Scuba Diving in Cozumel, Mexico: A complete guide

If you take pleasure in a bit of underwater exploration, you’ll want to add diving in Cozumel to your trip to Mexico. In this post, we’ll take a closer look in any way things related to scuba diving in Cozumel.

The island of Cozumel is absolutely one of the best places for scuba diving in Mexico. here you can go diving in the Mesoamerican barrier Reef, the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef system. 

It’s part of a protected marine park with excellent walls of coral and a lot more than 500 species of fish. You might see turtles, sharks, and eagle rays here in addition to all the tropical fish like the endemic splendid toadfish.

Even distinguished explorer Jacques Cousteau declared the island of Cozumel to be a world-class diving destination when he checked out back in 1961. Diving in Cozumel really is an extraordinary experience!

Diving is just one of the lots of extraordinary things to do in Cozumel, and if you’re travelling to Mexico, getting under the water must absolutely be on your list. 

I recently spent a week diving Cozumel with scuba Tony and I spent a lot more than 12 hours underwater around the island. I met up with some local Padi instructors and spoke with the owners of dive shops to make sure I had all of the information right for this post.

I’ve spent a lot of time diving in Mexico and particularly around the Yucatan Peninsula and I have to say that (in my opinion) Cozumel diving is some of the best in Mexico.

Read on for a in-depth guide to scuba diving on this sensational island in the Yucatan. I’ll cover the best time to visit, average costs, normal marine life, some of the best dive sites, top scuba company and a lot more.

When to Go Diving in Cozumel
Best Dive sites in Cozumel
Cost of Diving in Cozumel
How Deep Are The Dive sites in Cozumel?
Where to stay When Diving in Cozumel
Cozumel Dive Shops
How to get to Cozumel
Hyperbaric Chambers in Cozumel
Ready to Go Diving in Cozumel?

When to Go Diving in Cozumel

Cozumel scuba diving is great year-round.

I checked out Cozumel in the carry season of late April and early May, but you can really come here for diving any time of the year. There really isn’t a bad time to go scuba diving in Cozumel!

That being said, some months are absolutely better than others depending on what you want to see.

The water is quite warm and pleasurable in all seasons, normally between 78 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC). While the water is always nice, the temperatures on land can be downright stifling during the summer months.

July to October is also hurricane season here, so you must take that into consideration.

The risk is lower in the summer months but much higher in September and October. One benefit of traveling to Cozumel in the offseason is that prices are lower and crowds are much smaller.

The height season for diving Cozumel is between December and March. While this is a great time to be on the island weather-wise, it’s also expensive and crowded. absolutely be sure to book in development at this time, especially between Christmas and new Year’s.

A sweet spot for scuba diving in Cozumel is between March and April, when crowds start to thin out but the rain has yet to arrive.

The exception is Semana Santa (Holy Week) festival, which is a mini-peak season for locals. See our guide to the best time to visit Mexico.

Cozumel Diving Seasons

January – April
May – August
September – December

Sea Temperature
77°-79°F / 25°-26°C
Sea Temperature
78°-86°F / 26°-30°C
Sea Temperature
77°-84°F / 25°-28°C

January – February is still generally clear skies and cooler temperatures. It starts warming in March-April.
May and June the weather starts heating up and in the summer you can expect quick bursts of rain.
August to October have the highest probability of hurricane, but December has great weather.

This is a great season to see sharks, particularly from January to March when you can also see bull sharks (closer to Playa del Carmen).
July and August are other high months for shark spotting! You won’t see bull sharks at this time, but there are plenty of reef sharks.
From November to December the bull sharks return and give you the opportunity to dive with them.

Between the months of January to April, you can see the most eagle rays. You always have a high chance of seeing brown stingrays in the sand.
July & August are also the second-best seasons to see the beautiful eagle rays. As always you’ll see plenty of other rays too.
September – December isn’t the best months to see eagle rays, but you’ll still see plenty of brown identified rays and other species.

You can’t really dive in Cozumel without seeing turtles!
May to October is Loggerhead breading season in Cozumel.
Yep. You’ll probably still see a green turtle on every dive in this season!

Every month of the year is great for diving and seeing the extraordinary Coral formations and this season is no different.
The coral pinnacles will still be fantastic in May-August and the sea is warm enough to dive without a wetsuit.
The water starts to cool again in October but the fish and coral remain the same, all brilliant, healthy, and vibrant.

Best Dive sites in Cozumel

Cozumel scuba diving is so popular because there are so lots of dive sites to choose from. There are over 20 sites around the island for divers of all levels. You could easily plan your entire trip around diving on this incredible island.

Cozumel dive sites typically have quite a bit of current, but generally, you can flow with the current (together with your group) and the boat will pick you up at the other end of the reef.

Beginners will take pleasure in the shallow sites featuring colorful reefs, while a lot more advanced divers can select some exciting drift diving with swim-throughs. even non-divers can take pleasure in the appeal of the underwater world here by tagging along as a snorkeler. 

If it makes sense in terms of dive sites, your non-diving significant other could identify along and snorkel

The dive sites here range in depth from 4.5 meters – 36 meters, however, the best ones max out at 25 meters. Divers with an advanced open Water certification are able to take pleasure in all of the best dive sites in Cozumel. 

Here are some of the best dive sites in Cozumel that you can’t miss:

1. Palancar Reefs

Depth: 9 meters – 36 meters (30-120 feet)

Experience Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Current: Mild-Strong

This is considered to be the star of the diving scene in Cozumel. It’s actually divided into four sections — caves, bricks, horseshoe, and gardens. These different sites offer something for divers of all levels.

Between the four different sites, you can experience depths of between 9 meters – 36 meters (30 to 120 feet). There are plenty of incredible coral formations, colorful sponges, and lots of fascinating marine life. You may spot sea turtles, nurse sharks, angelfish, and a lot more here.

On my recent trip diving Cozumel, I dove all the sites here and overall the Palancar reefs were probably my favorite on the island. particularly Palancar Caves where you get to swim through massive caverns in the coral reef itself.

If you ask your dive shop what the best Cozumel dive sites are, they’ll likely list Palancar first.

2. Columbia Wall

Depth: 18 meters – 36 meters (60-120 feet)

Experience Level: Intermediate

Current: Unpredictable

Huge coral pinnacles are a highlight here, some rising a lot more than 60 feet (20 meters) from the bottom. You can take pleasure in some deep swim-throughs and wall diving here. look out for grouper, turtles, and maybe even nurse sharks at this exceptional dive site. 

I dove the Columbia wall as a twilight dive which was fantastic because as the sun sets it reflects off of the wall and creates some spectacular colors.

If you dive the Columbia Wall, I recommend doing it as a 2 tank night dive, so the first dive is on the wall for sunset, and your second dive can be a nearby night dive (highly recommended).

3. San Clemente

Depth: 10 meters – 30 meters (30-98 feet)

Experience Level: Advanced

Current: Strong

This was my second dive of the 2 tank twilight and night dive and it was fantastic. You can go down to around 30 meters on this one but we stayed at about 20 as it was our second dive of the day.

I highly recommend doing San Clemente as a night dive. The animals come out to play on this reef and it is a spectacular show!

We saw 3 octopus, a nurse shark, eels, brown identified stingrays, and best of all, a massive eagle ray “flew” by us at the end of the dive!

If you get the chance, ask your dive shop to take you on the 2-tank San Clemente and Columbia wall twilight & night dives. These were a couple of my favorites.

Note: like lots of spots for diving in Cozumel, there is current here. When I did the San Clemente night dive it was quite strong. If you’re not used to powerful currents, let your dive shop know so that they can check the conditions before taking you here.

4. Columbia Pinnacles

Depth: 9 meters – 30 meters (30-98 feet)

Experience Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Current: Mild

Ligesom Palancar er der en hel del dykkepladser rundt omkring i Columbia -revene. Columbia Pinnacles var en anden af ​​mine yndlingsdykkesteder, fordi de ligesom Palancar havde fantastiske koralkamer, der stødte op fra havbunden.

Der er masser af svømmeturer, og det er et relativt let dyk.

Den dag, jeg gik, var der ingen strøm på nogen måde, og selvom der var, er der masser af steder på leeward -siden af ​​højdepunkterne til at hvile og omgruppere, hvilket gør det til et fantastisk sted for begyndere.

5. Columbia Shallows

Dybde: 8 meter-14 meter (26-50 fod)

Erfaringsniveau: Begynder

Nuværende: mild

Jeg dyver Columbia Pinnacles og Columbia Shallows på en dag som en del af en 2 tank dykkedag, og det var fantastisk.

Vi havde lidt strøm i de lavvandede, men det var ikke dårligt, og det var utroligt sparket tilbage til bare at køre over korallerne på en lav dybde; Det bedste lavvandede dyk efter de dybere højdepunkter.

Vi så masser af skildpadder på dette dyk, for masser af hummer til at tælle, og jeg fandt en lille revhaj, der sov under et koraloverhæng, som generelt gjorde min dag på vandet.

6. Punta Sur Reef

Dybde: 27 meter-39 meter (90-130 fod)

Erfaringsniveau: Avanceret

Nuværende: uforudsigelig

Denne næste er for meget mere avancerede dykkere. Den når ned til dybder på 30 meter (30 meter) og er opdelt i to sektioner. Den sydlige del har et utroligt kammer kaldet katedralen, mens den nordlige del har en huledannelse kendt som djævelens hals.

7. Chankanaab Reef

Dybde: 10 meter til 15 meter (35-50 fod)

Erfaringsniveau: Begynder

Nuværende: mild

Dette er et usædvanligt sted for nogle dykning i Cozumel for begyndere. Det er et let, lavt dyk, der normalt afsluttes som et 2. dyk på en tur.

Alle revner og spalter i koralen her indikerer masser af interessant havliv – hummer, identificeret moray ål, krabbe og endda den endemiske pragtfulde paddefisk.

8. C-53 skibsvrag

Dybde: 15-30 meter (50-98 fod)

Erfaringsniveau: Mellemliggende til avanceret

Nuværende: Moderat

C-53 er ikke et massivt vrag, men det er en af ​​mine yndlingsskibsvrag, jeg har gjort, og det er absolut det bedste (mest populære) på Cozumel. Det, jeg elskede ved det, var, at det var helt lodret, hvilket gjorde det nemt at navigere i de mørke gange.

Det er rigtigt, du får trænge ind i dette vrag, og det er fantastisk!

Hvis du er nybegynder til en mellemliggende dykker, kan du kun komme ind i det øverste niveau af skibet, der sidder på ca. 20 meter (65ft), men for avancerede dybvandsdykkere kan du gå et niveau dybere ind i fartøjet omkring 30 meter (98ft).

Hvis du dykker cozumel, og du vil besøge et vragdyk, skal C-53 være øverst på din liste.

9. Paradise Reef

Dybde: 10-18 meter (32-59 fod)

Erfaringsniveau: Begynder

Nuværende: Moderat

Dette var det andet dyk, som jeg gjorde ideel efter C-53-vraget, og det er et af de mest populære dykkepladser i Cozumel takket være det lavt, let at følge revsystem her.

Efter min mening har Paradise Reef nogle af Cozumels bedste bløde koralformationer med livlige farver og masser af havliv. Kontroller under hver lille krog og cranny for at finde skjul fisk, hummer og ofte sygeplejerske hajer.


Dybde: 15-18 meter (50-60 fod)

Erfaringsniveau: Mellem-avanceret

Nuværende: stærk

Turmentos er et andet af de mest populære dykkepladser i Cozumel takket være sin lyse farverige koraller og overflod af skildpadder, der snacks på revet. Jeg tror, ​​vi identificerede 3 skildpadder under mit dyk på Turmentos.

Ud af alle de dykkevejledninger, jeg talte med, sagde en hel del af dem, at Tormentos var deres foretrukne kølede dykkeplads, og jeg kunne se hvorfor. Meget er enige om, at Palancar er den bedste generelt, men Turmentos kommer ofte som et tæt sekund.

Strømmen kan være ret stærk her, så vær forberedt på det, men

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