This web site provides current reef descriptions using words, photos and videos of the reefs. Click on the reef guide link for a free map of the Cozumel dive sites and a link to each reef.
Visitors can see quality photos of each reef along with a current reef description. This site should inspire divers to visit Cozumel. For divers in Cozumel, this site should help you plan which sites you want to dive. Non-divers can see for themselves what the reefs look like. Click on the reef map link in the menu and then click on the reef you want to see.
It is our hope that by sharing the beauty of the reefs that current and future generations will be inspired to protect and preserve them.
Notice: All photographs and text on this website are copyrighted by Joel Cotton. Please do not use this content without express permission.
Disclaimer: Diving is a dangerous sport. Any information provided in this guide may not be currently accurate and is not to be relied on for the safety of the dive. Diver's should always be accompanied by an experienced divemaster and follow their instructions. Diver's should never dive beyond the limits of their training and ability. This is especially true in Cozumel, with unpredicatable currents.
Cozumel, Mexico’s largest Caribbean island is located off the coast of the Yucatan peninsula on the eastern side of Mexico, 41 miles (71 km) south of Cancun. The island is 26 miles (41 km) long from north to south and 9 miles (14 km) wide. With a population of a little over 75,000, Cozumel now welcomes more than 2,500,000 visitors every year and is considered one of the most important tourist destinations in Mexico. Most tourists come to see the reefs on the calm west side, however there are pristine beaches and big surf on the east side.
Mayans were the first settlers in Cozumel during 300 AD and the name Cozumel comes from the Mayan word, Cuzamil which means land of the swallows. The Mayans believe Cozumel to be home of Ixchel, the goddess of fertility and the moon. For this reason, it is believed that many Mayans traveled to Cozumel on pilgrimages in primitive boats. In 1519, Cortez landed in Cozumel before his conquest of Mexico and received favorable treatment from the indigenous people. He found towns, temples and a thriving population. He learned about the cultural centers on the mainland from these inhabitants. He was able to communicate because he had a sailor that served as an interpreter. This sailor had been shipwrecked and found his way back to Cuba after having lived with the Mayans for four years. By the end of the century, the island’s population dwindled to only a few hundred due to fighting and diseases brought by the Spanish.
The island remained mostly deserted until the 17th century when it became a popular base for pirates, including the famous Henry Morgan.