Snorkeling in Cozumel

Sunlit Shallows and Technicolor Corals

The reefs of Cozumel lure divers from around the world. And those same colorful coral formations extend upward into shallow waters near the shore, allowing snorkelers to experience the full diversity and splendor of this unique underwater environment. Adventures can begin by wading in right from the beach, or by hopping aboard a motorboat for a relaxing ride down the coast. There's something for snorkelers of all abilities and interests, from calm shallow coves where children and first-timers can discover what lies below, to dramatic coral castles that invite free divers to take a closer look into fish-filled crevices and caverns.

Highlights

  • Best for: Everyone, surrounded by water great for beach lovers, watersports enthusiasts and those looking to relax
  • Best season to visit: Year round
  • Weather: Winter temperatures stay in the 70s, with pleasantly low humidity. Summertime highs approach 90 but cool at night. The rainy season, June to October, bring afternoon thunderstorms and increased humidity, but underwater visibility isn't compromised

Cozumel Information

Snorkeling in Cozumel

The west coast of the island of Cozumel is sheltered from prevailing winds and waves and washed by the clear waters of a north-flowing current. These conditions are ideal for corals growth and abundant fish life, and many reefs begin close to shore in shallow depths that are well-suited for snorkeling.

Snorkeling in Cozumel Tips

While some snorkel sites can be reached by the shore, others require a boat ride. Snorkeling from a boat allows operators to visit sites where there are currents, as snorkels can drift and be picked up without having to swim against the water flow. As a bonus, many boats feature glass-bottom viewing chambers to provide a preview of what lies below.

Best Places for Snorkeling in Cozumel

The starfish gardens in the shallow waters of El Cielo are a delight for snorkelers of all ages. Nooks and crannies within colorful coral formations at Colombia hold shy marine life. Turtles, rays and queen angel fish patrol the reefs of Palancar. Upon entering the water at Chankanaab National Park, snorkels are met by swarms of tropical fish.

What to Pack for Snorkeling in Cozumel

A hat for sun protection when out of the water, and a water shirt to keep the back from getting sunburned when snorkeling. Use a mesh tote bag or compact nylon pack to keep personal items organized on boat trips. Add a small waterproof case for keys, wallets and phones.

Specials

Snorkeling

Cozumel

Fiesta Americana Cozumel

COZUMEL, MEXICO - UP TO 40% OFF + SNORKEL TOUR includes 7 night deluxe oceanview accommodations, 3-Reef Snorkel & Glass Bottom Boat Tour (1.5 hours) locations are Cielo, Colombia and Palancar; start time 10:30am and 2:30pm, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks, and by the glass beverages including house brand alcohol, daily activities, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid 8/13/17-12/14/17.
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From $1,034 per person double occupancy

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Cozumel

El Cid La Ceiba Beach

COZUMEL, MEXICO - UP TO 50% OFF + SNORKEL TOUR includes 7 night deluxe accommodations, 3-Reef Snorkel & Glass Bottom Boat Tour (1.5 hours) locations are Cielo, Colombia and Palancar; start time 10:30am and 2:30pm, $600 mega pass, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax and service charges. Valid through 12/22/17 . Add $242 per person for all food, snacks and beverages in the onsite restaurants, use of the tennis courts plus numerous beach and pool recreational activities plus entertainment.
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From $593 per person double occupancy

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The Explorean Cozumel

COZUMEL, MEXICO - UP TO 40% OFF includes 7 night casita accommodations, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, snacks, and by the glass beverages including house brand alcohol, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Valid 8/13/17-12/14/17. Add $90 per person for travel 4/23/17-7/6/17.
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From $1,141 per person double occupancy

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Resorts

Snorkeling

Cozumel

Casa del Mar Cozumel

One of Cozumel´s most popular hotels located across the street from the crystal clear waters of Cozumel´s Mexican Caribbean. Designed for the sun lover and sports enthusiast, here you will enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling and much more.
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Cozumel Palace

At Cozumel Palace, you will find 169 luxurious suites, including Junior Suite, Concierge Level and Loft Suites, all facing the ocean. Each suite is comprised of a spacious seating area and a double whirlpool ideal for relaxing after a day of exploring. You can also enjoy the crisp ocean breezes of the Caribbean waters from your own balcony.
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Allegro Cozumel

The Allegro Cozumel hotel has been designed to offer sophisticated accommodations on the magnificent Playa San Francisco, one of the world’s most beautiful beaches on the island of Cozumel. When Jacques Cousteau visited Palancar Reef, he defined it as "paradise." Allegro Cozumel Resort guests can now enjoy it every day thanks to the resort’s proximity. The resort offers excellent packages for diving experiences at one of the world’s top destinations for scuba divers. The resort provides various leisure and entertainment options both under water, among dolphins and sea turtles, as well as on land, lying in the sand at the beach or next to one of the 5 swimming pools. It also has great facilities for relaxation, such as the U-spa, or for action, such as the water park and the sports area.
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Secrets Aura Cozumel

Blended with the natural charm of Mexican hospitality, this property features 87 guest rooms and suites, each decorated with a unique style. Designed to create a quiet and unique atmosphere, its design combines wood, stone, marble and tapestry to create a warm and inviting blend of light, space, comfort and functionality. The friendly and dedicated staff await your arrival.
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El Cid La Ceiba Beach

Completely renovated, this resort features totally rebuilt suites in a minimalist world-class style. New oceanfront restaurant and bar, massage cabins, beautiful tide pool with cascading waterfalls, fully-stocked bar within reach of the hot tub, new on site dive operation and private dock, and a new philosophy focused on personal service.
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Fiesta Americana Cozumel

Fiesta Americana Cozumel All Inclusive Hotel underwent extensive renovations in 2013 to transform it into a spacious and contemporary all-inclusive resort. Located close to downtown San Miguel and Chankanaab Nationall Park, this oceanfront property is the perfect place for divers seeking convenience and luxury while diving the world-class reefs of Cozumel. The private beach is ideal for relaxing, snorkeling and shore diving. On site restaurants offer a choice of cuisines including Mexican, Italian and Asian fare. Stylish rooms offer inspiring views of the Caribbean with all of the comforts of an upscale and fashionable resort.
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Hotel Cozumel & Resort

This gorgeous resort is one mile away from the newly renovated center square with shopping, local restaurants and bars, and just minutes from the colorful and abundant coral reefs that have made Cozumel one of the world’s top snorkeling and diving destinations.
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Occidental Cozumel

Enjoy all-inclusive luxury and worldclass diving at this top-notch resort on famed San Francisco Beach, offering a range of room categories, gourmet dining, daytime activities, evening entertainment, turn-down service and room service in a hacienda-style resort. Upgrade to The Royal Club, with personal concierge service, hydro-massage bathtubs, private whirlpool and other exclusive amenities.
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Presidente InterContinental Resort

A unique hideaway, secluded and surrounded by lush vegetation and turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean, situated on a half mile stretch of private sand beach, only minutes from the abundant coral reefs. The 220 rooms and suites boats LCD-TV, WiFi, MP3. Three restaurant options for dining.
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Sunscape Sabor Cozumel

Sunscape Sabor Cozumel is the perfect getaway for vacationers of every sort. Stays at this all-inclusive resort come with all of the privileges of an Unlimited-Fun® vacation including countless daytime land and water activities, limitless food and beverages from four reservation-free restaurants, unlimited top-shelf spirits from three bars & lounges and so much more... All while never having to wear a wristband.
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The Explorean Cozumel

One of the main reasons so many people choose to stay at the Explorean is the hotel's one-of-a-kind Daily Expedition & Adventure Program. Each day offers something new and exciting to do, with guided expeditions and treks in the ocean, on the beach, around the town, and deep into the tropical jungle, letting guests learn about and explore the island while cycling, snorkeling, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking and driving dune-buggies, and it's all included in the room rate. The adrenaline, fun, laughs and pure emotion will make your activities truly unforgettable as you create stories to tell for a lifetime. Most activities could be described as "soft adventure" and fairly easy to do, but feel adventurous and exciting. They are accessible to guests with wide range of fitness and experience levels and ages. Side-trips and extra activities offer more rigorous adventure for explorers who want it.
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Passport and/or Visa Requirements

A valid, undamaged passport is required. No visa is required for stays less than 180 days. One page is required in your passport for entry stamp. Other required items include a return ticket and confirmation of hotel reservation. All persons leaving Cozumel pay a departure tax of approximately $34 USD which should be included in your international ticket. Check the entry/exit requirements here.

Immunizations

Vaccinations are not required for entering Mexico if you’re coming from the United States. Check with the Centers for Disease Control on recommended vaccinations for travel www.cdc.gov.

Culture and Customs

Though no longer the sleepy fishing village that divers first discovered in the 1960s, the island of Cozumel retains much of its small-town charm. Cruise ships come and go, but move beyond the waterfront souvenir shops and tourist-centric watering holes and you will discover a culture that combines memories of the Maya with traditions of old Mexico. Many local shops close for an afternoon siesta and as the big ships sail off into the night, residents come out for paseos around the town square. Also in the mix is a vibrant and sophisticated art and music scene. Cozumel has been called Mexico's equivalent of Key West, attracting creative types from across the country and beyond. This influx of talent also extends to the kitchen, adding creative cuisines to a dining scene that also includes a number of family-operated favorites that have been pleasing hungry divers for decades. Surface intervals are typically spent relaxing at beach clubs, with perhaps one day set aside for an island tour. A handful of bars and clubs stay open late, while ferries connect to the lively scene at Playa del Carmen, which lies just across the channel.

Electricity, Phone and Internet Access

Electricity is 110 volts, 60 cycles, same as in the U.S., so converters are not necessary.

Cozumel has a modern, fully digital and reliable telecommunication system. The long distance dialing code is 52, while the area code for Cozumel is 987. Check with your cell provider for International plans and costs. The Internet is available at many hotels, restaurants, bars and stores.

Water Quality

Most restaurants and bars in tourist locations use purified water. Outside of resorts, be cautious with ice in drinks or vegetables which may have been washed in tap water. Bottled water is available for purchase and is recommended for drinking and brushing your teeth.

Language & Currency

Spanish is the official language but English is widely spoken.

The Mexican peso is the official currency of Cozumel (MXN). Due to new regulations, merchants and businesses can no longer change U.S. Dollars for Pesos. That must be done at a currency exchange office. U.S. credit cards are widely accepted. Check the current exchange rate here.

Time

Mexico spans four different time zones. February 1, 2015, the state of Quintana Roo which includes Cozumel, changed to Eastern Standard Time Zone (Zona Sureste). They do not observe daylight savings time, which puts them 5 hours behind Greenwich Mean Time (-5 GMT).

Location, Size and Population

Cozumel is Mexico's largest island, sitting just 12 miles off the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is approximately 250 square miles. Cozumel is 43 miles south of Cancún and 12 miles southeast of Playa del Carmen. Ferries take passengers between Playa del Carmen on the mainland side to Cozumel island in about 1/2 an hour. Cozumel measures 28 miles long & 10 miles wide.

The population of Cozumel is estimated at 100,000.