stifling through the summer season months.
July to October can also be hurricane season right here, so you must take that into consideration.
The danger is decrease in the summertime months however a lot increased in September and October. One advantage of touring to Cozumel within the offseason is that costs are decrease and crowds are a lot smaller.
The height season for diving Cozumel is between December and March. Whereas it is a nice time to be on the island weather-wise, it’s additionally costly and crowded. Positively be sure you e-book upfront at the moment, particularly between Christmas and New Yr’s.
A candy spot for scuba diving in Cozumel is between March and April, when crowds begin to skinny out however the rain has but to reach.
Cozumel Diving Seasons
|January – April||Might – August||September – December|
77°-79°F / 25°-26°C
78°-86°F / 26°-30°C
77°-84°F / 25°-28°C
January – February remains to be primarily clear skies and cooler temperatures. It begins warming in March-April.
Might and June the climate begins heating up and in the summertime you may count on fast bursts of rain.
August to October have the very best probability of hurricane, however December has nice climate.
This can be a nice season to see sharks, significantly from January to March when you may also see bull sharks (nearer to Playa del Carmen).
July and August are different excessive months for shark recognizing! You received’t see bull sharks at the moment, however there are many reef sharks.
From November to December the bull sharks return and provide the alternative to dive with them.
Between the months of January to April, you may see probably the most eagle rays. You all the time have a excessive likelihood of seeing brown stingrays within the sand.
July & August are additionally the second-best seasons to see the attractive eagle rays. As all the time you’ll see loads of different rays too.
September – December isn’t the perfect months to see eagle rays, however you’ll nonetheless see loads of brown noticed rays and different species.
You may’t actually dive in Cozumel with out seeing turtles!
Might to October is Loggerhead breading season in Cozumel.
Yep. You’ll in all probability nonetheless see a inexperienced turtle on each dive on this season!
Each month of the 12 months is nice for diving and seeing the unbelievable Coral formations and this season isn’t any completely different.
The coral pinnacles will nonetheless be improbable in Might-August and the ocean is heat sufficient to dive with no wetsuit.
The water begins to chill once more in October however the fish and coral stay the identical, all good, wholesome, and vibrant.
Finest Dive Websites in Cozumel
Cozumel scuba diving is so widespread as a result of there are such a lot of dive websites to select from. There are over 20 websites across the island for divers of all ranges. You can simply plan your total journey round diving on this superb island.
Cozumel dive websites usually have fairly a little bit of present, however usually you may stream with the present (collectively together with your group) and the boat will decide you up on the different finish of the reef.
Newcomers will benefit from the shallow websites that includes colourful reefs, whereas extra superior divers can go for some thrilling drift diving with swim-throughs. Even non-divers can get pleasure from the fantastic thing about the underwater world right here by tagging alongside as a snorkeler.
The dive websites right here vary in depth from 4.5 meters – 36 meters, nevertheless, the perfect ones max out at 25 meters. Divers with an Superior Open Water certification are in a position to get pleasure from the entire finest dive websites in Cozumel.
Listed here are a few of the finest dive websites in Cozumel which you could’t miss:
1. Palancar Reefs
- Depth: 9 meters – 36 meters (30-120 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Newbie-Intermediate
- Present: Gentle-Sturdy
That is thought of to be the star of the diving scene in Cozumel. It’s really divided into 4 sections — caves, bricks, horseshoe, and gardens. These completely different websites provide one thing for divers of all ranges.
Between the 4 completely different websites, you may expertise depths of between 9 meters – 36 meters (30 to 120 toes). There are many superb coral formations, colourful sponges, and many fascinating marine life. You might spot sea turtles, nurse sharks, angelfish, and extra right here.
On my current journey diving Cozumel, I dove all of the websites right here and general the Palancar reefs have been in all probability my favourite on the island. Significantly Palancar Caves the place you get to swim by monumental caverns within the coral reef itself.
In the event you ask your dive store what the perfect Cozumel dive websites are, they’ll probably record Palancar first.
2. Columbia Wall
- Depth: 18 meters – 36 meters (60-120 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Intermediate
- Present: Unpredictable
Big coral pinnacles are a spotlight right here, some rising greater than 60 toes (20 meters) from the underside. You may get pleasure from some deep swim-throughs and wall diving right here. Look out for grouper, turtles, and possibly even nurse sharks at this wonderful dive web site.
I dove the Columbia Wall as a twilight dive which was improbable as a result of because the solar units it displays off of the wall and creates some spectacular colours.
In the event you dive the Columbia Wall, I like to recommend doing it as a 2 tank night time dive, so the primary dive is on the wall for sundown, and your second dive generally is a close by night time dive (extremely beneficial).
3. San Clemente
- Depth: 10 meters – 30 meters (30-98 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Superior
- Present: Sturdy
This was my second dive of the two tank twilight and night time dive and it was improbable. You may go all the way down to round 30 meters on this one however we stayed at about 20 because it was our second dive of the day.
I extremely advocate doing San Clemente as an evening dive. The animals come out to play on this reef and it’s a spectacular present!
We noticed 3 octopus, a nurse shark, eels, brown noticed stingrays, and better of all, a large eagle ray “flew” by us on the finish of the dive!
In the event you get the possibility, ask your dive store to take you on the 2-tank San Clemente and Columbia Wall twilight & night time dives. These have been a few my favorites.
Be aware: Like many spots for diving in Cozumel, there may be present right here. Once I did the San Clemente night time dive it was fairly sturdy. In the event you’re not used to highly effective currents, let your dive store know in order that they’ll test the circumstances earlier than taking you right here.
4. Columbia Pinnacles
- Depth: 9 meters – 30 meters (30-98 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Newbie-Intermediate
- Present: Gentle
Like Palancar, there are fairly just a few dive websites throughout the Columbia Reefs. The Columbia Pinnacles have been one other considered one of my favourite dive websites as a result of, like Palancar, that they had improbable coral crests jutting up from the seafloor.
There are many swim-throughs and it’s a comparatively simple dive.
On the day I went, there was no present in any respect and even when there was, there are many locations on the leeward aspect of the pinnacles to relaxation and regroup, making it an incredible place for inexperienced persons.
5. Columbia Shallows
- Depth: 8 meters – 14 meters (26-50 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Newbie
- Present: Gentle
I dove the Columbia Pinnacles and Columbia Shallows in sooner or later as a part of a 2 tank dive day and it was improbable.
We had a little bit of present within the shallows however it wasn’t unhealthy and it was tremendous relaxed to simply drift over the corals at a shallow depth; the right shallow dive after the deeper pinnacles.
We noticed plenty of turtles on this dive, too many lobsters to rely and I discovered a small reef shark sleeping beneath a coral overhang which mainly made my day on the water.
6. Punta Sur Reef
- Depth: 27 meters – 39 meters (90-130 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Superior
- Present: Unpredictable
This subsequent one is for extra superior divers. It reaches all the way down to depths of 130 toes (30 meters) and is break up into two sections. The southern half has a tremendous chamber known as the Cathedral whereas the northern half contains a cave formation generally known as the Satan’s Throat.
7. Chankanaab Reef
- Depth: 10 meters to fifteen meters (35-50 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Newbie
- Present: Gentle
This is a great spot for some diving in Cozumel for inexperienced persons. It’s a straightforward, shallow dive that’s normally accomplished as a 2nd dive on a visit.
All of the cracks and crevices within the coral right here imply plenty of fascinating marine life — lobster, noticed moray eels, crab, and even the endemic splendid toadfish.
8. C-53 Shipwreck
- Depth: 15-30 meters (50-98 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Intermediate to Superior
- Present: Average
The C-53 isn’t an infinite wreck, however it’s considered one of my favourite shipwrecks I’ve achieved and it’s undoubtedly the perfect (hottest) on Cozumel. What I liked about it was that it was fully upright, making it simple to navigate the darkish hallways.
That’s proper, you get to penetrate this wreck and it’s superb!
In the event you’re a newbie to an intermediate diver, you’ll solely be capable to enter the higher degree of the ship which sits at about 20 meters (65ft), however for superior deepwater divers, you may go a degree deeper into the vessel at round 30 meters (98ft).
In the event you’re scuba diving Cozumel and also you wish to go to a wreck dive, the C-53 ought to be on the prime of your record.
9. Paradise Reef
- Depth: 10-18 meters (32-59 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Newbie
- Present: Average
This was the second dive that I did proper after the C-53 Wreck and it’s one of the widespread dive websites in Cozumel due to the shallow, easy-to-follow reef system right here.
For my part, Paradise Reef has a few of Cozumel’s finest tender coral formations with vibrant colours and many sea life. Test beneath each little nook and cranny to seek out hiding fish, lobsters, and typically nurse sharks.
- Depth: 15-18 meters (50-60 toes)
- Expertise Stage: Intermediate-Superior
- Present: Sturdy
Tormentos is one other one of the widespread dive websites in Cozumel due to its vibrant colourful coral and abundance of turtles snacking on the reef. I feel we noticed 3 turtles throughout my dive at Tormentos.
Out of the entire dive guides I talked to, fairly just a few of them mentioned that Tormentos was their favourite chilled dive web site and I might see why. Most agree that Palancar is the perfect general, however Tormentos usually comes as a detailed second.
The present could be fairly sturdy right here, so be ready for that, however once I visited it was fairly calm that day.
If it’s too sturdy and you end up getting pushed forward of your group, simply discover one of many many coral mounts and conceal behind it to keep away from the present till your group catches up with you.
Hold your eye out for black grouper, huge barracuda, and the occasional nurse shark that will grace you with its presence at Tormentos.
Value of Diving in Cozumel
When scuba diving in Cozumel, 2-tank morning dives or afternoon dives are the usual. You may hop on a 2-tank enjoyable dive journey for about $90 if staying on the island or a bit extra if staying in close by Playa del Carmen.
It’s doable to seek out single-tank dives, however these are uncommon through the day. Most dive retailers in Cozumel provide a single-tank night time dive journey for round $60-65. These normally solely run between October and February.
You may also join particular 2-tank twilight dives throughout sure instances of the 12 months for round $100. These usually don’t run within the winter months. It’s finest to ask the dive store that you just enroll with if they’ve such a visit obtainable while you’ll be on the island.
It’s typical for dive retailers right here to supply the fundamentals (masks, snorkel and fins) at no cost however cost further for gear rental.
You will get a full set of substances for $20-25 a day or get a reduction if diving for a number of days. Most retailers provide Nitrox tanks for an extra $8-10.
Need to seize your expertise diving in Cozumel? Many retailers lease out GoPros for round $40 when you don’t have your individual. Some even provide videography companies so you may allow them to do the work of documenting the dive so you may simply get pleasure from it.
In the event you’re not but licensed to dive, Cozumel is a good place to test that off your record. You are able to do a Uncover Scuba course for as little as $80 from the seaside or $140-150 from a ship.
You may full your Open Water coaching in Cozumel for $430-450 or $340-380 when you select the e-learning possibility. Many retailers additionally provide Advanced Open Water for just below $400 and Rescue Diver programs for $380-410.
With so many superb dive websites to select from, it’s value it to enroll in a number of days of diving. Sticking with the identical store during your journey will certainly get you a superb low cost on the diving and rental gear.
For instance, some retailers provide 5 days of diving for $80/day versus their regular price of $90. That’s $50 extra that you just’ll have for fish tacos and margaritas on the seaside while you get again from diving!
Many dive retailers may also organize keep & dive packages with accommodations and resorts. This can be a wonderful means to avoid wasting cash and deal with your diving and accommodation in Cozumel in a single fell swoop.
Scuba diving Cozumel isn’t all the time low-cost, however consider me… it’s value each penny.
How Deep Are the Dive Websites in Cozumel?
15-30 meters (50 – 100 toes)
Most dive websites in Cozumel vary from 15-30 meters (50 – 100 toes) with some being as shallow as 8 meters (26 toes). This makes Cozumel nice for all ranges of divers, from absolute inexperienced persons doning scuba gear for the primary time, all the way in which to superior divers with 100+ dives.
The place to Keep When Diving in Cozumel
You may keep just about anyplace when you’re a diver. Nevertheless, when you keep central, you’ll be capable to shortly get to the dive retailers for a morning beneath the water. In the event you keep across the marine park, many dive corporations will even decide you up at your lodge’s jetty.
Cozumel Dive Retailers
For a small island, there are a number of selections of dive retailers in Cozumel. You may join day journeys, night time dives, and PADI programs at most dive retailers on the island.
Since diving is such a giant a part of life on the island, there are a number of dive retailers right here on Cozumel. That being mentioned, they undoubtedly vary in high quality. That is true for dive retailers in Mexico and some other nation the place diving is widespread.
Many of the dive retailers in Cozumel are positioned on the west coast of the island. Some have an precise store whereas others don’t and simply take reservations on-line. Total, the dive facilities right here provide nice worth and high quality.
Listed here are a few of the finest:
⭐️ Scuba Tony (My Choose)
That is the dive store I went with and I extremely advocate it. Whereas I was working with them on this journey to assist them promote the attractive diving in Cozumel, that doesn’t imply that I might advocate them if I didn’t assume they have been an incredible store.
Choosing the perfect dive store in Cozumel is unquestionably subjective, however in my expertise and from what I heard on the island, Scuba Tony is the perfect round.
I liked diving with each member of the group right here, significantly with Martin and Pedro. Additionally, Carlos (aka “Paco”) was an incredible boat captain and such a hilarious character.
Tony has been working his dive store on the island for over 15 years and has earned the fame of being probably the greatest. He and his group have near-perfect critiques all throughout the online, in order that they’re undoubtedly doing one thing proper.
They don’t even have a store and simply deal with reservations on-line, which really works fairly nicely in my expertise. I didn’t get to satisfy with Tony (he was off-island), however I met with the brand new part-owner and supervisor Adam and he’s an incredible man.
Scuba Tony affords their divers a “rent-to-own” dive gear mannequin which helps be certain that their gear is all the time new. Every single day on the water I had a model new BCD, nice regulator, a wonderful masks and fins, and a dive pc.
As a bonus, in addition they provide pickups by boat from most of the jetties on Cozumel!
Total, it is a well-run dive store and can go down as considered one of my favourite dive experiences I’ve ever had. In the event you’re in search of an incredible store in Cozumel, look no additional.
Scuba Life Cozumel
This 5-star PADI dive heart makes security and luxury their prime priorities. They’re all about hassle-free diving right here and deal with all the things so you may simply get pleasure from your journey.
Maple Leaf Scuba
In the event you desire small teams, it is a nice dive store to go together with. They restrict teams to 6 per divemaster and typically carry two alongside if the group isn’t so skilled. They’ll additionally aid you organize an underwater proposal.
Find out how to Get to Cozumel
Though many individuals fly to Cancun, you may fly on to Cozumel through the island’s worldwide airport.
There are just a few choices for direct flights from the US and Canada year-round and a number of other extra in excessive season (December-March). Simply do not forget that it’s beneficial to attend not less than 24 hours after diving to take a flight.
The island can also be a extremely popular vacation spot for cruise ships.
Whilst you don’t get numerous time there throughout a cease, it’s sufficient to get pleasure from some Cozumel scuba diving. Many dive retailers are completely satisfied to accommodate cruise ship passengers. Simply be sure you e-book this tour upfront to keep away from disappointment.
Most guests to Cozumel fly into Cancun Worldwide Airport first. From there, you can also make your approach all the way down to Playa del Carmen. Make sure you learn our information on how to get from the Cancun Airport to Playa del Carmen as there are a number of choices.
Cozumel is only some miles offshore from Playa del Carmen and is definitely reached by ferry.
At the moment, there are two completely different corporations working ferries from the pier and there are round 9 sailings a day. One-way tickets value 250 pesos ($12.50) for adults and 200 ($10) for youngsters. Go to Winjet and Ultramar to get the present costs and departure instances.
Diving in Cozumel from Playa del Carmen
Basing your self on Cozumel will help you spend extra time within the water and fewer cash in your dives than if staying in Playa.
Nevertheless, many individuals select to base in Playa for quite a lot of causes. There are extra choices for things to see and do, lodging, eating, and nightlife, and it’s additionally simpler to achieve the cenotes within the space.
Dive retailers in Playa del Carmen set up dives in Cozumel too. You’ll take the ferry by your self, and your dive information will meet you on the Cozumel ferry terminal. Then after your dive, you’ll take the ferry again.
Most dive retailers advocate a morning dive so that you received’t have to fret about taking the final ferry of the day again to Playa. Which means after your dive you’ll have the afternoon free to discover Cozumel and get one thing to eat there.
So, diving in Cozumel from Playa del Carmen is mainly the identical expertise within the water as while you keep on Cozumel, besides you’ll need to rise up early to catch the ferry. (It’s a few 1-hour journey.) It’s a superb possibility when you’re staying in Playa del Carmen anyway and solely have time for one dive on Cozumel.
There are lots of dive retailers in Playa del Carmen, they usually all organize dives in Cozumel. I went with Phantom Divers and extremely advocate them.
Hyperbaric Chambers in Cozumel
Diving is a secure sport, however issues can and do go improper.
Fortunately, there are hyperbaric chambers on the island in case of an emergency. The Cozumel Hyperbaric Chamber and Clinic is part of the Cozumel International Hospital and is the place to go when you’ve got a diving-related emergency.
They’ve a workers of full-time professionals right here prepared that can assist you cope with points like Decompression Illness (DCS) and Arterial Fuel Embolism (AGE). They use a multi-place decompression chamber that enables the technician to go in our out with out interrupting remedy.
These sorts of remedies actually aren’t low-cost, so it’s necessary to ensure you have the fitting kind of insurance coverage when diving in Cozumel (or anyplace, for that matter).
The DAN (Divers Alert Community) comes extremely beneficial. Click here to be taught extra about their insurance policies.
FAQs About Diving in Cozumel
Have a fast query about scuba diving in Cozumel? Learn on for some FAQs.
Completely! And when you don’t consider me, then hearken to Jacques Cousteau, who mentioned that Cozumel was one of many prime ten dive websites on the planet.
Diving in Cozumel is sweet all 12 months. November to March is finest for seeing sharks and eagle rays, but in addition these months even have probably the most vacationers. There are fewer vacationers in summer season but in addition the possibility of hurricanes.
The reefs off of the southwest shore of the island have the perfect diving in Cozumel. A few of the prime dive websites are Palancar and the Columbia Wall. The C-53 shipwreck can also be wonderful.
The diving is unquestionably higher in Cozumel, with massive partitions and deeper dives. You may keep in Playa del Carmen and dive in Cozumel, nevertheless, by taking the ferry. Additionally, when you’re a newbie or intermediate diver, Playa del Carmen does gave good diving too.
Though I liked diving in Belize, and the Blue Gap is superb, I’ve to say I preferred Cozumel higher. It’s a lot simpler to get to the dive websites. In Belize typically the boat rides have been a number of hours lengthy. They’re as brief as 10 minutes in Cozumel.
Able to Go Diving in Cozumel?
I’ve been scuba diving in Isla Mujeres, Playa Del Carmen, and all up and down the Yucatan Peninsula, and no doubt, my favourite diving in Mexico was on Cozumel.
The coral right here is so extremely wholesome. It’s no marvel why Cozumel incessantly makes the highest of the record of the best diving in the world.
The most effective diving in Cozumel might be across the Columbia and Palancar reefs, however actually you would go to any dive web site on the island and be amazed by the coral and sea life.
Only a few locations on the planet have been in a position to shield such monumental towers of colourful reefs. Whereas there aren’t as many fish like another elements of the world, when you’re an individual who loves wholesome coral and nice visibility then Cozumel is the place to return.
Come right here in December – March and have an opportunity to dive with Bull Sharks, in the summertime months there are a great deal of Eagle Rays and all year long you may spot numerous turtles, stingrays, and eels.
In the event you’re an avid scuba diver, Cozumel ought to undoubtedly be excessive in your record. This gorgeous island within the Yucatan Peninsula is fingers down one of many prime diving locations in North America.
With over 20 distinctive websites for divers of all ranges and an abundance of marine life, Cozumel actually is a tremendous place to go to for scuba divers.
Better of all, after a giant day of diving, you may chill in your chair on a few of the best beaches in Mexico and revel in some tasty delicacies with a chilly cerveza or margarita!
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