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Cozumel or Roatan?

Discussion in 'Greater Caribbean & Bermuda' started by alleyrlt, Feb 19, 2020.

  1. snowdog61

    snowdog61 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Florida's East Coast
    870
    558
    Been to both, did return trips to both and could do another trip to each as I've enjoyed them enough. Can't say that about other the places in the Caribbean that I've been other than Bonaire. All were through ScubaBoard Invasions - Hotel Cozumel/Paradise Divers and Anthony's Key Resort for the trips in question. Don't think I'd have a preference though Roatan was a bit easier AFA travelling - (we did the bag drag from Cancun to save some $$) and the food was way better at AKR. Boat ride was way shorter in Roatan but Cozumel offered a little more diversity on the reefs. Honestly I don't think you'll be disappointed in either so just do them both.
     
    markmud likes this.
  2. Addicted2H2O

    Addicted2H2O Contributor

    837
    596
    I can't really give any real recommendation for Roatan because I've only ever been there on a cruise and it was decided very last minute that it was one our destinations. Thanks Hurricane Irma.....

    Cozumel on the other hand....definitely a favorite for me! Diving is incredible, atmosphere is great, and some of the food is top notch! I won't bore you with speaking about diving the reefs, etc. because all of that has been mentioned. I think for the nav portion of your AOW, though, you could probably do it in the shallower waters of Paradise Reef (about 45 fsw) and not have so much current to fight. If you do it on a wall dive (San Francisco, Santa Rosa, etc) you're going to be fighting current likely somewhere in the 4-6 knots range. Trying to fin against that will wear you out quick! And if you're diving split fins....f'gedaboudit! But you can definitely get your AOW done there and it's a great place to do a night dive, too. I'd honestly trade one night dive in Cozumel for 3 day dives any time! Most of them are twilight dives meaning you start at dusk when the sun is starting to set so you still have light on your descent, but by the time you surface it'll be dark. And you'll see different marine life at night which makes it really cool!

    Something else to consider that I don't think has been mentioned...depending on how long you're there, if you go to Cozumel, you can take a day to cross over to Playa del Carmen and spend some time diving the Cenotes in Tulum, which is roughly 20-30 minutes south. Even if you only ever do that once, it's well worth the time and money spent to experience it. Lots of great dive operators there, too. One I can recommend (that came very highly recommended to me by members here at SB) is Cenote Xperience. Their shop is located in Playa del Carmen and not too terribly far from the ferry landing so it's possible to walk there once you get off the boat. They'd probably even pick you up, though. Great group to dive with and just an all around class act. Can't wait to dive with them again! So if you decide on Cozumel....give that some consideration. It may be possible, too, to schedule a two-tank afternoon trip to the reefs on that side of the bay and still get back to the ferry in time to get back to Cozumel.

    CenoteXperience - Cavern, Cave and Ocean Diving in Playa del Carmen Yucatan Mexico - Home

    Whatever route you decide....have a great trip and report back!
     
    Lorenzoid likes this.
  3. Lorenzoid

    Lorenzoid ScubaBoard Supporter Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Atlanta, USA
    10,120
    6,865
    Same sentiment! I have been to Roatan twice, Coz around 4 or 5 times. First trip to Roatan I stayed in West End on a shoestring budget and had a good time, though it was a little ordinary, as in it felt like so many other places in the tropics (but with more than it's fair share of sand flies). There is some local Honduran food to be had, and I enjoyed that. Next trip was years later, with my wife, and we stayed at AKR. We decided we really just don't like the feeling of being cooped up in a resort, and we only endure resorts when the diving there is so good it makes it worthwhile. Sure, you can take a taxi into West End or somewhere (wow--it sure had become built up since my first trip), and there are some activities you could engage in, but overall it's fairly undeveloped. We prefer a place where we can easily get out and about, take bike rides, visit restaurants, etc., and Cozumel wins over Roatan in that category. The Mexican culture and food are huge draws for us. At AKR, the food was bland and "international"--not unlike what you might see at an American fast-casual chain like Applebee's or TGI Friday's. If we were to return to Roatan, we would stay at CocoView to enjoy the dive dive dive vibe and not think about where in the world we are or what the amenities may or may not be, as it would be all about the diving.
     
  4. Chad Sanders

    Chad Sanders New

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Arizona
    2
    2
    Roatan!!!! Antiphonies key resort, first person buys second person free so you are looking at 1200.00 each for 3 dives a day 3 full meals a day plus resort stay, best deal out there, I have been diving in Micronesia, GBR, Thailand Phillpines Hawaii and mexico,,, GO TO ROATAN!!!!
     
    urbaneve71 likes this.
  5. dmaziuk

    dmaziuk Regular of the Pub

    7,488
    3,521
    TBR is an all-inclusive boat diving only no access to town deal. The dive op is really good, the standard package is 2 tanks in the morning, 1 after lunch, except for the night dive day and the trip to the Cays. It will have some non-diving vacationers from the mainland, but as you spend most of your time out on the boat, you won't see much of them. Still, Semana Santa may not be the best time to visit.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  6. dmoore19

    dmoore19 Denizen of the PUB ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Frozen He**, Stay Away!
    114,786
    155,121
    I have been to both Roatan and Cozumel. 2 different places, 2 different experiences. Both are great but different.

    Coz is great for the bang for the buck IMO. Roatan is very nice, the diving is great. If I was pinching pennies and wanted to get the most for my dollar, Coz fits that bill just because of the cheaper airfare.
     
  7. arew+4

    arew+4 Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Pa
    1,071
    1,250
    I would recommend, Roatan first, since your both recently certified. AKR was great when we stayed there back in the 90's most people say it's still great now and hasn't changed. You will likely log more dives in a week in Roatan than Cozumel. Save Cozumel for a little later, and try the cenotes while your in the Yucatan.
     
    Addicted2H2O and markmud like this.
  8. kmarks

    kmarks Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location:
    541
    511
    I've been to Cozumel six times and Roatán once.

    The trip to Roatán was a cruise stop, but I'm going back at the end of April (@Jayfarmlaw when will you be there? I'll be at Turquoise Bay 4/18-25) and really looking forward to it. I don't know anything about the surface life there, but the underwater scene was every bit as good as Cozumel, and in some ways maybe better. Roatán is a bit closer to the center of the Mesoamerican Reef, so it has a bit more variety in coral and other life.

    Like others have said, there are dozens if not hundreds of options for dive ops in Cozumel and you basically can't go wrong if you pick one that you see mentioned on Scubaboard. I recommend staying in town and avoiding the all inclusive resorts. It's just a better overall experience and going out to different restaurants beats choosing from the same 5 choices menu or eating at the buffet every night. You don't need to know Spanish in Cozumel (but it doesn't hurt, and makes negotiating prices easier) and you don't need to rent a car, either. Taxis will take you anywhere you need to go and you don't have to worry about collision damage waivers, having too much fun (glug, glug) or parking. The Cozumel forum on SB is very active and you can learn everything you need to know there.
     
  9. lionfish-eater

    lionfish-eater ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: On an Island in the Mississippi River
    3,150
    4,036
    If you go to Roatan, stay on the south side, the diving is much better that the north at AKR or turqoise.

    If your budget allows, I can highly recommend Barefoot Key.

    Cocoview and fantasy island are also on the south side.

    coco is a dive camp on land and I havn't been to FI in 6 years, so have no current recommendation.

    Media Luna is also on the south side.


    I like anywhere in coz better than anywhere other than those specific places in Roatan.

    My friends saw 4 dolphins, 2 eagle rays, a loggerhead turtle, a 6 ft long morey ell, A lobster that was about 2 1/2 feet long and had anteane about 3 feet long on one of yesterdays dives.
     
  10. DogDiver

    DogDiver Contributor

    # of Dives: 5,000 - ∞
    Location: Branford, Florida
    876
    709
    I try to refer anyone that will listen to go to Cozumel. That way we can keep Roatan reefs and marine life to ourselves.
     
    chillyinCanada likes this.

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