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Been There… Done That! – COZUMEL

Been There… Done That!

I am passionate about Cozumel in many different ways. Because it’s a National Park, fishing in the places in some places is totally forbidden. I dived there and there´s a great variety of marine life that you will never find along the coast of Playa Del Carmen.

I would love to be dive guide in Cozumel. [Yes, this is an insinuation for the company ;)]

Many different blogs and website talk about Cozumel, but there are few things that only locals know and now I am willing to share with all of you:

Some decades ago, when locals started to install power cable systems to supply electricity to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen, the main plan was to pass the large and heavy cables across the seabed through the twelve kilometers of sea that separates the two coasts.

They began crossing the cables from the shore down to the sea floor. They went down ten meters deep, then at twelve meters, fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty and then … Opps! An underwater cliff that began at a depth of about 45 meters deep into a dark and narrow hole. They never found the bottom of it.

They had to abort the plan and build huge yellow buoys that would suspend the wires without dragging them through the bottom. Thanks to that, now Cozumel enjoys electric current without any problem, but never discovered what is there at the end of the tunnel.

I am sure you have noticed if you visited Playa Del Carmen before, grocery stores or supermarket can´t sell alcohol on Sundays after five in the afternoon.

At the beginning, I thought they did it in order to help the bars and restaurants business, but one Sunday afternoon a taxi driver told me the real reason behing this law.

Many years ago, when most of the people that worked at Cozumel were residents in Playa Del Carmen, for some reason hundreds of workers were missing the seven o’clock ferry to go to the Island for work every Monday morning.

After giving it a lot of thought, they realized that employees did not show up for work because they had drunk too much the night before, so the Governor of Cozumel asked his comrade, the mayor of the municipality of Solidaridad, to suspend the sale of alcohol on Sunday afternoons to to check if with that strict measure, the workers will show up to work on time the morning after..

I guess it worked, because this law still on nowadays.

Back to scuba diving, I can tell you that what I like most about Cozumel´s marine life is the incredible size of the lobsters that you can see there. They can easily have the size of a 20 liter water bottle when in Playa Del Carmen, if you´re extremely lucky, they will grow up to the size of a bottle of a liter and a half!
My favorite dive site in Cozumel is called “Cuevas de Palancar”. The site is located on a slope between 12 and 24 meters deep. Start on large sandbank inside wall, 40ft. Moving down through a canyon gets you to the edge of the wall at 80 ft, you will be struck by the steep drop-off. It’s the ideal first wall dive for beginners, but also excellent for advanced divers with swim-throughs.

Cozumel is layered with coral pinnacles which make this reef a spectacular dive site to visit and this Cozumel reef is home to various jacks, triggerfish and typically shy turtle.

The beginning of Palancar is known as the Palancar Bricks, and from there it’s about three miles of caves, canyons, overhangs and magnificent gardens. Making your way through these gaps in the canyons and caves you’ll always want to be ready to catch the spectacular breath-taking sites of the underwater world of Palancar Cozumel as you’ll encounter lots of sea creatures flourishing these areas with magnificent colors, shapes, and sizes. Palancar Gardens sandy seabed is a good place to capture stingrays, which frequently are hiding so always keep your eyes peeled. Palancar Garden Cozumel is definitely a dive site where many people usually return and is a good beginner dive site.

In general, the relaxed, caribbean lifestyle and it’s the crystal clear water makes this the perfect destination for the experienced diver. Scuba diving enthusiasts come from all over the world just to see what lies beneath the biggest island inside the Mexican Caribbean. Cozumel Island is about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide.

You can get there by jumping on the 35 minute fast ferry going out of Playa Del Carmen just about 12 miles away from Cozumel.

Here is why you should to put this beautiful island at the top of the list of places to visit:

Very easy to access

Either if you are staying in Cancun or Playa del Carmen, it will take you less than you think to get to the ferry. Once you are there, you will enjoy the ride from the very first moment as As the morning breeze touches your face crossing the ocean channel.

The locals

They will make you want to stay there forever. Cozumel Island, as well as 90 percent of the Rivera Maya depends on the ecoturism, so you´ll be pleased to see how well you will be treated by the locals! You will also get to know people and divers from all over the world thirsty for adventure, so it´s easy to fit in these diverse dive community.

The dive operation and service

Since it´s well known and experienced divers are coming here all year long, the quality of service tends to be very good, although there is always an exception to the rule, so be careful who you choose to dive with!

Flora and Fauna

This is obviously the most amazing and interesting part, Cozumel wouldn’t be a Top Five dive spot otherwise. Cozumel is a flat island based on limestone. The highest natural point is no more than 50 ft tall. It is covered with mangrove forests home to ten endemic species including birds like the Cozumel Emeral or the Cozumel Great Curasso and small mammals like the Cozumel Fox and the Cozumel Coati. So many animals that with “Cozumel”!

Another very famous one, especially among divers is the Splendid Toatfish, a frog fish with purple and yellow colors that can only be found in these waters, nowhere else!

You will never be the same and will never see things the same way after visiting Cozumel, so I hope after reading this you pack your bags to Mexico!



By Juan de Garay
Follow @juandegaraymx

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