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Snorkeling Cancún & Cozumel


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Cozumel is the pride and joy of Caribbean Mexico's snorkeling and diving communities.  Hundreds of dive and snorkeling boats leave port each day to hit the seemingly endless sites offshore here.  Sites such as Passion Island, Gorgonian Flats, La Villa Royal GrammaBlanca Reef, Pico's Reef, the LaCeiba Reef Preserve, Aeroplane Wreck, International Pier, Paraiso North and South, Paradise Shallows,  Las Palmas Shallows, Holiday Inn Reef, Chankanaab Underwater Park, Beachcomber Cavern, and Punta Chiqueros can all be reached from shore, and all offer a wide variety of life and lots of fish.  For those who want to head out to sea, the fabulous expanses of coral reef known as Palancar and Columbia await.   Perhaps our best snorkeling experience in Cozumel was outside of our hotel, the Coral Princess Club.  The coral outcroppings made for some really interesting species, and lots of them!  Another highly recommended snorkeling area is Dzul Ha, just south of the Fiesta Americana.  This is drift snorkeling.  You'll want to be conscious of the current.  We didn't have an opportunity to try this area, but we've heard good things.

Cancun also has many sites ideal for snorkeling.  Perhaps the best was at Punta Nizuc, just past Club Med.  Since we were staying next door at Westin's Club Regina, this worked out very well for us.  The water was very shallow, and the fish were plentiful.  We kept coming face to face with great barracuda in two feet of water, though.  This made us a little bit nervous.  Other excellent snorkeling spots are Cuevenos, northeast of Punta Cancun, El Bajito, north of Punta Cancun, and Chintales, northwest of Punta Cancun.  The Nizuc Reef can also be snorkeled further out by dive boat, and Aquaworld has made a floating island there.

Many of the snorkeling tours head over to Isla Mujeras as well.  Tavos Reef, Manchones Reef, and Manchones Xico are excellent sites that must be reached by boat, but there are sites such as El Garrafon and Lighthouse that offer wonderful snorkeling directly from shore. 

Isla Contoy is also a snorkeling destination with somewhat less appeal.  Las Calderas, Ixlache Reef, and Barge Wreck are some of the most popular snorkeling sites here, but the water is rougher than the other nearby snorkeling sites.

Snorkeling Tips:

1. Clean your mask before snorkeling by wetting it, then spitting into it and spreading the saliva around with your fingers.  Then rinse out the mask.  This is a useful tip to prevent the mask from fogging up.

2. Make sure that your hair is not trapped under the seal of the mask.  This will cause the mask to leak.

3. If water gets into the breathing tube, blow sharply through the tube to expel it.

4. If water gets inside the mask, breathe in through the snorkel and out through your nose while pressing the top of the mask against your forehead.

5. Always snorkel with a partner.

6. When diving down, pop your ears by holding your nose and gently trying to blow out through it. Swallowing can also help your ears to pop.  Make sure to do this gently or it can rupture your ears!

7. You can buy mask, fins, and snorkel at home at Costco, Wal-Mart, or the like for a good price, and be ready to go when you get to vacation!  This will also help to ensure that you get good fitting equipment that won't leak.

8. Most hotels and dive shops rent snorkeling gear for around $5/day.

9. Remember, sandy beaches are great for sunning yourself, but rotten for snorkeling.  Stick to the coral and the rocks and you'll see much more sea life.

10. Only Biodegradable Sunscreen is allowed in parks such as Xel Ha, Xcaret, Garrafon, and Chankanaab, or on any snorkeling tour in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, or Cozumel.  This is to protect the coral reefs and marine life.  Make sure to pick some up before you leave on your trip to Mexico.  For more information, and to see where you can get Biodegradable Sunblock, click here

We've included links to information about the fantastic snorkeling of the area below.  Click on a link to jump to the section that interests you.

Visit Top 50 Sports Sites to cast your vote for Johann & Sandra Snorkel Cancun and Cozumel!


Great Places to Snorkel in Cancún and Cozumel



Snorkeling Tours



Taking Snorkeling to the Next Level


Other Cozumel Links


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