The reef around Cozumel is part of the Mesoamerican Reef, which is the second largest reef system in the world. It’s teaming with life and home to over 250 different species of fish, turtles, stingrays and many other amazing animals. It’s some of the best reef diving in the world.
There are sites here for all skill levels and it’s the perfect place to do an intro dive or open water courses. Whether you like drop offs, shallow coral gardens with an abundance of life, or sites with lots of swim-throughs, with over 30 sites to choose from it’ll keep you busy for a while!
The great thing about diving here is that almost all the sites are of close proximity to the island so travel time is short. To the far north are the sites Barracuda Reef and San Juan Reef, both have strong currents and you’ll need an expert skill level to visit these reefs. Expect to see large schools of fish, sharks and rays playing in the currents.
Paradise Reef is accessible from the shore and has three sections. Here you can try and find the rare and elusive Splendid Toad Fish, Cozumel is the only place in the world you can see them! Las Palmas Shallows has been voted the number one snorkel spot in the Caribbean but is great for diving as well.
Both the wall and the reef dives are superb but the night diving on these sites is something else altogether and I wouldn’t miss out on that experience. You can see fish hunting, octopus, lobsters, eels swimming out in the open and many other cool critters that venture out into the dark. If you like wrecks then the purposely sunk C-53 Wreck Xicotencatl is worth checking out.
You will have a truly magical diving experience around Cozumel, be sure to hire or buy an underwater camera to take with you on your adventure.
(by Kelly Luckman)
Cozumel Island, or Island of the Swallows, is situated 10km off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Cozumel is 48km (30 miles) long and 16km (9.9 miles) wide and Mexico’s largest Caribbean island. There’s an international airport with flights from many US cities and also from Cancun but a 30 minute ferry ride from Playa del Carmen is the easiest and cheapest way to get there. It’s a very popular tourist destination with over 2 million visitors every year.
The island is rich in history. You can visit the amazing archaeological site of San Gervasio or green church in El Cedral, a guided tour can be booked from your hotel or you can hire a car and go it alone. It’s very easy to drive around the island.
There are so many things to do on the island. Snorkelling and diving is very popular, and the underwater life on the reef around Cozumel is spectacular. If you’re not a diver, try the Sea Trek or Snuba experience and get a similar sensation. You can even take a ride on a submarine if that’s more your thing!
You might like to take a catamaran trip or hire a Harley Davidson motorbike for the day to explore the island. There’s fishing, golf, eco parks, spas, great shopping, beaches and you can even swim with dolphins or stingrays.
Accommodation is easy to book online and there’s something for every budget. You can find a double room for as little as $25 a night up to big 5 star spa resorts right on the water for $200 a night all inclusive. The main town in Cozumel is called San Miguel.
Enjoy exploring this wonderful island.
(By Kelly Luckman)