I’m not going to lie. Cozumel, Mexico, is one of my favorite places in the whole world.
I absolutely love cruising here and enjoying all the island has to offer, and that includes snorkeling. I’m not the only one – world-famous explorer Jacques Cousteau popularized Cozumel’s reefs in the 1960s and they’ve been booming ever since.
Here’s everything you need to know about snorkeling in Cozumel!
Best Places for Snorkeling in Cozumel
Location, location, location. When it comes to snorkeling, location can make a difference. You can snorkel anywhere, but what you’ll see on your adventure does depend on where you choose to submerge.
- Chankanaab National Park – One of Cozumel’s most popular attractions –and a short taxi ride away from the ports – Chankanaab offers a 20-foot lagoon with colorful fish, coral reefs, cannons and limestone caves.
- Palancar Reef– Palancar is the reef that Cousteau put on the map, and here you’ll actually find four separate coral reefs that are home to sea turtles, rays, nurse sharks, barracudas, moray eels, lobsters, crabs and tropical fish.
- PalMar Estate and Dzul Ha – a small, private beach club with fantastic snorkeling, this location only allows 50 people a day to come in and explore its waters. It’s highly recommended to make reservations in advance if you plan to snorkel here and was even voted #1 Snorkel Spot in the Caribbean by Skin Diver Magazine in 2002.
- Xcaret – technically on the mainland and not the island of Cozumel, this eco-archaeological park offers several different snorkeling options.
Snorkel Combo Tours
If you’re the adventurous type and want to do more than just snorkeling, check out the snorkel combo tours. On my first trip to Cozumel, we biked to Chankanaab, snorkeled and then biked back to port. It was a great way to see the island on both land and underwater. Other combos include beach, sailing, four-wheeling, and swimming with dolphins or manatees. As a popular destination, Cozumel offers many different snorkeling combos to please even the pickiest passengers.
Your best bet is to book your snorkeling in Cozumel experience ahead of time. There are many Cozumel excursion snorkeling options, and many that are combo tours of snorkeling and something else. Most snorkeling excursions provide all the gear you need, and some of the combo tours offer snorkeling as an extra where you can rent your equipment.
Snorkeling is an amazing experience, and you don’t want anything to change that. Here are few tips to enjoy your time in Cozumel.
- Don’t rent the cheapest equipment. Take your time and look for the dry snorkel and the mask that’ll fit you. Don’t let the rush you through getting equipment.
- Relax. Snorkeling can be a good workout, and you don’t want to exhaust yourself. Swim slowly, allowing yourself to breathe and take in the sights. Float as much as possible.
- Don’t touch. It can be so tempting to reach out and touch that coral reef. But don’t. You can hurt it, and in some cases, the reef could cause you some pain. Be a steward of the underwater environment and try to touch only the sand and the water.