Diving & snorkeling are two of the best activities to do in Cozumel. It’s a paradise for water lovers. With visibility up to 200 feet, the water is crystal clear & fifty shades of turquoise. Additionally, there are many diving schools & instructors in Cozumel that can teach you how to scuba dive. Then, if that doesn’t appeal to you, there’s also the Cozumel snorkel tour or just grab a snorkel & jump in! Check out our guide to the best snorkel spots of Cozumel.
1) El Cielo
It’s called the “heaven” in Spanish * And if you like stingrays, starfish, and turquoise waters, then it’s the heaven for you. Located about a mile from Cozumel’s coast, El Cielo can only be reached by boat. It costs around $45 for a tour there, unless you have a boat. There is a main dock, right in San Miguel, from which most tours leave. It takes approximately an hour to get to the island on a glass-bottom boat or speedboat (bring a jacket, because it gets cold). Children or novice snorkelers will love the waist-deep water at El Cielo.
2) The Money Bar at Dzul Ha
About ten minutes by cab south of downtown, set on the beach, The Money Bar is a locals’ favorite restaurant & bar. An afternoon at this beach can include drinks, lunch, and snorkeling. A large bar, tables, & chaise lounges are set along the waterfront. Snorkelers can enter the water via a ramp or ladder. Among the marine life you’ll see here are manta rays, tropical fish, and turtles. Unlike other waterfront spots (many of which charge $49), there are no “minimum” food purchases here. Therefore, you can snorkel at the Money Bar for just $10, making it one of the most affordable snorkel spots.
3) Palancar Reef & Columbia Reef
Cozumel is home to two of the most famous reefs in the world: Palancar and Columbia. You can reach each of them by boat (about 45 minutes from San Miguel) and both are on the south end of the island. Visiting El Cielo, Palancar, and Columbia on the same day is totally doable. Sharks & spotted eagle manta rays can be seen at Columbia Reef.
You can snorkel or dive at Palancar, and you can also free-dive there. Lancar is home to caves, ledges, & massive dropoffs along the reef. As well as numerous species of fish, eels, sharks, turtles, and even barracudas, the area has a huge diversity of animals!
4) Hotel Cozumel & Resort Beach Club
Hotel Cozumel & Resort offers great snorkeling right in town. The restaurant offers a good lunch buffet for about $15, and the beach has hammocks, lounge chairs, lockers, a nice beach bar, and amazing snorkeling! On the dock there is a ladder that will allow you to enter the water easily. The underwater Chichen Itza is about 20 yards away as soon as you dip in! Then, you can snorkel to the left along the coast for spectacular views.
5) North of the Cozumel Museum on the Ocean Side
The museum of Cozumel can be found at Museo de Cozumel. Follow the coastline northward until you reach the airport. You will begin to see several restaurants with palapa roofing; some will have rocky shores where great snorkeling spots can be found. Definitely one of the best snorkeling experiences on Cozumel, and it was free. A great reef and tons of fish could be found here, while further out lay a vast kelp forest. The sight is breathtaking.