Cozumel is renowned for its thrilling drift diving opportunities, glorious sunshine and white sand beaches. Popular with divers, it attracts holidaymakers from around the world throughout the year.
Isla Cozumel has been a favourite amongst divers since Jacques Cousteau visited in the 1960s. Today, it continues to attract divers and snorkellers who flock there to experience the thrill of a drift dive, the colours of its protected reefs and encounters with an incredible marine life, some of which is endemic. The island lies off the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula and can easily be reached by ferry or a short flight.
The main hub is San Miguel, a typical small Mexican town welcoming tourists as well as serving the local community. The topside of Cozumel is best explored by renting a vehicle and taking a day to discover the other side of the island, with its Mayan ruins at San Gervasio, inviting beaches and the ecological reserve of Punta Sur.
The Cozumel reef system is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest in the world. The majority of the dive sites lie in the protected marine park on the west and south of the island. It’s here you’ll find a variety of sites including shallow lagoons with turtle grass, spur and groove topography, and huge coral structures lining the edge of the drop-offs.
Highlights are undoubtedly the thrill of a drift dive at sites such as Santa Rosa Wall and Punta Tunich, where plenty of marine life resides on the vibrant reefs; expect lobster, seahorses and grouper as well as rays, barracuda and nurse sharks patrolling. Tormentos is a healthy site with two sections of beautiful coral growth linked by a sandy bed. As you explore the overhangs and crevices you can expect an abundance of fish life, moray eels, turtles, angel fish and the endemic splendid toadfish. Photographers will enjoy the marine biodiversity and topography at Paso del Cedral with its swim-throughs and coral bommies. Eagle rays are seasonal visitors and are regularly seen at Cantarel Reef from December to March.
Diving in Cozumel is suited for all; there’s a site for everyone. The reefs are healthy, the marine life abundant. With warm sunny days and an average water temperature of 27C, it’s a year round destination and can easily be twinned with time on the mainland to explore the Cenotes.
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