If you have been following our articles about Cozumel you will already know that this island in Mexico is a popular travel destination for divers. Don’t take our word for it though. If it was good enough for Jacques Costeau, who named it one of the best diving sites in the world in 1961, then it’s good enough for us. Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park has been protected since 1996. It is home to some of the world’s most stunning coral and marine life. We are going to take a look at some of the best diving resorts in Cozumel.
First, if you have never dived in Cozumel, let us explain why Cozumel is considered in the diving community to be world-class. Whether you are just getting your feet wet with snorkeling or want to visit Cozumel for its swim-throughs and famous drift diving you are in for a treat. The water visibility is superb. You can feast your eyes on more than 25 types of beautiful coral flourishing on deep walls. There is a large variety of marine life. Sea turtles and over 500 species of fish are at home here. The great choice of diving sites in Cozumel means there is something for both beginner and experienced divers.
When to go? Divers travel to Cozumel all year round. November to April sees the most visitors to the island. The water temperature is between 77°F and 80°F. From May through to November the water is even warmer – between 82°F and 86°F. There are fewer tourists here then too. If you are ready to take a dive vacation in the second largest reef system in the world then read on.
Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel
Villablanca Garden Beach Hotel in Cozumel is one of the cheapest of the diving resorts in Cozumel. There are five PADI dive centers in the vicinity and the beach is a minute’s walk from the hotel. Towards the northwest of the island, you can tell the hotel welcomes divers when you spot the full-size mural of a scuba diver on the external wall. There are no luxuries here but if you are happy with basic amenities then this simple hotel is a lot easier on the wallet than some of the others we have looked at.
With a choice of diving providers nearby you will find numerous dive packages to suit. The Villa Blanca reef is just offshore from here and with a depth of up to 120 feet, it is suitable for intermediate to advanced divers. If you are a beginner fear not, as the dive resorts all provide instruction. It is a great area for snorkeling too if you prefer to stay near the surface.
On the property grounds, there is a swimming pool and a hot tub. A bar and a restaurant open from 7 am until 10 pm will serve your food and drink needs. There are no organized activities here, but when you are done relaxing by the pool you can play tennis or wander into town. San Miguel de Cozumel is ten minutes walk away.
Diving tip: Villa Blanca reef is one of the quieter dive spots on the island, but pay attention to the current and the ships that dock nearby.
Prices for a week in June here start at just $466 for a standard room.
Casa del Mar Cozumel Hotel & Dive Resort
Casa del Mar Cozumel Hotel & Dive Resort is another of the cheaper diving resorts in Cozumel, located on the west coast of Cozumel near the Underwater Museum of Art. If you can look past the rather unattractive exterior and the slightly old-fashioned rooms then you will find yourself perfectly placed for some superb diving. The rooms, although perhaps a bit dated, are spacious, with air-conditioning and some have balconies with ocean views. This hotel is right across the road from the ocean and has a private beach so you won’t have far to go before you are in the sea.
You can enjoy shore diving or boat diving here with the experienced instructors at the on-site Cozumel Marine World PADI dive center. Reaching dive sites is quick and easy with their own boat. Committed to offering you a great dive vacation, they offer a wide range of scuba diving packages with safety as a priority. The hotel has an excellent dive shop too.
When you are not diving you can enjoy the outdoor pool and jacuzzi, a paddle tennis court, and a games room. Guests also have access to the Nachi-Cocom Beach Club, although this is eight miles away. There is a pool bar and a sea-view restaurant on-site (you can buy a food and drink package on arrival for $42 per person per night) and the town of San Miguel de Cozumel is just a few minute’s drive away. Wi-fi is available for a charge of $5 per day.
Diving tip: the popular Paraiso reef is five minutes away from this resort and is suitable for all levels.
Prices for one week in June start at $622 for a superior room with a garden view.
Playa Azul Golf Scuba Spa
This dive resort is on the northwest of Cozumel. Located right on the beach, every room has a balcony with an ocean-view. The rooms in this property are spacious and although simply furnished have nice touches such as individual lamps and tiled floors.
In association with Blue Dream Diving, you can visit Cozumel scuba dive sites directly from the Playa Azul dock. Blue Dream Diving has been running since 2012. They also arrange diving trips to the mainland where you can dive through the cenotes. If you go between June and September you could get to snorkel with Whale Sharks. You can rent snorkeling gear free from the hotel, subject to availability. Apart from snorkeling and diving, Blue Dream Diving also arranges excursions to Passion Island (Isla Pasion).
There is a swimming pool overlooking the ocean and a spa. If you are feeling hungry there are several dining choices including buffet and a la carte options, and a snack bar right on the beach. If you like golfing as much as diving then you are in luck. At the Cozumel Country Club golf course (the only course on Cozumel), you get to enjoy free green fees (although cart rental is compulsory at a cost of $34 per person per day).
Diving tip: Visit the Barracuda Pinnacles for beginner to intermediate divers. Accomplished drift divers can visit the Cantrel Wall.
Prices for one week in June start at $1,320 including a buffet breakfast.
Coral Princess Golf & Dive Resort
Located on the northwest of Cozumel, this is a 4-star hotel. It is one of the diving resorts in Cozumel that has its own private beach area, just in front of the infinity swimming pool. All of the 140 rooms have balconies and you can choose to stay in an ocean view room or a jungle view room. If you like self-catering then opt to stay in one of the large suites with kitchenettes.
Pepe Scuba is the on-site dive facility waiting to introduce you to the Cozumel diving world. They do two-tank trips from their boats, twice daily and they claim to have the fastest boats on the island! Having been in business for 25 years, you can trust them to organize a dive package to suit your needs. You can take PADI certification courses, try night diving, or go on one of their three snorkeling tours. A three-hour snorkel trip from here to Palancar Reef costs $55 per person.
This resort has one restaurant and two bars, and if you want to explore further, the town of San Miguel is ten minutes by car. If you fancy exploring Cozumel by bicycle, bikes are available for hire directly from the hotel. The resort has a gym and spa area and for the golfers, offers a 40% discount at the Cozumel Country Club course.
Diving tip: Become a diver for $525 on a three-day course including a two-tank boat dive.
Prices for a week in June here start at $1,768 (non-refundable) for a deluxe oceanfront king room.
Presidente InterContinental Cozumel Resort & Spa
This one of the more expensive hotels and diving resorts in Cozumel. It is a 5-star resort located on a private beach on the west coast of Cozumel. The air-conditioned rooms are spacious, modern, and sleek with all the luxury you would expect. Wi-fi is included and there are tea and coffee makers in all rooms.
The hotel has its own onsite dive center, called Scuba Du. They own five dive boats and have a reputation for safety. Through them, you can arrange any kind of scuba diving experience you would like, from lessons and certification to various reef diving excursions. Those that only want to snorkel are not left out. One of the available packages is a five-hour snorkeling trip which will take you to visit several beautiful Cozumel snorkeling spots including El Cielo – a stunning white sandy beach famous for starfish. A magical experience.
If you have spent the morning diving, you can spend the afternoon relaxing by one of the outdoor pools or enjoy a massage in the stylish spa. If you fancy something more energetic then you can play tennis or table tennis. Car hire is available on-site for those that want to explore Cozumel further. There are four dining options including a beachfront bar.
Diving tip: diving couples can get married underwater here, contact Scuba Du for details.
A week in June in a king room with a pool view starts at $1,886. A luxury king room with an ocean view starts at $3,302.
The Allegro Cozumel is an all-inclusive 4-star resort located just above the southwest side of Cozumel, on the stunning San Francisco Beach. The air-conditioned rooms here are modern with patio areas and are all set within lovely Polynesian style bungalows with thatched roofs. Set in lush landscaped gardens this is a beautiful property. But you are here to dive as well as relax so what can you expect?
The Pro Dive International Dive Center is located right here on the beach next to the hotel jetty. Numerous diving sites can be reached within ten minutes. The nearest is Palancar Coral Reef which was made famous by Jacques Costeau and since then has been the go-to destination for many divers. Palancar Reef is approximately 3.5 miles long and is a haven for a multitude of marine life and coral. The dive center runs half-day and full-day diving packages, with the longest transport to a dive site being just twenty minutes.
This dive resort is also popular with families. Its many amenities include three outdoor pools, one with water slides. Away from the water, there are regular activities laid on for adults and children alike. Relax in the spa, have your hair cut, or for something less chilled, lift weights in the fitness center. The whole family can play a game of tennis or maybe a game of billiards. Listen to live music and partake in themed dinner nights, with a choice of five restaurants. If you get a thirst on, you can enjoy branded drinks from one of the five bars including a swim-up bar.
Diving tip: experienced divers can try a night dive (subject to availability) at a cost of $67 per person.
Prices for a week in June start at $1,037 for a superior twin room.
This all-inclusive property is also on the southwest side of Cozumel. Similar to the Allegro, the accommodation at this resort is arranged in quirky and colorful bungalow style properties. It is another of the 5-star diving resorts in Cozumel. The air-conditioned rooms are not quite as luxurious as you might expect, though they are equipped with all the amenities you need. They boast that all of the rooms are free of single-use plastic – a big plus point for those trying to be environmentally friendly. Each room has a private balcony with a hammock.
Dressel Divers is the on-site diving facility. They run up to five diving excursions per day including night time dives. Dive in the Palancar Caves, the Paso del Cedral, the Santa Rosa Wall, and the San Francisco Reef to name a few. There are no shore dives here, only boat dives. This is because of the location within the Marine Park. Most dive sites can be reached by boat within ten minutes so you don’t lose precious time underwater. Snorkeling trips can be arranged, at fifteen minutes by boat to the reef. Be prepared to see some of the most vibrant, colorful marine life in the world.
Back at the property you can eat in one of the four restaurants and enjoy a cocktail in one of the three bars. Pamper yourself in the spa or beauty salon and enjoy some kid-free time thanks to the babysitting service (charges apply). Kids aged from four to seventeen can take part in the Star Camp – an activity program with all sorts of activities to keep them entertained.
Diving tip: from June to the middle of September you could snorkel with Whale Sharks. They look dangerous but they aren’t!
A week in a standard room here in June starts at $1,027.
Secrets Aura Diving Resort Cozumel
One of the only adults-only dive resorts we have looked at, this 5-star all-inclusive hotel is located on the west side of Cozumel. On Paradise Beach with ample sunbeds, umbrellas, and hammocks you’ll feel like you really are in paradise. Especially if you choose a swim-up suite. All of the spacious bright suites are stylishly furnished with climate control, wi-fi, and a nightly turndown service. Room service is available for when you don’t want to change out of the bathrobe and slippers they provide.
Preferred club suites give you certain benefits such as upgraded suites and access to a private lounge area and swim-up bar.
Onsite dive center Dive House has five locations on Cozumel including the one here at Secrets Aura. They run two boat dive trips each day and also have a program that groups divers of a similar experience level together so you can make the most of your dive time. Their five boats make daily pick-ups from various hotel jetties in the south part of Cozumel. They run all levels of scuba diving courses from total beginners right up to Divemaster level.
When your feet are back on solid ground, there is plenty to keep you occupied here, that is if you don’t want to just relax by the impressive pool area or on the beach. A spa and fitness center goes without saying at resorts like this, but other activities include Tequila tastings, beach volleyball, live shows, beach parties, and live entertainment. Dining options are plentiful and guests can also eat and drink (and make use of the other amenities) at the neighbouring Sunscape Sabor Cozumel property (discussed below).
Diving tip: The Maracaibo Reef is the southernmost reef for experienced divers. With a dive depth of up to 120ft, expect to spot turtles, eagle rays, and reef sharks.
Prices for a week in June start at $1,507 for a junior suite. If you want a preferred club suite, expect to pay from $2,106.
Sunscape Sabor Cozumel
If you are traveling with children then this hotel is the family-friendly neighbor of Secrets Aura. It is an all-inclusive 3-star hotel with prices to match. You won’t find the extra luxuries of the adult-only 5-star resort but you will find all the amenities you require. All of the rooms have air-conditioning, tea/coffee makers, and minibars. Select an ocean view or a garden view room or suite.
As before, Dive House Cozumel is the on-site diving service that caters to all levels of diver. Take your PADI certification or Nitrox certification. If you are a diver who is a little rusty you can take a refresher course. As with all the dive services on Cozumel, safety is paramount. The boats have safety equipment such as spare oxygen, first aid kits, and defibrillators. If you want to see Bull Sharks, go between November and March.
The Sunscape Sabor resort has two children’s clubs – one for the kids up to the age of twelve and one aimed at teenagers. There are a number of restaurants/cafés with food to suit all tastes and styles – casual to formal. It’s almost compulsory to sip on a cocktail while enjoying the sunset views at Tortuga beach bar, open until 1 am.
Diving tip: The Punta Sur reef is a stunning diving spot where more experienced divers can explore tunnels and caverns.
Prices for a week in June here start at $1,093 for two people in a deluxe tropical view room.
That brings us to the end of our look at diving resorts in Cozumel. Did you notice that all the dive resorts were located on the western side of the island? This is because the majority of Cozumel diving sites are found on this sheltered side. It is clear why this beautiful island in Mexico is renowned for world-class diving, wherever you stay. You are guaranteed to experience dives in crystal clear waters amongst one of the most beautiful reefs in the world.