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Top 7 Places to Snorkel & Dive in Cozumel

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The Mexican island of Cozumel is one of the world’s best diving and snorkeling paradises for its large Mesoamerican reef, the second largest in the world. Here’s a list of the top 7 best places to dive and snorkel on the wonderful island of Cozumel.

El Cielo Beach

The waters of El Cielo are so transparent and shallow that they make this beach ideal for diving and snorkeling. In the Caribbean, you will hardly find a seabed with more starfish than in El Cielo and the splendor of the underwater life of the place. You’ll arrive at the beach that is half a mile from the coast of Cozumel in speed boats, glass-bottom boats, or in vessels that depart from the pier of San Miguel de Cozumel. Most of the tours include El Cielo beach and Palancar beach, as they are close.

Palancar Beach

Playa Palancar is in the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, on the southwestern coast off the Mexican mainland. It’s part of the great Mayan reef. Its fauna is rich in crustaceans, rays, snails, seahorses, sharks, and a variety of multicolored fish. The caves that form the coral reefs in Palancar and the fantastic waterfalls will amaze you. The most accessible entrance is by boat. It’s recommended only for experienced divers and swimmers.

Dzul Ha Beach

You don’t need a boat to get to Dzul Ha beach because it’s close to San Miguel. Its sand is coarse and formed by coral remains, hedgehog pieces, and other marine species. Although it’s a popular beach, it’s not always crowded with tourists, making it a much more pleasant experience. A few feet deep, you can see rays, lobsters, turtles, crabs, various types of fish, and other marine creatures.

Paradise Reef

Paraíso is an area with reefs divided into two sectors, north and south. In the first of them, there are two reefs with depths of up to 56 feet; the second has three that can reach 14 meters deep. Paradise Reef is perfect for beginners who will be able to dive and see a wide variety of marine species, such as candlefish, angelfish, sea sponges, sea cucumbers, corals, mollusks, and other unique species.

Colombia Reef

The Colombia Reef is ideal for underwater sports due to the sea depth with chasms of up to 78 feet. It offers protection with the surrounding reefs, the marine currents, and the temperature and salinity of the water. It also has enormous corals, caves, and tunnels that will offer you the best diving experience on the island. You can only access the reef by boat. The species you can see in this reef include turtles, barracudas, eels, octopus, spotted rays, and sharks, among many others.


This natural space on the southwestern coast of the island is one of the most beautiful areas for diving and snorkeling in Cozumel. The word Chankanaab means “small sea” in Mayan. It’s a coastal cenote with an intense hydrological activity that promotes the development of rich biodiversity. Here you’ll find the Chankanaab Adventure Beach Park, an ecological park with water and land entertainment that includes diving, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, sea lion watching, kayaking trips, and zip-lining.

Santa Rosa Reef

This vertical wall, hundreds of feet tall, is one of the most exclusive sites in Cozumel for diving and is recommended for experienced divers. The wall is accessed by boat and is not far from the coast of San Miguel de Cozumel. It has light currents and is not crowded with tourists. Diving in Santa Rosa gives you the feeling of “flying” from a cliff while you spot turtles, parrotfish, toadfish, queen’s angels, and other marine species. Don’t rule out the appearance of a giant eel.

The clear waters of Cozumel have good visibility at great depth from the early hours of the morning, so any time of the day will be good for diving and snorkeling. Some people prefer to dive at sunset because you can spot sea creatures that only come out when the sun goes down at nightfall. If you love snorkeling and diving, make sure to plan your next trip to Cozumel and experience one of the best places to snorkel in the world.

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