Frequently Asked Questions

How (2)

How deep is the water that we would be diving in? Is it really clear?


With a normal, 2 dive trip, the first dive is the deeper of the dives ranging from 50 to 100 feet deep. This could be a wall dive or a dive where you swim around or through very large and impressive coral formations, which Cozumel is known for.

The second dive is in more shallow water, less than 50 feet deep. We have lots of reading material available in the shop that prepares you for your dives and what to expect during the dive. Also, when on the boat, don’t hesitate to discuss with the Divemaster any of the procedures you don’t understand or are uncomfortable with, as they are more then happy to talk with you. The underwater visibility typically exceeds 150 feet. The picture on the left was taken on Palancar Reef (not in a swimming pool). You can now probably answer the 2nd question yourself!

If I contact Dive Paradise directly, can I get a better deal?
The best deals to be made are through the travel agencies listed in the reservations section of this web site. They are very familiar with our operations and can answer all your questions and make comprehensive arrangements for an overall, outstanding trip. If you have a very special request, like an underwater wedding or something, don’t hesitate to contact us for arrangements and pricing. We’ve done it all!

What (12)

What is the diving like?
Cozumel boat diving is always done with established drift techniques. Owing to the Yucatan current, which normally flows south to north, divers drop into the water in groups and the boat follows along on the surface. A Dive Paradise divemaster will brief the group and then lead it along the proposed route. More area is usually covered this way than would be by swimming along the reef. The strategy and techniques are well established and fundamental to Cozumel.

Cozumel’s coral formations are huge and walls are consistently sponge decorated. There is a nearly constant wall or drop-off that parallels the western coast for more than 20 miles. The assortment of general marine life is in keeping with the best in the Caribbean.

What is the night life like in Cozumel?
For a quiet island, there definitely is night life available to those who choose to venture out. There is a brand new Carlos and Charlie’s, Senior Frogs and TGI Fridays which are great places to go and hangout (till all hours of the morning). For shopping, most of the stores in the main square are open until 9PM.

What is there to do other than diving? My spouse/friend doesn’t dive


Though the island is small, there is plenty to do for the non-divers. First of all, if they don’t mind getting wet, simple snorkeling is the number one attraction. Hundreds of varieties of animal and plant life can be viewed just along the shore. For those who prefer land – Our outstanding climate, is ideal for sunbathing. There are many white sand, virtually private beaches on the “other side” of the island. It is well worth the cost of renting a moped or jeep for a day cruise around the island. There are a couple good horseback riding stables that will take you riding along the beach and into the jungle. And, although not as impressive as Tulum or Chitzen-Itza, Cozumel has its own “San Gervasio” ruins, also worth a look-see.

The local museum downtown is very interesting and gives you a good understanding of how the island developed, what is indigenous to the island and how the culture has evolved from the early Mayans to the present.

The shopping is fantastic. You will find everything from flea markets with a assorted collections of “who knows what” to duty free stores, fine jewelry, clothing shops and varied handicrafts. All at prices that beat the States. The further you go back into the town, the better the prices and the more interesting things you will find. Walking the streets or sitting in a sidewalk restaurant or cafe “people watching” is also very popular. Meeting and talking to the locals can often be eye-opening and interesting. The residents of Cozumel are extremely friendly and love to talk about their life on the island. They are very proud of the heritage and where they live. Most of the shops in town are open until 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening. During the day or night, single women need not worry about safety. They can easily walk anywhere in and around town, without incident. Needless to say there is enough to keep anyone’s interests full of activity.

Should I dive everyday? What do people normally do?
That is quite individual. Some people love to go on vacation and dive every day. Some dive 3 dives during the day and still have the energy to go out again on a night dive. Those are the die-hard divers. We also have people who though they love diving our reefs, come to the island to relax and wind down, and dive only 4 to 5 days out of the week. We have many sites to dive, a variety of trips to offer and plenty of educational opportunities, allowing you to pick and choose what you would like to do. The boat ride out on the water is always fun too, where your non-diver friends can also participate.

With your boats being larger, are you one of those operators that run “Cattle Boats?”
Absolutely not! On our larger boats we restrict the group size to 16 divers max. Sometimes you may see a group exceeding this size which is due to the expressed preference of the group wanting to be all together on the same boat – which we can accommodate. Most trips have around 12-13 divers on board. We limit the underwater groups to a maximum of 8 divers plus dive master (instead of a much larger group with multiple dive masters). Being that we are one of the largest dive operators on the island, we have a fleet of boats of all sizes. If we have many divers signed up to dive on a particular day, we simply just employ more of our boats – not try to “pack” them all in just a couple of boats. Our goal is to make sure your diving experience is the best it can be – that is why we have been so successful over the many years we have been in business. If you talk to some of the fellow divers on board you will find that most of them have dived with us many times before and always keep coming back.

What is the difference between a “Caribbean” trip boat and an “Express” fast boat?


A fast boat is small (usually no more than a handful of divers), uncovered with no dive platform. The advantage of the small boat is that it can take you to the furthest sites, faster with fewer divers on board. The smaller boat is a rougher trip but can be exciting! Our “Caribbean” trips use larger boats which have their advantages although these larger boats still move at a pretty good clip. There is more room to move around and organize your gear. They are covered and protect those who want to be out of nature’s elements (sun, rain, and splashing of the sea). The roofs also double as sun decks for those who like to lay their towel out and sunbathe and chat with other divers. The larger boats also have dive platforms which allow for easy entry and exit from the water. Another advantage is that there is a restroom on the larger boats and a snack is served between dives. Many people end up meeting future, life long friends on our dive boats. Although the trips take a little longer on the larger boats, they provide for a much more comfortable trip – after all, you are on vacation, why not slow down and relax a bit?

Do I need to bring a wetsuit? How cold is the water?
The water temperature ranges from 74 to 84 degrees F, depending on the season. Nylon dive skins and/or light wetsuits are worn year-round although they are seldom needed for thermal protection for April through November. It is always a good idea to bring a shorty wet suit or lycra suit if you tend to get cold after being in the water for awhile. Caution – If you are a cold water diver, after feeling water these temperatures, you may never go back!

Should I bring my weights and weight belt with me?


Don’t bring any weights, although bringing your weight belt is a good idea especially if you feel more comfortable using it. We provide the weights on the boat in the beginning of the dive trip and collect them at the end. We will also help you determine how much weight you will need for a comfortable dive.

What other equipment would I need to bring with me?
Other optional things you could bring include a camera, dive computer, mask defogger and flashlight (for seeing in caves, under coral and night diving). Also, don’t forget your “C” card. You can get replacement assistance on the PADI, NAUI or SSI websites, if necessary.

Can I rent everything?
Yes, if you want to keep your trip hassle free. We keep our equipment in top working order and much of it is less than 2 years old. You can also rent a camera if you just want to try one for a day! Come in and see what we have. Arrange for it ahead of time and all you do is just board the boat, and it will be onboard waiting for you. On returning, you don’t have to worry about all the equipment rinsing etc. We take care of everything!

What are the night dives like?


Really fun! Typically you go down in twilight before it gets dark. Initially, you don’t even need your flashlight to see everything. It gradually gets darker into the dive and you never even notice it. If you have never been on a night dive, it is highly recommended as it is a totally different experience. You will see marine life that sleeps during the day.

You will need to bring a flashlight or you can rent one from the shop. You don’t need a high power flashlight, just make sure your batteries are good. If you have never done it, Cozumel is most likely the best place to experience this for the first time! Once you do a night dive, the day dives are like, boring!

What is the best way to go between Cozumel and Cancun?
There is ferry service between Playa del Carmen, a small city south of Cancun on the coast, and the island of Cozumel. To go between Cancun and Playa del Carmen you can take either a taxi or public bus which departures every half hour. You can cross the channel between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel on the ferry (~US $9, 25-45 minute ride depending on boat and weather conditions).

The ferry schedule as of June, 2005 (every day):

From Playa del Carmen to Cozumel
Every hour on the hour beginning at 8:00AM through 9:00PM + additional trips at 6:00AM and 11:00PM.
From Cozumel to Playa del Carmen
Every hour on the hour beginning at 5:00AM through 8:00PM + one additional trip at 10:00PM.

When (1)

What is the best time to go to Cozumel?
The best time to come is when you can get away. The weather year round is in the mid 80’s and the water temperature fluctuates a few degrees. The busiest time of year is between the middle of February to mid April (Spring Break), the beginning of July and the Christmas holidays. But there is an abundance of hotels and as we have the largest fleet of boats on the island, we have yet to turn a diver away for lack of space.

Where (2)

Where is Cozumel and what is it like there?


Cozumel (phonetically koe-ZOO-mel) is a small island located 12 miles off of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo (Keentanna Row). Cozumel is about 30 miles long and 10 miles wide in the middle, narrowing at its northern and southern ends. It still maintains much of it’s original charm, although it is a popular destination for both divers and non-divers to visit.

I am staying on the water but not at one of the “package hotels.” Will the boat still pick me up at my hotel?
No Problemo! Boats pickup divers at almost all the major hotels, south of the town. You just need to confirm your pickup time and location in advance. Of course, divers at hotels closer to town are picked up first, so just relax a bit…. You are on vacation!

Why (1)

Why dive with Dive Paradise?
Wow, what a question! Lots of reasons, first off -because we live our motto. We want you to have fun, with your safety being our #1 concern. We wouldn’t be where we are if people didn’t keep coming back! We have the largest fleet of all types of boats with the largest variety of trips available. All Dive Paradise boats are professionally maintained and equipped with DAN oxygen units, radio, first aid kits, and generally surpass U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Our fluent English speaking divemasters (I know, how does this help underwater?) are also among the best trained on the island. Take a few minutes and read our entire website (we outline some unquestionable reasons in our trips section) and then decide for yourself if we are not committed towards making your visit the most memorable scuba vacation ever!