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Columbia Reef Tours

star-3.5
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, Columbia and Cielo Reefs

Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs

star-4
Sail the shimmering sea on a glass-bottom boat and snorkel at specular reefs off the coast of Cozumel on this half-day guided tour of the National Marine Park. At El Cielo, named after heaven itself, marvel at the sea stars that decorate the sandy ocean floor. Float beside sea turtles at Columbia Reef then plunge into the crystal clear waters of Palancar Reef to discover fascinating fish, nurse sharks, and colorful coral reefs. Between sublime snorkeling stops, refresh with complimentary beverages as the warm sun soothes your skin on this unforgettable ocean odyssey.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$60.00
From
$60.00
Taking safety measures

Cozumel Snorkel Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs

Cozumel Snorkel Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs

star-4.5
Set off for a great adventure to the caribbean on a Glass bottom boat 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 amazing reefs and marine attractions in Cozumel including the magical El Cielo Beach. PLEASE NOTE: El Cielo Beach has recently open its waters to public for a limited time, don't miss your chance to visit one the most amazing places on the caribbean!
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.90
From
$49.90
Taking safety measures

Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Columbia, Palancar and El Cielo Beach

Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Columbia, Palancar and El Cielo Beach

star-3.5
Thanks to a glass boat, this Cozumel snorkeling trip is the perfect choice for travelers in groups with a mixed interest in snorkeling. Though you head out to three spectacular snorkeling locations known for their active reefs, you can also choose to relax and enjoy looking at the tropical fish, starfish, and more from on board the boat.
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  • 4 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$49.90
From
$49.90
Taking safety measures

Clear boat Snorkeling Adventure

SPECIAL OFFER

Clear boat Snorkeling Adventure

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
  • Taking safety measures
From
$39.60
$45.00
$5.40 savings
From
$39.60
$45.00
$5.40 savings
Taking safety measures

Cozumel Sky Tour with Snorkel All Inclusive

Cozumel Sky Tour with Snorkel All Inclusive

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
$43.00
From
$43.00
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?