Diving in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and in the cenotes.
Three different diving areas for a varied diving holiday in Mexico.
Playa del Carmen is probably the best starting point for a really varied diving vacation.
The region around Playa del Carmen offers 3 very different diving areas. Diving in Playa del Carmen, Cozumel and the cenotes has so much to offer and will captivate any diver.
Playa del Carmen is located on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula. The Caribbean coast from Cancun via Playa del Carmen to Tulum is called the Riviera Maya and belongs to the state of Quintana Roo.
Playa del Carmen is located almost exactly in the middle between Cancun (70km) and Tulum (70km) and is the Mexican city with the highest population growth in recent years. In 1970 there were around 200 residents in Playa. The ferry connection to Cozumel made Playa del Carmen more and more interesting for tourism and in 2005 more than 100,000 inhabitants lived within the city limits. Today it is estimated that there are more than 150,000 residents in Playa del Carmen.
With the high population growth, the entire region is also developing. New luxury apartment buildings, restaurants, boutiques and new hotels are being built on every free space. Today there are several shopping malls with cinemas and luxury boutiques in Playa del Carmen. A pronounced nightlife with clubs, beach bars and discos has also developed over time.
Diving in Playa del Carmen
Diving in Playa del Carmen offers a number of very different reefs. Shallow reefs full of fish with almost no current. Current dives over reef ridges with turtles, stingrays, moray eels, nurse sharks and much more. Deep dives along reef edges with strong currents, lots of fish and other reef inhabitants and always a surprise from the blue.
No matter whether you are a beginner or advanced diver, underwater photographer or fun diver … in Playa del Carmen everyone gets their money’s worth. With up to 4 dives a day, even frequent divers and nitrogen junkies get their money’s worth.
The island of Cozumel is 16km east of Playa del Carmen in the Caribbean Sea and is the third largest island in Mexico.
Cozumel is approx. 45 km wide and approx. 15 km long and most of the 77,000 inhabitants live in the main town of San Miguel. Two ferry lines operate between Playa del Carmen and San Miguel, which alternate almost every hour. The crossing takes about 45 minutes and can get quite cool inside the ferry due to the air conditioning.
Around 1000 AD Cozumel was a religious and cultural center of the Maya world. The Spanish conquistador Juan de Grijalva landed on Cozumel in 1518 and named the island “Isla de Santa Cruz”. Hernán Cortez began his campaign of conquest against the Aztec Empire in 1519 from this “Isla de Santa Cruz”.
In 2005 Cozumel was hit directly by Hurricanes “Emily” and “Wilma”.
Diving in Cozumel
Diving in Cozumel is one of the best diving experiences ever. The reefs of Cozumel were discovered by the French diving legend Jacques Cousteau. They are part of the second longest barrier reef in the world. Coral cliffs and reefs provide a perfect habitat for turtles, nurse sharks, eagle rays, stingrays and many other sea creatures. The dive sites of Cozumel should definitely not be missed when planning your dive. The coral-covered steep slopes and reefs provide a perfect habitat for turtles, nurse sharks, eagle rays, stingrays and many other marine life.
The longest underwater cave systems in the world run beneath the surface of the Yucatán Peninsula, and in many places ceilings collapse give access to these cave systems. These intrusions are the cenotes.
The word “cenote” is derived from the Maya word “t’z oo not” for “holy well”. In Maya mythology, these formed the “holy wells”, the entrance to a parallel underworld full of gods, spirits and demons. The close area around these cenotes is the grotto area and we dive this with you. This grotto area is defined as daylight area and the maximum distance to the next surface must not be more than 60m (in length).
In total darkness and at a greater distance to the surface, we speak of cave diving and this is only allowed with cave training and cave equipment. The grotto areas are mostly very open, wide spaces with crystal clear water and permanent guide lines.
A basic diving license such as PADI or SSI Open Water Diver, CMAS * or equivalent is required for cave diving in the cenotes. Wonderful rock arrangements, fossils, amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations as well as spectacular rock crevices decorate these grottos. Fascinating light effects, triggered by the daylight entering the grottoes through crevices, will cast a spell on you.
A unique and extraordinary diving experience not to be missed!
Cenotes are the openings into the endless world of caves in the Yucatan. The Mayans believed that these openings were the gates to the underworld with numerous demons. We dive the area around these openings and stay strictly in the daylight zone, the grotto area. A completely new and unique diving experience awaits you here. Crystal clear water, almost no current, laser-like light shows, bizarre formations, wonderfully decorated rooms full of stalactites and stalagmites and much more.
Playa del Carmen is only partially suitable for non-divers and snorkelers. The boats are mostly small and there isn’t that much to see from the surface of the water.
Cozumel and the cenotes are all the more suitable for this. In Cozumel you can join our dive boat and watch the divers underwater. Great formations, turtles, stingrays, nurse sharks and much more can be admired. In the cenotes, completely different, fascinating impressions await you.
From November to mid-February.
Numerous female bull sharks gather off the coast of Playa del Carmen between November and February. They have been coming to give birth to their young for many years. There is a very high chance of seeing these stunning hunters up close and personal. Diving with bull sharks is a special, exhilarating diving experience that is addicting.
2 dives in the morning or at noon at the local reefs in front of Playa del Carmen.
2 dives at local reefs in front of Cozumel. The ferry is included in the rate.
2 dives at local reefs in front of Cozumel. The dive trip starts in Playa del Carmen with a speed-boat.
2 dives in one cenotes of 1. zone. Those cenotes have usually two different circuits.
2 dives in two different cenotes of the 1. and/or 2. zone.
2 dives in two different cenotes of the 1., 2. and/or 3. zone.
2 dives in two different cenotes of the 1., 2., 3. and/or 4. zone.
1 dive after the sunset in the early evening at a local reef in front of Playa del Carmen.
1 dive at or close by the shark point in front of Playa del Carmen. There is an extra fee of 5 USD for the organisation “Saving our sharks”.