Is one of the most popular dive sites because of its proximity to town. Located just south of the Cruise ships piers. Paradise Reef can be reached from the beach within moments. Paradise reef consists of four narrow ledges of coral, the tow in the middle about 500 yards long and approximately 50 – 60 feet across, running parallel to the shore along a sandy bottom. It is a low profile reef, made up of clumps of rounded corals and sponge formations. Paradise is particularly popular for night dives due to its varied marine life.
Is located slightly south of Chankanaab Park, several hundred yards offshore, and is accessible only by boat. Chankanaab is a medium depth reef, ranging from 25 to 50 feet. It is a low profile reef whose structure and marine life is similar to that of Paradise Reef with clumps of rounded corals and sponge formations. Chankanaab reef is well known to Cozumel’s divers for its abundance of lobsters, morays and octopus.
Is located just about one mile north of Yucab Reef, south from Chankanaab. At depths of 40 to 50 feet the coral stretches about 400 yards from and parallel to the shore. A very popular dive site. The reef is made up of giant brain coral, finger coral and pillar coral formations. The abundance of oversized marine life, groupers, snappers, queen anglefish, queen triggerfish and butterflies make Tormentos reef a photographer’s paradise.
Lies about one mile south of Tormentos and there is plenty of marine life to be seen in its 30 to 50 foot depths. The coral reef stretches about 400 yards parallel to the shore, and is surrounded by brilliant white sand etched into deep ridges by the currents. The south end of the reef is composed of low lying coral clumps while the north end is more defined with taller coral heads. Larger overhands and more arches and caves. The north end is also more colorful, so if you are drifting the reef from south to north, and you are a photographer, be sure to save some film for the spectacular scenery at the north end.
Located just offshore from the beach, a little north of San Francisco Reef, is one of the most spectacular shallow dive sites due to the quantity of green moray eels. Divemasters often put on shows for their dive groups with these friendly fellows. The pillar coral growing off the sides of the reef makes an amazing background for the quantity of fish that make Punta Tunich their home. An abundance of high spirited clown fish, sea anemone and sponges make this a super dive.
San Francisco Reef
Lies 1 and ½ miles directly offshore from San Francisco beach. The reef consists of a ¼ mile long ridge of coral running parallel to the shore with the best dive sights at depths ranging between 25 to 60 feet. San Francisco is an especially colorful reef where red, yellow, pink and orange sponges abound. Filefish, angelfish, tangs and large groupers inhabit the coral heads. Sponge life is profuse and diverse in color and shape along the several large caverns that reach their way through the base of the coral heads.
Santa Rosa Wall
Is one of the most popular wall drift diving sites. It is series of large coral escarpments and buttresses that form the edge of a vertical wall that drops straight off into the deep. The lip of the wall begins in 60 feet of water. The best sights are seen at a depth of 80 feet along the seaward face of the wall. Where divers drift suspended over a bottomless abyss. Surveying the colorful sights along its sheer cliff sides. Santa Rosa is one of the mos photogenic reefs in Cozumel and overhangs of stony coral along the top of the reef are decorated with spectacular vase, tube and rope sponges. The wall is riddled with grottos, caves and tunnels framed with giant sea fans and hovering schools of grunts, porkfish and snapper. Some of the grottos have two or three entrances and brilliant white sand floors, creating great backdrops for photographs.
Paso Del Cedral
Lies directly offshore of “Rancho El Cedral”, the old capitol of Cozumel. The famed wall is made up of large coral heads, smooth starlets and exceptional examples of pillar and finger corals. The Paso Del Cedral wall has often been called the “Grand Canyon” of the underwater world. The wall sports an abundance of plant and marine life, and is particularly noted for the colorful sponges and smaller fish species. The Paso Del Cedral shallows are one of the most amazing shallow dive sites in Cozumel’s reef system due to the existence of the black coral growing in these shallow waters. The local black coral harvesters have respected the Paso Del Cedral shallows and the result is a unique dive experience. In addition to the black coral, an abundance of other coral varieties are represented on the shallows. The famous cave in the shallows plays host to a variety of graceful. Colorful fish. The depths range from 25 feet to 60 feet with the best dive sights at about 40 feet. Currents are moderate.
Has become synonymous with diving in Cozumel, and for good reason. Palancar is comprised of gigantic columns of coral that tower along the edge of a sheer dropoff which plummets to dephts well over 300 feet. This famous reef system stretches a distance of three miles. Some as tall as 60 to 70 feet, are richly cloaked in organic tapestry and are honeycombed with caves and tunnels lined with brilliant sponges and sea fans.
The most popular section of palancar is known as the horseshoe. The Palancar Horseshoe is a series of towering coral heads that rise out of brilliant white sand around a steep dropoff forming a natural horsedhoe shape.
Palancar Gardens is located at the north end of palancar reef, and although the coral gardens here have a lower profile, the brilliant sea fans, corals and sponges make it a veritable garden.
Palancar Caves, on the south end of palancar reef, consists of tunnels and columns formed by coral formations. The caves are located right on the wall with the best sights at a depht of 80 feet. The coral heads are richly dressed in their organic finery and brilliant sponges, seafans and fish abound.
Lies south of Palancar and is a continuation of the massive pillar like coral heads that march along the lip of the dropoff and the southern end of the island. The cathedral like pillars of coral are scaterred about 20 to 50 feet apart with intervening brilliant white sand channels and narrow passageways. The coral columns on colombia reef are truly spectacular in shape, looming over the scene in bizarre “s”, “t” and mushroom shaped formations. Decorated by gigantic plate corals, large sea fans and colorful sponges, the coral columns with their huge cliffs and overhangs create dramatic wall photographs. Large sea turtles, groupers and jacks are often present. Perhaps the finest shallow dive on the island is at colombia shallows.
Is compromised of high star coral colonies that form large rising straight up from the sand bottom. The coral formations are separated by narrow, winding channels and are surrounded by large fields of seagrass. Currents in the area are generally light. As some of the coral tops reach within 15 to 20 feet of the surface, this is also a good reef for snorkelers.
The south point reef, is located just inside and alightly to the north of Maracaibo reef. Its multiple caves and tunnels, some of which are so small that a diver in full gear can hardly get through, make it an unforgettable experience for the diver experienced in deep water and cavern diving techniques. The cathedral like majesty of Punta sur’s caves has been described as a “mystical experience”. Punta Sur is not included in our regular dive schedule, however, special trips can be arranged for advanced divers.
Is generally considered Cozumel’s most challenging reef, recommended for the experienced diver. Maracaibo is a deep diving reef. And currents are usually strong. The offshore wall at Maracaibo begins in 120 feet of water and features extremely large coral buttresses and numerous caves and tunnels. A variety of sharks have been spotted at Maracaibo, as well as schools of eagle rays and mantas, Special trips to Maracaibo reef can be arranged for experienced divers although it is not included in our regular dive schedule.