Best Cozumel Snorkeling Tours | Excursions, Trips & Beaches
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by Kristin Young | Updated On: September 23, 2020 | Mexico
While the coastline in Cozumel is exquisite and the jungle landscapes are mind-blowing, they’re not what’s attracting travelers from all parts of the world. It’s true, vacationing here is a blast, but it’s the underwater life that makes Cozumel far greater than just a beach holiday.
It would be a crime for water-lovers to visit this paradise without embarking on a snorkeling excursion. A Cozumel snorkeling tour isn’t quite like your regular sea excursion. The tours here boast untouched nature, dramatic underwater vistas, and curious sea creatures.
So have your pick from full-day tours, family-suited snorkels, trips for a bunch of friends, and adventures for those traveling solo.
COZUMEL SNORKEL TOURS: KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
Don’t worry about not having any experience when it comes to snorkeling. Here are some of my tips on how to snorkel like a pro.
Before heading out on your tour, these are some things to note for your exciting journey.
The Mesoamerican Reef System
While the Australian Barrier Reef is more widely known, and twice the size, the Mesoamerican Reef System is equally as remarkable. The exceptionally clear waters put it at the top of most ocean lovers bucket-list, with snorkeling that never fails to amaze.
One of the more popular diving spots, the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, is renowned for being home to several endangered creatures. Don’t be surprised if you spot black coral, loggerhead sea turtles, and the queen conch.
The reef also shows off endless colorful beds of coral, inquisitive tropical fish, and caves with unique mollusk species.
Getting to Cozumel
To get to Cozumel, you can either choose to fly directly to Cozumel International Airport or take the ferry from Playa del Carmen. Many travelers also opt to take a trip to Cozumel from Cancun. Just note that there is no ferry from Cancun. Instead, you’ll take the ferry from Playa del Carmen.
What to Bring
All of the tours mentioned in this guide provide snorkeling equipment. But you must be warned, you may fall in love with diving into spectacular underwater worlds. This is why investing in your own snorkeling gear is a fantastic idea.
These are some essentials you’ll want to bring along for your tour:
Finding the best snorkeling excursions in Cozumel isn’t a tall order. After all, with the world’s second-largest reef found here, the marine life is bound to be more than incredible.
Below are 6 of the top snorkeling tours in Cozumel that are catered towards an array of adventurers. So whether you’re up for a full-day adventure, a family trip, or a booze cruise, you’ll find the perfect fit.
What’s included: Use of snorkeling equipment and snorkel life vest, guides, and a boat trip
Duration: 3 hours
Why you’ll love it: It’s affordable and perfect for short stays
This snorkeling tour is ideal for those who aren’t spending an extended period in Cozumel. Centrally based, the tour runs every afternoon at 1 pm. You’ll embark on a journey to different reefs, such as Colombia shallow and Palancar Gardens. You won’t need all day, and you’ll still have the opportunity to see the most amazing reefs in Mexico.
Enjoy a 15-minute sailing journey to the first reef, where you’ll see a fair share of turtles, stingrays, colorful coral, and incredible sea life. Your friendly, local guide will provide all the advice you need for a safe, eventful marine tour.
Your boat will stay close to you at all times, so if you’re tired and need a break, you have the leisure to do as you please.
What’s included: Private transport, use of snorkeling equipment, lunch and beer
Duration: 6 hours
Why you’ll love it: You can personalize your itinerary to include the things you want to do
While snorkeling is a fantastic activity in itself, it gets even better when you combine it with a Jeep drive through the jungles! Not only will you discover the Maya jungle and learn about fascinating flora and fauna, but you also get to experience epic snorkeling spots.
This tour is by far the best option if you’re looking for a day filled with exploring archeological sites, enjoying the underwater life, and getting your heart rate up with some fun-filled jet skiing. It’s a chance to learn about the local ocean life, as well as the ancient Mayan history that is so prominent in Cozumel.
While this tour sets up an awesome itinerary, travelers have the option to design their own tour to suit their wants. Choose to spend more time out in the water, indulging in the colorful marine life, or opt to spend more time on the white-sand beaches.
What’s included: Open bar, snorkel gear, and reef snorkel stop
Duration: 4 hours
Why you’ll love it: It’s an awesome tour to do with friends, while enjoying the refreshments and onboard lunch
Nothing beats sailing crystal Caribbean waters on a catamaran. This guided catamaran and snorkel trip provides spectacular views of coastal Cozumel. It also allows you the opportunity to see the underwater life and spectacular reefs.
Choose to spend your time lounging on the luxury sailing boat or dipping in and out for a snorkel. Music will be played on board as you soak up the sun and indulge in the delicious lunch and snacks.
What makes this trip great is that you have the freedom to do as you please. Feel free to spend as much time as you like in the water, spying on moray eels, trunkfish, and incredible coral formations. You’ll be provided with a vest, fins, snorkel gear, and friendly crew to assist with the snorkel.
What’s included: Snorkel life vest, mask, fins, and snorkel tube, as well as a buffet lunch
Duration: 5 hours
Why you’ll love it: You get to combine a snorkeling tour with a venture to the island’s most popular beach destination
Part of what makes a successful snorkeling tour is getting the chance to dive out in the water, as well as appreciate the nearby island beaches. This particular tour provides guests with the chance to enjoy these two outdoor activities in one.
You’ll begin your tour with a scenic cruise along the coastline, where you’ll then head to the glorious Cozumel reefs for your world-class snorkeling experience. Spend part of your day playing in the waters and traveling to El Cielo. Also known as “heaven”, El Cielo is a starfish sanctuary found in the clear waters.
Then head to Playa Mia, where you’ll have access to kayaks, lounging chairs, waterslides, and a buffet. This added stop makes it a great tour option for kids, too.
What’s included: Use of snorkeling equipment and pick up at meeting point
Duration: 2 hours
Why you’ll love it: It’s a fun tour that is perfect for families of all ages
While you can enjoy seeing the marine life from below the water, you won’t miss out on many of the sightings from onboard. This tour embarks on a glass-bottom boat, which allows you to see the array of coral reefs and ocean life from above.
Climb aboard the glass bottom boat and begin your adventure to three different reefs. It’s a fun way of seeing the biomes that exist underwater.
When onboard, you’ll have access to a bathroom, sundeck, complimentary drinks, and some amazing views!
What’s included: Snorkeling tour in Cozumel, lunch at La Mission and round trip transportation
Duration: Full day
Why you’ll love it: While you may not be staying in Cozumel, you still have the chance to snorkel in these amazing waters
Treat yourself to a full-day tour that’ll leave from Cancun and take you to your snorkeling venture in Cozumel. On this full-day tour, you’ll be spoilt with incredible marine life, a traditional meal, and time to explore the bustling town.
The snorkeling tour will last 2 hours, during which you’ll also be enjoying time on yet another great glass-bottom boat. Be prepared for a fun-filled day as you explore the world’s second-largest reef. Spot all the colorful aquatic animals that are lucky to call this place home.
As well as snorkeling, you can wander through downtown Cozumel, shop in Playa del Carmen, and experience the traditional restaurants on the island.
A Cozumel snorkel excursion offers you the chance to dive in one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. Famous oceanographer Jaques Cousteau didn’t declare it to be “one of the most beautiful scuba diving areas in the world” for no reason.
No matter your experience, snorkeling can be a great adventure for all. As long as you’re up for getting wet in the clear turquoise waters, you can’t go wrong with one of these tours.
Hi! We’re Kristin & Andrew, lovers of everything tropical. We spend as much time as possible searching for the best beaches, snorkeling, hiking, and fun in the sun!