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

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, daily excursions and adventures including horseback riding to Mayan Ruins, dune buggy island adventure, snorkel expeditions, sailing tours, kayak sunset tour, coastal bike ride, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Valid 8/13/17-12/14/17.
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From $1,141 per person double occupancy

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Snorkeling

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, daily excursions and adventures including dune buggy island adventure, snorkel expeditions, sailing tours, kayak sunset tour, horseback riding to Mayan Ruins, coastal bike ride, roundtrip airport transfers, hotel tax, and service charges. Valid 8/13/17-12/14/17.
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From $1,141 per person double occupancy

Book Now

Resorts

Snorkeling

The Explorean Cozumel

Tucked between the ocean and tropical jungle, this Cozumel adventure resort is on Uvas Beach, just a mile from Chankanaab National Park and minutes from Mayan ruins, coral reefs and hidden lagoons. 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, learn about and explore the island while cycling, snorkeling, horse-back riding, kayaking, hiking and driving dune-buggies. The shopping, nightlife and traditional charm of downtown Cozumel are just 10 miles away. The Explorean Cozumel by Fiesta Americana is the perfect spot for sophisticated travelers to unplug and reconnect with the beauty of the real world.
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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.