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Columbia Reef Tours and Activities

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25 Reviews
Columbia Reef
Columbia Reef is famous for its complex architecture of caves, arches, and coral spires. Here you can find schools of snapper, barracudas, sea turtles, scorpion fish, and even the rare passing nurse shark. With both shallow coral gardens and deep ocean-floor caverns, the reef is accessible to snorkelers and scuba divers alike. 

The Basics
Depths rarely exceed 40 feet (12 meters) in the Columbia Shallows, making this portion of the reef ideal for snorkelers, photographers, and novice divers. Columbia Deep, with an impressive drop-off of 80 feet (24 meters) is better suited for experienced divers looking to explore caves and tunnels. 

Because of its proximity to Cozumel, Columbia Reef is best explored on a snorkeling or diving tour from the island’s downtown marina. Most excursions visit Columbia Reef along with Palancar Reef and El Cielo Marine Park, and sometimes include hotel pickup and drop-off. 

Things to Know Before You Go
  • Columbia Reef is a must-see attraction for nature and wildlife lovers. 
  • Remember to bring sun protection and water. It’s also a good idea to wear a wetsuit or rash guard to protect your skin from rough coral and jellyfish. 
  • Evidence of scuba diving certification is required for certified dives. 
  • Be careful not to touch or disturb the wildlife. 
  • To maximize your chances of seeing wildlife, minimize your motions and let the fish come to you. 

How to Get There
Columbia Reef is located off the southern coast of Cozumel, near Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. You can get there by guided tour or private charter boat—although the reef may be hard to locate on your own. 

When to Get There
You can visit Columbia Reef year-round, but it’s busiest from December through April, when the weather tends to be sunny and warm. There are fewer crowds during hurricane season (May through October), but be sure to check the weather for storms.

Cozumel’s Coral Reefs
Cozumel’s expansive coral reefs are some of the largest in the world. Paradise Reef and Palancar Gardens are ideal spots for novice divers and snorkelers due to their shallow depth, and offer a chance to glimpse sea turtles, colorful fish, towering coral spires, and gently waving sea fans. The Palancar Caves are probably the most famous dive site, with huge brain corals and swim-through tunnels. Palancar Horseshoe, a natural underwater amphitheater made entirely of coral, is another must-see.

Address: Cozumel, Riviera Maya & the Yucatan, Mexico
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5 Tours and Activities to Experience Columbia Reef

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Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Colombia and Cielo Reefs

Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Colombia and Cielo Reefs

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45
Set off for adventure to the caribbean and admire the spectacular marine life in the most incredible Cozumel snorkeling tour, explore the caribbean sea and its underwater treasures while you snorkel at 3 of the most spectacular marine attractions: Palancar reef, Columbia reef and the magical El Cielo Beach surrounded by beautiful starfish and sandy white bottom. PLEASE NOTE: El Cielo Beach recently opened its waters to public for a limited time, don't miss your only chance to visit one the most amazing attractions in the caribbean!
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.99
From
$49.99
Taking safety measures

El Cielo reef by Catamaran and Beach Club

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El Cielo reef by Catamaran and Beach Club

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4
Hop on aboard your catamaran for a fun sail to magnificent reefs and great snorkeling and after, head back to a signature Beach Club to relax and enjoy the beauty of Cozumel and it's crystal clear waters. At your arrival our Staff will lead you to board our party catamaran with music and the most friendly crew you’ll find in the island. After a short sail, plunge in the turquoise waters of Cozumel to discover the beauty of the underwater world and amazing sea life. After visiting two reefs, we’ll head to El Cielo, Cozumel’s landmark and most wanted location due it's natural sand bars and starfish area in the sandy bottom. Once your snorkeling fun is over enjoy of music, refreshments and snacks served aboard specially prepared for you. Once back to shore, enjoy the Beach Club and it's amenities which will make you feel like home!
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$65.55
$69.00
$3.45 savings
From
$65.55
$69.00
$3.45 savings
Taking safety measures

Invisible Boat Snorkeling Adventure

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Invisible Boat Snorkeling Adventure

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1
Hope on aboard a unique experience aboard the only Clear boat in the Caribbean and discover Cozumel in the most amazing way. Shipwrecks, multicoloured fish, coral reef and abundant marine life to be discovered while you snorkel or simply from aboard the boat. Watch everything from above the surface, discover the underwater world and be part of a fun snorkel trip in a 100% Clear boat.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$41.54
$46.16
$4.62 savings
From
$41.54
$46.16
$4.62 savings
Taking safety measures

Arrecife el Cielo, Palancar and Colombia Tour in Cozumel with Snorkel All Inclusive

Arrecife el Cielo, Palancar and Colombia Tour in Cozumel with Snorkel All Inclusive

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1
Cozumel Sky Tour plus Snorkel, discover marine life in one of the most recommended places to do it, the island of Cozumel. Start your adventure aboard the boat. When you arrive at the pier you will receive directions to start this activity. Enjoy knowing two reefs, Paradise and Colombia, areas where you can observe the abundance of fish and marine creatures, starfish, fish of the Caribbean marine fauna. You will have approximately 30 minutes to snorkel in each section. You will also have free time to swim in the Sky, a beach known for its crystalline waters and bottom with sea stars.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$44.00
From
$44.00
Taking safety measures

Cozumel Reef Snorkeling Tour

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Cozumel Reef Snorkeling Tour

Explore some of Mexico’s top snorkeling locations on this comprehensive adventure to beautiful Cozumel. World-famous for its diving, the island boasts great snorkeling spots and fascinating underwater sights. This complete tour takes you to you five different coral reefs, Cozumel’s best and most important ones. Upon arriving on the island, board a speedboat and head to El Cielo, the popular national park on the southern tip. Put on your snorkel gear and plunge into the cool waters of the Caribbean to take in the incomparable beauty of the marine flora and fauna you are witnessing. Colorful coral formations, playful tropical fish, and with some luck, graceful sea turtles and stingrays, form the breathtaking seascapes. In addition, you will discover the Palancar, Columbia, Chankanaab and Paradise Reefs—each representing a unique experience. Back on the island, enjoy a lunch on the beach, before continuing to San Miguel, Cozumel’s main town.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.55
$89.00
$4.45 savings
From
$84.55
$89.00
$4.45 savings
Taking safety measures

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Columbia Reef?