- Night Dive
- Sunrise Dive.
The diving is on the magnificent Meso-American Barrier Reef System, the largest barrier reef system in the Northern Hemisphere. This reef runs is 900 kilometres long, stretching from Cozumel in the north to Honduras in the south. Parts of the reef are between 2 and 4 million years old. The amazing section of the reef fringing the Costa Maya is typified by the finger formations, which create canyons and swim-throughs. There are two corridors of concentrated reef in Costa Maya. The first begins at the surface and is amazingly visible from the entire shoreline. This slopes down to around 15 m/50 ft at around a 45* angle, and then plateaus. There is then a break in the reef. A sandy platform then separates the two corridors of reef. The second corridor starts off at around 15 m/50 ft and stays level before a sloping wall begins. This wall slopes down at around a 45* angle, until the vertical drop off at around 50 m/165 ft, which then plummets to an estimated 2000 m/6600 ft.
Typically in this area, there is a very slight current to the north, which makes for easy diving. Most dive sites are suitable for beginners and/or experienced divers. Visibility averages 25 m/80 ft, and water temperature averages 27*C/78*F. Common marine life found in the area includes turtles, lobsters, moray eels, king crabs, various stingrays, the occasional nurse shark, barracuda, as well as most varieties of tropical Caribbean reef fish such as damsels, butterfly fish, pork fish, parrotfish and wrasses. Night dives are particularly spectacular; as well as the odd octopus, honeycomb moray eels are very common, as are lobsters, shrimp and crabs.
There are so many types of hard and soft corals to be found in such vast numbers that you may wish to bring your identification charts down with you! Expect to see healthy plate coral around every corner, dotted in between cactus corals and ancient boulder corals. Avid divers will be familiar with species of nudibranchs and mollusks such as the flamingo tongues and the purple crowned sea goddess. These species are frequently spotted here, feeding on the gorgonians and sponges, which create the backdrop of this gigantic aquarium. In the shallower waters, often during the last part of a dive, the tiny, yet flamboyant, sea hares are often found, continuously feeding on many hard corals. The reef itself is very healthy as diving in the area has been infrequent up to now. Fortunately, as tourism in the Costa Maya grows, the local government has shown its concern with the health of the environment, including the reef, and therefore encourages safe and environmentally sound diving practices. They have also focused on ensuring positive fishing habits in the area are followed, restricting fishing on the reef with nets to decrease the chance of damage.
Also see tour packages in:
North America Mexico Outdoor: Water Drifter Scuba Diving