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I think we found the best shore dive in Coz

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Blazinator

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Sorry for not telling you all about this earlier, cuz it seems either a secret (most resorts and shops know about this place, but won't make money telling people about it), or maybe folks just don't know about it (or both).

Anyway, my wife and I have shore dived plenty in Coz, just not in front of the top rated resorts like Blue Angel and SCC or the plane @ LaCieba, so we do know a "typical" shore dive in coz is either somewhat featureless with small heads (which we like - lots of life for photography), or with some man made features like the "bridge" rubble in front of Moneybar (which is cool - we love it).

My wife won't do boat dives due to being a new diver, the flustered process of jumping in with so much sensory overload and fear of large things underwater (she'll freak at the canyons of coz, but my goal is to ease her into it), and I can't do boat dives anymore because of chronic sinusitis, but I tolerate burst blood vessels @ 40ft max and the following headache, so shoredives are really our goal these days, not to mention that they are on our lazy schedule, and you can do the best photography without a group (Just did a week in Bonaire - super spoiled now).

So last year we took a cab to see Chankanaab, but it was closed on Sunday, and the cabby said "why not try Playa Corona Bar?" and the rest was simply a dream come true.

We met Jeremiah, the on-site divemaster, and he said that Playa Corona was the only place on the island where the named reefs are closest to shore. (end of Tormentos, I think) If you do a google satellite view, you can see darker blue water very close to shore where a mini wall drop off is from 15 to 35 ft. Jeremiah picked up tanks for five of us the next day and he took us out to see two huge coral head structures (4 minute swim), where we we spent the whole time. Next day we swam north to see the caves that Jeremiah told us about, and sure enough, there were two cavernous overhangs, one large enough to swim into - but it was too dark, and I plan to bring my light next time. Might even fond the wall next time too. No current BTW (that week at least).


As example of how little traffic is on this reef - we saw five lionfish on one coral head the size of a small bus. Eels galore, and free swimming sharptail eels.

I asked Jeremiah and the bartender there if they minded if I told folks about this place on SB, and they had no problem. The fich tacos and drinks after your dive are the best anywhere.

Doesn't compare to Santa Rosa Wall, but way fun for our leisurely pace. Need to visit first to reserve tanks for following day.

Easy to find - it is the next little beachside bar just south of Chankanaab park, called Playa Corona. Seems like only locals go there (saw a few gringos like us), but they all were super nice, so order food and tip well. Ill add more pics later.
P6010322.jpg P6010329.jpg P6010338.jpg P6020479.jpg
 
OP
Blazinator

Blazinator

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More Pics of Playa Corona Shore dive

Key point Okie Mike - ". . . for a cozumel shore dive". I had scoured this subforum for years looking for a decent shore dive in Coz, and most people say that they are good for simply getting wet, checking gear, and maybe night dives, so I was surprised by Playa Corona. Today was the first time I ever heard Playa Corona mentioned when I did a search before writing this post - by GGUNN in a thread about permission to snorkel in front of resorts -
"Nobody owns the ocean; you can snorkel anywhere you want, including the airplane site at La Ceiba, and no one will bother you.
That said, however, there are better places to do it. There is a little beach bar just south of Chankanaab called Playa Corona that has an excellent close-in section of reef."

Here are a few more pics:
PLCrna-dusterBouquet.jpg PLCrna-Peek-a-boo.jpg PLCrna-Red Barrel Sponge.jpg PLCrna-Lionface.jpg PLCrna-miniDiveShop.jpg

The part I love, is that you can just dump your air and sit in the sand for an hour looking for macro life up the edge of a large coral head without having to keep up with a group - all while not rushing to get on the 8AM boat, no 45 minute boat ride to and from, and you have over an hour of bottom time at the lowest cost dive destination we've found.
 

Coral-Reefer

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This is exciting to me as I love to do the shore dive, especially at night, at Blue Angel. When I am visiting Cozumel solo I always motor down to Playa Corona for a couple of beers while enjoying the quiet. It is a wonderful little spot to replay the mornings dives and feel a little like stepping back in time since it is so small and quiet. Can you rent a tank at their little dive shop or should I bring my own? Can you use your own gear there? BTW, awesome pictures....
 

SWUR

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When we were in Coz last summer we rented a car and stopped in there on our way around the island. One gringa there, and then us. She was reading a book, if I recall correctly, but chatted with us for a sec and told us about the eel that lives in the sea wall under the steps. One of the workers came over and baited "him" out of the wall with some raw fish on what looked to be a wire coat hanger. We tipped him for the show, of course. At that point, an American couple unloaded their gear and went out to dive. I wondered aloud about how good the diving could be right there. It was a very nice, laid-back place with little to no crowd at all. I guess I know where we'll be stopping again this year.
 

deborahdelamar

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Si, Playa Corona is at Tormentos Reef -- or maybe it should be the other way around...
It is also within the marine park and, if regulations are followed, shore diving requires a certified dive guide and (for visitors) park permit (bracelet).
 

ggunn

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Key point Okie Mike - ". . . for a cozumel shore dive". I had scoured this subforum for years looking for a decent shore dive in Coz, and most people say that they are good for simply getting wet, checking gear, and maybe night dives, so I was surprised by Playa Corona. Today was the first time I ever heard Playa Corona mentioned when I did a search before writing this post - by GGUNN in a thread about permission to snorkel in front of resorts -
"Nobody owns the ocean; you can snorkel anywhere you want, including the airplane site at La Ceiba, and no one will bother you.
That said, however, there are better places to do it. There is a little beach bar just south of Chankanaab called Playa Corona that has an excellent close-in section of reef."

Happy to be of service. Seven weeks and counting!
 

DandyDon

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Sounds like a fun place. Just south of Chankanaab...?
Next day we swam north to see the caves that Jeremiah told us about, and sure enough, there were two cavernous overhangs, one large enough to swim into - but it was too dark, and I plan to bring my light next time. Might even fond the wall next time too.
Uh, body recoveries really ruin vacations. The DM let you dive alone, and you want to go inside the cavern...?
 
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Blazinator

Blazinator

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Sounds like a fun place. Just south of Chankanaab...?

Uh, body recoveries really ruin vacations. The DM let you dive alone, and you want to go inside the cavern...?

Just like I said, cavernous overhang - nothing even near a cavern - six feet deepest and open entire 12 to 15 feet in length - I could see the back and would have swam in, but I didn't want my wife to freak out - not for being in it, but for risk of touching the top with my tank.

Yes, just south of Chankanaab, by a couple miles, maybe less.
 
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