Overview: This was a short trip here just a few days and to check out the dives and compare to Cancun. After a 45 minute boat ride to the south of the island we dived a beautiful wall and then a shallow reef – Paradise Reef. Neither were prolific but some nice coral growth and unusual creatures like: Yellow Ray, Torpedo Ray. Next day; Palancar Gardens. The further south you dive the deeper it gets and the walls are something to see. Covered in corals and sponges and you never know what will swim by! We didn’t make to the far end of the island where some of the best diving is, apparently.
Fish Life: Saw very few pelagic fish just yellowfin jacks and no sharks. But there was plenty of reef fish on the reefs just no big schools that I saw which was a little disappointing. Rays and turtles featured. I also saw squid, lobster, eels and shrimps.
Reef Health: Cozumel reefs looked healthier and better populated with more species than Cancun. There is very little algae growth. PM dive was Colombia Shallows which had lots of lobster, snappers, crabs, turtles and good coral growth. There are areas of huge boulder structures with arches and niches all covered in corals, very pretty and alive with reef life. I often saw rays on the sand and cruising the reefs.
Highlights: The shallow dives are excellent for close up and macro photography and a shorter boat ride. Palancar Gardens was covered in corals and sponges, most notably cascading orange sponge, which was stunningly beautiful and l’m not sure this species of sponge is found in the Caribbean.
Dive Centre/Boat Service: We dived with Aqua World and once again their dive briefs were very thorough and detailed. The dive guides were over zealous at times always pointing out new creatures. But my kit was taken care of at the end of the day. Perfect!
Travel: UK dive holiday company – www.thescubaplace.co.uk Mexico dive operator -www.squalodivers.com www.aquaworld.com.mx I highly recommend both these operators.
First Time/Return: First time here l would recommend a visit here and probably come back.
Current/Vis: Sea was 24- 26ºC and after an hour got cold in a 4mm suit. Vis was excellent between 60-90’. We didn’t encounter any currents.
Favourite dive site: Palancar Gardens.
Other: Hints – In the winter months take a thick wetsuit or semi dry. Take sea sick pills as they are expensive to buy locally. Stay in a hotel near to Aqua World then you dont have to get up at 7am. Take a fleece to wear in between dives. I was in a group of 10 multi level divers on a trip organized by The Scuba Place dive travel company.