For US and Canadian citizens, one of the most incredible diving destinations in the world lies a relatively short travel day away: the island of Cozumel, located just off of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. Millions of tourists flock here every year to dive the region’s gorgeous coral reefs and numerous underwater caverns and caves, and each dive site holds something special that sets it apart from the others. Check out our list of 5 of the most popular dive sites of Cozumel, and start planning your next trip to the Caribbean!
One of the popular dive sites for the very new SCUBA diver is Paradise Reef, located adjacent to Playa Caleta. It has shallow reefs with colorful tropical species, beautiful soft and hard corals, and plenty of crustaceans to explore. The nearby dive shops use the beach waters for certification dives so there is always plenty of opportunity to get in the water and explore.
Palancar Reef is full of coral clusters that are vibrant and house thousands of reef species. The reef is a great place for those individuals who are just starting out on their SCUBA adventures or for experienced divers who want to get some underwater footage of their dive. The reef stretches 3.5 miles and displays an abundance of purple and orange sponges. Underwater photographers will have numerous opportunities for great shots in the calm currents of this reef.
Divers will have a great time going in and out of the spectacular caves, caverns, and tunnels of the 90 foot high Colombia Wall. Huge barracuda, sea turtles, and eagle rays share the ocean water with enormous coral pillars that rise up as much as 60 feet tall. The bluish-purple surgeonfish are a sight to see, but divers must steer clear of their namesake tail barbs that are scalpel-sharp!
Santa Rosa Wall
One of the most popular dive sites of Cozumel is the Santa Rosa Wall. Divers will not reach the start of the wall until they are 50 feet down and it drops even deeper. The beautiful blue ocean water is home to enormous sponges, stony coral, large overhangs, and plenty of caves and tunnels for the marine life and divers to swim through. Large grouper fish, eagle rays, and sea turtles share this spectacular wall in harmony with each other to the delight of divers from around the world.
More experienced divers will enjoy the swift currents and spectacular views of the comprehensive ridges of coral that extend upward from 40 to 60 feet off the floor of the sand dunes at Punta Tunich. The abundance of gorgonians, sea fans, and whips that hang beneath the beautiful coral overhangs that are loaded with sponges, grunt, and snappers are visually stunning and not to be missed!