Scuba Diving in Cozumel Mexico

Cozumel’s reefs are world-class, forming part of the world’s second-largest reef system spanning nearly 115 million acres. Since Cozumel is protected, it remains as healthy as ever, unlike other reefs in this area.

Over 500 species of fish can be found on the reef, along with 26 different coral species! In addition, sharks are visible all year long. Divers of all levels will be able to enjoy diving in Cozumel. Whether you are a complete beginner looking to get certified, or an advanced diver looking to add eagle rays to your logbook.

Cozumel is a great dive destination for novice divers because most of the sites are suitable for them. The same sites can be dived together even if you have advanced divers on your boat. Beginners and experienced divers can both enjoy fantastic dive sites here. It’s because of this that Cozumel is such a world-famous diving destination.

Furthermore, Cozumel drift diving is pretty great, since you float along saving your air for a longer dive.

Lobster on reef in Cozumel Mexico
Lobster on the reef in Cozumel, Mexico

Scuba Diving In Cozumel: When To Go

Spotted Eagle Ray, Cozumel, Mexico

In Cozumel, there is truly never a bad time to enjoy scuba diving! Winter temperatures are just a bit lower than the summer months, but the water is still warm all year round. Nevertheless, you might prefer to do it during a specific season if you want to experience something special.

December — April is Cozumel’s high season, so expect to pay a little more during this time. Although the temperatures are a touch cooler, they are still warm.

There is a better chance of seeing eagle rays on a dive during the winter season.

May — November is Cozumel’s low season and temperatures can get pretty hot. Nonetheless, it is still a great time to go diving and underwater will keep you cool. Furthermore, there will be fewer crowds on the beach and better deals on accommodations.

Choosing a Dive Operator in Cozumel

When choosing a diving company in Cozumel, consider several factors, but please, do not let cost be your sole consideration. It is not worth putting yourself at risk just because a company is the cheapest when it comes to scuba diving.

This is especially important if you plan on renting equipment from them. In addition to using Rate my Dive, TripAdvisor, or Yelp, try to get personal recommendations from other divers or dive groups. Following that, visit the websites of the companies to learn more about them.

A few things to be aware of when choosing your dive operator

  • How far south do they go?
    Cozumel diving sites are generally better further south. But a lot of companies don’t want to take you there because, frankly, they aren’t as concerned with your experience as they should be. In order to save fuel and time, they prefer to take you to sites that are close to them. Usually, these companies are the cheaper ones.

    There are companies that will take you south, but they will charge you extra if you want to go beyond Palancar. A trustworthy dive company will have a “Diver’s Choice Policy” and ask you where you want to go before you get on the boat. It’s a wise idea to do a little research before your trip so you can get the most out of it.

  • Hidden charges
    You can easily check what is included in your trip by searching online. The rental gear will cost you extra, which is pretty standard. Visiting the most southern dive sites and entering the national park may also cost extra. Therefore, it is wise to double-check before making a reservation.

  • Boat size
    Unless you want to share the reef with a lot of other people on a big boat full of divers, it would be advisable to stay away from the larger companies when booking. With some dive companies, there may be as few as six divers on board so you mostly have the reefs to yourself. On the bigger boats, you may be divided into groups to enter the water, but you tend to end up as one huge group which isn’t much fun.

  • Transportation to boat
    In most cases, the dive operator will pick you up if you are staying on the waterfront. Make sure you double-check with both your hotel and dive company, though. It is not uncommon for hotels to work exclusively with certain companies. Other hotels may charge the dive company a fee to be able to pick you up. Take a look at the Cozumel accommodation guide at TripAdvisor for some of the top picks of places to stay while in Cozumel.

  • Equipment
    If you are renting equipment, make sure you ask when it was last serviced or replaced. Be wary of blindly assuming that all companies will constantly invest in new equipment. The equipment you use underwater will be vital to your survival, so make sure you check it always. Additionally, if you plan to do multiple diving days in Cozumel, you should consider purchasing your own dive computer. Choosing the right dive computer can be tricky if you don’t know what to look for. Here is a review of dive computers to help you choose.

Conclusion

In case you haven’t dived in a while, it’s always a smart idea to run through scuba diving refresher tips before you dive again.

  • First on the list of scuba refresher tips is a breakdown of the 5 steps to scuba buddy safety; BCD/buoyancy, weights, releases, air, and final check.
  • It is essential to be able to make yourself understood to your buddies with hand signals when scuba diving. This is regardless of whether you have seen something interesting and want to share it with them, are cold, or you’re running out of air. For a safe dive, it is imperative that you can communicate with your dive buddies.
  • The importance of diving equalizing on our scuba refresher checklist cannot be overstated. If you can’t equalize, the build-up of pressure on your ears will become unbearably painful and you’d be unable to dive down more than a few meters.
  • Never hold your breath. Diving breathing exercises, to improve your air efficiency, are in order. More experienced scuba divers possess the ability to control their air consumption and make their supply last much longer.
  • Review how to clear a scuba mask underwater. From time to time, water leaks into a mask during a dive, which can be pretty annoying. Luckily, it’s easy to clear a scuba mask underwater, allowing you to behold the aquatic world once more.
  • Scuba weight calculation. Review the process for calculating how many additional scuba weights you need to remain neutrally buoyant. A very simple rule is additional weights should equal 10% of your body weight. Obviously, this number will not work for everyone, but it is at least a starting point.

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