Cozumel Guide and DivePrinted on Waterproof, rip-proof plastic, Available folded or flat laminated Map size: 26.5" x 18.5"
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Side 1 of Franko’s Map of Cozumel: This is the first of a series of Caribbean Maps that Franko has been working on for over three years. At last it was finished in October, 2003. Franko’s Map of Cozumel, which is and island just off the Yucatan Peninsula of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, features an layout of Isla de Cozumel, based on nautical charts and aerial photos. Cozumels roads, Maya ruins, resorts, and other features are shown on side one. Most importantly, is the location and detailed descriptions of 55 scuba diving and snorkeling sites, which is what Cozumel gains it’s prestige and fame. It is noteworthy to say that Cozumel boasts some of the most outstanding scuba diving on earth. One could claim that as many as five of the top ten scuba sites in the world are along Cozumel’s leeward (west) side. From south to north, the fabulous reefs include Maracaibo Reef, Chun Chacab Reef, Punta Sur Reef (South Point), Columbian Pinnacles (Columbia Reef), Columbia Shallows (Columbia Gardens), Palancar Reef, Palancar Caves, Palancar Horseshoe, Palancar Shallows (Palancar Gardens), La Francesa Reef, Punta Dalila, Paso Del Ceral Wall, Paso Del Cedral Reef. Santa Rosa Wall (possibly Cozumel’s best dive site), Santa Rosa Shallows, San Francisco Reef/Wall, Cardona Reef, Punta Tunich, Yucab Wall, Yucab, Tormentos Reef, Wreck of the Felipe Xicitencatl (Cozumel’s Wreck), Bolones de Chankanaab, Beachcomeber Cavern, Chankanaab Reef, Chankanaab Underwater Park, Fiesta American Cozumel Reef, Las Palmas Drop-off, Las Palmas Shallows, Paraiso Sur (Paradise South), Paradise Shallows, Paradise Reef, Paraiso Norte (Paradise North), International Pier, Aeroplane Wreck, La Ceiba Reef Preserve, Gorgonian Flats, Villablanca Drop-off, Villablanca Reef, Pico’s Reef (Barracuda Reef), Barge Wreck Eagle Ray Wall, San Juan Reef, and Barracuda. The descriptions of these underwater walls, coral pinnacles and buttresses and coral gardens is briefly told for each one, and then on side two of the map there is a drawing and descriptions of these features in general. Franko’s Map of Cozumel also shows a number of dive sites on the windward side of Cozumel, including El Islote, Playa Bush, El Mirador, Punta Chiqueros, Chen Rio, Punta Morena, Los Atolones and Islotes. For those who are interested, Cozumel also has a trio of notable surf spots, which are located on the map. They include Playa Bonita, Chen Rio and Mezcalito’s. Cannons, anchors and other artifacts are found in the waters of Cozumel. Franko’s Map of Cozumel shows a sampling of these items dating from the Spanish exploration era onward. Maya ruin sites, where there still can be found beautiful examples of former great cites in Cozumel’s interior are also located on this map. They include the famous and fabulous San Gervasio, El Cedral, Santa Rita, etc. Some folks travel to Cozumel just to see the ruins. Since much of Cozumel is a Marine Park (Marine Parque Arricefes De Cozumel), it is certain that this map fits right into Franko’s personal love of the undersea. It also follows that no Franko’s Map which caters to a beautiful island and it’s diving would be complete without local reef creature information. In fact, the finishing touch on side one of Franko’s Map of Cozumel is Franko’s Caribbean reef creatures guide. This biological interpretive data includes over 100 species of fish, invertebrates, corals and sponges, depicted in full color with names for easy identification. This includes everything from green sea and hawksbill turtles to white-spotted eagle rays, trumpetfish, blacktip reef sharks, and longspine squirrelfish. It also includes mountainous star coral, finger coral, sheet coral, sea fans, and the one coral feared by Franko - fire coral. The favorite of all of Cozumel’s undersea creatures is it’s own unique Cozumel splendid toadfish. This curious creature is depicted peering out from a hiding spot, as usual. This beautiful depiction of Cozumel’s fabulous undersea life is a combination of carefully drawn artwork, intermingled with Franko’s underwater photography that has been blended into the artwork.
Side 2 of Franko’s Map of Cozumel features a couple of zoom-ins and a Cozumel Reefs explanation and artwork. The first feature is Franko’s Map of Greater San Miguel, which covers much of the west coast, from the Cozumel Country Club on the north to Chankanaab Marine National Park on the south. Chankanaab Park is also show in an enlarged detail. The locations of the dive spots defined on side one are more closely shown here. A few undersea photos of the reefs and sights highlight this map. Although this detail shows many of the hotels and resorts along Cozumel’s leeward side, the City of San Miguel itself deserves an even closer detail. And thus the detail called Franko’s Map of Downtown San Miguel was created. Many of Cozumel’s main dive shops are located in this detail, along with the city’s main features, such as the cruise ship terminals, the route to the airport, Plaza San Miguel, hotels, and even grocery stores. A pictue of a statue of the archangel San Miguel (Saint Michael), which was photographed at Cozumel’s beautiful San Miguel Church, shows exactly what this fine city was named after. This city map and the details on the other parts of the map make getting around on Cozumel via car, vespa, bike, or walking easy. The last detail on side two of Franko’s Map of Cozumel is the Coral Reefs detail, in which yours truly (Franko) has created a water cube. In it the nature of Cozumel’s walls (drop-offs), where scuba divers take a fabulous drift-dive ride on Cozumel’s strong, clear currents, is described in detail. This is typical of Santa Rosa Wall, or Maracaibo Reef. In slightly shallow water this same picture shows a typical cross section of Coral Pinnacles and Buttresses, as would be experienced on a Cozumel drift dive at Columbia Pinnacles or Punta Sur (another famous favorite Cozumel dive site). Lastly, there is a depiction of a Cozumel Coral Garden, such as might be found at Santa Rosa Shallows or Paradise Reef.
Franko’s Map of Cozumel is a must have for anyone visiting or diving at Cozumel. Anyone who likes seahorses must have this map!