Snorkeling Cozumel Reefs January 2017

Cushion Sea Star on sandy bottom Cozumel
Cushion Sea Star

By Suzanne – (Toronto)
I wanted to share my experience snorkeling Cozumel reefs in January 2017. First of all I would like to say that one can still see the damage hurricane Wilma did to the reefs. We saw lots of Elkhorn Coral which suffered. Most of the crowns are broken but, the fish seem to be back.

We stayed at the El Cozumeleño Resort on the north end of the island. The ‘Barracuda Reef’ is in easy swimming distance right off their beach. We encountered a fair number of schools of up to several dozen barracuda.

On the outside of the northern breakwater we encountered an area of cooler water which seems to be a spawning ground. That explained to me why the barracudas like to hang out around there and get so big and fat. We swam through a huge cloud of baby fish. You can see some of the invasive lionfish there too. Divers and snorkelers hunt them, they are very tasty (the lionfish, not the divers).

Smooth Trunkfish over algae covered sand Cozumel
Smooth Trunkfish

There is a moderate current from south to north. Although we are good swimmers we usually felt lazy, walked some distance down the beach and let the current take us comfortably back to the hotel. It takes much less effort and is way easier to concentrate on taking pictures. There was an abundance of small to medium size fish and some smallish coral. You could see a lot of growth going on.

The photos are just a small sampling of a great variety of the wonderful marine life. We snorkeled almost every day of our two week stay and have to admit that we never got tired to just snorkel off our beach. We saw something different and new every day.

They told us that there are excellent reefs off the southern coast but two weeks are just too short to check it all out. Next time…

It is obvious that Mother Nature is rebuilding the reefs around Cozumel and I think I will go there again in the near future to check up on her progress.

Porkfish over rocky bottom Cozumel
Juvenile French Angelfish over a rocky bottom Cozumel
Juvenile French Angelfish

Comments Moved From Previous System

Nicole & Galen – Mar 6, 2017 – Thank You!

Suzanne, thank you for taking the time to share your current experience snorkeling Cozumel with us. It is always nice to see recovery after a damaging storm like Hurricane Wilma. We also love your underwater photos! If the folks reading this want to get good pictures while snorkeling, read our snorkel camera pages. Also, you may find our information about reading ocean conditions useful for dealing with currents.

Pj Murphy – Apr 3, 2017 – Love Cozumel

Love the island and we snorkeled using the current every day for a week. Never tired of it. Your posting makes me want to go back. It’s a lovely way to snorkel.

Angela – Apr 3, 2017 – Thank You

Really appreciate this article. Thank you.

Susan – Apr 3, 2017 – Thank You

Thank you. That helps me too. I’m going in three weeks.

Nicole and Galen – Jan 6, 2019 – More Cozumel Snorkeling Info

If you want more info about shore snorkeling in Cozumel, check out Richard’s Cozumel Snorkeling Report.

Leave a Comment