Cozumel is famous for its gorgeous waters and incredible reefs. Scuba diving is a favorite activity for many of the island’s visitors. There are numerous companies that offer guided scuba dives, and the main office at El Cantil can help you with making a reservation.
Recommended Diving Expeditions:
Liquid Blue Divers offers personalized service, experienced guides and professional scuba dive instructors.
Papa Hog’s Scuba Emporium is owned by Mike and Margaret Gerus since 1991, Papa Hog’s welcome divers of all beginner and experienced divers alike. The local phone number is 872-1651. If you have a chance before your dive or after your dive to grab a bite to eat, their Hog Town Cafe is not to be missed. Ask if there is a “fresh catch of the day” and if so, try the fish tacos. They are not to be missed.
Large coral mounds give this dive site its name ,“bolones,” which means big spheres. At a depth of 60 to 70 feet, these formations rise up to 25 feet from the white sandy bottom. Sponges and occasional small black coral mounds are unique in the region. Get your underwater camera ready and feel Chankanaab’s beauty, the best coastal reef in Cozumel. Keep your eyes wide open since at any moment a huge and beautiful eagle ray may swim past you, a barracuda with a determined presence, or the friendly chacchis, among other friends of Chankanaab’s reef.
The most famous dive site on the island, without a doubt, is the magnificent coral mountain known as Palancar. The incredible beauty of this site astounded the French oceanographer, Jacques Ives Cousteau, who visited the island in 1954. Before long, Cozumel began to establish its reputation as a world class dive site, which it still holds today. Diving Palancar is like flying through giant canyons of coral that drops to the depths of the ocean.
Paraiso Bajo – This is a great reef for a beginner dive.
This coral barrier begins just past the entrance to Caleta Lagoon and runs north almost to the ferry pier. Its maximum depth is 50 feet and the current is moderate, running south to north. It is 20 to 30 yards wide and about a mile in length. The tallest coral heads are about 12 feet, and it is common to encounter all kinds of parrotfish. Small caves and tunnels shape the reef, which abounds with a large variety of marine life.
Paso del Cedral
Covered with scattered portions of coral, the small Paso del Cedral site is an underwater community known for its green moray eels. They are quite docile and cooperative with local dive masters. The current here is moderate, with a maximum depth of 60 feet.
Situated between the reefs of Colombia and Marraciabo, the reef ecosystem named Punta Sur is one of the deepest and most impressive dives in Cozumel. Here exists the famous Garganta del Diablo (Devil’s Throat), where the divers enter the mouth of a cave at only 50 feet and exits into the abyss at 130 feet. The Punta Sur reefs are less visited than others, but very worthwhile, as the flora are more brilliant and colorful than elsewhere. Dive depths here are 60 to 70 feet in the higher part of the ranges, and 90 to 110 feet at the sandy bottom.
The first part is a vertical wall with coral and large yellow tube sponges that hang down into the abyss. The depth here begins at 60 to 70 feet, with the majority of the dive at 120 feet. The walls rise slowly, resembling brilliant green grass, and sometimes large manta rays can be seen. The last section is like a mountain range riddled with tunnels, which go from 70 to 80 feet to a sandy platform at 40 feet. This section is considered the best part of San Francisco and is often compared to the famous, Santa Rosa Reef.
The wall at Santa Rosa is one of the area’s best-known dives. Starting at a depth of 50 feet, the wall continues down for thousands of feet. Descending, cuts in the wall offer refuge from the strong pull of the current. Many caves harbor enormous groupers, delicate fans, and giant sponges. The average dive here is 80 feet.
This reef is famous for its moray eels and groupers, which hang around inspecting the dive groups. Depths varies from 60 feet at the sandy bottoms to 35 feet at the highest points of the reef. Both beginning and advanced divers enjoy visiting this colorful habitat.
Divers at this reef view extraordinary flora and marine life at deep depths. More than a thousand coral formations of 60 to 80 feet cover this extensive dive site, making it impossible to see it all on just one tank. The large variety of marine life includes, among others, brain, cactus, and gallon corals, which are covered with hydroids, sponges, snails, and crustaceans. Fish watchers should bring along their fish guide, because this is an ideal place to observe many different species. It is a good idea to begin your dive at the beginning of this reef so you are able to fully enjoy its length and beauty.