Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Aldora Divers. Make the most of your trip by exploring the undersea environment with Aldora Divers. Although it also works with neophytes, this outfit caters to experienced divers. Its all-day, three-tank nitrox trip gets you up close to reef sharks, eagle rays, and huge lionfish. Ask about Aldora's afternoon lionfish hunting trip to the north end of the island. Calle 5 Sur, between Avs. 5 and Rafael E. Melgar, San Miguel, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/872–3397 or 210/569–1203. Two-tank dives from M$1213.

Aquatic Sports and Expeditions. Sergio Sandoval gets rave reviews from his clients, many of whom are repeat customers. In addition to the usual excursions, he'll take you out for wreck dives, underwater photo safaris, or lionfish hunting. He also charters his boat for full- and half-day fishing trips. Carretera Sur, Km 6.5, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/112–5002; 1987/111–1172 cell. Two-tankdives from M$1,023.

Blue Angel Scuba School. The combo dive-and-snorkel excursions arranged by Blue Angel allow family members to have fun together, even if not all are scuba enthusiasts. Dedicated dive trips to local reefs and PADI courses are also offered. Blue Angel Resort, Carretera Sur, Km 2.2, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/872–1631. Snorkel trips from M$532; two-tank dives from M$1078.

Del Mar Aquatics. In operation since 1987, Del Mar Aquatics offers PADI and DAN certified dive trips as well as certification courses. Their boats are larger and slower, but have an onboard head (toilet). Casa Del Mar Hotel, Carretera Sur Km 4.5, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/872–5949. Two-tank dives from M$1,092.

Eagle Ray Divers. Snorkeling trips and dive instruction are available through Eagle Ray Divers. (The three-reef snorkel trip lets non-divers explore beyond the shore.) As befits their name, the company keeps track of the eagle rays that appear off Cozumel from December to February and runs trips for advanced divers to walls where the rays congregate. Beginners can also see rays around some of the reefs. La Caleta Marina, near the Presidente InterContinental, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/872–5735 or 866/465–1616. Two-tank dives from M$1,023.

Fury Catamarans. Vacationers who can’t decide between snorkeling and partying can combine the two by boarding one of Fury’s 65-foot catamarans. Boats visit the reef en route to a private stretch of beach south of town. Rates include equipment, lunch, soft drinks, beer, and margaritas, plus access to assorted beach toys. A sunset booze cruise is also offered, and there are numerous pick-up points along the west coast. Carretera Sur, Km 3.5, beside Casa del Mar Hotel, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/872–5145. From M$805.

Scuba Du. Dive magazines regularly rate Scuba Du among the best dive shops in the Caribbean. Along with the requisite Cozumel reef dives, it organizes night dives and an advanced trip to walls off Punta Sur, as well as snorkeling and fishing trips. The Presidente InterContinental Hotel, Casa Mexicana, and Hotel B offer lodging and dive packages. Presidente InterContinental hotel, Carretera Sur, Km 6, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/872–9500 Ext. 6855 or 310/684–5556. Two-tank dives from M$1,214.

ScubaTony. Diving with ScubaTony is like diving with friends you've known for years. The personalized trips include tanks, weights, fresh fruit, and drinks. If you're new to the sport or have a few years between dives, introductory and refresher courses are available; PADI certified instructors will also work with you to obtain additional certifications (such as nitrox). Puerto Caleta, Carretera A Chankanaab, Km 6, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/113–3706 or 310/272–9943. Two-tank dives from M$1220.

Tiger's Adventures. Tiger Aguilar leads one of the island’s more enjoyable snorkel-and-party excursions. In the water, you might encounter harmless nurse sharks in addition to turtles, fish, and starfish; aboard the boat, you can indulge in adult beverages, sodas, and fresh snacks. Trips run from 11 to 4:30, with passengers departing from Money Bar Beach Club bound for the shallow "El Cielo" lagoon.

Carretera Costa Sur, Km 6.5, Cozumel, Quintana Roo, 77600. 987/871-0897. M$846, cash only, reservations required.

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