Diving Cozumel

The Yucatán | Mexico

Right at the top of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula is the island of Cozumel. This is an extremely popular diving destination especially for American scuba divers as it's just a few hours away from the southern United States. Despite the near proximity, it remains a fairly Mexican sort of place. Most tourism targets the western coast and as fresh water is at a premium, development isn't been as extensive as it is across on the Yucatán Peninsula.

The limestone shores are mostly craggy with shallow coral formations that consist of a double row of parallel reefs characterised by interesting swim-throughs, tunnels and caverns. However, outside this protective barrier, all the reefs are subject to some spiky currents and drift diving is the order of the day. Marine life is typically Caribbean with plenty of fish life and a mix of small and large creatures.

Green moray eel - Cozumel
Marine Life Angelfish
Top dive site The Devil's Throat
Seasons Year round
Visibility 10 – 40 metres, sometimes more
Water temperature 25 – 30º C
Deco chambers Cozumel
Flights via Miami or Houston to Cozumel
Dive operators & accommodation There are now over 180 dive operations (and just as many hotels) on Cozumel. Take your time and research options.
PROS and CONS – With it's busy international airport, Cozumel is easy to reach and can be a good value destination. There is a reasonable mix of Mexican culture and western facilities. Local food, arts and festivals hold their own against burger bars and high-class hotels. The downside is the daily arrival of huge cruise liners and their shopoholic passengers, but if you are out diving you won't be affected by this.

SCUBA DIVING – Marine diversity is low in the Caribbean Sea when compared to the Pacific or Indian Oceans and as Cozumel is hit by so much current there may appear to be even less marine life to an untrained eye. However, the currents are also a bonus for diving as they do attract a good array of schooling fish and the underwater geography is definitely interesting in it's own right.

OPINION – We have dived Cozumel three times but our last visit in 2005 was just for a day trip from the coast opposite. The increasing numbers of cruise liners and day trip tourists (like us!) seem to have affected what was once a charming destination. However, it's quieter at night and the diving is fun. If you have never been tote Caribbean side of Mexico, it's still a great destination for diving.

More diving destinations in Mexico
Pacific Mexico
Isla Guadalupe
Islas Revillagigedo
Caribbean Mexico
The Cenotes and Playa del Carmen
Diving video for Socorro here...
Complete reports on this area are in
Diving the World.
Order the book direct from SeaFocus here.
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