Mexican Caribbean

How to Choose your Snorkel at El Cielo Excursion

Welcome back! You've either survived my previous snorkeling adventures or you're new here and willingly subjecting yourself to more of my opinions. Either way, I’m glad you’re here.

Today we’ll talk about a slice of underwater heaven - El Cielo at Cozumel, with its crystal-clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and an abundance of marine life that will prove heaven is real and you can find it at Cozumel. Before we begin, it is important to remember that when you visit El Cielo, you will be able to snorkel in the Colombia and Palancar Reefs, whose currents are stronger and intense, so if you are not a good swimmer or you are a beginner, I recommend you check out some of our snorkel tours that visit reefs with calmer waters.

Let’s dive into my top six selections for tours of this aquatic paradise. I've scoured the depths to bring you only the best of El Cielo excursions for this continuation of “How to choose your Snorkel Excursion at Cozumel” El Cielo edition.

  1. Snorkeling at Colombia, Palancar & El Cielo by panga

What better way to kick things off than with the classic favorite: a trip on a panga. If you have visited Cozumel in the past, or any cruise port for that matter, you have probably already snorkeled on a panga. Pangas are small boats that can squeeze in up to eighteen passengers. It's the go-to choice for those heading to El Cielo, mainly because it won't cost you an arm and a leg and it gives you 4 hours to spend between riding the waves and checking out the mesmerizing marine life.

Special Price: $49.99 USD

Who would I recommend this excursion to?

Like I said on the first instalment of this article, this one's for the young and sprightly, or families with older kids. The length of the trip can be a tad exhausting, so it's perfect for those with energy to spare. And if you happen to speak Spanish like a pro, consider yourself extra welcome - you'll be chatting up a storm in no time.

Check out our vlog and our promotional video to get a clearer idea of what it consists of!

  1. Snorkeling at Colombia, Palancar & El Cielo for Cruise Ship Passengers by Panga

This one is pretty much the same as the first one, except this trip on a panga starts at the EL Cid La Ceiba Hotel, which makes it THE best option for most cruise ship passengers. It has the same qualities as the original tour on a panga, but with the added benefit of saving you the troubles of an additional transportation fee.

Special Price: $49.99 USD

Who would I recommend this excursion to?

This excursion is well-suited for younger members of your family, typically starting from around 10 to 12 years old. However, it's essential to note that the duration of the trip spans approximately 3.5 hours, making it quite an extensive outing, especially for younger or older participants.

Additionally, it's worth mentioning that English may not be the primary language of the crew, so having a basic understanding of Spanish could prove beneficial, particularly if you're not entirely confident in your Spanish skills.

  1. Snorkeling at Colombia, Palancar, Turtles Sanctuary & El Cielo by Catamaran

When considering options between a panga and a small catamaran for your snorkeling adventure, the distinction is unmistakable. The choice ultimately hinges on your personal preferences: do you prioritize comfort or seek a lively atmosphere and speed?

As a 21-year-old, I lean towards the panga for its practicality. However, I must admit my fondness for "La Chulaaa" catamaran. With its exceptional crew, visits to a turtle sanctuary, and ample space for leisurely strolls and dancing on deck, it offers a unique experience.

While the panga typically provides excellent value for its offerings, I encourage you to explore both options firsthand to make an informed decision. It's worth comparing to ensure your excursion aligns perfectly with your expectations and desires.

Special Price: $74.99

Who would I recommend this excursion to?

This option also caters well to younger family members, typically starting from around 9 years old. However, it's important to note that this excursion spans approximately 4 hours, making it a considerable time commitment. When it comes to larger boats, like this one, it becomes easier for the younger ones to stay distracted and release their pent-up energy. While it's not exactly a party boat, you can still feel the lively vibe aboard.

Check out our promotional video to get a better idea of what it consists of!

  1. Snorkeling at Colombia, Palancar & El Cielo by Catamaran “Capitano”

We're taking a leap to a whole new level with the "El Capitano," one of our latest additions to the tour lineup. This two-story vessel, along with its spirited crew, guarantees an unforgettable experience for all on board. Designed as a party boat, it's tailor-made for larger groups looking to let loose.

But before you hop aboard, ask yourself: are you comfortable with the sounds of lively music, clinking glasses, and dancing feet? If so, then you're in for a treat.

While I haven't had the chance to personally experience this newer addition yet, one of my team members did, and they couldn't stop raving about it. They particularly loved the sunset ride, where the sky meets the sea in a breathtaking display of warmth.

As always, it's wise to compare prices with our previous options and consider the unique features of each tour before making your decision.

Special Price: $74.99 USD

Who would I recommend this excursion to?

I highly recommend the "El Capitano" for larger parties, families with older kids, and anyone seeking a memorable time. It's the perfect choice for those who enjoy a fun atmosphere.

It's worth noting that like most snorkeling tours, alcoholic beverages are available onboard. However, due to its party boat status, you can expect a more substantial presence of alcohol. So, if you're ready to embrace the party vibe, this is the place to be!

  1. Double Reef Snorkel, El Cielo & Playa Mía by Catamaran

This one you might already know, the epitome of oceanic luxury: the grandest catamaran option in Cozumel (excluding yachts, naturally). A spacious vessel, brimming with passengers, gliding through the azure waters as if it were a scene from a fairy tale. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Imagine sipping on chilled beverages, feeling the sea breeze on your face, and dancing to your heart's content. It's the embodiment of leisure and extravagance, fit for royalty.

Your decision should ultimately align with your preferences and expectations for the ultimate snorkeling adventure at El Cielo. While this tour may lean towards the pricier side, its offerings are worth considering.

Special Price: $113.99 USD

Who would I recommend this excursion to?

Yeah, you guessed it, still everyone. Literally everyone. Kids? Sure (if they are over 11 years old), Your grandparents? Climb aboard! The truth is, if you like luxury, this is one of the best options by far.

Check out our promotional video to get a clearer idea of what it consists of!

  1. Private 4 Hour Snorkeling at the Marine Park Reefs by Boat

Last but certainly not least, we have the tour to El Cielo by Private Boat—a top choice for all kinds of groups, who prefer privacy or are celebrating a special event. Here, you hold all the cards. Simply reach out to us, share your needs, and we'll tailor the experience to perfection. Whether it's a panga, catamaran, or yacht, we'll ensure it fits both your budget and your wishes.

This option promises a truly personalized experience, so the cost isn't set in stone. It varies depending on the boat you select, but rest assured, we'll work with you to find the perfect fit. So, if you're ready to start comparing, let's make your El Cielo dreams a reality.

Starting From: $59.99 USD

Note: The minimum price offer is calculated for 4 passengers, and you will need to book as that minimum number of passengers to cover all the expenses. Again, the price may vary depending on the number of passengers + the boat of your choosing.

Who would I recommend this excursion to?

As I mentioned earlier, this option is tailor-made for groups. However, I wouldn't recommend it for solo travelers or pairs unless you're seeking the most intimate experience possible—perhaps even a romantic wedding proposal?

On this trip, you're essentially the co-captain, setting the tone for what unfolds onboard. Of course, always defer to the actual captain's expertise. It's worth noting that booking this tour involves quite a bit of conversation, as we strive to ensure that the boat you ultimately choose is the perfect match for your needs and desires.

The rating will vary depending on your boat’s and reefs selection, if you let us know the members of your party aren't strong swimmers, we can visit some calmer reefs where you only have to float, bringing the difficulty down to low. 

Here you have all the options available on our website for a snorkel trip to El Cielo, along with visits to the most popular reefs. If you're still feeling indecisive, don't hesitate to reach out—we're here to offer some extra tips and guidance.

Now, as for what I would book? For me it’s between a panga ride and a private boat with friends. Ultimately, it depends on whether I'm in the mood for a party or seeking a more intimate adventure (With more people). How about you? What's calling out to you from our array of options?



By Bee Díaz