Feeling crowded in Cozumel? Dive Villa Blanca!

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An Angel Fish

There are countless dive sites in Cozumel, Mexico. Some you will find in a guide book, some you will not. The most popular sites are full of boats and divers by 10 a.m. Those sites are famous because they are awesome, but with several boats full of divers, the animals have often moved on to other, less crowded sites. I spent a few weeks in Cozumel during October last year, and had the pleasure of diving a few less popular spots – and had great dives as a result.

Villa Blanca is a reef north of the cruise ship port, and one does not see many dive boats in the area. Most of the “dramatic” dive sites are in the south, so Villa Blanca gets much less credit than it deserves. Villa Blanca is a wall dive, filled with sponges and soft corals and fans rather than towering mountains of hard coral. There is abundant life on the reef…much of it small, but every dive on this trip involved seeing Eagle Rays… they stayed just far enough away that taking a photo would be fruitless, but just seeing an Eagle Ray several times during a dive is simply lovely.

I took lots of photos – check them out:

 

Beautiful Yellow Cheek Wrasse

Beautiful Yellow Cheek Wrasse

Stingray eye

Stingray eye

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A very dark Spotted Moray Eel

Trumpetfish are so awesome to see and watch…they are always hiding.

Trumpetfish are so awesome to see and watch…they are always hiding.

A close up of the Trumpetfish. See how well they blend in!

A close up of the Trumpetfish. See how well they blend in!

Yellow sponge fingers.

Scrawled Filefish were breeding…I have never seen so many of them!

Scrawled Filefish were breeding…I have never seen so many of them!

Look carefully….how many Filefish can you count??

Look carefully….how many Filefish can you count??

Talk about camoflauge!

Talk about camoflauge!

I LOVE these squat anemone shrimps!!!

I LOVE these squat anemone shrimps!!!

They are so tiny!

They are so tiny!

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Honeycomb Cowfish change color also…I love their pursed little mouths.

The big Rainbow Parrot

The big Rainbow Parrot

Tiny, tiny Sharpnose Puffer

Tiny, tiny Sharpnose Puffer

Gorgeous WhiteSpotted Filefish

Gorgeous WhiteSpotted Filefish

So don’t be afraid to venture out of the “usual” reefs… the dive boats tend to go to the more familiar spots that everyone asks for, especially Palancar. I can assure you that Villa Blanca is worth diving, and the best news? You’ll probably be the only boat there, and that is a rarity on Cozumel’s dive sites. Enjoy the leisure of this unusual wall dive… and by the way, it is also an incredible night dive.

For more from Tam, visit www.travelswithtam.com.

Tam Warner Minton

Tam Warner Minton

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!

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