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snorkeling information inaccurate


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#1 trottermex

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 08:16 PM

We recently headed to Cozumel for the day, armed with Cozumel My Cozumel's information about the snorkeling along the western coast. What we found was very different from what is described. Apparently the information is very outdated. We planned to drift along the beach from Sand Dollar toward the south. We got in at Sand Dollar and found dirty water, dead coral, and a few fish. Amazingly, there were many snorkeling tour boats there too, to see what I'm not sure. There is no way to drift along the beach, because the ocean liner dock is in the way! We decided to start walking to get around the cruise ship, but we found no way to get to the beach again. After miles of walking and getting farther from the beach, we got a taxi to take us somewhere. He took us to a pretty beach at the south end of the island, charging us $20 each way. When we got there, we found a roped off area with a little bit of dead coral, some chunks of concrete and metal, and many fish in clear water.

Overall, it was a great disappointment. Please change the information published on this site to reflect the current situation.

My recommendation: Go to Akumal on the mainland. It is amazing snorkeling, the best I've ever seen by far. (Reading the comments below, it sounds like Akumal is not as amazing as it was when I was last there 15 years ago. However, our friends who went to Akumal the same day of our disappointing trip to Cozumel returned with reports of sea turtles, fish, and live coral.)
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#2 roxie

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 10:04 PM

I snorkeled Akumal just last year and must say that other than the single sea turtle that I saw, we did not spot a single fish and nothing exciting to see. There was a large, roped off area for many tourists to snorkel..all of whom were seeing...Nothing. For me, there was much nicer snorkeling at Palancar off of Cozumel.
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#3 CZMDM

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 07:47 AM

Don't know where you got your information, but I have never seen anyone make a post about snorkeling close to any cruise ship pier. Snorkeling anywhere near a cruise ship is a terrible idea. By the way "put in" refers to boating.
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#4 pato52

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 08:49 AM

Looks like a lot of info regarding snorkeling and tours needs an update....pictures as well as copy.
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#5 kentuckoz

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 09:26 AM

We snorkeled both in Akumal and in Coz this past June. Punta Sur, Playa Corona,and the Money bar on Coz. Akumal Bay Ya-Kul Lagoon, and Half Moon Bay on the mainland.Punta Sur is always great lots of big fish healthy coral altoughits along swim out from the beach(hire one of the guys to take you out on kayak)Playa Corona and Money Bar best stuff is very close to shore lots of juvenille fish.
We found Ya-Kul to be preatty neat just get there early before the tour groups do.Akumal Bay was Ok didn't see any turtles though.Half Moon Bay is very shallow not alot of fish and should be avoided if the surfs up
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#6 Pjhomes

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:31 AM

We were there a week ago with a group of three other couples. Our sailing/snorkling trip got called off due to WIND. We took taxi to Corona Beach as told by taxi man was good. NOT. Too many rough rocks, no wind. One shallow snorkler had head gear "sucked" off and lost. Jumped into another cab and on their recommendation went to Mr. Sanchos, (Sanchez) beach. Finally got settled in and was asked to move since we were in front of, I guess, food court. If we were to stay there, it was going to be $50 a person. That was to include the food and drinks. Decided to move all our gear again a little to the South and paid $4 per beer and hamburgers I think were $9 each. Now, we heard on National news that someone a day or two ago drowned in Cozumel, behind a hotel. Is that true?
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#7 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 15 October 2010 - 10:44 AM

I agree the website needs updating. But if you'd played your cards right you could've gotten on this chat board and others and gotten plenty of current info regarding places to snorkel. Lesson learned. Cozumel has some of the best snorkeling ever.
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#8 TC

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:19 AM

I post answers to Cozumel questions on other boards and have always pointed people toward the info here. Having said that, the basic information does need an update. The whole board loses crediblity when such basics are outdated. Sounds like a snorkeling update party is in the making for all you islanders. ;)
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#9 sailsgal

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Posted 16 October 2010 - 10:56 AM

Many many places to snorkel from the beach in Cozumel...Playa Azul and Caribe Cozumel up in the north part of the island...wonderful beach areas...water is the bluest ever seen, tons of fish and coral to see very close to shore. Good food at both places.
Money Bar and Palanacar, Punta Sur in the south just to name a few...not sure why you were told to pay $50pp for Mr. Sanchez? some places do charge a cover charge $10 so you can sit in their chairs and have shade, but usually its credited back to your bill if you buy a drink or some lunch?
Locals, send in some input to get the updated information on here so new people will be able to get the correct and updated info....high season is coming soon...
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#10 trottermex

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 06:45 PM

CZMDM: Exactly! That's my point. Why this website would recommend and why so many snorkeling boats would go to Sand Dollar is beyond me.
Pecosgirl: Agreed, lesson learned. No need to rub it in!
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#11 Coz2wonder

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 01:16 PM

the reality is, nothing has really changed. Duzl Ha is now the Money Bar, and there are tons of snorkelers taken right off of Sunset Beach (SandDollar Sports area). That's where a lot of the day snorkelers are taken TODAY!

Does the site need updated in regards to snorkel spots...yes. Names of places need to change.

Other then that...no guarantees your going to see anything different from yesterday, today, or tomorrow.

Roll with it, move on to another spot...make the best of it. I sure hope you enjoyed the most beautiful, warm water you might ever see in your LIFE.

Maybe you can add to the update on where you went, and what you did see...that would be a great start the update.

Be positive
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#12 Carey

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 02:59 PM

Sand Dollar is mentioned nowhere on this website except by the occasional poster. There is a recommendation to drift between Fiesta Americana and Dzul Ha which is now called the Money Bar. Also Corona Beach club is recommended. We could not recommend snorkeling anywhere near any of the cruiseship piers. You must be confusing the information with a different website.
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#13 dawnb

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 07:22 PM

Money Bar, Playa Corona, Punta Sur, Palancar with the boat trip. Absolutely tried and true. We have done all of these many times and have never been disappointed. Talk to the beach club waiters and people who look like they might know something to help you figure out which way to swim/float/snorkel.
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#14 trottermex

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 09:17 AM

Carey: Please look under "Cozumel Snorkeling On Your Own -- Shore Trips" to find the (inaccurate) information about Sand Dollar.
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#15 Guest_captnpat_*

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Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:02 PM

Had a great time last year at Punta Sur. Got one of the Kayacks to take me out to the reef ($25) and we snorkeled the entire reef. Got a great movie of a turtle swimming along with us.
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#16 Guest_pecosgirl_*

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 02:17 PM

You misunderstood me. I was not rubbing it in...just trying to warn/help others.
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#17 CZMDM

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Posted 29 October 2010 - 04:31 PM

Frankly most of the snorkel from the beach areas are still in pretty bad condition. One good place is the beach area just to the North of the marina called Caleta. The little reef is only about 15 meters off of the beach. The name is Paradise, but do not confuse it with the beach club "Paradise". I tend to disagree about Play Azul as that is almost all sand (that is why the water is so beautiful....there is nothing but sand and the sun's light reflects off of it and makes it that beautiful blue color).

One spot that is fun is to get in the water on the North side of the entrance to the marina at Puerto Abrigo and just drift down the sea wall to the North. There are almost no corals there, but there are many, many animals that hang around the sea wall. I've seen turtles, squid, rays and the usual fishes there. On rare occasion you might spot a nurse shark. We once saw a huge Eagle Ray there in only about 8 feet of water. One way to do it is to leave your gear at the bar at The Coral Princess (tip the bartender a couple of bucks and he/she will be happy to watch it) and then take a taxi back to Puerto Abrigo and snorkel back to the hotel. You could use any of the hotels in that area. Once you get out your gear will be there and refreshments are served at the beach bar.

For safety NEVER try to swim to the reefs off-shore without a boat for support. It is dangerous and irresponsible. You are subject to changes in the current and are out in the boating lanes where the Captains will not be looking for anyone and a snorkeler in the water without a dive flag presents a very low, hard to see profile. The current can also take you straight out to sea. If you are snorkeling off-shore, especially without a float any problems you may have with close passing boats is on you. Even if it wasn't when a boat hits a snorkeler it is not the boat that is going to suffer. You have to take responsibility for your own safety.

Anyway there is still lot's of good snorkeling around the island. Stay near shore, out of the boating lanes and never snorkel around the cruise ships, which is illegal anyway.

Have fun. Please stay safe.
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#18 pato52

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 10:34 AM

Here is the info on the CMC website could that use reworking:

"PLAYA CALETLA/SNORKEL CENTER/SAND DOLLAR ENTRANCE AREA

This stretch of coastline beginning just a little south of the lighthouse
and the pretty little beach area there called Playa Caletita and ending at The Snorkel Center is a good place to check out. Where you put in here will depend on the direction of the current. Once you've figured this out and decided whether to start at the south end and float north or vice versa, you can do the snorkel then hop out and walk back to your starting point down the pretty, oceanside promenade.

Playa Caletita can't be missed, about mile south of Plaza las Glorias. When you see the lighthouse, you're almost to the parking lot.


The snorkeling isn't good right at the Caletita beach. B but there's a nice little sandy put in right next to the lighthouse. So if the current is going south, you can put in here, and drift the .6/10 of a mile down to the Sand Dollar put in (see below). If you're pooped out, you can get out right here and walk back along the sidewalk to where you started. Or continue on another 2/10 miles and get out at the Snorkel Center (see below.)

The snorkeling isn't good right at the Caletita beach. B but there's a nice little sandy put in right next to the lighthouse. So if the current is going south, you can put in here, and drift the .6/10 of a mile down to the Sand Dollar put in (see below). If you're pooped out, you can get out right here and walk back along the sidewalk to where you started. Or continue on another 2/10 miles and get out at the Snorkel Center (see below.)

Sand Dollar Put in: approximately 6/10 miles south of Playa Caletita and the lighthouse, you'll see a single story restaurant with a red tiled roof on the left side of the road. Look on the ocean side and you'll see a wooden rail and stone stairs that lead you down to another put in.


If the current is going north, you can take it up to Playa Caletita and exit there. If south, get out at the nearby Snorkel Center if the current is stronger that day than you feel like dealing with."

There is more after this but it gives the idea
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#19 La Administradora

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Posted 30 October 2010 - 11:24 AM

Okay. I'll get to it when I can. I have a lot of other stuff on my plate right at the moment.
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#20 trottermex

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 01:22 PM

Pato52: Unfortunately, that's the section we followed to plan our outing. I hope no one else has or will. Thanks for pointing out exactly the section that is inaccurate.
Pecosgirl: My response was meant to be lighthearted. I did not take your comments badly, but thanks for the clarification.
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