Cozumel is a tropical island located off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It is known all over the world as being one of the best places on the globe to snorkel and scuba dive, due to its proximity to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second largest barrier reef system on earth. A Cancun to Cozumel day trip is the perfect way to add an unforgettable adventure to your vacation. In fact, whether you are staying in Cancun or the Riviera Maya, a day trip to Cozumel for snorkeling or scuba diving is totally doable. Below you’ll find Aquaworld’s day trip tours for anyone from beginner snorkelers to advanced scuba divers. Choose the best one for you and get ready for an experience you will never forget!
Facts About Cozumel
Cozumel is the third largest island in Mexico and the largest inhabited island in Mexico. It was “discovered” by Spanish explorer Juan de Grijalva in 1518. Of course, it was already home to its native residents, the Mayans. The Mayans’ name for the island was “Cuzaam Luumi” which means land or place of the swallows. This was later shortened to “Cuzamil”, which the Spanish adapted phonetically to “Cozumel”. Fifty years after the Spanish first arrived in Cozumel, an expedition brought smallpox to the island and wiped out almost the entire Mayan population.
Most people think that Cozumel became known as a diving mecca when Jacques Cousteau made a documentary about it. It seems this may not be true. The first movie about diving in Cozumel, “Un Mundo Nuevo” (A New World), was made by Lamar Boden and Rene Cardona and released in Mexico City in 1957. It aired the US in 1958.
As far as Cozumel weather, the best time to visit is March through June, but the tropical climate and clear waters of the Caribbean are ideal for snorkeling and scuba diving, so these activities are available all year round.
During a day trip from Cancun to Cozumel you can not only go snorkeling and scuba diving, but explore its restaurants, shopping, ancient Mayan history and natural attractions.
Aquaworld’s Cozumel Snorkel Tour is so much more than the best snorkeling in Cozumel… it’s an entire fun-filled day on the island! The day starts with a ferry ride across the crystal blue waters from Playa del Carmen to the island. When you arrive in Cozumel you will board a high-speed boat that will take you to a multi-activity boat, where you will put on snorkel equipment and meet your guide. Then, it will finally be time to go snorkeling in Cozumel!
The first site will be the “gorgóneas” (sea fan) Punta Sur reef, at a depth of 12 feet (4 meters). The second snorkeling Cozumel site is the Colombia reef, a much deeper site with a depth of 40 feet (12 meters). At both sites you will see beautiful coral formations and abundant colorful fish and other marine life like sea turtles, starfish and rays.
Last but not least, you will visit El Cielito Cozumel, a breathtakingly clear blue shallow area of the Caribbean, which is only accessible by boat. Its name means “heaven”, and when you see it, you’ll understand why.
You’ll be hungry after all that snorkeling, so next you’ll head to charming San Miguel for a delicious Mexican lunch at La Mission restaurant. After about an hour of free time to explore downtown, you’ll head back to Playa del Carmen on the ferry.
It is important to note that the minimum age for this tour is 10 years old. Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must know how to swim, and the use of a life preserver is obligatory. There is a charge of $5 USD per person for visiting the Cozumel Marine Park that must be paid in cash.
Aquaworld offers the best scuba diving Cozumel with the Cozumel 2 Tank Dive tour, which is a full day of fun for certified divers and includes both a Cozumel wall dive and drift diving Cozumel. Wall diving involves diving along an underwater cliff face, generally a vertical coral reef. This a thrilling experience that is best for seasoned divers. Drift diving means that the diver is transported by currents, versus the diver propelling him or herself. Drift diving is also for experienced divers and feels a bit like flying underwater.
The tour begins with a ferry ride across the sparkling Mexican Caribbean from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. When you arrive, a dive boat with all the necessary equipment will be waiting for you and the chief divemaster will help you put on your gear.
Then it will be time to dive! Both dives are drift dives, so you can enjoy the entirety of the barrier reef. The first is a wall dive to a depth of 80 feet (24 meters), then a surface interval, and then another wall dive to 60 feet (18 meters). During both dives you’ll see colorful coral and other marine life like schools of fish and larger species as well.
You’ll be hungry now, so the boat will take you to the downtown area of San Miguel for an authentic Mexican lunch at Restaurante La Mission and an hour to explore before you’ll take the ferry back to Playa del Carmen.
It is important to note that the minimum age for this tour is 15 years old. All participants must have an open water dive certificate and present their certification before reserving. There is a charge of $5 USD per person for visiting the Cozumel National Marine Park that must be paid in cash.
Scuba Diving Cozumel
Aquaworld also offers scuba diving in Cozumel for beginners. Our Cozumel 1 Tank Resort and Snorkel is perfect for those who want to try diving for the first time ever. This tour offers both snorkeling and diving, so it’s perfect for a group of family or friends that wants to do different activities. Participants who are not certified must complete the Discover Scuba class at Aquaworld Marina the day before taking the tour. Certified beginners can participate without any additional classes or training.
The day starts with a ferry ride across the turquoise blue Caribbean from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. A multi-activity boat will take you to the dive site and our certified dive instructor will help you with your equipment and safety instructions. The one-tank dive will take place at the Cozumel National Marine Park Columbia reef at a depth of 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters). You can expect to see brightly colored coral formations and marine life of all sizes. Depending on boat traffic, the tour may also visit Punta Sur, the southernmost point of the island, for snorkeling and El Cielo for swimming in the crystalline, turquoise blue natural pool in the Caribbean Sea.
Then it will be time to head downtown for lunch at La Mission, a little time to explore, and then the ferry back to Playa del Carmen.
It is important to note that the minimum age for this tour is 10 years old (snorkeling only). Those under 18 years of age must be accompanied by an adult. Participants must know how to swim, and the use of a life preserver is obligatory for snorkeling. There is a charge of $5 USD per person for visiting the Cozumel National Marine Park that must be paid in cash.
All of Aquaworld’s day trip to Cozumel tours include ferry crossing from Playa del Carmen to the island. However, if you also need transportation from your resort in Cancun or the Riviera Maya to the ferry dock, Aquaworld can help! After you book, we will contact you about ground transportation (approximate cost $25 – 35 USD per person).
Now that you have all the information that you need about a day trip to Cozumel for the best snorkeling in Cozumel and the best scuba diving Cozumel, you can book the tour that best fits your needs. See you soon!