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There are three large and beautiful areas of coral reef in Mexico and one of them is in Cozumel.

The calm and turquoise blue waters of Cancún are nothing less than a paradise. But under these waters exists a universe of colour that is alive, and which invites you to come and explore it!

You can’t leave Cancún without visiting the Coral Reef National Park in Cozumel.

Swimming or snorkelling in its clear waters will reconnect you with nature in such a unique way. Even if you haven’t had much snorkelling experience, we still recommend you pack a snorkel and make the journey to this place. Alternatively, you can rent scuba diving equipment and take part in an organized excursion through one of the coral reef systems with one of the largest natural diversities in the world.

Here is why the Coral Reef most be viewed through the visor of your snorkel.

The Coral Reef National Park in Cozumel measures 22km in length and is part of the so called “Mesoamerican Barrier Reef system”, considered the second largest in the world. It measures more than 1000km in length and stretches from the east coast of the Yucatan peninsula towards Belize, ending at the Bay Islands in Honduras.

There are five areas of the reef we recommend you visit. These stand out due to their geographical characteristics as well as the depth of their waters, which visitors can explore safely. Whichever you choose to visit, rest assured it will be the right choice. In all of them, you will find great scuba diving services with professional equipment to hire and experienced guides who know these waters like the back of their hand.

Arrecife Paraíso south and North.

Paraíso South is made up of three reefs and its waters reach a depth of 14 metres. In contrast, the waters of Paraíso North reach a depth of up to 17 metres and it is formed by two reefs. Both areas are perfect to practice snorkelling and scuba diving due to their calm waters, which are ideal for those without much experience.

  • What you may find
    Maroon sea sponges (that can reach 2 metres in diameter), giant sea cucumbers, yellow and blue Angel fish and brown school of varied species of fish.

Arrecife La Herradura (Horseshoe)

Experts consider this one of the best reefs for snorkelling. Its clear waters allow tourists to enjoy fantastic visibility. Here the depth reaches 30 meters.

  • What you may find
    Multicolour coral, some of them enormous in size, groups of different species of fish, pink snails (some areas of the reef are protected for their research) and sea anemone.

Arrecife Pasos de Cedral

This is a place for scuba divers with enough experience to deal with more challenging currents that require stronger swimming skills. Its depth ranges from 13 to 30 meters.

  • What you may find
    Muraena, eels, giant sea sponges, parrotfish, angel fish, lobsters and small sharks.

Arrecife Santa Rosa

This is a barrier reef with a vertical wall that measures more than 100 meters. Diving is safe, and you can go down to 30 meters in depth. Nevertheless, this place is only recommended for experienced divers. Its inhabitants cover the wall with life, the reef is also surrounded by caves, projections and crannies over the coral, which allows for a continuous transit of fish, molluscs, crustaceans and thousands of other organisms indigenous to these tropical waters.    

  • What you may find
    All kinds of schools of fish, catshark, blacktip reef shark, and hawsbill turtles which are typical of this zone and the very precious black coral.   

Arrecife Palancar

Maybe this is the most popular reef in Cozumel due to its geographical characteristics that allow snorkelling down to 4 meters and free diving to 40 meters in depth. Obviously, this is a reef of great dimensions and clear waters that offers unique opportunity to admire its inhabitants.

  • What you may find
    Groups of all kinds of fish, large areas of overlapping coral head that seem to explode in a festival of colour, sea anemone, manta ray, turtles, lobsters and a great variety of marine life.

Snorkelling and Scuba diving are two very enjoyable activities, especially if you practice them in a safe environment and with the correct equipment. If you are not very experienced but still want to try any of these activities, it is best to allow yourself to be guided by an expert. They will be able to asses not only your progress but also any risk regarding the strength of the sea currents and your surroundings in general.