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COZUMEL

NATURAL ATTRACTIONS


- Beaches: You only have to imagine the warm sand, the caress of foamy waves and the warmth of the sun rays, to wish you were on some of the beaches of Cozumel: San Francisco, at 14 kilometres from San Miguel and well recommended for snorkelling, Punta Chiquero, Chen Rio or Punta Moreno, of gentle waters, almost dormant, perfect for swimming. Whatever is your election, be certain that you won't regret it.

- Coral Reefs of Cozumel National Marine Park: A fantastic and dazzling chain of coral reefs full of life extends across the southern coast of the island. Each one of its 25 parts concentrates the most important and significant marine flora and fauna of this sector of the Caribbean Sea.

With an 11987 hectare extension, the park was created in 1996 with the objective of protecting, conserving and studying the coral reefs (here the algae, marine grass and sandy bottoms are abundant) and other formations comprised between Paraiso and Punta Chiqueros; besides ground areas on which ferns, ceibas, mangroves and brushwood can be appreciated.

Regarding the fauna, the Logger Head Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta), the Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the Hawksbill Sea Turtle). (Eretmochelys imbricata) stand out, along with the manatee (Trichechus manatus), though its presence is not constant.

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    There are mammals such as the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the common dolphin (Delphinus delphi) as well; along with numerous bird species, 75 per cent of which are migratory.

    85 per cent of the diving zones of Cozumel are within the park. They present different grades of difficulty, being calm in some sectors and very brave in others; they can be explored by both rookies and experts as well.

    Amongst the reefs most visited by divers, we have:
    • La Herradura: Its rocky formations resemble a "U". Here you can scuba dive to depths of between 10 and 30 metres.


    • Palancar: It is one of the largest reefs of the planet and one of the most popular ones. It is conformed by 4 coral reefs that resemble a mountain. Its depth varies between 6 and 37 metres, being perfect for scuba diving. It is 2 kilometres away from the coast.


    • Punta Sur: It is surrounded by beautiful marine sceneries. Its waters fluctuate between 27 and 37 metres of depth. Only experienced divers should explore it.
    Other significant reefs are: Paraiso, Chankanaab, Paso del Cedral, Tunich and Santa Rosa. They all have different characteristics, besides a very specific flora and fauna.

    There is a net of specialized stores selling and renting diving equipment in Cozumel. However, bear in mind that only accredited sportspeople can realize immersions.

    - Chankanaab National Park: Due to its numerous coral formations and the variety of its fishes, molluscs and crustaceous, which have their habitat in this "small sea" (English translation of its Mayan name), it is one of the main natural attractions of Cozumel, wherein you can practice scuba diving and snorkelling.

    The park was created in 1980 to preserve the valuable ecosystem and the considerable diversity of the flora and fauna found in the area. Within the premises there is a marine reserve and a botanic garden with 350 species of tropical plants coming from 20 countries, where the 60 palm species and the countless orchids stand out.

    It is located at ten minutes from the centre of San Miguel and it offers basic services to the visitors, besides restaurants and stores renting scuba gear.

    - Ecological Reserve of Punta Sur: It is a valuable eco-tourist project driven by the Parks and Museums Foundation of Cozumel with the objective of promoting a sustained and responsible management of the natural resources. Its extension is of over 100 hectares, predominantly with lagoons and mangroves holding a rich variety of flora and fauna endemic of the island. A scenery beautifulness that is complemented by the refreshing beaches of white sands and a group of reefs packed with marine species.

    Punta Sur is located 27 kilometres south of San Miguel. Its installations have an Interpretation Centre and a Museum of Navigation. Visitors can enrich the adventure with thrilling rides on kayaks or catamarans.

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