Divers from around the world come to Cozumel to enjoy diving. Among the many options for diving in Cozumel just off the coast are the variety of dive types, the warm year-round waters, marine life, etc. The Caribbean truly has something special to offer.
This underwater paradise will captivate you no matter what level of experience you may have. Every time you sink into the warm, glittering blue of Cozumel, it will be a lasting memory due to the intense colors, corals, caves, abundant sea animals, including whale sharks, sea turtles, and hundreds of different species of fish.
Punta Sur Reef
This dive site is located within the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, as are the others on the list. Known as the second-largest coral reef system on Earth, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System is protected in this marine park.
The dive site Punta Sur reaches 90 feet (27 meters) deep, is divided into distinct sections, and is considered one of the world’s best dive sites. Within the southern section is one of the most impressive chambers in the entire aquarium, where spotted eagle rays, barracudas, and toadfish thrive.
There is a spectacular cave formation in Punta Sur’s northern section called Devil’s Throat. The dive, because of its depth and strength of the current, should only be attempted by experienced divers.
Chankanaab Reef is a great place for beginners as it overlooks the park on which its name is based. There are two distinct sections to this reef, each spanning a depth of 40 feet (12 meters). A plethora of marine animals inhabits the northern region, including crabs and lobsters, and even rare seahorses.
There are some shallower parts of the southern section, and night diving is popular there. In the evening, the area is inhabited by spotted moray eels, lobsters, and toadfish.
Palancar Gardens Reef
There are different levels of difficulty at the Palancar Gardens, as the current is moderate. There are numerous finger coral formations in this area, which can be enjoyed by divers at depths up to 80 feet (25 meters). It is not Cozumel’s most diverse reef, but it does have a wide variety of fish brightly colored coral make this a truly unforgettable dive. When you swim up to the surface, watch out for octopuses, parrotfishes, and angelfish.
Incredibly deep, Maracaibo is also the southernmost reef on the island and the only dive to reach a depth of 150 feet (46 meters). Divers must descend slowly and maintain their bearings while attempting the spectacular dive. Upon entering the water, the current can sometimes be unpredictable and there is usually a large ocean swell. Keep your eyes peeled for reef sharks, eagle rays, and nurse sharks.
Santa Rosa Wall
Probably the best time to dive at Santa Rosa is in the late afternoon, when it is still light and when many other divers have gone home. Diving in Santa Rosa, a wall dive that may involve currents, is best suited to divers with intermediate experience. Under the surface of the water, the coral wall rises to about 50 feet (15 meters). The number of fish in the area has declined due to high traffic, but you can still see bright-colored parrotfish, toadfish, and sea turtles.