Three Premier Properties Close to Prime Reefs
The island of Cozumel boasts some of the best coral reefs in the Caribbean. Scuba divers come from around the world to discover the dramatic coral formations that line the island’s western coast. But you don’t need air tanks to enjoy the underwater landscape. Within swimming distance of shore, shallow reefs provide shelter for a menagerie of marine life. A number of these snorkel-friendly sites are located near beach resorts that offer exclusive water access. Stay at one of these prime properties and you will be just a few fin strokes away from the action.
InterContinental Presidente Cozumel
This upscale property provides an ideal blend of water access and convenient proximity to all of Cozumel’s attractions. Its water’s edge location provides sweeping ocean views from guest rooms, all less than a mile from the shops and restaurants of San Miguel. The property boasts the only sand beach in the area, and faces a protected cove that provides easy water entry for snorkelers. Coral heads begin just a short swim from shore, and the currents that sweep the island’s western coastline are often mitigated by nearby reefs. The Presidente is a full-service resort that accommodates for everyone from the business travelers to honeymooning couples and vacationing families. Amenities include an oceanfront pool, spa, tennis courts, fitness center and three on-site restaurants. The Chiqui Club provides youngsters with a range of age-appropriate activities, including the hotel’s signature iguana hunt. Adults are similarly indulged with a full range of concierge services.
Guests can enjoy views of Cozumel’s most famous snorkeling reef from the balcony of their two- or three-bedroom suite at the Landmark. This five-star residential resort delivers a full range of creature comforts and amenities, including full kitchens, living and dining areas and large sea-view balconies. There’s a pool and outdoor hot tub on site, but many guests prefer the adjacent beach club, which provides exclusive access to the coral gardens of Dzul Ha Reef. This site has been named the best snorkeling destination in Cozumel, thanks to its shallow depths and abundant marine life. Expect to see lobsters, stingrays, colorful parrotfish and swarms of colorful tropicals, all just a short swim away from the beach. For a special experience, rent an underwater flashlight from the watersports center and head out at sunset for a twilight snorkel. This is when many creatures such as octopus that have been hiding during the day come out to forage. Time it right and you’ll finish your explorations just about the time the live band starts up at the beach club.
Snorkel excursion boats often bring their passengers to the reefs right in front of the Fiesta Americana Resort. This gives guests of this popular all- inclusive resort a home-field advantage, as they are not constrained by schedules, and can make the short swim from shore at their leisure. And should they want to take a boat ride, the on-site concession for Dive House can provide transportation to other areas along Cozumel’s southern coast, getting snorkelers to prime areas ahead of the tour groups from the cruise ships. But easy access to the best reefs isn’t the only reason to stay at the Fiesta Americana. With a water sports center, two pools, seven restaurants, a fitness center, dedicated children’s programs and a large on-site spa, there’s something for everyone. All of the resort’s spacious studio and one- bedroom suites feature oversize private balconies or terraces with partial or full ocean views, and attractions such as Chankanaab Park and Playa Palancar are nearby.