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The Complete Guide To Cozumel Scuba Diving

In this post, I’m sharing why you should consider doing some Cozumel scuba diving during your next Mexican vacation! Having lived in the Riviera Maya for three years, it’s fair to say I’m very familiar with the best places to dive in the Riviera Maya. I always return to Cozumel—the scuba diving in Cozumel is fantastic.

I was lucky enough to try many Cozumel diving packages there. Highlights when diving Cozumel include bull sharks in Playa del Carmen, Tulum (cenotes), and, of course, the best diving in Cozumel. Regarding the Riviera Maya, I believe scuba diving in Cozumel wins every time.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Cozumel ToursClick here to check out the top Cozumel tours
Best Cozumel Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Cozumel
Best Cozumel Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Cozumel

What’s Special About Cozumel Scuba Diving?

Cozumel Scuba Diving | Why Diving in Cozumel is Always a Good Idea

The reef you’ll see while scuba diving Cozumel is world-class and part of the second-largest system in the world, stretching nearly 115 million acres. Sadly, other reefs in this area are in a state of alert—Cozumel stays healthy thanks to its protected status.

The reef contains 26 coral species and is home to over 500 fish species. Plus, you can see sharks year-round with the diving packages Cozumel offers. Cozumel diving suits divers of all experience levels, from complete beginners to advanced divers curious to see eagle rays.

Cozumel diving packages are excellent for a new diver since almost all sites suit beginners. Even if advanced divers are on your boat, you can visit the same sites together. Nearly all good sites here are fantastic for beginners and experienced divers. That’s what makes Cozumel scuba diving packages so famous.

Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.

If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.

Cozumel Scuba Diving

I’ve never had a bad experience scuba diving in Cozumel and have seen something new and exciting on each trip. Cozumel diving packages have allowed me to swim with sharks, turtles, eagle rays, giant crabs, and toadfish. While the diving is okay in Puerto Morelos and Playa del Carmen, Cozumel scuba diving is exceptional.

Plus, there’s ample drift diving in Cozumel. You float along while saving air, letting you dive for longer!

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Best Diving in Cozumel Season

There’s no wrong time to go scuba diving Cozumel since water temperatures are warm all year, only dropping a bit during winter. The best diving in Cozumel season depends on what you hope to experience.

Winter (December – April) is the high season in Cozumel, so expect to pay more for accommodations. Temperatures are a little cooler but still warm.

During winter, there is a good chance you’ll see eagle rays.

Summer (May – November) is the low season, and temperatures can get hot. I believe this is a great time to go Cozdiving so you can keep cool underwater. You will also find better deals on accommodation and fewer crowds.

Who to Book Cozumel Scuba Diving Packages Through

If I’ve convinced you to hop on the ferry and try diving Cozumel, you want to find a reputable Cozumel diving company. Living in Playa del Carmen and spending a fair amount of time in Cozumel, I’ve booked Cozumel diving packages through many companies.

There are several things to consider for the best diving in Cozumel experience. Don’t let price be the only factor—you don’t want to risk diving with a substandard company because they’re cheap, especially if you rent equipment. I check Tripadvisor, Rate My Dive, and get personal recommendations from other divers (usually the Girls That Scuba Facebook group). Then, I visit the company website for details on the Cozumel scuba diving packages.

Cozumel Scuba Diving

What to Consider When Booking Diving Packages Cozumel

Check How Far South They Go

Generally, the best diving in Cozumel is in the southern region, but many companies don’t want to take you there because they don’t genuinely care about your experience. They want to make things easy for themselves and save fuel and time by taking you to nearby sites. These companies are often cheap and don’t pay their employees well.

While some companies go south, they might charge an extra fee to go further than Palancar. The better companies have a diver’s choice policy and will ask you where you want to go when you get on the boat. To get the most out of your trip, research in advance!

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Look for Hidden Charges

Before booking your Cozumel scuba diving trip, confirm what’s included in the price. You must pay extra for rental gear, which is standard, but you may also get charged for the national park entrance and visiting southern dive sites. Double-check beforehand so there are no hidden charges.

Cozumel Scuba Diving | Why Diving in Cozumel is Always a Good Idea

Note Boat Size

Unless you want to be on a big boat crammed with divers and share the reef with many people, I advise against large scuba diving companies. One of the great things about ScubaTony is that there’s a maximum of six divers on the boat. Because they often go to southern dive sites that other companies avoid, you’ll mostly have the reefs to yourselves. On the large boats I’ve been on, we’ve been separated into groups while entering the water but often ended up as one huge group. It’s not as much fun!

Accommodation Pickups

If you are staying on the waterfront, you must be picked up by the dive operator—it’s worth confirming with your hotel and dive company. Some hotels work exclusively with specific companies, while others will charge a fee for the dive company to pick you up. If you are still deciding on a place to stay in Cozumel, read my Cozumel accommodations guide here for my top picks.


If you rent equipment, ask when it was last replaced or serviced. Don’t believe that all companies regularly invest in new equipment. Your life is dependent on the equipment underwater, so always check! I also suggest investing in a dive computer, especially if you plan to do multiple days of Cozumel scuba diving. Read my dive computer review here to help you choose the best one.

Cozumel Scuba Diving | Why Diving in Cozumel is Always a Good Idea

Need Accommodations in Cozumel?

Check out my guide to accommodation in Cozumel here. I recommend these three places:

Stingwray Villas Boutique Hotel in Cozumel
The Landmark Resort
Casa del Solar Centro Cozumel

My Favorite Cozumel Scuba Diving Company

My favorite company for diving in Cozumel is ScubaTony. They found me on Instagram and are now the only diving Cozumel company I use. I spoke to several dive instructors about them before going, and they all had great things to say about the ScubaTony team.

They are a relatively small dive company with a policy of six divers per boat maximum. You get a personal experience—from my first booking to my final dive, I felt like these guys were my best friends.

This significantly impacts your Cozumel diving experience as a solo traveler. I’ve done many tours, and everyone is usually friendly, but ScubaTony goes above and beyond. Every team member is genuine, loves diving, and wants you to have an unforgettable experience.

Cozumel Scuba Diving | Why Diving in Cozumel is Always a Good Idea

I sometimes worry about not having a dive buddy when I travel solo. This isn’t typically an issue because, in most places, you buddy up with the divemaster—however, their level of attention and care can vary.

The ScubaTony divemasters helped me take videos and photos, drop six pounds, and dramatically improve my buoyancy. This was a vast difference from a divemaster I had somewhere else who completely ignored me as he was too busy taking pictures of fish!

Knowing I was still a relatively new diver (I’ve done about 26 dives), they offered me tips and advice to improve my diving. Until now, I had to surface at least 10-15 minutes before everyone else I was diving with because of my air consumption. After their help, I could do the full dive and surface with the group. In a conversation with a fellow diver who had done over 1000 dives, he couldn’t stop praising our divemaster, saying he was one of the best he’s ever had. To me, that speaks volumes.

The captains and administrative staff are also fantastic, and the equipment is top-notch. I’m slowly collecting my setup but still have to use rental gear. Not all dive companies get new gear regularly like ScubaTony!

Scuba Diving Cozumel Certification

I was so impressed with ScubaTony that I did my Advanced Open Water Diver course through them. I considered it for a while since I regularly dive in Cozumel, and many of the best deep diving sites and Tulum cenotes require advanced certification.

I’d heard mixed things about the course from friends who had done it—many told me not to bother, as it wasn’t worth it. I had an excellent certification experience with ScubaTony. My course group consisted of three other advanced divers (my buddy had over 400 dives). They had been diving worldwide and were doing the course to get the piece of paper, as many cool dive places like the Galapagos require the certificate. You will also need an advanced diving certificate for the bull shark dive in Playa del Carmen.

If you are considering getting a diving certification in Cozumel, go with them. Our course instructor, Marc, made the two days fun and educational.

Cozumel Scuba Diving | Why Diving in Cozumel is Always a Good Idea
My Advance Course buddy Gary (who took all these fantastic underwater pictures) and I with our instructor, Marc.

Where to Stay in Cozumel

While diving in Cozumel, I stayed in a fantastic condo on the water. I was blown away when I first walked in! It does have four rooms, though, so it’s best for a trip with family or friends.

It would make the PERFECT base for a dive trip with friends, as they have a place to store dive gear. If you book through ScubaTony, they will give you 10% off. It’s centrally located opposite the supermarket, has an incredible view, a hot tub on the balcony, and an infinity pool downstairs. When I wasn’t diving, I lounged in the pool, staring at the sea. The condo is called Casa Phoenix, and you can find more information about booking on their website.

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Also, I must give a shout-out to Buccanos. This is it if you are looking for the island’s best restaurant. And it won’t break the bank! I had the most delicious seafood pasta there. They also have a beach club at the top of my list of places to visit on my next trip! If you are a food and seafood lover, you must visit Buccanos.

What to Pack

Are you wondering what to pack for a vacation in Mexico? Check out my detailed packing guide here or enter your details below to download my FREE packing cheatsheet!

Quick Tip: View my full Scuba Dive Equipment List here. And check out my Scuba Diving Essentials shopping list here.

Cozumel Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Cozumel?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Cozumel which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Cozumel on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Cozumel?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Cozumel?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a  lot of options available!

If you are traveling from Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.

🤿 What is the best diving operator in Cozumel?

I strongly recommend ScubaTony on the island as they are hands down the best dive operator there!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Cozumel Scuba Diving: Final Thoughts

I’m obsessed with scuba diving in Cozumel and am a massive fan of ScubaTony. You won’t regret diving Cozumel with them! Let me know if you are a solo female traveler and want a dive buddy. I would love nothing more than to hop on the ferry and come diving for the day with you. Please leave me a comment below or email me, and let’s go diving!

QUICK TIP: Book your tours, rental cars, and transfers through my local contacts

I’ve been working with Living Dreams Mexico for years and they are who I send all my family and friends to when they visit the Riviera Maya. I really can recommend them enough for private tours and experiences. They have solid 5* reviews on Trip Advisor and Google from almost 4000 reviewers! You can view all their tours here.

If you’re looking for private airport transfers and rental cars then Vanessa and Oliver from Turismo Channel are personal friends of mine and I can 100% recommend them to make an inquiry click here and complete the form. Someone will be in touch within 24 hours.

Looking for the best diving in Cozumel Mexico? Cozumel Mexico had world class diving and with so many companies to choose from it can be hard finding the best diving in Cozumel. Take a read of my experience scuba diving in Cozumel Mexico. #scubadiving #divingmexico #scubaDive #cozumelmexico

This post was proofread by Grammarly.


Saturday 9th of September 2023

hiya!!! i just booked four nights at stingray to go diving with scubatony thanks to your post :) i'll be headed over solo so if you're around feb 14 - 17 I'd love to dive with you!

Claire Summers

Wednesday 13th of September 2023

Ahhhh I would have loved that! Sadly I'm in the UK right now... and also pregnant! So no diving for me. Have the best time though!

Jennifer Kopka

Wednesday 20th of July 2022

Thank you for all the great tips! I’m a solo digital nomad and just arrived on Cozumel on Monday. I will be staying until mid-October. I’m newly certified ( Feb 2022) and have 9 dives so far and am looking forward to many more while I’m here! If you happen to be in the area, I would love to be dive buddies!


Friday 13th of November 2020

We went diving in Cozumel after reading you article and we were glad we made the trip to the island! It was a very good experience, the dive sites are beautiful. For sure we will go there again!


Saturday 21st of September 2019

Wow Claire, thanks for the recommendations! I was hesitant about even thinking of solo scuba diving in Mexico as I am relatively new at diving, but it sounds like it’d be so fun and I am definitely going to check out SCUBA Tony!

Claire Summers

Saturday 21st of September 2019

Yes!! And if you go diving with them let me know as I might try and come over to dive with you... I'm always looking for dive buddies!!

Bali Dive Shop

Thursday 21st of February 2019

After reading your post I am really excited about diving in Cozumel. Thanks for sharing this amazing post with us.