Dive Sites In Central America
In this part of Scuba Diving Point you can find information regarding the various Central American dive sites. We have chosen place all Mexican dive sites here, regardless of whether they are located north or south of the the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. South of Mexico you will find Guatemala and Belize, and if you travel further south you can enjoy scuba diving in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and finally Panama.
Mexico borders to the Atlantic as well as to the Pacific Ocean. The island of Cozumel is one of the most popular destinations for scuba divers. It is the biggest island in the Mexican Caribbean and is located of the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. Cozumel recived a lot of attention when Jacques Cousteau and his team begun exploring the wall reefs that surrounds the island. Since then, Cozumel has developed from relaxed fishing island to world famous tourist attraction. This naturally has its upsides as well as downsides. The tourism sector is highly developed and you will have no problem finding a good hotel and reputable scuba diving operators on Cozumel. On the other hand, you will have to share this paradise with all the other tourists.
Cozumel features a limestone shore and crystal clear waters. The water temperature is pleasant year round and ranges from 77° to 82° F (25 ° to 28° C).The air temperature is more affected by the seasonal changes. The warmest months are July and August when you can expect an average air temperature around 80° F (27° C). The coldest winter months offer a milder climate where the air temperature typically stays in the mid 70's ° F (around 24° C). Cozumel has more than 30 kilometres (19 miles) of reefs and you can encounter more than 200 different fish species while scuba diving in these waters. Examples are popular dive sites around Cozumel are Chankanaab, Yocab, Tormentos, Palancar, Tunich, Cardona, Maracaibo and the Airplane Flats.
In Guatemala, you can experience scuba diving at a really high altitude if you want to engage in some freshwater diving in the mountains. Please note that it is often advisable to stay in the mountains during the nights than travelling up and down, since the air pressure in the mountains actually differs quite a lot from sea level.
Belize has a well developed tourist sector and many U.S. and Canadian residents are attracted to the country since English, not Spanish, is the official language. The Belize Barrier Reef is the longest barrier reef in the western hemisphere and extends for nearly 300 kilometres (190 miles). In the north, the reef is located no more than 1 kilometre (1100 yards) from the mainland.
Nicaragua offers marine scuba diving as well as dive excursions down into freshwater lakes formed in volcanic craters. Nicaragua used to be plagued by war and political instability and the tourism sector is still less developed than in nearby Belize and Costa Rica. This means that you can still find comparatively pristine regions and secluded dive sites in Nicaragua.