|Cozumel diving is a top spot among diver's
favorite destinations. This is due to Cozumel's spectacular
reef formations and exceptionally clear waters which have contributed
to make this island one of the most popular diving destinations
in the world.
diving operations in Cozumel are located on
the beach, near any of the three massive reef systems that come
close to shore Santa Rosa, Colombia and Palancar whose depth
ranges from 50 to 120 feet (15 to 42 meters) . For more experienced
divers there's the spectacular coral covered tunnels of Maracaibo,
circling the southern tip of the island. These reefs descend
to depths of 130 feet (40 meters) or more along its walls.
The water currents that constantly flow from south to north
allowing divers to drift with the current while exploring a
site are a big advantage. Most of Cozumel's diving sites are
located within the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park, a protected
are numerous dive sites from shallow for beginners to deep for
the more advanced diver to explore like:
Palancar reef is one of the best reef dives in Cozumel
boasting an incredible show of coral forms, caves and canyons
and where the visibility goes up to 230 feet (70 meters). It
is at the outer edge of the continental shelf forming the deep-water
channel between Cozumel and the Yucatan mainland and rests in
about 80 feet (24 meters) of water. The northern end, Palancer
Gardens, offers a shallower dive . The reef is about a mile
offshore and is reachable by charter boat. Palancar offers so
many different profiles that you will need atleast 30 dives
to see it all!
good site for beginners is Balones of Chancanab
which is a series of coral heads shaped like balloons. This
site is slightly south of Chancanab and is at 60-70 feet (18-21
The Francesca Reef is a good deep site for first time ocean
divers. This reef is surrounded by a sandy bottom at about 22-50
feet (7-15 meters). However on this site mild currents are to
be expected and the marine life is very colourful.
divers there's Santa Rosa Reef or "The
Wall" is with no doubt one of the most popular
drop-offs. It begins at 50 feet (15 meters) and plunges staright
into the sea. There are great beds of tunicates, immense
sponges, huge overhangs of stony corals and impressive
caves and tunnels best dived 60-80
feet (18-24 meters) and usually has a fast current.
Reef more suitable for intermediate divers is actually
a series of three separate reefs running parallel to shore and
is the only reef here accessible to beach divers. The maximum
depth is 45 feet (13 meters). All the three sections have an
incredible abundance of sea life and is the island's most popular
night diving location.
Reef is another impressive drop-off at 60-80 feet (18-24
meters). The quality of diving here is as spectacular as in
any other part of Palancar. Columbia has of a series of gigantic
coral pinnacles,tunnels and caverns.
There isn't plenty of small marine life but large creatures
are often encountered.
divers Maracaibo Reef is probably the most
challenging dive spot in Cozumel at 140 -160 feet (42-48 meters),
which is decompression (non sport) diving. The reef has a spectacular
multitude of caves and crevices,
requiring an entire day to explore.
also the virgin wall to explore. However because of the strong
currents only small groups of advanced divers go at a time to
the wrecks. This area as the name suggests
remains untouched and intact.
Palancar's wall begins at 90-100 feet (27-30 meters).
It's a site that's rarely dived and definitely not for novice
divers. Spectacular visibility and currents vary all along the
reef but one thing you can count on at Palancar is having an
exciting and varied dive.