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Trip Report Cozumel- October 10-20, 2021

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Trailboss123

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I took a flight from Portland, OR to Cozumel via Houston with United Airlines.
This requires an overnight stay in Houston on the outbound flight only, as you cannot get to Houston with the time change early enough to catch the once a morning flight to CZM.

I decided to stay in an Air BNB this trip and found a reasonably priced one just around the corner from Tres Pelicanos, who I did all of my diving with.
Cost was $425 for 10 nights. I typically stay at Casa Mexicana or its sister hotel Suites Colonial.

I did 23 dives over the 9 days, with one excellent night dive at Paradise reef.

San Francisco Reefs and Santa Rosa reefs and wall were closed this month, but all other dive sites were open and in very good condition. The island was busier than it has been over the last year and a half. The cruise ships are coming back to the island and there seemed to be 2-4 there each day. The Palancar Reefs were extremely busy with dozens of boats on the early morning dives.

I got down to Maracaibo on this trip and a number of dives at Columbia. We took in a “new to me” dive site, as we chose to do a morning deep dive off of the Punta Tunich Wall (not to be confused with the shallower Punta Tunich dive site) that is regularly done as a second and shallower dive. The Punta Tunich wall is pristine and rarely dived. Nitrox is a must, as the shallowest part of the dive is at 60 feet.

Some of the highlights of the diving was seeing 4 black tip reef sharks all in formation cruising right nearby us. Lots of morays (spotted and green). A splendid toad fish out free swimming on the night dive (just a gorgeous fish). A flying gurnard in the shallows at La Francesa. About 10 octopus out and about on the night dive also. A few nurse sharks, lots of large crabs and all of the usual Cozumel reef fish.

The International Hospital no longer requires appointments for the antigen test required 72 hours prior to reentry back to the USA. Just show up and pay 450 pesos and be sure to have your passport. Results available and emailed within an hour. There are no COVID requirements for entering into Mexico via airlines.

I hit up all of my favorite local food spots, as well as excellent Italian food at Kooben Laab and Indian food at Bombay Delights.
I had some good times with new people I met on the dive boat from all over the US (Maryland, Louisiana, Missouri, Texas, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Boston, MA).

I decided to leave my Sea life dive camera at home and instead tried out for the first time my new Sea Life Sport Diver housing which holds my iPhone 12 Pro Max, which became my dive camera. I paired it with my Sea Life Sea Dragon 3000 lumen dive light and had tremendous results with both video and still photos.
Here is a link to the housing, for those interested:

SportDiver Underwater Smartphone Housing

Cozumel has been a nice haven for me over the last year and a half pandemic. It is very reliable and straightforward. Water temps were 85 degrees consistently and visibility was almost always 100+ feet, with a couple of dives with cloudy/murky conditions that reduced visibility to 40-50 feet.

Here is a link to a 4 minute You Tube video of some of the diving:

And here are a few still pics

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cozcharlie

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Thanks for taking the time to prepare this. Lots to like in the video (black tips , spawning sea cucumber, free swimming splendid toadfish, octopus and others ). That iPhone did well when paired with Sea Dragon light (especially the night shots ).

Thanks again
 

flyboy08

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Nice! When you moving to the island? :)
 

ontdiver

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Great pics. Was contemplating a new GOPRO, but since I have a spare IPhone, the Sportdiver housing likely makes more sense for what I want to shoot.
 

diveallthetime

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Thanks TB. just missing you there will be on Island Dec. 4-15
Hope all is well
very impressed with the Iphone pic and videos
 

drrich2

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Love that splendid toadfish.

Cozumel has been a nice haven for me over the last year and a half pandemic. It is very reliable and straightforward.
It seems to check the boxes well for a lot of people; the subjective impression I get from browsing forum threads on Caribbean dive trips is the Cozumel is the leader, followed by Bonaire, then Roatan arm-wrestling with Belize (outside the pandemic, the Caymans would be in there somewhere, too).

It'd be interesting to see annual dive tourist numbers for each of these destinations.

I decided to stay in an Air BNB this trip and found a reasonably priced one just around the corner from Tres Pelicanos, who I did all of my diving with.
Cost was $425 for 10 nights. I typically stay at Casa Mexicana or its sister hotel Suites Colonial.
Any preference for where you want to stay if you make it back someday?
 
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Trailboss123

Trailboss123

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Any preference for where you want to stay if you make it back someday?
I will be back-- I go at least 2x per year.
Suites Colonial is my preference. Less expensive than Casa Mexicana, yet you still get the free breakfast at Casa Mexicana included. They also have suites, so you can do your own cooking, if desired + you get extra living/dining space. It is also located near the plaza where there is no car traffic allowed- so, very quiet at night.

They have had it closed since COVID and everyone has had to stay at Casa Mexicana since they have not had the volume of clients to keep all 3 locations open.

That being said, I was told that Suites Colonial will be reopening again next month and they were prepping everything while I was there last week.

I was not happy with my Air BNB. Won't stay there again. Quinta Suites is also an option to consider for the future. It is located on the NE corner of 5th Avenida and 5th Calle (South). Caddy corner to Tres Pelicanos and 1/2 a block from Aldora and the International Hospital.
 

Kimela

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OMG - the toadfish pic is stellar!!! Thanks for the update - headed there in a little over 2 weeks. Where did you see the blacktips?
 
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Trailboss123

Trailboss123

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OMG - the toadfish pic is stellar!!! Thanks for the update - headed there in a little over 2 weeks. Where did you see the blacktips?
Black Tips seem to be hanging out near the Cedral Wall and Paso del Cedral area. There is also an area right there referred to as The Mountains. So, basically in that vicinity.
 
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