Regarded by scuba professionals everywhere as one of the best diving locations for divers of all skill levels, Cozumel offers divers an underwater playground unlike anywhere else in the world. Cozumel lies off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula; the largest of the Mexican Caribbean islands it is only 28 miles in length and 10 miles wide. For all of its popularity it still remains a tranquil island paradise that is attractive for divers and non divers alike. Scuba diving in Cozumel is sure to be an experience like no other.
The Dive Sites
The majority of the dives in Cozumel focus on the shallow formations of coral and reefs that stretch from the southernmost tip of the island around to San Miguel, the main town on the island on the west coast. Practically all of the reefs and coral formations here are part of an impressive and important underwater National Park, so there are preservation and conservation rules to be observed at all times on the dives. Palancar and Colombia are the two main reefs here with their plateaus appearing in less than 9 metres of ocean, making them suitable for both novice and professional divers. The marine life here is diverse and colourful, with everything from small reef fish to loggerhead turtles.
For the Novice Diver
The ‘Columbia Shallow’ dive is perfect for the novice diver. At its maximum the depth of the dive reaches 35 feet and divers will experience a light to moderate current. This has the reputation of being one of the most enjoyable shallow dives here. Rich coral formations and colourful marine life make for an interesting dive. This is a great dive for spotting loggerhead turtles and southern rays. The Columbia Shallow dive is also a popular choice for evening dives in Cozumel.
For the Intermediate Diver
The ‘Tormentos Reef’ offers a dive depth of up to 70 feet, making it suitable for any intermediate level divers. The currents here are faster and the coral more diverse, the pinnacles being separated from each other by sand valleys. Large moray eels make their homes in the coral heads here along with angelfish, groupers, snappers and grunts.
Experienced Divers Only
The ‘Barracuda Reef’ is an awesome dive site but purely for expert divers in Cozumel only. The reef lies on the northern side of the island where conditions are rougher and the currents are strong. The dive goes down to a depth of 100 feet and here the currents can be anything between two and ten knots and it is not uncommon to experience down currents also. This location offers an incredible dive for the experienced diver with a sense of adventure. During the dive expect encounters with large schools of fish plus dolphins and turtles, even a hammerhead shark or two. Barracuda reef offers a pristine, unspoilt reef to divers as visits by groups of divers here are less common than at other dive sites around the island. The enormous coral heads encountered on this dive offer the spectacle of mountainous peaks with the base of the coral deep out of sight in the depths of the abyss.