Mexican Caribbean

Clear Boat vs Glass Bottom Boat: How to pick the right option

Picking the right option for your snorkeling experience in Cozumel can be beyond confusing, that much we know, but that discussion has been said and done(you can check this article for more information), today we’ll explain some of the differences between two of the most popular snorkeling activities here at Cozumel and also how to properly spot if you are actually booking the one you have in mind. 

1. Clear Boat at Cozumel

This activity has been a huge boom for the past couple of years, and its popularity only continues to increase. The first boat arrived at the island around 3 years ago, there are currently two of them and all spots are constantly selling out. You might be wondering what a clear boat is and a great identifier of such ship is its crystal-like appearance that provides the feeling of walking on water. Another little piece of advice I can give you on identifying if what you are about to book is in fact a Clear Boat is to carefully look at the pictures that are being provided, plus, they tend to be on the smaller size (though not as small as most pangas). 

If you are considering booking this tour, please be mindful to the fact that it won’t visit El Cielo, Colombia, & Palancar. This is a common misconception most passengers have, and it leads to a ruined trip because they develop the feeling of being ripped off. Please always make sure to read the information regarding the spots you’ll be visiting and avoid booking something if you can’t be 100 % sure of what it entails.  

Here you have a video on a clear boat so you can have an idea of what it looks like, plus a video vlog! 

2. Glass Bottom Boat

The most common type of boat you’ll see here at Cozumel since they have been around here for decades. A glass bottom boat looks just like any other from the outside but once you get inside, you’ll see a window located at the center of the ship that allows you to look at everything happening below, which is the reasoning behind the name. The size of the window varies depending on the boat, pangas (Click here to book a tour by panga) tend to have smaller sized windows due to the already reduced space, while bigger boats (Click here to book a tour on our boat “Cubana”) can have wider glass bottoms.  

With a glass bottom boat, you can find tours that take you to El Cielo, Colombia, & Palancar, to Paraíso & Villablanca, or other close by reefs. The reason this tour isn’t limited to one trajectory the way the first one is, is because there are multiple destinations available around the island due to the high number of ships there are in contrast with clear boats. 

Here you can have a video vlog of a tour in a glass bottom boat so you can get an idea of what it looks like. 

Both options truthfully deliver what they promise; good fun and everlasting memories, but it can be disappointing when we have an idea in our minds, and it ends up not being what we thought, my advice will always be to thoroughly read the tour description before booking it and looking at the pictures.  

Also, a Clear boat only allows you to snorkel for around 15 minutes, which is why I wouldn’t personally consider it a snorkeling activity, but rather a sightseeing one. 

Whatever option you choose, I’m sure you’ll love it and I know you’ll love it even more if you book with us (blatantly promoting)!!! 


Bee Díaz