Cozumel was a sleepy little fishing community until 1961, when a Frenchman by the name of Jacques Cousteau declared it one of the most beautiful scuba diving areas he had ever seen! Since then, Cozumel’s reputation has justifiably grown and grown, and it is now one of the most popular diving destinations worldwide. This area offers tremendous water clarity and abundant fish life but it is the currents, and subsequent drift dives that really make it stand out.
Cozumel’s west coast is bordered by a double row of parallel reefs and the water can funnel through here at an incredible rate of knots. This consistent movement has sculpted the reefs leading to a series of channels, ridges, grooves and overhangs providing much-needed shelter for marine creatures and plenty for divers to explore.
In 1966, this area became a protected National Park. Our dive centre in Cozumel visits only the best sites of the Cozumel Marine Park and sometimes a select number of reefs to the north of the island which are normally out of range of other operators.
This is a very popular dive with stunning topography. What starts as a simple wall dive (albeit with the persistent Cozumel current), ascends to a maze of tunnels, gullies and canyons that twist and turn from the outer wall through to the inner reef. This is an explorer’s dream. Aquatic life may be less prolific, but you will be having so much fun swimming through the labyrinthine formations here that you won’t have time to spot them! Out on the wall, turtles and eagle rays are common.
This is a stunning dive spot at the southernmost tip of Cozumel. Only for very experienced divers and those with excellent air consumption. This is a deep dive with a series of caverns and a tunnel which narrows into ‘The Devil’s Throat’ and exits onto a sheer section of the wall at around 37m. Another passageway leads to the ‘cathedral’ chamber, a vast cavern lit by sunlight streaming through sponges above.
Paso Del Cedral
An excellent intermediate dive site, it offers a maze of sloping reef at depths between 15 to 20 metres. Here you will discover schools of grunts and snappers sheltering in the swim-throughs and nurse sharks snoozing beneath rocky overhangs. The many under-cuts and hidden areas provide habitats for spiny lobsters and the elusive Splendid Toadfish, which is endemic to the island of Cozumel. Against a backdrop of bright and colourful sponges, this is an excellent site for photography.
Diving the Cenotes
Any dive holiday to Caribbean Mexico wouldn’t be complete without diving the world famous Cenotes. These are accessible as a day trip from the island of Cozumel and provide a dramatic juxtaposition to the current drenched reefs of Cozumel. Find out more about diving the Cenotes here
Pro Dive international - Cozumel
Established in 2003, Pro Dive International is an award winning water sports service provider operating several PADI 5 Star Gold Palm Resorts in the Riviera Maya and Cozumel area. All of Pro Dive's centres have been bestowed the prestigious National Geographic Dive Centre and PADI Green Star Awards and in 2012 they attained the much coveted Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence.
The secret of Pro Dive’s success is the quality of their services and the professionalism of their staff. Diver safety is Pro Dive’s main priority, however they have certainly not lost touch with the philosophy that “diving is fun!” Pro Dive International offers a complete range of PADI courses, from Bubblemaker and Discover Scuba experience programs all the way through to Instructor courses at its PADI 5 Star Career Development Centre.
The Pro Dive centres in Cozumel are located directly on site at the Allegro Cozumel Resort and the Occidental Cozumel Resort on the beautiful San Francisco beach. These resorts are located within the famous Cozumel National Marine Park and all reefs are accessible by boat from the resort jetties in just 5-10 minutes. Diving is operated on a two tank morning and two tank afternoon basis subject to availability. This offers guests greater flexibility and also the potential to make up to four dives a day. All dives and courses are led by fully certified PADI Instructors.
Excursions to the Cenotes on the mainland and special trips such as wreck diving, whale shark snorkelling, and bull shark diving out of Playa Del Carmen can also be organised from Cozumel.
Cenotes diving is conducted at any one of a number of sacred inland Maya sites. The excursion typically includes two dives with lunch and refreshment provided between the dives. All Cenote dives are led by fully qualified cave divers.
Dive Pack Prices (Guided)
Options available include 4, 5 and 6 days x 2 tank dive packages (8, 10 and 12 dives). A typical 5 day/10 dive package starts from £400. Please discuss your requirements with the Regaldive team, who will prepare a quotation suited to your needs.
A range of diving courses is available for those looking to learn to dive. Please enquire for details.
Extras in Resort (USD)
Prices listed below are an indication only, and subject to change.
- Nitrox Fills: FREE
- Cozumel Marine Park Fee: $6 per day
- Night Dive or Early Bird: $75 excluding torch
- Torch: $22 per dive
- Dive Computer Rental: $10 for 1 tank, $16 for 2 tank dives
- Equipment Rental: $8-24 depending on item
- 15l tanks are not currently available
- Bull Shark Excursion: $99 (supplement on top of your pre-booked day diving package. Excludes taxi and ferry to mainland
- Cenotes Excursion: $109 (supplement on top of your pre-booked day diving package. Excludes taxi and ferry to mainland
With great all year round diving conditions, Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula is an ideal destination for those looking for a mix of different types of diving. If you want to combine diving with relaxing on beautiful beaches and visiting historical and tourist attractions topside, Mexico is hard to beat.
Mexico’s well-established tourist infrastructure and its proximity to the USA means that getting around here is relatively simple. Cozumel is reached by a regular 45 minute passenger ferry that departs from Playa Del Carmen every two hours. Taxis are plentiful and relatively inexpensive in both Playa Del Carmen and Cozumel. There are many well established tour agents that can provide excursions to the areas wealth of historical attractions.
Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula has a warm tropical climate with an average temperature between 24 and 30 °C throughout the year. There are pronounced wet and dry seasons. Most of the country experiences a rainy season from June to mid-October and significantly less rain during the remainder of the year. Mexico lies squarely within the hurricane belt, and all regions are susceptible to these storms from June through November.
Water Temperature and Underwater Visibility
Water temperature tends to mirror air temperature ranging from 24- 30°C. Visibility is generally excellent all year round and in excess of 40m is the norm. Diving in the fresh water of the Cenotes is considerably cooler after diving in the balmy Caribbean Sea and a 5mm semi-dry wetsuit is advised.
Mexico is 6 hours behind GMT
The official currency is Mexican Peso ($), however US Dollars are accepted almost everywhere. Please note: the $ sign is used for both Pesos and US Dollars. This can cause a lot of confusion so always ask for clarification if you are unsure or if something seems unusually cheap, or far too expensive.
Spanish is the national language but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
Telephone and Internet
In Mexico, the predominant cellular service company is called Telcel. Most UK service providers will work on this network but roaming charges can be very expensive. If you have an unlocked GSM compatible phone it is possible to purchase a pay as you go Telcel Mexico SIM card. Wi-Fi internet is widely available; however it is comparatively expensive, so a holiday in Mexico could be the ideal opportunity to completely disconnect!
Mexico is both vast and fascinating. A rich tapestry of history and a well-established tourist infrastructure, coupled with superb natural resources make it perfect for holidays of all kinds. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site and sacred Maya city of Chichen Itza, dine on fine Mexican cuisine in the historic colonial town of Valladolid, explore the ancient coastal walled city of Tulum, or simply relax on perfect white sand beaches lapped by enticingly warm, turquoise seas.
Cancun (CUN) is the gateway for UK visitors visiting the Caribbean coast of Mexico and is well served with regular direct flights from London and Manchester, and regional departures may be available seasonally.
Flight times: 9.5-11 hours.
Departure tax: Charter flights are subject to a departure tax of approx. MXN $900 (approximately £50) – payable locally in cash only.
Transfers: Playa del Carmen Hotels - 45-60 minutes. Cozumel Hotels - 45 minutes by boat from Playa del Carmen, 12 services daily from 6am until 10pm.
Twin centre: Mexico makes an ideal twin centre destination and you can split your holiday across both Playa del Carmen and Cozumel. Please ask one of our sales executives for more information.
Passports & Visas
Passengers travelling to Mexico must have six months valid on their passport from the date of entry into Mexico. British passport holders visiting Mexico as a tourist do not need a visa, but you do need a tourist card, which you can get on arrival by completing an immigration form available on-board flights to Mexico.
Note: If you are travelling to Mexico via the US, even if you are only transiting, you must check the US entry requirements. If you do not have the correct authorisation you will not be allowed to travel to or transit through the US.
There are no compulsory vaccinations, but we recommend protection against typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and rabies. The risk of malaria in Mexico is generally very low and therefore anti-malarials are not required for travel to the Playa del Carmen or Cozumel area. However, there is a moderate risk in some south western parts of the country. If you intend to travel beyond the Yucatan Peninsula we would recommend that you contact a travel clinic for the most up to date advice.
Vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed before departure. For the most up to date advice please consult your travel clinic. Further information regarding vaccinations for travel to this country can be found at www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk and from your local healthcare provider.
Occidental Cozumel Resort
REVIEW Occidental Grand, Cozumel, Mexico
"Returned to the Occidental Grand because it was such good value. Accommodation and food was good and the specialist restaurants excellent. The Dive Centre was good before - it's now even better. The Dive Masters were excellent and dives memorable. Odd that for a fully inclusive resort they still 'sting you' US$12 for an internet connection!"
Dr Fred Lockwood
- Occidental Grand, Cozumel
Occidental Cozumel Resort
The Dive Sites Were Absolutely Fantastic!
"Twin Centre Stay at Occidental Cozumel & Allegro Playacar, Mexico
First of all, simply let me tell you how much we enjoyed the trip and how most things exceeded our expectations, so a big thank you to start with!
Everything was as expected, a great overall experience. All transfers were perfectly timed and organised. Transfer van was at the airport when we landed, an agent was waiting for us at Playa del Carmen and walked with us to the ferry terminal (no traffic allowed through the way), handed the ferry tickets to us, a taxi driver was waiting upon our arrival in Cozumel... and so on! All of them where right on time and hassle free.
Hotel in Cozumel was overall good. Big and comfortable room and bathroom, beautiful and green surrounding areas, quite environment, friendly and efficient staff. On the other hand, it has a little problem with moisture or humidity. All rooms have a slight smell of damp which must be related with the fact that all blocks of rooms are surrounded by strong and tall tropical plants and there is even a mangrove! Nevertheless, the concierge facilitated us a dehumidifier to help us drying our clothes (otherwise it would have been impossible! Some days the floor didn't even dry after being cleaned until late hours of the day!). My sister had previously been in Riviera Maya with her partner and she said that it is a common issue with a lot of hotels in the area.
The only downside is that when they mentioned that one pool was going to be closed due to refurbishment and that some minor works were going to take place, they didn't quite explain how it was going to be. Main pool and beach restaurant was closed as expected. The only available one (there was no third pool) was much smaller and had really few sunbeds, so it could get really crouded at some points. Beach restaurant was transferred to a tented area which was actually fantastic! What was slightly disappointing is that there were really major works taking place at the time. Most blocks of rooms were under refurbishment, as well as pathways and different common areas. As a result, loud noise coming from construction sites could be heard the whole day through, and when walking around the site, you would mainly see workers instead of clients.
The hotel in Playa del Carmen was a fantastic experience. I have to say that we were very lucky with the upgrade. Room was great, hotel was simply fantastic, Food, staff, landscape, pools and beach, location, etc. Absolutely fantastic!
The food in Cozumel was fine. Meals were based in a buffet plan, so easy, quick and straight forward! Convenient times and nice variety. Quality was fine.
Restaurants in Playa del Carmen were based on an à la carte system, even breakfast! Quality was higher than expected and service was very good. Nevertherless, dinner time had to be prebooked in most restaurants and sometimes, beacuse meals were cooked on demand, we had to wait for quite long, which was slightly inconvenient specially for breakfast time when we had to depart the hotel quite early. Otherwise, and thinking about just a holiday, the food was great, good quality, sofisticated menu, fresh products... Simply fantastic!
The dive sites were absolutely fantastic. Cozumel came as a surprise! Beautiful sites, wonderful coral reef formations, large variety of itineraries... Fantastic!
We ended up booking some extra dives in Playa del Carmen because we loved the cenotes! So different, so beautiful, so surprising, each of them unique in its way... Doing the Cenotes was worth the trip!!
The Dive Centre Staff had great organisation, were flexible, easily approachable, trying to fulfil divers’ needs and desires... They were professional and dedicated - simply perfect.
Every day we had lots of memorable experiences, but if I had to choose one, probably diving The Pit Cenote, a very beautiful memory.
Allegro Cozumel Resort
Whale Shark Snorkelling and Cenotes Diving were Highlights
"Thanks for the welcome back and as ever a thank you for your efforts in putting the trip together. It all went really well.
Both hotels were part of the same group which had recently been purchased by another group and the combination of re-branding and end-of-season maintenance meant parts of the hotels were closed which was no major problem and adequate services were available.
The Playacar hotel closed its main restaurant and one of the pools for work, but given the small number of guests, the alternatives worked well with larger numbers it might have been a struggle. The hotel had a service called 'Ultimate Dive Experience' run in conjunction with the dive centre which had a private lounge and pool for its users and accommodation near the dive centre. The food was a good standard and quite varied and we felt no need to go off site, so we were pleased with that.
The Cozumel dive sites were all very good, but would not suit anyone not happy to dive in strong currents. Much more limited at Playacar, but still interesting while the Cenotes inland were exceptional, perhaps the mainland diving could be limited to this as they are so interesting.
All the staff were very friendly, helpful and professional and the setup at each site fairly self explanatory. The dive centre at Playacar is actually at the neighbouring hotel, although there is an information booth at the hotel we stayed at which was manned most of the day.
Favourite memories from the holiday were the Cenotes diving and whale shark snorkelling."
Allegro Cozumel Resort
Perfect Resort for Diving Cozumel - I Would Really Recommend It!
"We had an excellent holiday thank you. The Allegro was the perfect resort for diving Cozumel, it had an excellent dive centre and its southern position put it close to all the dive sites.
Diving was good. I did 2 dives a day in the mornings so that my travelling companion did not feel completely abandoned. The boats were often quite full, several times we had 15 divers on a smallish boat, but split into 2 or more groups, so all went well. There was as usual a mix of abilities, but I was lucky enough to buddy up with two excellent buddies. The visibility was very good in the first week, but became a bit worse at the end of the visit. There had been some strong winds which had stirred up things. Having said that the visibility was still much better than my last trip in Djibouti.
We were lucky the wind only caused one afternoon trip to be cancelled - Cozumel provides some protection from the wind - I heard that the people on the other coast (Playa de Carmen) had more trouble with cancelled trips. The trip to the cenotes was very interesting and not as claustrophobic as I thought it might be. Well organised and well guided by two very enthusiastic divers.
My camera failed on the way to the cenotes so no pictures but some beautiful views of the light coming in from the outside. I had been a bit worried that the diving off Cozumel might have been a bit hairy, with the strong currents, but no problems and I did experience that wonderful feeling people talk about drift diving of flying over the reef below you.
Apart from the reef and the hard and soft coral I saw: lots of turtles some right up close, lots of Angelfish which are really pretty and quite big, a shy balloonfish, cowfish, the humorous trunkfish and one baby one 3 cm long, several large groupers, several big parrotfish, the amazingly blue splendid toadfish, filefish, squirrelfish, flamingo tongue cowrie, lots of very big spiny lobster, small spotted moray, large green moray out swimming, spotted ray, a couple of big stingrays, several spotted eagle ray (lucky, as the season should have finished), and quite a few nurse shark often out and about even in the day.
If you have not been, I would really recommend it."
Allegro Cozumel Resort
A Great Time - Thoroughly Enjoyed the Diving
"We had a great time and my hubby reports that the diving was good. The dive centre at The Allegro was very busy, but instructors were professional and it was well organised. Robert thoroughly enjoyed his diving. All the dives were drift dives, including the really good night dive. It’s worth noting that The Allegro dive centre appears to be the preferred one with divers travelling there from other resorts each morning to join dives.
The Allegro was a really good base and a nice resort with very nice rooms. There was an excellent variety of food at all meals and we found the service in the bars and restaurants slick and well organised.
I was concerned about the complexities of the transfers and the ferry but it all worked like clockwork. Everyone was really well organised, thank you. The only thing that might be worth mentioning to future travellers is that you need to carry/haul your luggage down from the taxi car park at Playa del Carmen to the ferry, which is 200 to 300 metres at least, and uphill on the way back. Help is available, but after a long flight it’s worth reminding people to ask for help if they need it in the heat.
Otherwise, thank you so much for all your help in arranging the trip and we will certainly book with you in the future."
Allegro Cozumel Resort
Allegro Cozumel Resort- Excellent Diving
"Allegro Cozumel was a very nice hotel, and relaxing to stay in. Clean, right on beach, nice staff, nice food and Prodive on site were a good outfit.
The diving was excellent, with lots of fish species, corals, turtles, nurse sharks. I think Nitrox beneficial as up to 4 dives per day possible (two morning and two afternoon). Night dives twice weekly if enough demand.
I went in March, weather lovely, 80F, sun and white cloud, some breeze. Nearly all dives drift dives, so your buoyancy good very relaxing dives. Boat crews were very good too.
Travelling time quite long; think 10-11 hour flight from Manchester to Cancun, 45 minute taxi to ferry, 30 minute ferry crossing to Cozumel and 25 minutes taxi to hotel. All transfers went smoothly.
Would I go back? Tomorrow if I could!"
- Cozumel, Mexico