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Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs

Quintana Roo, Mexico
Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs

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Free Cancellation
up to 24 hours in advance
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Safety measures
icon4 hours  (Approx.)
Pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English and 1 more
Good for avoiding crowds


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.
  • Snorkel at three locations off the island of Cozumel
  • Gaze at groups of sea stars in the shallow waters of El Cielo
  • Discover the abundant marine life teeming around Columbia and Palancar Reefs, including turtles, rays, and colorful fish
  • Refresh yourself with unlimited drinks on board, including beer, juices, and bottled water
  • Choose between a morning and an afternoon departure
Saved to wishlist!
Professional guide
Snorkel gear
Snorkeling at 3 different locations
Unlimited drinks (fruit juices, bottled water and beer)
Alcoholic Beverages
Hotel pickup and drop-off
National Marine Park Fee of $ 5.00 U.S. p/p

Departure Point

Marina Fonatur, Carretera Costera Sur km 6, 77688 Q.R., Mexico

Departure Time

1:00 PM

Return Details

Returns to original departure point
Depart from the pier and dive headfirst into your ocean adventure. Embark your stylish glass-bottom boat and follow your skipper and guide as they offer a tour of the onboard amenities and explain important safety information. Then, set sail to the first of three incredible snorkeling locations. 

Sink into your cushioned seat and soak up the sunshine as the boat propels you towards your first destination of El Cielo, a place so beautiful it directly translates as ‘heaven’ in Spanish. Don your snorkeling gear and sink into the inviting water, investigating the sea star colony that inhabits the ocean bed.   

Next, journey to Colombia Reef, a sublime snorkeling spot hailed as one of the Marine National Park’s finest. With excellent visibility and a diverse variety of marine life, Colombia Reef is a perfect place to spot sea turtles, coral communities, barracudas, eagle rays and schools of shimmering fish. 

Cruise to Palancar Reef to discover a submerged showcase of underwater wonders; gaze upon nurse sharks, lobsters, moray ells and kaleidoscopic tableaus of tropical fish. Return to the boat to enjoy a complimentary onboard bar of chilled beer, refreshing margaritas, zesty juice, and purified water as you revel in the soothing Mexican sunshine. 

Return to the pier after the tour.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Minimum age to snorkel is 5 years
  • Minimum age to drink alcohol is 18 years
  • Passengers under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult
  • Maximum weight is 127 kg (280 lbs)
  • Please bring cash to pay the marine fee
  • Not recommended for pregnant women or people with heart complaints or other serious medical conditions
  • It is recommended that you wear a swimsuit and bring sunglasses, biodegradable sunscreen and a towel
  • Note: Time spent at each of the reefs is approximate and depends on weather conditions and group size.
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Near public transportation
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Travelers should have a moderate physical fitness level
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 15 travelers

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.

  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience 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.
What is the policy on face masks and attendee health during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs?
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 Cielo Reefs.
What is the policy on sanitization during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs?
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 Cielo Reefs.
What is the social distancing policy during Cozumel Snorkeling Tour: Palancar, Columbia and Cielo Reefs?
The policy on social distancing is:

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

Traveler Photos

Traveler Tips

  • "Beverages were provided throughout the tour, although beer was only available after the snorkeling for safety purposes." See review


105 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

Showing 1-10 of 105 reviews
Snorkeling was fun…beware of possible scam
, Jul 2021
5 dollar tax not mentioned when we booked this excursion. Photographer worked on commission and had a complete photo shoot with one family and took about 6 pics of us. And tried charging us the same price for way less pics
icon Response from Host , Jul 2021
Hello Philip, Thank you very much for your feedback and four points rating. I apologize for any wrong impression you could have on the photo concession work. We'll take care of those details right away in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding. In regards the $5.00 US p/p National Marine Park is clearly indicated on the section "What's Included" of the tour description which you may review. Sincerely yours,
Had a lot of fun! Good deal!
, Jul 2021
We had a great time snorkeling with pachie and the crew! Cool fish to look at and drinking beer on the sandbar was a nice highlight. Maybe seeing more of the reefs would have been nice but very fun time and well worth the money!
Amazing Snorkeling Experience
, Jul 2020
We booked a snorkeling trip last minute with Juan, Rene, and Wilbur and had an incredible experience. We visited three snorkel spots and then got to swim at El Ciel at the end. Rene took incredible pictures of our family snorkeling and I was thrilled to be able to buy them at the end for only $45 for my family of 4. The pictures were in my email in the next few hours. The three crew members on our boat could have not been nicer or more helpful. I highly recommend this trip!
Excellent trip, great value, helpful staff
, Feb 2020
Our boat was crewed by Juan, Roman & the photographer, all really friendly guys. They took time to explain exactly what we would be doing, what we could expect to see, and looked after us very well. The snorkeling was better than we expected as we saw a turtle, shark, parrot fish, queen ocean trigger fish & many more. Juan kept the group fully informed during the snorkeling, telling us whenever he stopped anything interesting. The photographer took great photos of us and the turtle; we never normally buy 'tourist' photos, but made an exception as the photos were excellent. Really enjoyable trip, thoroughly recommended
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Overall, a great tour with helpful guides
, Jan 2020
I previously wrote a review that mentioned I never received the pictures i paid for at the end of the tour. I contacted the tour operator and photographer, and within two days, received all the pictures I was expecting. Other than that temporary problem, it was a great trip.
Good Snorkel trip
, May 2019
Did have a really good time on the boat and in the water. Lots of fish to see. The crew does a good job of providing a safe and enjoyable trip.
A very fun snorkeling experience
, Jan 2019
Our crew was very friendly, and the three locations where we stopped to snorkel were beautiful. We had some pictures taken of our group underwater, which all turned out great and we were able to purchase for a very reasonable price. Beverages were provided throughout the tour, although beer was only available after the snorkeling for safety purposes.
Awesome times!
Lisa M
, Jan 2019
We had an amazing time on this snorkeling excursion. The reefs were beautiful even without 100% visibility. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. Needed to read the fine print regarding the taxes of $3.00 each and not being met at the port.
Very disappointed -- falsely advertised
, Dec 2018
We are a family of three (all adults) and have trusted Viator many times for our world travels and this experience was our first disappointment. The description online is severely misleading. While the description says that each boat will carry between 10 and 20 people out for the snorkeling trip, our boat was crowded with 33 total passengers, plus 3 crew members. There were three unannounced stops to pick up additional passengers before we reached the first reef. It took one full hour to reach the first reef to begin snorkeling. Generally speaking, the crew was not immediately responsive to our questions or concerns. The snorkeling equipment was cheaply made: the straps on the mask were too loose and one of us lost a flipper in the water because the strap was too loose. The ratio of snorkelers to crew members in the water was dangerously out of proportion: with 30 swimmers in the water, we had only ONE guide. There was another crew member in the water, but his responsibility was only to take photos and not assist swimmers. At one point, one of us felt unsafe in the water and immediately made the emergency signal that the boat needed to return to pick us up. The crew member we signaled to was extremely dismissive and did not respond to our need to get out of the water. The boat itself is in no way a glass bottom boat. There is a small glass through-hull port at the bow, visible only if you crawl way up to the front. The bottom itself of the boat is all fiber glass. Note: The location itself where you board is a small marina with no cafes or eateries (so be sure to have lunch before you reach the Marina) and you are responsible for calling your own taxi to return to town as taxis do not regularly pass by this area. We in no way recommend this tour and strongly suggest that you look elsewhere for a better experience.
HelpfulHelpful1 traveler found this review helpful
Fun day on the wayer
, Dec 2018
Enjoyed our day with this excursion. Friendly folks. Safe snorkeling. Great underwater photos taken. Very glad we chose this snorkeling tour!

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