An Overview Of Scuba Diving Like In Cozumel
By Dennis Anderson
At Villa Deja Blue, we help travelers enjoy Cozumel scuba diving in a relaxing atmosphere leveraging information from our experience living on Cozumel Island.
When asked to name one dive spot they must visit while visiting Cozumel, Palancar is almost guaranteed to come up as the winner! With something for all levels of divers, Palancar offers something special.
Reefs in Indonesia are massive with an array of tunnels and swim-throughs, offering spectacular underwater viewing. Encounters with turtles, barracudas, and eagle rays are frequent.
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Cozumel water temperatures typically range between 78-80 degrees during the winter (December through February) and 82-84 during summer (March to May). Most divers opt for a 3mm wetsuit; this decision depends on personal factors like your tendency towards coldness and how long they plan on spending underwater.
During Cozumel’s high season (November to March), hundreds of scuba divers visit each day, making spotting marine life difficult due to crowding and noise pollution at certain dive sites. If you prefer avoiding crowds while exploring some of the best marine life around it is recommended that visitors explore the southern portion of Cozumel Reef instead.
This area is home to an abundance of marine creatures, from turtles and nurse sharks to the rare Splendid Toadfish endemic to this region. Additionally, you’ll discover beautiful coral formations.
Palancar Gardens and Herradura (Horseshoe) are two excellent dive spots in this region, boasting incredible coral heads that rise dozens of feet above the ocean floor, creating tunnels and swim-throughs to explore. Additionally, from November through March you may even spot spotted eagle rays!
Santa Rosa Wall is another classic Cozumel wall dive and offers divers a chance to see lobsters, Barracudas, Black Groupers and Horse-Eyed Jacks – perfect for beginners as currents here tend not to be as strong.
Cozumel offers two breathtaking dive sites in its southern area; Casablanca and Tormentos Reef. Both dive sites are renowned for offering spectacular visibility of Mesoamerican Barrier Reef marine life; here you will see three species of sea turtles, stingrays, eagle rays, reef sharks and colorful fish species galore! Additionally this region hosts some of the most stunning coral formations around.
Cozumel’s currents nourished by its nearby current-fed Mesoamerican Reef System make scuba diving exciting, making diving on this second largest barrier reef a thrilling experience. Strong currents are common; when combined with exceptional visibility they create ideal conditions for drift dives through stunning underwater scenes. No matter if you are experienced or just beginning your scuba journey; with some knowledge and proper equipment on board you can safely explore Cozumel’s current-fed reef formations safely.
Temperatures both underwater and above water tend to be very comfortable during summer, which enables divers to comfortably dive without needing a wetsuit. Even so, even if it isn’t essential, one may still come in handy since colder waters could leave you feeling slightly chilled after diving for extended periods.
Cozumel diving requires that divers keep in mind that conditions in the sea can change quickly, even within one dive. Therefore, it’s wise to stay close to your dive guide when managing dive sites and currents; follow their lead when managing dive sites and navigating currents; it is best to stay close to walls rather than venturing too far out into open water as going too far can cause you to drift away from your dive site or encounter strong downwellings that may result in decompression sickness or lung overexpansion injury.
if you find yourself trapped in a downwelling, don’t panic. While it may be tempting to swim against the current, doing so for too long will only drain you of energy and increase air consumption rates. Instead, wait until the current begins weakening before slowly swimming out in an orthogonal direction from the wall.
Cozumel’s protected waters provide a haven for marine life, especially during the winter when large pelagic fish like hammerhead sharks and manta rays visit in numbers. Spotted eagle rays also visit this time, along with smaller blacktip and reef sharks.
Cozumel has long been recognized by Jacques Cousteau as one of the top 10 dive destinations worldwide, offering divers an amazing underwater world to discover and appreciate. Its tropical reefs boast abundant marine life that are sure to delight novices just starting their dive career all the way up to veteran divers with hundreds of dives under their belts.
Year-round water temperatures average 78-82F/25-28C and most divers find comfort wearing either a light 3mm wetsuit or just shorty and rashguard.
Cozumel diving season runs for 10 months each year and the weather is mostly sunny. On occasion, however, strong north wind storms known as Nortes may create turbulent conditions on the western side of the island for several days at a time causing rough diving conditions on that side of the island.
Some of the best times for diving in Cozumel are during its low season. April through October are technically considered rainy season but typically only bring a few showers daily; and come during these months because reefs will be less crowded and quieter.
Cozumel reefs boast an abundance of marine life that can be seen on its reefs, such as magnificent coral formations, angelfish, damselfish, spotted moray eels, grey angelfish and hawksbill turtles. Cozumel also hosts many pelagic fish including barracudas, manta rays and stingrays that thrive here.
Other attractions include the C-53 wreck, which is an old US Navy minesweeper sunk as an artificial reef in 2000 and is now home to octopus, blennies, moray eels and other forms of marine life.
As you dive in Cozumel it is important to keep in mind that its reefs are protected and there are certain rules you should abide by. Listen carefully to your guide and heed their safety advice; additionally it may be worthwhile investing in an underwater camera like GoPros (many dive shops rent them out for around $40 if needed) so you can relive your dive and share it with friends and family afterwards.
Cozumel boasts warm waters all year, which makes this island an excellent vacation spot at any time of year. However, some times are better for certain activities or sightseers; December-March are ideal times for diving enthusiasts but be warned: weather can become warm but can become very crowded and costly during these peak season times.
May-July is an ideal time to visit Cozumel if you prefer avoiding crowds; temperatures typically remain in the low 80s, and there are often great deals on travel deals available during this period. But remember, July and October are hurricane season in Cozumel so be mindful.
Divers who plan on exploring Cozumel should ensure they have adequate dive insurance before arriving on the island, since 15% of diving fatalities in 2016 were linked to equipment malfunctions. A good policy from DAN will protect divers against common issues like decompression sickness or arterial gas embolism.
Cozumel reefs are protected national parks and as such divers must remember this when planning their dive trip there. Divers should respect the environment by not touching any shells or marine life on their dive and staying within your air limit during each dive – check your pressure gauge regularly and ascend when only five minutes of air remain before coming up to surface again.
Cozumel’s Columbia Normal is an idyllic dive site known for its spectacular coral formations. The reef wall stands over one hundred feet high, creating vibrant hues against the blue water. Spotted eagle rays and small blacktip sharks are frequently sighted here, offering great photo opps!
Cozumel offers many wonderful places for exploration, including the C-53 Shipwreck. Built in 1943, this wreck is one of the top snorkeling and scuba diving destinations nearby – you’ll find it near the north end of the island and is sure to provide plenty of photo opps.
Be sure to book your trip with Villa Deja Blue and enjoy your stay on the beautiful island of Cozumel.