Since I moved to Playa del Carmen and got my open-water diving certification 4 years ago, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed exploring one of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world right here in the Mayan Riviera.
One of my “bucket list” items—and probably the main reason I got certified—has been to dive Cozumel. It finally came together last week! A fellow Canadian and good friend of mine, Morgan, arranged the day for us through Cozumel Scuba Planet. It turned out to be the best Monday of my life!
Friends from Puerto Morelos picked me up from my apartment and together we took the 8am ferry from Playa del Carmen to Cozumel. It was a beautifully calm day on the water and flying fish skimmed over the sea’s surface beside the ferry. At 8:45 we arrived on the island and Morgan was there in his Volkswagen beetle to take us to the marina where we would connect with the rest of our group. There were 13 of us—the largest group I’d gone diving with—Americans, Canadians, Mexicans; with various dive experience.
The dive master, wearing a neon yellow rash guard and matching shorts, gave us a brief run-down of the dive sites as our boat leisurely cruised down the west coast of the island. Enjoying the scenery from the spacious top deck of the dive boat was great—I was already loving it! As we soaked up the sun, the English-speaking crew prepped our gear.
Palancar Gardens, our first dive, was magnificent! A great intro dive at novice level, the site is pure fun to explore, with towering walls of coral and swim-throughs. Ranging from 30 – 80 ft depths with a slight current, the reef is colourful and thriving. We spotted a manta ray, several huge lobsters, a hermit crab and a barracuda within the first few minutes of the dive. Later a hawksbill turtle swam alongside us, graciously allowing us to take photos!
A sandwich lunch was very welcome in between dives; prepped by the crew. As we made our way north to our next stop, a small pod of dolphins raced alongside the boat, delighting everyone on board!
Yucab reef is a beautiful drift dive with low-profile coral growth and plenty of fish. Stunningly beautiful angelfish and parrotfish swam within inches of my mask and the current gently coaxed us along. The visibility was fantastic; with rays of sunlight filtering down through the turquoise water to our depth of 50 – 60 feet.
After returning to the marina around 4pm, we went to Money Bar to share nachos, wings, potato skins & a bucket of beer. As the sun set over the water, we relived the dives; comparing stories. What a glorious day.
My dives in Cozumel were everything I had hoped they would be. With so much to explore, I felt like a kid in a playground! Gorgeous and varied marine life, gentle currents, and easy accessibility make Cozumel every scuba diver’s dream!
- group rate of $75 USD per person (group of 10+)
- includes 2 tank dive with all equipment + sandwich lunch
- English-speaking crew; owner Hernan Bacelis
- website: www.cozumelscubaplanet.com
- other websites of interest: reefsofcozumel.com, cozumelinsider.com, scuba-diving-cozumel.com
Written by Kelly G.