Cozumel Trip Recap February 2021

Cozumel Trip Recap February 2021

 

Cozumel Trip Recap

FEBRUARY 2021

WORDS AND PICTURES BY TIM YEO 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


Even with the pace of vaccinations for COVID-19 starting to pick up, most exotic dive destinations like Raja, Fiji, and Palau remain closed to international travel. In order to get our dive fix in, we decided to embark on a week-long dive trip to Cozumel, Mexico. 

Travel was easy. The flights were barely full and most of us had the entire row of seats to ourselves on the plane. We had to wear a mask for the entire duration of the flight, but it was well worth the inconvenience to travel again. For some of us, this was the first time traveling since the pandemic started almost 12 months ago! 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


Conditions were not great when we arrived in Cozumel, and the harbor was closed so no boats could go out on the water. But the weather report indicated the rest of the week was going to be nice and calm with little wind. So we spent the day at the pool and on the beach, enjoying the sun and getting to know each other over drinks.

We were staying at the all-inclusive Iberostar Cozumel, a 4-star resort on the southern end of Isla Cozumel, and close to some of the best dive sites around the island, including Palancar and Punta Sur. The Iberostar’s grounds were built to make guests feel like they lived in the middle of a lush tropical rainforest, with winding paths through jungle foliage and animals roaming the grounds. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap       Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap       Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


Meals at the Iberostar consisted of buffets with a wide array of food including small plates, entrees, and desserts. The theme for the buffet changes daily and ranges from Italian, American, Mexican, and Asian. Each guest was also allowed 2 dinner reservations at an a la carte restaurant. There was a steakhouse, an Asian restaurant, and a Mexican restaurant. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


The first day of diving started off slow. We had to wait 2 hours for the harbor to open so our dive boat could come to the Iberostar to pick us up.  But when we jumped in for our first dive, we were rewarded with excellent conditions. There was barely any current, and visibility was over 100 feet. The water was a constant 78-79F and most of us were comfortable in a 3mm wetsuit.  


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


December through March is spotted eagle ray season in Cozumel and one glided by us on the first dive welcoming us to the Mesoamerican Reef stretching from Mexico down to Roatan in the Caribbean. The Mesoamerican Reef is the 2nd largest reef structure after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


We had an unlimited diving package which allowed us to do 4-day dive, or 2-day dives and a night dive with the on-site dive operation, Dressel Divers. Dressel is a great dive operation with multiple boats that go out every day. The boats are large and comfortable, and since the Iberostar is located close to many of the best dive sites, there is no need to sit on a bumpy speedboat just to get to the dive sites and back. The boat rides to the dive sites ranged from 3 to 20 minutes, and the boat could either stay out for 2 dives or come back to the resort in between dives. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap

 

Dressel Divers has a 2 story building right in front of the hotel’s dock and there are plenty of lockers and storage for divers. There is a large dunk tank at the back of the shop, and divers can hang their wetsuits in the room adjacent to the compressor room so hot air from the compressor dries the wetsuits quickly. No more traveling home with wet gear even if it is cloudy out. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


Throughout the week we dived many of Cozumel’s popular dive sites including Palancar Gardens, Palancar Caves, Punta Sur, San Francisco, Chankanaab, Tormentos, Jurassic Park, the C53 wreck and many more. The reefs in Cozumel are covered in a wide variety of brightly colored sponges making for stunning reef photos against the clear Caribbean waters. There were bright orange Elephant Ear Sponges, Tube Sponges, Rope Sponges, Vase Sponges and large Barrel Sponges. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap

 

Swim throughs are also a common diving activity in Cozumel with some sites offering no less than dozens of opportunities to penetrate the reef and explore what lies under. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap

 

During the 6 days of diving where we did a total of 22 dives, we saw Spotted Eagle Rays, Stingrays, Hawksbill Turtles, Green Turtles and Loggerhead Turtles, Nurse Sharks, Barracuda, Moray Eels, Lobsters, schools of Jacks, Snappers and Grunts. We even did a couple of night dives where we saw Octopus, Nudibranchs, Drums, Squid, Sharptail Eels, the endemic Splendid Toadfish and even a prehistoric-looking Slipper Lobster. 


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap   Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


It was an excellent week of diving and we could not be happier with the Iberostar Cozumel, Dressel Divers and the dives.  


Cozumel February 2021 Trip Recap


Thank you to dive center leader Nazareno for your meticulous organization, boat captain Mike for your skillful navigation, deckhand Jorge for your attention to every detail on the boat so all we had to do was put on our gear and jump in the water, and to Rodrigo and Flo for all the laughs, the fun briefings, and awesome dives!

Read a previous Cozumel Trip Reports here...  


Check out our full list of Cozumel Dive Resorts.


HOW TO BOOK A TRIP TO cozumel:

Bluewater Travel can book you on a resort or liveaboard in the Cozumel for the same cost or less than booking any other way. We know the diving, accommodation and when to go better than anyone else!


Email us at info@bluewaterdivetravel.com and tell us that you read this article to get a special price for your next dive trip.

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