Are you scuba diving on a budget? Join the club! Scuba is an expensive sport, and it’s almost a sport in and of itself to find a scuba diving vacation that allows you the financial flexibility to stay in the water as long as possible. You’re in luck, though–with a little ingenuity, Cozumel, Mexico is one of the world’s best budget scuba diving destinations. If you put your mind to it, you’ll find (or put together for yourself) an affordable scuba vacation package that will give you the flexibility you need to focus on your scuba skills.
Some of the larger tour operators offer a Cozumel scuba diving vacation package, which will offer divers of all stripes a handpicked combination of dining, accommodation, open-water dives, and plenty of ideal beaches to enjoy some shore diving. Though not cheap at first glance, the amplified buying power of such a scuba diving package deal often offers excellent value for your dollar. If you’re not planning on staying in Cozumel for very long and don’t have the time to research a trip for yourself, this might be the situation for you. Off-season packages tend to offer the biggest bang for your buck, but be aware that scuba conditions might be disappointing during these times–do your homework.
If you’re a do-it-yourself type, you can land yourself an incredibly cheap scuba diving vacation by seeking out one of Cozumel’s many backpackers’ hostels. The facilities are basic, but the money you save on accommodation can put you in the water significantly more often than you would be if you stayed at a more expensive hotel or resort. You’ll do a little more research to find one you like, but once you arrive the front desk will doubtless connect you to an inexpensive dive shop that they’ve vetted over the course of years hosting budget-strapped travelers.
Your surface intervals can be as fun as they are affordable, too. Many of the fun little bars and restaurants in Cozumel have great happy hours, so keep an eye out. One of the cheapest-most-fun afternoons you can spend in Cozumel is chilling out and taking in the Mariachi festivals in town over a happy hour cerveza. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can arrange an inexpensive day trip to the Mayan Ruins in San Gervasio.
If have some flexibility in your schedule, pop over to Craigslist and look at monthly vacation homes, apartments and cottage rentals in Cozumel. These tend to be priced much lower than the typical hotels and resorts (and even hostels). You might try offering your services to one of the dive shops in Cozumel, if the whim strikes: perhaps they need your help to work in the shop, organizing gear and running the office. You might start out seeking a cheap scuba diving vacation in Mexico and stumble into a whole new life in scuba diving–you never know!