Cozumel is a nice warm-water diving destination with a steady drift so there is much to see underwater (tropical fish, rays, turtles, eels and sharks). Underwater photography opportunities in Coz range from macro to wide angle, depending on site. One of the big draws early in the year is the potential to see aggregations of spotted eagle rays when numbers appear to increase due to feeding and breeding. Advanced divers looking for a challenge can tackle the deep dive at Devil’s Throat or dive sites on the North side of the island where the current is much stronger. Palancar and Colombia reef systems on the South side are beautiful with unique coral formations and swim-through passages to explore.
Other than diving, the malecon area just off the ferry pier offers a variety of restaurants and plenty of shopping. The best time to visit there is before or after the cruise ships dock, though, when it is less crowded. My favorite souvenir purchases over the years have been the brightly colored hand-painted glazed ceramic Christmas tree balls. These are more difficult to find now since papier-mâché varieties seem more common. In 2015, Cozumel also celebrated street art by showcasing Sea Walls: Murals for Oceans. Around town, you will find unique painted walls and ocean-focused graffiti by artists worldwide. A few examples are below:
For a local food experience, venture inland a few blocks past the tourist areas and try some fresh ceviche or tacos. For a sweet treat, cool down with a frozen fruit paleta or splurge with coconut ice cream.
Travel Tips (for divers):
- Wear a 3mm wetsuit for exposure coverage from jellyfish. Jellies are often hovering near the surface so keep an eye out during safety stops.
- Water temperature is often 82-85°F. but if you are doing a lot of photography and not moving around much, you might want to wear a hood to keep warm.
- Marine park regulations require wrist bands be worn in certain areas. Check the current standards to review rules on reef pointers, gloves, etc.
- Consider bringing an SMB in case you become separated from the group mid-dive during the drift.
- Don’t miss a night dive at Paradise – crabs, lobsters and octopus are very active there.