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Good diving for beginners in Cozumel?

Discussion in 'Cozumel' started by mtamborra, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. scubawife

    scubawife Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NY
    In Florida, a guided dive is not standard. Pretty much unheard of in the Keys, and on the SE coast it depends on the shop. FL is really easy for us to get to and I've been looking at it for quick trips (3-5 days). These shops came recommended:

    Welcome to Miss Conduct Dive Charters
    Scuba Diving West Palm Beach Florida with Narcosis Dive Charters
    Pura Vida Divers - Scuba Diving in Palm Beach Florida

    No first hand experience with any of them (yet).
  2. polyester1970

    polyester1970 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Mountain View, CA
    Although I tried diving for the first time in Cozumel I always thought a lot of the dive sites aren't particularly great for beginners. There are plenty of beginner sites, but many sites are in the 80-100 ft range and have a lot of drift (current).

    You'll need reasonable air consumption if most of the dive is in the 80-100 ft range otherwise you'll be up in 30 minutes. With the drift, it's tough to swim against the current and if you're not a good breather and you try - you'll use a lot of gas.

    I've visited Curacao (next to Bonaire) and thought that was a great place for beginner divers b/c most sites are in the 40-60ft range and basically no sites have any drift/current.

    But like I said, there are plenty of good beginner sites in Cozumel as well and you might do fine on the 100ft drift dives.

    BTW - we've stayed in Cozumel Palace two times - it's the best. We'll be going to Intercontinental in Nov just to try something different. Have fun.
  3. halocline

    halocline Solo Diver

    I agree that diving conditions in some of Coz's sites are not appropriate for beginners, and that the first post certification dives might be better someplace like Roatan where's there no significant current and depths are typically shallower, or maybe Bonaire in the presence of a DM.

    But, it is true that many, many new divers come to Cozumel and absolutely love it. Part of the reason for this is it's ease of access from the U.S., relative value, and great diving infastructure. There are many sites ideal for beginners, and there are lots of dive ops that have great experience in handling the needs of beginners.
  4. faq88

    faq88 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Glendale, AZ
    I did my OW in Cozumel and thought it was just fine. I know there are critics of that, but I was new to diving and thought what the heck. I think with it being drift diving beginners will be just fine and well monitored. Just do some beach diving first to get your buoyancy right.
  5. boles_ed@hotmail.com

    boles_ed@hotmail.com Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Kansas City
    You have probably figured out already that diving in Cozumel is almost exclusively drift diving. Don't let it scare you but it is a different bird if you haven't done it. I have been there twice this year. Once with Dive paradise and the other with Sand Dollar. I haven't ever seen it done with out a Dive Master. They come as part of the package. Just be sure you have both an air powered whistle and a safety sausage. Its all boat diving as well so be ready for that if boats bother you. All in all it will probably be the easiest diving you ever do. I would sell part of my soul to live there!!!
  6. gedmondson

    gedmondson Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: West Linn, OR
    I have been to Coz twice, once as a beginner, once with beginners. I have a suggestion: Stay at Akumal on the mainland for 3 days, and dive out of Akumal Bay prior to moving to Coz. There is no current, and although the reef is dead, there is lots of life, and you will be diving with a divemaster and a couple of other divers at most ( often, it was just me and the DM). Plenty of TLC and a very low key dive experience. Coz is a life-altering experience for me each time I go, but I do not see it as the ideal experience for a newbie. Drift diving is easy with some experience, but it is another significant variable for new divers.
  7. ggunn

    ggunn ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Austin, TX, USA
    My wife, daughter, and I all had our first dives after certification at Cozumel, and none of us had a bit of trouble. YMMV.
  8. browntrout

    browntrout Barracuda

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: No. Utah

    That's exacatly what we did for our first dive trip, but we did have one dive accross the front of Half Moon Bay that had more current than several of our dives in Coz.
  9. scubawife

    scubawife Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NY
    I've been diving in Akumal and Cozumel for several years. There is current in Akumal, it's just usually very light. There are a few sights that with the right conditions you'll be covering a lot of distance with no effort.

    Yup, sad to see the reef close to gone these days... it was so different even just 5-6 yrs ago. There's not a whole lot of marine life to see, but you are just about guaranteed turtles, rays, morays and lobster. We used to see schools (6-10+) of gray angels and see a good variety of the usual tropicals, but not anymore.

    It is a great location for beginners, as long as they are comfortable with the skiffs. The nice thing is there are 3 single tank trips a day and it's 5-10 mins to the dive site.
  10. CZMDM

    CZMDM Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives:
    Location: Cozumel Island

    Most marina's in the Keys have rental boats. For a little more than the cost of 2 divers going on a cattle boat, why not just rent a boat and do your own trip? The reefs are clearly marked with a buoy system and you can buy an inexpensive guide that descibes the diving at each site. The water there is shallow, but easy to navigate if you learn how to use the channel markers.

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