A perfect place to dive and snorkel that you might not know about.
By Torie Temple

Located 12 miles off the eastern Yucatan Coast and 51 miles south of Cancun, Cozumel is considered
one of Mexico’s largest islands.

Travelers usually discover Cozumel while on a cruise, as the island is a popular port for ships. This is how Sue Bindner stumbled across the island she has come to think of so highly. “My husband and I were on a cruise, and one of the stops was at Cozumel,” Sue says. “We liked it so much we went back. Cozumel is a big diving and snorkeling place, and we love doing both, so we very much enjoy it there. Since it is off the beaten path and not commercialized, you can walk for miles and not see anyone. It isn’t like other resort islands; there aren’t hotels lining the beach.”

Where to Stay
Despite its up-and-coming status, Cozumel does have luxury all-inclusive resorts to make for a comfortable stay. Among the resorts is Secrets Aura Cozumel, which offers three pools, an open-air theater for events, and limitless access to gourmet à la carte options. Guests are also offered unlimited international and domestic top-shelf spirits as well as a pool and beach waitstaff. Although there is nightly live entertainment, all the festivities at this adult-only hotel do not last all night. “It isn’t a place for partying or a nightlife because everything shuts down by 8pm,” Sue says. “Most everybody gets up at 6am to go diving, so it’s early bedtime.”

Sue’s private pool at the Secrets Aura Cozumel. 

The Dive House is the resort’s full-service on-site dive facility, where guests can plan their underwater excursions. A short sail on the ocean takes adventurists out to explore the many reefs that surround Cozumel. Divers have 100 percent visibility to view underwater wonders like the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second largest reef system in the world. Divers can witness 250 species of fish swimming in the coral reef.

Mostly underdeveloped, Cozumel’s beaches are typically rocky with the exception of a few rocky spots.

Since Cozumel is new to hosting tourists, the island doesn’t offer many activities outside of diving and has only a few beaches with sand. “The beaches are rocky because of it being a relatively new resort area,” Sue says. “Other resort areas in the Caribbean have brought in sand to make the beaches comfortable, but Cozumel has not yet done that. So, don’t forget your swim shoes to walk on the beach.”

Here’s another place you might want to consider for your next spring or summer vacation (psst…you’ll also get a different kind of pedicure there).