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Cozumel - A Diver's Paradise

Cozumel is part of the same expansive Mesoamerican Reef as Playa Del Carmen which spans almost 175 miles (280 km) of ocean between the Gulf of Mexico and Honduras. The island's 32-km long reef system is located off the island's southern leeward coast and has spectacular coral formations, dramatic walls, tunnels, canyons and caves providing a rich environment for many species, including some not found anywhere else on earth.  The water is warm year round and thanks to the steady current, the waters are constantly being flushed making for excellent visibility (120ft+), ideal conditions for coral and sponge growth and resulting in thriving marine life.

Most of diving sites in Cozumel are located within the Chankanaab National Marine Park, a protected underwater environment covering 29,000+ acres, they are diveable year round and most are gentle drift dives.  In 1961, the famous oceanographer Jacques Yves Cousteau came to Cozumel with his crew on the Calypso to film a documentary. With the first airing of that film, Cozumel has consistently been on the top of many diving lists among diver's destinations.

Although there are more than 30 chartered reefs and umpteen sites from which to choose on each of them, Cozumel's coral chain can basically be divided into 3 types: On vertical walls like Santa Rosa with depths from 40 to 120+ feet you'll find gorgonian and plate coral, enormous sponges and a splendid assortment of reef and pelagic species.  Pinnacles like Punta Sur and Palancar Horseshoe with depths from 40-70 feet are maze like structures with tall, statuesque pinnacles and wide coral shelves. Here you can swim through tunnels in and out of caves and between dramatic, towering coral.

For the less experienced divers (or ones who have not yet become accustomed to drift diving) coral gardens make exciting first experiences, or great second dives. These 20-40 foot deep coral patches don't have the lushness of sponge and coral life found further from shore. But they're the best place to dive in and experience the rich abundance of fish life that flourish in these waters.

We will guide you from Playa Del Carmen over to Cozumel and be with you the entire day, starting with a relaxing ferry ride from Playa Del Carmen over to Cozumel where we will be met at the ferry terminal by the dive boat.  We will then head straight out to the dive sites, the wall dives that always hit the dive magazines are Santa Rosa Wall, Palancar Gardens, Palancar Caves, and Devil’s Throat

After our second dive we head back to shore where you can do some quick shopping or grab a bite to eat before heading back to Playa Del Carmen on the ferry.

Trip includes:

  • Same guide from Playa to Cozumel and back to Playa
  • Roundtrip ferry ticket 2 tanks, weights, and full equipment
  • Drinks and snacks on boat
  • Park entry fees

For Cozumel diving rates click here.


Selected Cozumel Dive Sites
Click on the dive flag for site name and scroll down for site description

Underwater Video
Santa Rosa & Paradise Reefs


Photo Gallery
Cozumel's reefs & marine life


scuba diving cozumel


Palancar Caves
Depth: 60' - 90'
Another of Cozumel's most popular deep dives because of its deep buttresses, tunnels, caves and big caverns that sit along the edge of a sloping wall. Currents are usually mild and marine life is abundant. Turtle, shark and eagle ray sightings are very common

Palancar Gardens
Depth: 40' - 70'
An excellent first dive for those not yet confident in their dive skills or perhaps some one who's been a few years without diving. These coral formations are very colorful and have literally hundreds of species of coral jammed together with purple and orange sponges interspersed. Calm currents typically prevail allowing maximum photo opportunities. Lots of crevices with colorful reef fish and banded cleaner shrimp.

Paradise Reef
Depth: 40' - 50'
A series of three separate reefs running parallel to shore approximately 200 yards out. This is one of the few reef areas accessible to beach divers. All three sections have abundant marine life including octopi and the reclusive Splendid Toad Fish which lives only in Cozumel waters.

Chankanaab Reef
Depth: 30' - 50'
A long continuous band of colorful coral reef filled with cracks and crevices and holes which attract all sorts of marine life looking for shelter. There are sand rays under the coral ledges, stonefish and scorpion fish as well as splendid toadfish and lots of trigger and tang fish.

Tormentos Reef
Depth: 50' - 70'
Some of the fastest currents can be found here that often make for adventurous drift diving. A series of colorful coral heads separated by sand valleys and dunes pushed up by prevailing currents. Sand formations between the coral ribbons constantly change and provide a beautiful contrast to the lush coral. Home to very friendly and big green moray. Angelfish, groupers, grunts and snapper are common. Good second dive.

Santa Rosa Wall
Depth: 50' - 130'
One of Cozumel's most popular deep dives simply because it never disappoints. The wall starts at 50 feet and drops straight into the deep! . Immense sponges, huge overhangs of stoney coral and lots of caves and swim through tunnels. Eagle rays and turtles are often spotted here as well as large grouper and turtles. Excellent multilevel computer dive.

Punta Tunich
Depth: 50' - 130'
Rock and roll in this swift current on a daily basis and just go along for the drift. From a sand bottom at 70 feet, a long ridge of coral rises from the sand dunes between 40 to 60 feet. Often turtles hide in the seagrass. Photo buffs will really work on this dive. Good option is to leave the camera on the boat and just enjoy the ride!