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Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs

star-4.5293 Reviews
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Cozumel, Mexico
Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds

Overview

Whether you're an experienced snorkeler or an absolute beginner, fully trained guides let you make the most of Cozumel's famous reef on this half-day snorkeling tour. Hit three of the island's hottest snorkeling spots: Palancar Reef, Columbia Reef and Playa el Cielo, known for the starfish that decorate its white sands. Your package includes drinks and snorkeling gear; marine fees are payable in cash on the day.
  • Snorkel Cozumel hotspots Palancar Reef, Columbia Reef and Playa el Cielo
  • Stay fueled with water, sodas, beers and a snack
  • Veteran guides point out marine life and can assist new snorkelers
  • Choice of departure times lets you plan your day and fit more in
Saved to wishlist!
Visit to Palancar, Columbia reefs, El Cielo Sandbar and El Cielito Beach
Guided snorkeling tour
Drinks: Beers, Water, Sodas and a Snack
Snorkel gear: Vest,Mask, New tube
Insured Shaded Boat
Experienced trained guides
Marine fee $6 usd Not included
UltraMar , Av. Rafael E Melgar 1, San Miguel Cozumel, Centro, 77600 Cozumel, QROO, Mexico

Meeting time is 10 minutes before your tour time at the Cozumel Ferry Terminal. Please Read the “Before you Go” section in your confirmation voucher after making your booking.

This activity will end right where it started.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • No Sunscreen Allowed due to Reef protection (Please apply before tour starts)
  • Most travelers can participate
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers
  • OPERATED BY Cozumel Tours and Excursions
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs?
A:The policies on face masks and attendee health are:

  • Face masks required for travelers in public areas
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
See all safety measures taken by Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs.
Q:
What is the social distancing policy during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs?
A:The policy on social distancing is:

  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
See all safety measures taken by Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs.
Q:
What measures are being taken to ensure staff health & safety during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs?
A:The policies on staff health & safety are:

  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Regular temperature checks for staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
See all safety measures taken by Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and El Cielo Reefs.

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Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
293 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 293 reviews
star-5
Clear water snorkeling
Anna_O
, May 2022
We had a great time snorkeling through the clear waters. Our captain and tour guide were amazing! At our last stop we saw lots of stingrays while enjoying a cold beer and the BEST guacamole we ever had!
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Anna, Thank you very much for your great comments and excellent review. It is so nice to read you enjoyed our Cozumel snorkeling tour and had fun with our crew and team. We are also happy yo know you loved El Cielo Beach with sting rays and enjoyed the tasty Guacamole. We truly appreciate you value the work of our team and take the time to share it with us. On behalf of the Cozumel Tours and Excursions family thank you for your trust and preference. Kind regards,
star-5
Great price, great tour!
Matt_R
, May 2022
Carlos was an incredible guide. The tour was lovely, incredibly scenic, and ended with great snacks and cold beer. We had a really perfect day.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Matt, Thank you for your excellent comments and great review. We know there are many Cozumel snorkeling tours out there but is the treatment and service of the staff what makes the difference, So we are glad you valued the work Carlos put into it and enjoyed your experience. On behalf of the Cozumel Tours and Excursions family, Thank you once again for your trust snd preference. Kind regards,
star-3
delayed trip
Gary_D
, May 2022
Boat left the dock 45 minutes late. Seas were too rough for me to snorkel the first two reefs we visited. Crew was fine, but we really shouldn't have snorkeled on this day; too windy
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Customer, Thank you for sharing your comments about this Cozumel snorkeling trip. We apologize if your experience was not the best or if you think the locations were rough. This Cozumel snorkeling tour is available for everyone and for all ages but you do have to have knowledge about snorkeling. If needed you could have request the assistance of our crew and tour guides, remember they are there for you at all times. Snorkeling tours in Cozumel operate according to weather and Ocean conditions and of Port is open we will operate on a regular way, so if you feel it was too windy for you we offer you an apology but weather conditions were suitable to perform this activity. However we appreciate your feedback as this will allow our tour guides to be on the look out if they see a customer is hesitant to do this activity and provide better insight. Thank you,
star-5
Amazing!
Lynn_S
, May 2022
We had a wonderful time. The snorkeling was amazing. The tour guide, captain and photographer were great and kept a close eye on everyone in the water. We ended the excursion at a clear shallow area and provided drinks and some great chips/ guacamole. While sitting in the water we saw numerous stingrays swimming by. Such a memorable experience!
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Lynn, Thank you very much for your great comments, we are glad to know you truly enjoyed our Cozumel snorkeling tour. As mentioned in your comment, this tour is a great way to know the marine life and beauty of Cozumel reefs. We really appreciate you share your feedback with us and let us know it was a memorable experience. Thank you once again for your trust and preference. Kind regards
star-5
Excellent experience
Elsa_G
, May 2022
Excellent experience! The tour guys Alex & Philly were so helpful. The water was nothing I’ve seen better. So clear and clean. I would definitely recommend it.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Nice trip
Alun_P
, May 2022
Nice tour. Snack is only nachos and a dip. Obliged to tip at the end. Kids enjoyed it and we saw turtles, stingrays, barracuda and plenty of sealife.
star-5
Wow!
Alice_Q
, May 2022
The reefs were beautiful! Most beautiful thing I have seen in my life. The boat ride was fun and the capitain and the guide were super kind and helpful. Thank you again Alex and Juanito! We really appreciated our tour!
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Alice, Thank you very much for your lovely comment. Even though our main purpose is for you to enjoy our Cozumel reefs, we are also focused on you to have a great and fun time while discovering Cozumel marine life. Thank you for giving us the chance to do that. On behalf of the Cozumel tours and excursions family, Thank you for your trust and preference. Kind regards,
star-5
Great Experience!
Gavin_M
, May 2022
The tour guides were very nice and always asking if we were ok during the whole trip. The chips and guacamole they made right on the boat was to die for and we got to see a lot of fish, a sea turtle, and a few stingrays!! Highly recommend for anyone wanting a fun adventure!
star-1
Shipwreck
Mark_F
, May 2022
The boat was small and uncomfortable. The engine gave out after 45 minutes. No snorkeling. No fun. At least the crew was pleasant.
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-5
Excellent & Fun Tour!
DianaDunn
, May 2022
This was an excellent tour. The crew worked hard to make us feel safe & comfortable. They also were very fun!
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-3
Not very friendly
nap0320
, May 2022
When we showed up at the ferry the lady there was not very welcoming! She was like what’s your name ok I need your $6 marine fee. Ok you can stand over there . Motioning for us to move aside , mind you nobody else was there to check in! No explanations just follow me , to taxi puts in taxi and walks away. When we arrived at marina it was like ok now what. Two guys walked up and told us we could use restrooms and go wait over there. They were waiting for the rest to arrive . We were told to be there by 10 we didn’t leave out till almost 11. No explanations. The boat Capt was rude . The one who was the nicest was photographer (Miguel) the trip was ok for the price maybe a better crew!
star-2
Not what I expected
nitza_j
, May 2022
Pros: The snorkeling sites were great, and impressive, water the most gorgeous blue and clear I’ve ever seen. Cons: The boat was tiny, tight and uncomfortable and it kept leaning. Did not have appropriate equipment for children under 12. Our guide Alex was not very friendly. He made us put our phones away in a bucket before we got to any sites and we would have to ask to get it which wouldn’t happen right away so no memories except for the last stop I got to take some pics. He was also very arrogant with his responses and it made it awkward. Let’s just say nobody was very happy with him by the end. They limit you to 2 beers(oh and he counted) The snack was fresh guacamole but not enough for our group. So eat before you go. I’d return to sites but not with “maybe tours”
star-2
Can be improved about exact effective time
Edward_H
, Apr 2022
We lost 45 minutes of the tour because the group was not complete. Besides we took the for 1 our together 2-way, so we had no 4 hours which was planned for the trip. Besides the last part, which we have relaxed with the group can be longer.
icon Response from Host , Apr 2022
Dear Customer, Thank you for your message. In regards to your comment this a total of 4 Hours tour duration. This includes the boat ride from the Marina to the first reefs, the snorkeling portion at the reefs and the boat ride from these reefs to El Cielo sandbar, the time at El Cielo and El Cielito beach plus the boat ride back to the Marina. We can't stay longer time at the locations visited as most of our customers are in schedule and we have to respect their time and follow tour logistics. We appreciate you took the time to share your review with everyone as we always encourage customers to share their experiences. Thank you
1 traveler found this review helpful
star-1
Bad guide , not good direction to find company
Amber_K
, Apr 2022
Our guide Alex was terrible and scolded us like school children. We also had no idea name of company when we showed up bc was not included in Viator info had to have a local call for us to figure out.
icon Response from Host , May 2022
Dear Customer, Thank you for sharing your feedback. in regards to your comments, our tour guides will always let customers know what is permitted and what is not during the tour. We apologize if you felt our tour guide was not polite but If they address something, is because of your own safety. Remember our tour guides are just following the rules and everyone should respect this. Probably his tone of voice was not correct and totally we apologize for this as there are better ways to say things but if customers are given instructions we expect them to be followed in order to avoid any type of issues or accidents, All is for a good reason. Thank you again for your comments.
star-5
Amazing snorkeling trip
Tristan_B
, Apr 2022
This was a magical experience. Our guide brought us to the best spots and we were able to see a lot of fish, 4 turtles and some sting rays and starfish. Unforgettable !!!
star-5
Great experience!!
paloma_t
, Apr 2022
Great experience, breath taking coral reef. We run into lots of different animals, along them a little baby turtle and hundreds of star fish. The staff was great, very helpful and professional We ended up in a sand bank with a drink and some nachos
star-4
A real value for the price!
Matt_C
, Apr 2022
The best part of the day by far was the last stop on the Cielito sandbar! The water is beautiful and there were many rays that swam by as we enjoyed the ceviche and cold beers. As for the snorkeling, it was fun and we have nothing but high props for our guide, Jaso, and our boat capitán, Ramon. My wife and I have dived (and snorkeled) in many amazing spots around the globe. As a snorkeling site, this was just average. The reef appears to be very healthy, which is great to see, and I’m sure we would have enjoyed diving here. But the reef is 20-40 ft below the surface, so unless you’re pretty good at free-diving you don’t see many fish up close. The surface is also crowded with snorkeling groups and it can be easy to get confused which group is yours if you get distracted. Nevertheless, we had a great time and highly recommend the outing for the price. Maybe Tours was one of the least expensive options yet we were totally pleased. As some have mentioned, their snorkeling gear isn’t top of the line, but at $55 USD pp our expectations were low to begin with. It was fine and included flippers. They even had mask defogger on board and none of us had any issues with leaky masks or fogging.
star-5
Best snorkeling ever!
TERRI_R
, Apr 2022
Excellent snorkel trip! We arrived in Cozumel via cruise ship. We were among the first people off the ship and got a taxi to the marina, which cost $8.00, plus tip and only took 5 minutes. We were approached by someone who asked us which tour we were on. We told them and a representative introduced himself. We waited for the rest of our group, which was a family of 5 from the Dominican Republic and a couple from Switzerland. Jaso and Abo were our tour guides and they were fantastic. They took us to 3 stops for the best snorkeling I have ever experienced! It was April 11th, and the water was warm and clear. Jaso led us on a guided snorkel at the 1st stop. We saw lots of beautiful fish and the reef was healthy. We even saw a stingray. At the 2nd stop, the water was super clear and we saw lots and lots of star fish sitting on the ocean floor. The starfish were different colors and sizes. At the 3rd stop, we got out of the boat in waist deep water and they served us delicious guacamole and chips and drinks on a life preserver floating the water. The water was so clear we could see lots of sting rays as they swam right past us! It was a great trip and I would recommend it to anyone. After they took us back to the marina, we had a couple of hours to spend in Cozumel to shop. There were nice bathrooms and outdoor showers at the marina, so we were able to rinse off and change into dry clothes, so we didn't have to go back to the ship.
star-2
Avoid. Poor experience.
Tyler_N
, Apr 2022
This snorkeling trip was mediocre at best. The meet up at the ferry terminal for the group taxi ride to a small marina took nearly 45 minutes. If you're looking for a comfortable snorkeling experience, this is not it. The snorkeling gear was cheap. The mask was okay, but the actual snorkel itself was a low cost tube that you would find at a dollar store. A good snorkel is certainly a must during open ocean snorkeling. Be prepared to continually drink salt water. The guide boat did NOT provide fins! The water was beautiful, but the hassle of constantly clearing the mask and tube did not allow a true snorkeling experience. Finally, after returning to the marina, there was no guidance about getting a ride back to the original pickup point. A taxi did arrive to which we proceeded to get in, only to have someone from the tour operator tell us eventually that his "boss" was paying for a bus to take us back. The bus never showed up, but two more cabs did. Being a pre-booked tour I expected organization and professionalism, but this is not what I got. Avoid this tour.
star-4
Beautiful snorkeling experience, bring biodegradable sunscreen
Sydney_P
, Apr 2022
Snorkeling was amazing — our favorite spot was a shallower area that was covered in giant starfish and clear blue water. The guides were friendly and the last spot was a giant beautiful sandbar where we drank beer and ate fruit. The two downsides is that we didn’t know we couldn’t wear sunscreen because of the reefs so we got very burnt and there was some confusion at the end about the taxis, though others didn’t seem to have issues.

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