This jewel of a tropical island rests in the shimmering turquoise waters of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second largest in the world). The lush jungle life fills the island’s interior while sugary beaches, sunshine and gently swaying palm trees line the coast. It’s paradise!
Cozumel is located in the state of Quintana Roo by the Caribbean Sea, approximately 10 miles off the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. The island is 29 miles from northeast to southwest and averages nine miles in width. Cozumel is the largest of Mexico’s inhabited islands with San Miguel the only main town. The majority of the island is undeveloped.
Cozumel is an easy trip from the United States and offers some of the best diving in the world. One of the many reasons Cozumel is a bucket list location for divers is the incredible drift diving.
Where to dive
Drift diving is fun and adds to the magic of Cozumel. Relax and ride the current, taking in the beauty and majesty of the reef and all its vibrant inhabitants.
With drift diving, you are able to see more reefs and aquatic life in one dive due to being carried gently across the reef systems. It’s something every diver should experience at least once. Cozumel is also an excellent destination for new divers to get certified. The rolling waves are gentle but still carry you through the water, so you are able to focus on your breathing and new skills instead of keeping up with the group.
Take a look at our Certification Vacations to Cozumel.
The Mesoamerican reef offers a massive variety of coral that creates a maze of swim-throughs and walls. Not only is Cozumel known for its beautiful reef, but it also has an abundance of marine life. There are over 500 species of fish in the area so get your camera ready!
You might see:
- Splendid toadfish
- Gray angelfish
- Moray eels
- Nurse sharks
- Hawksbill turtles
Cenotes, or Mayan sinkholes, are unique characteristics of the Yucatan Peninsula and were formed over thousands of years. They are important to the Mayan culture where the Maya connected with their gods, participated in rituals and even lived inside. The combination of fresh water and saltwater resemble a mirage in the desert. When this happens, the temperature, density and light changes too.
Covered by the jungle, these sinkholes offer a sense of adventure paired with great visibility. You’ll admire the cavern’s limestone formations while beams of light penetrate the surface.
From large pillars of sunray to haloclines, gas clouds and different coloring, the visual effects make for spectacular light shows for some of the best underwater pictures. Decorations such as stalagmites, stalactites, rim dams, flowstones, columns and soda straws also fill the cenotes.
Who to dive with
When choosing a dive operator, it’s important to pick a shop that prioritizes safety above all else. Many of the dive operators in Cozumel offer valet-service diving. This is when the dive shop team members take care of everything for you. They take care of your gear and equipment from the moment your feet touch soil to the minute you board the plane back home. They rinse, dry, and store your BCD and regulator, and set them up for your next dive.
The Dive House
The Dive House crew will spoil you and ensure that everything is taken care of for you. Your dive equipment will be washed, cared for, and ready to go for your next dive. All you need to do is show up to the dock, no need to carry anything or put your equipment together.
The Dive Paradise crew takes care of everything for you. As the largest dive operator on the island, they provide fun-filled adventures with professional dive masters and captains. Their crew is attentive to your individual needs to ensure you have the experience of a lifetime.
Dressel Divers is internationally acclaimed for its excellent scuba diving, snorkeling and other water sports services. They provide a great dive getaway – friendly locals, good food, lively nightspots, warm water, great visibility and white sandy beaches.
Where to stay
All-inclusive is the way to go when staying in Cozumel. Most of the hotel and resorts are either connected or nearby dive operators, so you won’t have to travel very long before each dive.
Cozumel Hotel & Resort
Cozumel Hotel & Resort is an all-inclusive resort that provides the comfort and relaxation you deserve on a tropical getaway. The resort is only a mile away from the charming center square where you will find dozens of local shops, restaurants and bars.
Fiesta Americana is an upscale, all-inclusive resort perfectly located close to the vicinity of downtown San Miguel but still offers the quiet relaxation of the tropical jungle and ocean view rooms. The resort offers 6 restaurants, a coffee shop, and a swim up bar!
Iberostar Cozumel is a 5-star hotel that offers guests beautiful bungalow-style rooms that combine both rustic and modern elements. Each room includes all-inclusive access, comfort, as well as a private patio and hammocks to enjoy Mexico’s Caribbean and allow for easy access to the pools, spa, or extensive beach.
Scuba Club Cozumel
Located on the waterfront, Scuba Club Cozumel is a resort that caters specifically to divers as it was the first resort dedicated to divers in Cozumel! The resort is private and secluded from the downtown crowds, but close enough to walk to town.
Cozumel’s history dates to the ancient Mayan civilization. Even today, much of Cozumel’s Mexican and Caribbean culture has been influenced by the Mayan people. You can get a first-hand feel for the mixture of cultures as you stroll through San Miguel. The town square is lined with local restaurants, shops and street art.
Spend your down day visiting one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Chichen Itza was a Mayan city named after the Itza people and was a bustling political and economic center during its time. Many of its original structures are still standing and archeologists continue to uncover more artifacts to this day.
San Gervasio Ruins
The most important Mayan ruin in Cozumel is San Gervasio, located on the northeast side of the island. This site was an important spiritual site for the Mayans. Every year, the people would make pilgrimages to San Gervasio to worship Ixchel, the Mayan God of Fertility. The ruins are very well intact and give you a great picture of what their structures were like.
Best time to visit Cozumel
The peak season in Cozumel is between December-April. With the holidays and spring break all in this period, the resorts will be priced high, and the picturesque beaches will be covered with tourists. Water temperatures will average around 80º F.
Rainy season on the island is between May and October. Water temperatures range between 80º-86º F. It’s usually humid with unpredictable showers and hurricanes. Resorts will often be priced low during this time, and you probably won’t see many crowds on the beach.
Ready to travel to Cozumel?
Diventures is a frequent visitor of Cozumel. We average 10 trips a year to the island including Certification Vacations for new divers.
Divers choose to travel with Diventures because we make everything easy for you while creating the adventure and experience of a lifetime! Travel with us.
Everything you need to know to about diving in Cozumel all in one place.