Travel & Dive Info

TRAVEL

MEXICO TRAVEL WARNINGS?
Cozumel is calm, Cozumel is quiet. Cozumel is an island. If you were to fly down through Cancun, rather than direct, and did not take the new flight from Cancun to Cozumel on Mayair, the most you might notice is a checkpoint on the highway between Cancun and Playa. They check the trunks of vehicles for dope and guns, while the transports of tourists are generally waved through. C'mon down. Cozumel remains calm and friendly. We hope to be of service.

Currency: The Mexican currency is the peso. US dollars are widely accepted throughout the island. Most larger restaurants and hotels accept credit cards and travellers cheques. You can exchange money at hotels, money exchange booths and at the banks downtown. ATM machines are located in the main plaza.

Electricity: Same as in the US. Standard 110 volt. You might find that many outlets do not accommodate a grounded plug (3 prong) so you might want to bring an adapter with you.

Time Zone: Cozumel is in the Central time zone.

Telephone & Internet Services: Many internet cafes have sprung up on Cozumel island. Access to email and the internet is easy and inexpensive. Public telephones are abundant around town. The Calling Station in town offers calls to anywhere in the US for a small fee and might be your most economical option. Beware of credit card or collect calls made from street phones. You may come home to find a hefty surprise on your next statement.

Sunscreen: Just like anywhere else that's tropical, the sun is very hot in Cozumel and sunscreen is recommended. You can purchase sunscreen and sun tanning products at Aqua Safari. Be aware that national ecological parks recommend only biodegradable sunscreen in the water.

How do I get to Cozumel from Cancun?

To get to Cozumel from Cancun take the ferry you must first take land transportation to Playa del Carmen. There are taxis, combi vans & buses available outside the airport. The land trip takes about 1 1/2 hours. You then catch the ferry to Cozumel, another 1/2 hour. Cost for the ferry is $11 US one way.

Ferry Schedule:   Cozumel - Playa del Carmen   Playa del Carmen - Cozumel  
07:00 am 06:00 am
08:00 am 07:00 am
10:00 am 09:00 am
11:00 am 10:00 am
12:00 pm 11:00 am
1:00 pm 12:00 pm
3:00 pm 2:00 pm
5:00 pm 4:00 pm
6:00 pm 5:00 pm
7:00 pm 6:00 pm
8:00 pm 7:00 pm
10:00 pm 9:00 pm

How do I get to Cozumel from the USA or Canada?

American Airlines, United, US Air, Continental, Delta and Air Canada all have regular service to Cozumel. There are also numerous charter flights at economical prices but are mainly during high season, November through April. Contact the dive travel agency of your choice for charter flights. It is also possible to fly to Cancun and take land/ferry transport to Cozumel. All the same airlines also fly to Cancun along with some newer and more econonomical airlines such as Spirit Air & USA 3000.

How do I get to Cozumel from Europe?

KLM, British Air, Easy Jet, Air Europa, Air France, Aeromexico, Northwest, US Air, Delta, Continental and American Airlines all offer service to Cancun, and some fly to Cozumel. For current information contact the dive travel agency of your choice.

What travel documents do I need to get into Mexico?

For citizens of the United States the best document is a passport. US residents can find information from the United States State Dept. web page at http://travel.state.gov/mexico.html. Different rules may be in effect for citizens of other nations.

When is the best time to go to Cozumel?

Cozumel is beautiful all year long. However, the airfares are much higher during December - March. There are usually 3 seasonal rates: 1) mid December to April; 2) April to mid December (lowest); 3) Christmas and New Year's weeks (highest and can be more than double the lowest season rates. When planning your travel to Cozumel you might also consider both US and Mexican holidays, which will attract more visitors to the island.

What is the weather like?

The climate is tropical. Cozumel has seasons just like everywhere else. March through May gets less rain and warm air temperatures. During the months of June, July and August the weather is very hot and humid. This is a great time of the year if you like those warm summer night dives. Water temperature during the summer months is usually about 82-85 degrees. In the winter months water temperatures range between 78-80. In September and October the weather is more turbulent. Days can be wonderfully hot and humid and the diving is fantastic, but there is also the possibility of hurricanes. In November thru February the weather patterns may bring the occasional "Nortes" - winds coming from the North that are a bit cooler. In December Cozumel gets very busy around the holidays.

What should I wear?

The dress code is shorts, hats and sandals. Some of your nicer restaurants may expect a higher level of casual. A light jacket or windbreaker is good to have along in case it gets breezy.

DIVING

About the Marine Park

Is all the diving drift diving?

From the boats, yes. The boats will drop you off at the beginning of the reef and follow you until the end of the dive, when they pick up the divers at the end of the reef. The pace of diving is very relaxed. In many cases you don't even need to fin kick. The current will do the work for you and you can enjoy a relaxing ride over the beautiful reefs.

Is there any beach diving in Cozumel?

Tanks are available at the dive shop only steps away from the diving coastline. You can also dive at Chankanaab Park and from other areas around the island.

What is the difference between the large boat vs. fast boat?

The biggest difference is the number of divers on the boat. If you like fewer divers, the fast boat goes with 8 divers maximum. The disadvantage of the fast boat is there is limited protection from the sun. The large boats go with maximum 12-16 divers (unless per group request) 2 divemasters. The fast boat leaves earlier than the bigger boats, sometimes getting to the reefs before the rest of the boats, and it gets back earlier. All the large boats have bathrooms, the fast boat does not.

What kind of wetsuit do people usually use?

This depends much on your own tolerence level. Many divers don't wear any wetsuit at all, but risk the possibility of being stung by organisms in the water like floating hydroids, tiny jellyfish, or stinging larvae. A lycra skin helps but doesn't add warmth. If you are planning to do multiple dives, you might consider a Polartek or 2-3 ml neoprene full wetsuit or shortie. For night dives you'll be more comfortable in a warmer suit. Divers who tend to get cold more easily may go as far as a 5 ml neoprene suit. Keep in mind that the more neoprene you wear, the more weight you'll need to carry. With the water temperature averaging around 80-82 degrees, and dives lasting as long as 50-60 minutes in some cases you may decide that you want to rent a shortie because what you brought with you is too much or too little.


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