WHAT MAKES COZUMEL SO SPECIAL
Cozumel provides so much for visitors of all skill levels to enjoy. The crystal clear, warm blue waters is one factor that makes this place so special to dive. There is no question there is stunning and amazing diving all over the world, but for those of us who reside in the US and Canada however, it’s hard to beat the location and temperatures that exist for diving in Coz.
The next ingredient that works for Cozumel is that it’s home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, the ‘Meso American Barrier Reef‘. The reef ecosystem draws hundreds of various species of fish, along with sea turtles, lobster, rays, eels, octopus, and the list goes on! Starting at the top of the Yucatan Peninsula (near Isla Contoy), the reef stretches south alongside Belize, Guatemala, and all the way to Honduras–a distance of nearly 620 miles (1,000 KM).
Cozumel boasts another unique facet of reef diving–walls! These awesome, massive coral formations are largely due to the ocean currents around Cozumel, where sediment is swept along rather than allowed to settle. The benefit? Where faster water races, you can expect bigger wildlife such as green or loggerhead sea turtles, sharks, goliath grouper, and green moray eels.
The Caribbean island is well known for its drift-diving (referring to dives that require more buoyancy control than kicking because you just ride along with the current). For more experienced divers, the walls are what is truly amazing. According to divers, Cozumel is consistently high-ranking as one of the best wall diving destinations in the world, with the Santa Rosa wall being at the top of that list.
With a wide variety of diving, you will definitely not get bored of checking out the sights below the surface. Cozumel is a relatively small island, but you could easily fill an entire week with nothing but diving! The island boasts over 40 individual dive sights, for all skill and experience levels. There are wrecks, tunnels and flooded caverns reaching depths of over 200 feet (60m). It is a great place to up your skill level and try something new. You always have night dives available as well, which opens up an entirely different underwater world when the lights go out.
Along the sheltered western side of the island, there is also plenty of shore diving that can be had. Depending on where you are staying or which dive operator you’re diving with, the reef is so close to shore that it makes for some very relaxing and enjoyable shore dives with your buddies. (Of course, snorkeling is a good option here as well.) No boat ride necessary–just get your gear on and wade on in! When you get back, you can dry off and enjoy a delicious meal and a cold beer as the sun sets.
We would be missing something if we didn’t touch on the outstanding water conditions. In Cozumel you will consistently have over 100 feet of visibility, and if you’re fortunate and hit it right, you could get up to 200 feet visibility. That is incredible clarity; optimal for stunningly beautiful underwater photos.
Also, you won’t catch cold because the water is always a pleasant and warm temperature. It’s generally in the 80’s (°F) and will dip down into the 70’s for a couple months during the winter (20 – 27 °C). Many divers choose not to don a wet suit because the water is so perfect, and if they do it’s just a shorty that is a couple millimeters thick. Getting your SCUBA diving certification here, or just spending lots of time in the water is so much more pleasant due to comfortable water conditions year-round.