Where Is Isla Cozumel?
If you are wondering where Cozumel even is I don’t blame you. Before I arrived in Playa del Carmen I had never even heard of it. Cozumel is an Island close to Playa Del Carmen in the Riviera Maya area of Mexico.
Cozumel is best known for two things:
- Being a large post for Cruise Ships
- Having amazing Scuba Diving
Cozumel Mexico diving is world-class, and totally worth adding it to your Scuba Diving Bucket List.
How To Travel To Cozumel
Getting to Cozumel couldn’t be easier. If you are planning to just travel to Mexico for a diving vacation then I recommend flying into Cozumel airport direct. It is worth the extra money for the convenience. To help you decide I have added some details about how to get to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen and Cancun. If you are traveling from anywhere else in Mexico the easiest thing is to get yourself to Playa Del Carmen and then take the ferry (see below for details).
Flying Directly To Cozumel Airport
This is by far the best option if you can find a decent priced flight. Flying into Cancun will mean you will have a bus, ferry and taxi ride to add on. Which could end up working out the same price as flying directly?
From the airport, you can take a taxi to your hotel which should cost around $400 pesos.
How To Get To Cozumel From Cancun Airport
From Cancun airport, you will need to take an ADO bus to Playa Del Carmen. When you arrive in Playa exit the bus station and you will be greeted by a barrage of people shouting Cozumel at you.
How To Get To Cozumel From Playa Del Carmen
There are two companies currently operating ferries to Cozumel. I personally always go with Ultramar the prices are fixed and both companies charge the same and have ferries leaving at the same time.
Buy your ticket from one of the official sellers on the way down to the ferry. You can’t really go wrong so don’t panic about getting ripped off.
The ferry point is down at the bottom end of town close to the ADO station. It is difficult to miss because there are people everywhere selling tickets and shouting Cozumel.
Note: I was able to take my bike over of the ferry free of charge if you have a bike take it as it will save you money on taxis!
The ferry takes just 40 minutes and once you get to the other side you can take a taxi or walk to your accommodation. Be warned taxis in Cozumel aren’t cheap. So my advice is to hire a bike to use while on the island. It is the cheapest and most eco-friendly option.
Do You Need A Certification To Scuba Dive
If you are new to diving you may be wondering if you need to be certified to Scuba Dive in Cozumel. The answer is yes, and no. You need to be certified to dive for safety reasons. There are things you need to know and be able to do to keep you safe under the water. Therefore for your own safety, you have to have some instruction before you are able to go underwater.
There are a few different levels of certification with the most common one being an open water certification (this is what I have). With this certificate, I have been able to dive all over the world, including in some Cenotes. The course takes between 2-5 days and costs around $200-$400 depending on where you are in the world.
If you don’t want to commit 2 days of your vacation learning to dive, and/ or you aren’t sure if you are going to like diving then a good option is to do what is called a Discovery Dive.
It lasts 2-3 hours and after some instruction, you will be able to experience Scuba Diving in shallow waters close to one of the resorts.
My advice would be to do the scuba certification while in Cozumel, the crystal clear Caribbean water makes for a pretty perfect training ground. Contact Anthony Laverty a local Scuba Diving Instructor for PADI, RAID and NDL courses at Scubadivinglav.com
Where To Dive – Cozumel Dive Sites You Don’t Want To Miss
Scuba diving in Cozumel Mexico is amazing and after diving 6 of the sites I’m itching to go back for more!
Cozumel has 27 dive sites ranging in depths from the shallow waters of Shallow Columbia (15’) to the deep diving of Chun Cha Kab (90-120’).
The Five Dives Sites I Went To Are:
Paradise Reef (Max 45’)
This is a series of 3 small reefs running parallel to the shoreline. This is the place to spot the Splendid Toad Fish, which apparently only lives in Cozumel.
Chankanaab Reef (Max 55’)
This is a great reef for beginner divers with mild currents and pretty clear waters.
Click to find out what marine life you can expect to find here.
Yucab Reef (Max 60’)
One of the longest reefs in the Americas with a swift current and so much color. Yucab was one of my favorites. This was my first experience drift diving, something Cozumel is well known for. It took me a moment to get used to it, but once I had I loved being able to just drift along the reef.
Santa Rosa Wall (Min 50’)
This is one of the most well-known sites in Cozumel, for good reason. It has great drift diving and amazingly colorful marine life. There are lots of swim throughs and caves. I was lucky enough to spot a turtle there and if you get lucky you can often see nurse sharks.
Palancar Caves (Best 60-90’)
An intermediate dive full of caves and swim-throughs. This dive was a lot of fun and one of the more challenging ones I did.
For more detailed information about all of the reefs in Cozumel check out Reefs of Cozumel.