Snorkel, Snuba, and Scuba Dive Cozumel with Mayan Paradise Tours.
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Learn about Cozumel's coral reefs. Cozumel's Reefs
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Cozumel's Reefs

The reefs off the western shore of Cozumel are part of the Great Maya Barrier Reef, the largest system in the Western Hemisphere. The Great Maya Barrier Reef stretches from the Yucatan Peninsula to the coast of Honduras.

What makes Cozumel's reefs particularly popular with snorkelers and divers are the crystal-clear waters and abundance of sea life. Cozumel's limestone shoreline contributes to the clarity of the water, which ranges from brilliant turquoise to deep indigo. A steady current acts as an underwater broom, sweeping away lighter particles. In some areas, visibility extends beyond 100 feet. Water temperatures are equally appealing, reaching the low 80s (F) in the summer and dipping into the high 70s (F) during the winter. Tropical fish love Cozumel too. More than 200 species call the reefs home.

In recent decades, the Mexican government has taken special measures to protect the island paradise. Since 1980, fishing has been banned along the south west coast of the island. In 1996, the National Marine Park of Cozumel Reefs was created. The government and tour operators have worked together to safeguard the reefs from human damage. The rules are strictly enforced, especially against members of the tourism industry.

Official protection, unfortunately, was powerless against the force of Hurricane Wilma, which struck Cozumel in October 2005. In the shallower depths, the storm tore large chunks of coral from their moorings. In response, the National Marine Park of Cozumel, assisted by many local dive and snorkel operators, launched an effort to clean up and rebuild damaged sections of the reef by reattaching loose coral fragments to the seabed. Fortunately, Cozumel's natural advantages have been the best medicine for healing the reefs, and the pace of recovery has exceeded expectations.

As a visitor, you can do your part to help protect the reefs. We ask that our tour participants do not touch the coral or feed the fish and other sea creatures. Using biodegradable sun screen also helps keep Cozumel's waters pristine. Even easier, you may consider wearing a t-shirt in the water as an alternative to sun screen. Please join us in practicing responsible tourism. The reefs of Cozumel are a treasure worth protecting.


Mayan Paradise Tours, Cozumel, Mexico
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