Cozumel’s Reefs

Cozumel Island is a sanctuary of life and a diver’s dream come true!  

Cozumel’s world renowned and numerous dive sites are mostly located in the National Marine Park -a Conservation Reserve- locally known as PNAC Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel situated on the southernmost tip of the island towards Punta Sur!

The park is home to a great number of marine species like the mayan octopus, the caribbean lobster, the great green eel, the green and hawksbill turtles -that nest yearly on our beaches-, nurse sharks, groupers, and many species that are protected and in danger of becoming extinct such as the parrot fish or the unique cozumel splendid toadfish; not to mention corals like elkhorn coral and various magnificent brain corals, colorful surreal sponges, and even invasive species such as the famous lion fish. You will most certainly become mesmerized by this unique experience as you plunge into this conservation sanctuary of biodiversity, caribbean colors, grandiose coral formations surrounded by sacred life! 

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System / Great Mayan Reef by Healthy Reefs for Healthy People – Click to enlarge – Click to enlarge

Cozumel’s Conservation Park and dive sites are located within the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System also known as The Great Mayan Reef -Mayan due to the Native Indigenous Peoples that live in the diverse bioregion know as Mesoamerica-.  It is the second largest barrier reef on the planet and the largest coral reef in the Atlantic, it is a system of interconnected and complex interaction of marine ecosystems. This huge reef system extends across over 625 miles/1006 km along the coast of four countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras. From Isla Contoy at the northern tip of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula to the Bay Islands in Honduras.

The magical turquoise waters with 100% visibility, marine biodiversity and magnificent grandiose coral formations are on every snorkeler and divers bucket list.  It is home to endless biodiversity, marine resources and ecological services that are the life base and economical health of the region. Economic and productive activity is directly related to the beaches, recreational activities such as diving, fishing and tourism.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System / Great Mayan Reef by Healthy Reefs for Healthy People – Click to enlarge

But the biodiversity and ecosystems of the Mesoamerican Reef provide services that are crucial to the planet’s health, it is the nursery of life for the planet. The ecological services it provides allow for ecological balance for the entire Earth. The reefs provide ecological services such as a genetic library, provide a food source for humans and other species, provide water and climatic regulation of temperatures, buffer zones, and provide protection against storms and hurricanes. Our population is 65% less vulnerable thanks to these coastal-marine ecosystems in addition to all the recreational services it provides. Somehow these services have been taken for granted and the benefits are thought of as inexhaustible and “invisible” within the economic system. 

At Punta Sur Divers (PSD) we are committed to global health and wellbeing of ecosystems and that of humans. We recognize the interconnectedness of ecosystems and their direct impact on ecosystem health including that of humans. Recreational activities such as diving and snorkeling can and should be based on ensuring the health of ecosystems and humans given that our economic health and productive activities and industry depends on those very ecosystems. We know that over 12 % of tourists would stop coming to Cozumel if reef degradation continues which will in turn provoke a local economic loss of tourism of over 83 million USD per year.

Table of HealthyReefs.org Conservation work in the Mesoamerican Reef System – Click to enlarge

At PSD we believe that together we can make a difference and ensure these valuable ecosystems are preserved and protected. We are privileged to be custodians and witnesses of life and some very special biological processes and quite literally get to “immerse ourselves” in these waters full of life. We hope your experience with us will be life changing, that our industry, our passion, Cozumel Island and your holiday experience will transform our collective relationship with our planet, its finite resources and our ocean health one diver at a time. We hope you go home and remember that every little action, decision, purchase, matters for our oceans health and the future of life.

You can learn more about reef health here: 

https://www.healthyreefs.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/SmithReefs_RC19_Pages_BIL_f_E_LO.pdfhttps://www.healthyreefs.org/cms/healthy-reef-indicators/

https://www.ecovalor.mx/pdf/materiales/informes-tecnicos/ECO_cozumelPolicyBrief__espFL-2.pdf

https://www.healthyreefs.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2020_Report_Card_MAR.pdf

https://www.healthyreefs.org/cms/healthy-reef-indicators/