Diving in Cozumel

Cozumel is Mexico’s original Caribbean playground. The Mayans, its first inhabitants, considered it a sacred shrine and referred to it as “Ah-Cuzamil-Peten”, meaning “Island of the Swallows”.

Cozumel lies 18 kilometers east of the northern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Only the mainland side of the 32-mile-long and nine-mile-wide island is settled. To the north and south are the resort hotels.

Cozumel has been named by Jacques Cousteau as one of the TOP 10 dive spots in the world. It is considered one of the best scuba diving sites on our planet because of many reasons. One of them is undoubtedly the perfect visibility of turquoise water that reaches up to 50m. Divers can explore stunning coral formations, fascinating walls, slopes and many swim-throughs.

Cozumel is the perfect diving spot not only for experienced divers but also for beginners. Unusual for the Caribbean, in Cozumel, you can see very colorful coral and abundant growth of sponges. Multicolored and spectacular marine flora and fauna bursts with sea life such as eagle rays, barracuda or the endemic Cozumel’s toadfish. Cozumel is home to around 500 species of fish, 60 species of coral, 350 mollusks and marine mammals, algae, and seagrasses.

Underwater life

Diving in Cozumel is a wonderland of lush walls and high-voltage drifts, where many caverns are ripe for exploration. Make sure your regulator stays put as you gape at the menagerie of creatures bobbing along these Mesoamerican reefs.

Eagle rays, turtles, and nurse sharks are common additions to log books after diving in Cozumel. Look closely and you can add lobsters, groupers, stingrays, and sergeant majors to your tally. Underwater photographers: if you're after high res coral, Cozumel has it in abundance.

Imagine you were diving through the swim-throughs of a Coral Garden in warm clear waters, drifting along deep walls covered with sponges, fans and macro life, surrounded by colorful schools of fish, turtles, lobsters and crabs.

How to dive

All of Cozumel’s reefs are considered excellent by Caribbean standards.

Please be mindful of this when you go diving in Cozumel and bring hats, sarongs and towels to keep your skin safe when you are out of your wetsuit. As you enjoy the beauty of the sea you will feel fabulous knowing your presence isn’t harming it.

Best time of the year to dive

There is no bad time for diving in Cozumel. Water temperatures remain constant year-round 78-82ºF (25-28ºC) and cool only slightly during the winter months of September-December. You can dive approximately 300 days of the year - a glorious long season for divers.

Diving in Cozumel is famous for easy drifts but currents can be strong during the seasonal transition - best suited to advanced divers. Divers choosing to plunge below the surface at this time are rewarded with more sharks and eagle rays.

November-March in particular are the best months for bull shark sightings. May-September brings warm waters, uncrowded dive sites and generally calm conditions. This is the best time to dive in Cozumel if you like it warm, but diving in the Caribbean Sea is pleasant at any time of year.

Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year, (the average temperature lingers around 83 degrees F) it’s the rainy hurricane season that most travelers need to pay attention to.

January – April

Perfect weather-wise, but sees the highest influx of tourists. If you are not a people person, consider this.

May – October

The hottest and most rainy months of the year but still plenty of sunshine. Also, this is the hurricane season so keep an eye on the forecasts.

November – December

The autumn-winter months are considered by many to be the best times to visit Cozumel. The hurricane season has passed by this time and the humidity is low. Can be a little “chilly” in the evenings.

How to get there

Cozumel is an island located in the Caribbean sea, located about 10 miles (16 km) off the eastern coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, just across the water from Playa Del Carmen. This island is a popular location for its diving/snorkeling spots and marine life (located on the second-largest coral reef system in the world!). 

To get to Cozumel, you can take the ferry from Playa Del Carmen, which runs every 60 minutes. The crossing takes around 40 minutes. Check out our Cozumel Diving Tour, which includes all transportation and the ferry ride!