You’ll wish to add diving in Cozumel to your journey to Mexico in case you get pleasure from a little bit of underwater exploration. On this put up, we’ll take a better 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 house owners of dive outlets to verify I had the entire data appropriate for this put up.
I’ve spent numerous time diving in Mexico, notably across the Yucatan Peninsula, and I’ve to say that (in my view) Cozumel diving is a few of the greatest in Mexico.
Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Mexico: A Full Information
The island of Cozumel is unquestionably one of many greatest locations for scuba diving in Mexico. Right here you’ll be able to 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 would possibly 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 greatest dive websites, high 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’ll be able to 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 stated, some months are positively higher than others relying on what you wish to see.
The water is sort of heat and nice in all seasons, often 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 larger in September and October. One good thing about 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. Undoubtedly you’ll want to ebook prematurely presently, 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’ll be able to anticipate fast bursts of rain.
August to October have the best chance of hurricane, however December has nice climate.
It is a nice season to see sharks, notably 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 presently, 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’ll be able to 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 possibly can’t actually dive in Cozumel with out seeing turtles!
Might to October is Loggerhead breading season in Cozumel.
Yep. You’ll most likely 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 is not any totally different.
The coral pinnacles will nonetheless be implausible 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 sensible, wholesome, and vibrant.
Greatest Dive Websites in Cozumel
Cozumel scuba diving is so in style 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 possibly can simply plan your whole journey round diving on this superb island.
Cozumel dive websites sometimes have fairly a little bit of present, however typically you’ll be able to circulation with the present (collectively along with your group) and the boat will decide you up on the different finish of the reef.
Newbies 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 greatest dive websites in Cozumel.
Listed below are a few of the greatest dive websites in Cozumel that you could’t miss:
1. Palancar Reefs
- Depth: 9 meters – 36 meters (30-120 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Newbie-Intermediate
- Present: Gentle-Sturdy
That is thought of to be the star of the diving scene in Cozumel. It’s truly divided into 4 sections — caves, bricks, horseshoe, and gardens. These totally different websites provide one thing for divers of all ranges.
Between the 4 totally different websites, you’ll be able to expertise depths of between 9 meters – 36 meters (30 to 120 toes). There are many superb coral formations, colourful sponges, and plenty of fascinating marine life. You might spot sea turtles, nurse sharks, angelfish, and extra right here.
On my latest journey diving Cozumel, I dove all of the websites right here and general the Palancar reefs had been most likely my favourite on the island. Significantly Palancar Caves the place you get to swim by huge caverns within the coral reef itself.
When you ask your dive store what the perfect Cozumel dive websites are, they’ll doubtless record Palancar first.
2. Columbia Wall
- Depth: 18 meters – 36 meters (60-120 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Intermediate
- Present: Unpredictable
Large coral pinnacles are a spotlight right here, some rising greater than 60 toes (20 meters) from the underside. You possibly can get pleasure from some deep swim-throughs and wall diving right here. Look out for grouper, turtles, and perhaps even nurse sharks at this wonderful dive web site.
I dove the Columbia Wall as a twilight dive which was implausible as a result of because the solar units it displays off of the wall and creates some spectacular colours.
When 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 is usually a close by night time dive (extremely really useful).
3. San Clemente
- Depth: 10 meters – 30 meters (30-98 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Superior
- Present: Sturdy
This was my second dive of the two tank twilight and night time dive and it was implausible. You possibly can go right 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, an enormous eagle ray “flew” by us on the finish of the dive!
When you get the prospect, ask your dive store to take you on the 2-tank San Clemente and Columbia Wall twilight & night time dives. These had been a few my favorites.
Word: Like many spots for diving in Cozumel, there’s present right here. Once I did the San Clemente night time dive it was fairly sturdy. When you’re not used to highly effective currents, let your dive store know in order that they’ll examine the circumstances earlier than taking you right here.
4. Columbia Pinnacles
- Depth: 9 meters – 30 meters (30-98 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Newbie-Intermediate
- Present: Gentle
Like Palancar, there are fairly a couple of dive websites throughout the Columbia Reefs. The Columbia Pinnacles had been one other one among my favourite dive websites as a result of, like Palancar, that they had implausible coral crests jutting up from the seafloor.
There are many swim-throughs and it’s a comparatively straightforward 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 facet of the pinnacles to relaxation and regroup, making it an incredible place for newcomers.
5. Columbia Shallows
- Depth: 8 meters – 14 meters (26-50 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Newbie
- Present: Gentle
I dove the Columbia Pinnacles and Columbia Shallows in at some point as a part of a 2 tank dive day and it was implausible.
We had a little bit of present within the shallows however it wasn’t dangerous 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 a lot of turtles on this dive, too many lobsters to rely and I discovered a small reef shark sleeping underneath a coral overhang which principally made my day on the water.
6. Punta Sur Reef
- Depth: 27 meters – 39 meters (90-130 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Superior
- Present: Unpredictable
This subsequent one is for extra superior divers. It reaches right down to depths of 130 toes (30 meters) and is cut up into two sections. The southern half has a tremendous chamber known as the Cathedral whereas the northern half encompasses a cave formation often known as the Satan’s Throat.
7. Chankanaab Reef
- Depth: 10 meters to fifteen meters (35-50 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Newbie
- Present: Gentle
This is a great spot for some diving in Cozumel for newcomers. It’s a straightforward, shallow dive that’s often accomplished as a 2nd dive on a visit.
All of the cracks and crevices within the coral right here imply a lot 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 Degree: Intermediate to Superior
- Present: Reasonable
The C-53 isn’t an infinite wreck, however it’s one among my favourite shipwrecks I’ve accomplished and it’s positively the perfect (hottest) on Cozumel. What I liked about it was that it was utterly upright, making it straightforward to navigate the darkish hallways.
That’s proper, you get to penetrate this wreck and it’s superb!
When you’re a newbie to an intermediate diver, you’ll solely be capable to enter the higher stage of the ship which sits at about 20 meters (65ft), however for superior deepwater divers, you’ll be able to go a stage deeper into the vessel at round 30 meters (98ft).
When you’re scuba diving Cozumel and also you wish to go to a wreck dive, the C-53 needs to be on the high of your record.
9. Paradise Reef
- Depth: 10-18 meters (32-59 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Newbie
- Present: Reasonable
This was the second dive that I did proper after the C-53 Wreck and it’s one of the vital in style dive websites in Cozumel because of the shallow, easy-to-follow reef system right here.
For my part, Paradise Reef has a few of Cozumel’s greatest gentle coral formations with vibrant colours and plenty of sea life. Test underneath each little nook and cranny to search out hiding fish, lobsters, and generally nurse sharks.
- Depth: 15-18 meters (50-60 toes)
- Expertise Degree: Intermediate-Superior
- Present: Sturdy
Tormentos is one other one of the vital in style dive websites in Cozumel because of its brilliant 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 a couple of of them stated that Tormentos was their favourite chilled dive web site and I may 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.
Price of Diving in Cozumel
When scuba diving in Cozumel, 2-tank morning dives or afternoon dives are the usual. You possibly can 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 potential to search out single-tank dives, however these are uncommon through the day. Most dive outlets in Cozumel provide a single-tank night time dive journey for round $60-65. These often solely run between October and February.
It’s also possible to join particular 2-tank twilight dives throughout sure instances of the 12 months for round $100. These sometimes don’t run within the winter months. It’s greatest to ask the dive store that you just enroll with if they’ve such a visit accessible while you’ll be on the island.
It’s typical for dive outlets right here to supply the fundamentals (masks, snorkel and fins) totally free however cost additional for gear rental.
You will get a full set of drugs for $20-25 a day or get a reduction if diving for a number of days. Most outlets provide Nitrox tanks for an extra $8-10.
Need to seize your expertise diving in Cozumel? Many outlets lease out GoPros for round $40 in case you don’t have your personal. Some even provide videography providers so you’ll be able to allow them to do the work of documenting the dive so you’ll be able to simply get pleasure from it.
When you’re not but licensed to dive, Cozumel is a superb place to examine that off your record. You are able to do a Uncover Scuba course for as little as $80 from the seashore or $140-150 from a ship.
You possibly can full your Open Water coaching in Cozumel for $430-450 or $340-380 in case you select the e-learning possibility. Many outlets additionally provide Superior Open Water for just below $400 and Rescue Diver programs for $380-410.
With so many superb dive websites to select from, it’s price it to join a number of days of diving. Sticking with the identical store all through your journey will certainly get you an excellent low cost on the diving and rental gear.
For instance, some outlets provide 5 days of diving for $80/day versus their regular charge of $90. That’s $50 extra that you just’ll have for fish tacos and margaritas on the seashore while you get again from diving!
Many dive outlets may also organize keep & dive packages with accommodations and resorts. It is a smart way to avoid wasting cash and care for your diving and lodging in Cozumel in a single fell swoop.
Scuba diving Cozumel isn’t all the time low cost, however consider me… it’s price 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 newcomers 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 possibly can keep just about anyplace in case you’re a diver. Nonetheless, in case you keep central, you’ll be capable to rapidly get to the dive outlets for a morning underneath the water. When you keep across the marine park, many dive firms will even decide you up at your lodge’s jetty.
Cozumel Dive Retailers
For a small island, there are a number of decisions of dive outlets in Cozumel. You possibly can join day journeys, night time dives, and PADI programs at most dive outlets on the island.
Since diving is such an enormous a part of life on the island, there are a number of dive outlets right here on Cozumel. That being stated, they positively vary in high quality. That is true for dive outlets in Mexico and some other nation the place diving is in style.
Many of the dive outlets 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. General, the dive facilities right here provide nice worth and high quality.
Listed below are a few of the greatest:
⭐️ 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’d advocate them if I didn’t assume they had been an incredible store.
Selecting 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 crew right here, notably with Martin and Pedro. Additionally, Carlos (aka “Paco”) was an incredible boat captain and such a hilarious character.
Tony has been operating his dive store on the island for over 15 years and has earned the repute of being probably the greatest. He and his crew have near-perfect evaluations all throughout the online, in order that they’re positively doing one thing proper.
They don’t even have a store and simply deal with reservations on-line, which truly works fairly properly 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 sure that their gear is all the time new. Daily on the water I had a model new BCD, nice regulator, a superb masks and fins, and a dive pc.
As a bonus, additionally they provide pickups by boat from lots of the jetties on Cozumel!
General, it is a well-run dive store and can go down as one among my favourite dive experiences I’ve ever had. When 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 high priorities. They’re all about hassle-free diving right here and care for every thing so you’ll be able to simply get pleasure from your journey.
Maple Leaf Scuba
When you favor small teams, it is a nice dive store to go together with. They restrict teams to 6 per divemaster and generally convey two alongside if the group isn’t so skilled. They’ll additionally assist you to organize an underwater proposal.
How you can Get to Cozumel
Though many individuals fly to Cancun, you’ll be able to fly on to Cozumel through the island’s worldwide airport.
There are a couple of choices for direct flights from the US and Canada year-round and several other extra in excessive season (December-March). Simply keep in mind that it’s really useful to attend a minimum of 24 hours after diving to take a flight.
The island can also be a very talked-about vacation spot for cruise ships.
When you don’t get numerous time there throughout a cease, it’s sufficient to get pleasure from some Cozumel scuba diving. Many dive outlets are comfortable to accommodate cruise ship passengers. Simply you’ll want to ebook this tour prematurely to keep away from disappointment.
Most guests to Cozumel fly into Cancun Worldwide Airport first. From there, you can also make your method right down to Playa del Carmen. You’ll want to learn our information on the right way 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 present, there are two totally different firms operating 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 kids. 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 let you spend extra time within the water and fewer cash in your dives than if staying in Playa.
Nonetheless, many individuals select to base in Playa for a wide range of causes. There are extra choices for issues to see and do, lodging, eating, and nightlife, and it’s additionally simpler to achieve the cenotes within the space.
Dive outlets in Playa del Carmen manage 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 outlets advocate a morning dive so that you received’t have to fret about taking the final ferry of the day again to Playa. Meaning 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 principally the identical expertise within the water as while you keep on Cozumel, besides you’ll must rise up early to catch the ferry. (It’s a couple of 1-hour experience.) It’s an excellent possibility in case you’re staying in Playa del Carmen anyway and solely have time for one dive on Cozumel.
There are various dive outlets in Playa del Carmen, and so they 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 fallacious.
Fortunately, there are hyperbaric chambers on the island in case of an emergency. The Cozumel Hyperbaric Chamber and Clinic is part of the Cozumel Worldwide 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 will help you take care of points like Decompression Illness (DCS) and Arterial Gasoline Embolism (AGE). They use a multi-place decompression chamber that permits the technician to go in our out with out interrupting remedy.
These sorts of remedies actually aren’t low cost, so it’s essential to be sure to have the correct kind of insurance coverage when diving in Cozumel (or anyplace, for that matter).
The DAN (Divers Alert Community) comes extremely really useful. Click on right 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 in case you don’t consider me, then take heed to Jacques Cousteau, who stated that Cozumel was one of many high ten dive websites on the planet.
Diving in Cozumel is nice all 12 months. November to March is greatest 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 prospect of hurricanes.
The reefs off of the southwest shore of the island have the perfect diving in Cozumel. A few of the high dive websites are Palancar and the Columbia Wall. The C-53 shipwreck can also be wonderful.
The diving is unquestionably higher in Cozumel, with huge partitions and deeper dives. You possibly can keep in Playa del Carmen and dive in Cozumel, nevertheless, by taking the ferry. Additionally, in case 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 favored Cozumel higher. It’s a lot simpler to get to the dive websites. In Belize generally the boat rides had been a number of hours lengthy. They’re as quick 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 undoubtedly, my favourite diving in Mexico was on Cozumel.
The coral right here is so extremely wholesome. It’s no surprise why Cozumel regularly makes the highest of the record of the greatest diving on the planet.
The perfect 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 defend such huge towers of colourful reefs. Whereas there aren’t as many fish like another elements of the world, in case 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’ll be able to spot numerous turtles, stingrays, and eels.
When you’re an avid scuba diver, Cozumel ought to positively be excessive in your record. This gorgeous island within the Yucatan Peninsula is palms down one of many high 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 an enormous day of diving, you’ll be able to chill in your chair on a few of the greatest seashores in Mexico and luxuriate in some tasty delicacies with a chilly cerveza or margarita!
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