Isla Cozumel Snorkeling: Starfish, colorful fish, sting rays

3 Ratings
Duration 4 hours
Difficulty medium
Max. participants 12
Language English, Spanish


Isla Cozumel Snorkeling: See starfish, all kind of colorful fish and maybe even a sting ray

The coral reefs of Cozumel are among the best snorkeling areas in the world. Snorkeling on Cozumel is suitable for beginners and advanced snorkelers. Both children and adults can enjoy the healthy corals and colorful fish, while the visibility of the water around Cozumel is fantastic. The most beautiful reefs on Cozumel and the famous El Cielo can only be reached by boat.

Even if you are not staying on Cozumel during your holidays, you can easily go snorkeling during a day trip and discover the second largest coral reef in the world and the beautiful Cozumel El Cielo. The coral reef runs parallel to the coast of the island. In 1996, the Mexican government founded the Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, which surrounds the entire south of Cozumel. Since then, fishing in the protected areas is prohibited and there is an abundance of fish, including many large ones.


Our Cozumel Snorkeling tour includes

  • 4 hour boat tour into the beautiful Cozumel marine park
  • Snorkel stop at stunning El Cielo on Cozumel to see the starfish and maybe stingrays
  • Snorkeling at two further awesome reefs in the Colombia and Palancar national park
  • Additional stop in front of the natural Palancar beach for a swim in crystal clear waters
  • Experienced snorkel guide, English speaking
  • Complete snorkel gear (mask, snorkel, fins, life vest)
  • New, unused snorkel
  • National park fees
  • Water and soft drinks
  • A beer for our way back
  • Max. 12 participants

Excluded features

  • Tips


Daily Cozumel snorkeling tours into the National Park

Snorkeling excursion on Cozumel: El Cielo – Colombia reef – Palancar reef – Palancar beach

Ever wanted to see starfish or snorkel with sting rays? During our Cozumel snorkeling tour by boat into the famous Palancar National Park and to the El Cielo we see an impressive underwater world. Our snorkeling excursions on Cozumel starts every morning at 10:00 am, 12:00 noon and in the afternoon at 2:00 pm, lasting 4 hours. By boat, we first go to the starfish area in El Cielo and from there to the famous reefs in the Cozumel National Park. We will snorkel on 3 different reefs with fascinating underwater scenery. We spend about 30 minutes in the water at each unique spot. In between, we take a little break in front of the delightful, natural Palancar beach for an excellent swim in the clear water. We go to the following three spots on our Cozumel snorkel tour:

Snorkeling in Cozumel El Cielo

"El Cielo" in Spanish means "Heaven". It is one of the most spectacular and beautiful places in Cozumel, if not in the entire Caribbean. The white sand shines bright in the turquoise-blue water. Here we see various starfish, which are distributed throughout the sand. Sometimes stingrays can be seen gliding over the white sand. El Cielo on Cozumel is a shallow sandbank. You can still stand on the sand in the water near the island. There we try out the snorkeling equipment before we search for the El Cielo starfish in the deeper part. In the sunshine the water has the colour of a swimming pool and thrills its visitors. You can see up to 30 meters (90 feet) underwater and the water glitters magnificantly in the sunlight.

Snorkeling in Cozumel Colombia Reef

The Colombia Reef on Cozumel is only 5 minutes away from El Cielo. The shallow part of Colombia Reef is particularly suitable for snorkeling. At a depth of about 6-7 meters (20 feet) amazing coral formations are waiting for us and with a little luck we will find some big parrot fish or sea turtles. The Colombia Reef runs parallel to the island of Cozumel for over a kilometer (half a mile) and offers enough space for a fantastic Cozumel snorkeling experience. We drift with the currents and glide along the surface in one direction. We don't have to swim back to the boat as it picks us up at the end of the snorkeling stop. Sometimes we see divers below us, the Colombia reef on Cozumel is a popular dive site.

Snorkeling in Cozumel Palancar Reef

The large Cozumel Palancar Reef is on our way back home and is one of the most famous snorkeling and diving reefs on Cozumel. There is a flat part with beautiful corals. The reef slowly gets deeper and finally ends in a steep wall. There are stunning coral formations and a lot of tropical fish. On the steep wall, the sun's rays cast magical light formations into the deep blue water. Again, we drift with the currents and are picked up by the boat.

Meeting place

We have three different meeting points:

  • Right on the pier where the ferry from Playa del Carmen arrives. We meet directly at the pier and go together by Taxi to the port of Caletta, where the boat is waiting for us
  • In the city center (Plaza Confetti) From our partner office in the city center, we go by taxi to the port of Caletta, where the boat is waiting for us
  • In the port of Caletta, from where the boat leaves For guests who arrive by cruise ship at the ports of International Pier or Puerta Maya, we meet in the port of Caletta, where the boat is waiting for us.

What should I bring?

  • Swimwear and things to change
  • Towel
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun hat
  • If necessary a light rain coat
  • Sun protection: On the Yucatan Peninsula, only biodegradable sunscreen is allowed in order to protect our corals and water quality. Please use sunscreen BEFORE the beginning the tour, so that the cream does not wash off in the sea
  • Camera, charged
  • Tips

More Information

Further information and cancellation policy

  • With the reservation we charge a deposit of $ 10 per person. We keep these as administration fees for "no-show" guests.
  • Small group sizes are important to us. We therefore use smaller boats for our excursions for a maximum of 12 people. This boats do not have a bathroom. If you prefer snorkeling in larger groups on larger boats or catamarans, we are happy to make you an alternative offer.
    • It may happen that our snorkeling trip on Cozumel has to be canceled due to bad weather (strong wind and waves). Typical season for this is between November and March. This is done by order of the harbor captains and we have no influence on it. All suppliers on Cozumel are equally affected and the ports remain closed. If the tour cannot be postponed to another day, we will of course refund your deposit. For other costs incurred (for example, when traveling from Playa del Carmen) we cannot be held responsible. However, we strive for replacement services. In addition, we do everything we can to inform as early as possible about such cancellations.

In the following situation we refund the deposit:

  • Cruise ships cancel their stay on Cozumel
  • Cancellation of vacation (Please let us know at least two weeks before the excursion)
  • Cancellation snorkel excursion by Leon Tours

If you have to cancel the excursion for whatever reason, we ask to be informed immediately. If we are able to sell your reservations elsewhere, we will refund the deposit.

With the reservation we need a contact number to be able to inform you about possible changes.

Snorkeling on Cozumel: Day trip from Playa del Carmen

A Cozumel snorkeling tour should always be booked directly on Cozumel. Tourists in Playa del Carmen are often charged up to 50% more for commission. The best idea is to book your Cozumel Snorkel Tour online in advance. Do not wait until you arrive on Cozumel because at the ferry port, many tour operators are waiting to sell their tours. Most usually have excessive prices or low quality. For example, Cozumel snorkel tours are offered in glass bottom boats at reasonable prices. However, these tours only go to closer, less spectacular reefs and not into the national park !!! The glass bottom offers few advantages because the reefs are too deep to really see much.

Snorkeling off the beach on Cozumel

In recent years, Cozumel has been developed a lot with new buildings, and some beaches are no longer open to the public. If you want to snorkel off the beach, you can go to one of the beach clubs on the west side of Cozumel. There are a few corals and fish for example in front of the Moneybar or the Skyreef. But the really beautiful reefs are in the very south in the national park and can only be reached by boat. For those who have only one day on Cozumel, a Cozumel snorkeling tour by boat is worthwhile. Another possibility to snorkel on Cozumel off the beach is the Punta Sur Eco Park. For this you need a Cozumel rental car . Of course you can also accompany us there as part of our Cozumel Jeep Tour, or plan a stay at the Punta Sur Eco Park as part of a private island tour.


by Andreas M.

Such a great snorkeling tour. Especially the first stop at the Cielo was so beautiful, the turquoise blue water and in addition to the starfish we even saw small rays.

by Doro K.

We asked for the next available snorkeling trip on Cozumel and got a very quick answer from Birgit, that for the next day two places would be free. A deposit via PayPal was made and the next day we started!

Good description to the meeting point on Cozumel, great guide (Alex) who pointed out many interesting animals in the water and we saw even two turtles.

Great organization, great service!

by Tina R.

We booked a snorkeling trip on Cozumel via Leon Tours. The organization and directions to the meeting point were outstanding. On the day of the Cozumel snorkeling excursion we were a small group of 6 people (very personal). The four stops were amazingly beautiful! Absolutely recommendable! Price, performance top!