If you had told me that some of the best reefs I would ever dive would be just a short distance from Cancun International Airport, I’d look at you like you were crazy.
I mean, I’ve dove with manta rays in the Maldives, sharks in Moorea and Tahiti, and got certified on one of the most remote Caribbean islands, Little Corn Island in Nicaragua.
But Cozumel easily blew me out of the water: it was one of my best dive trips, hands down.
I think there’s this idea amongst divers that the best dive sites are extremely inaccessible, requiring long flights to remote destinations, long boat rides to dive sites, perhaps even taking a week on a liveaboard.
And while certainly, some dive destinations are like that, it’s certainly not the case for reaching the best dive sites in Cozumel, which I’d argue is Mexico’s best dive destination (and certainly its most accessible).
The beauty of Cozumel is that it offers a little something for everyone.
Beginner diver? There are great shallow dive sites teeming with marine life and unreal visibility.
Intermediate diver? There are exciting deep dives and stunning coral swim-throughs if you want to work on your buoyancy.
Advanced diver? Think stunning wall dives and drift dives with strong currents for those who want to improve their dive skills.
On my last trip to Cozumel, I did 15 dives, 5 of which were part of my PADI advanced open water certification course.
The other 10 were fun dives which I did with my partner and dive buddy.
First, I’ll go over all the dive sites I personally experienced and give you my dive notes on them, and then I’ll cover the other dive sites in Cozumel that I didn’t get to (this time!).
Why is Scuba Diving in Cozumel So Great?
The waters around Cozumel are protected by law as a marine park. As a result, fishing within the reserve is banned, and the number of people who can be on the reef at one time is regulated by permits.
The reefs of Cozumel make up one small part of the Meso-American Barrier Reef system.
This vast network of coral reefs hugs the Caribbean coast, stretching all the way from Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula down to Honduras and its Bay Islands of Utila and Roatan.
Access to the marine park is regulated by Mexican authorities and dive operators and boat captains take this very seriously — I saw my divemasters report a boat who they suspected was spearfishing illegally.
The result is a thriving, healthy coral reef system that is so vibrant it’s almost hard to believe it’s real.
The star of the show is the Palancar Reef, which is a whopping 3.5-mile long reef system, full of caves, pinnacles, canyons, and swim-throughs.
There are other incredible dive sites, like wall dives on Santa Rosa Wall, and we’ll get into all the best dive sites in this post!
I’ll list my favorites in order, and then I’ll give you an overview of some of the dive sites I didn’t get to – but plan to come back to in the future!
My 10 Favorite Dive Sites in Cozumel (Ranked!)
Dive Profile: Max depth 25m, 51 minutes
Dive Sightings: Splendid toadfish, stingray, spotted eagle ray, lobster, giant grouper, parrotfish, orange filefish, green sea turtle
Palancar Caves is my favorite dive site in Cozumel for innumerable reasons. This was one of my last dives on my Cozumel trip, and it left me with incredible memories.
Location-wise, it’s part of the larger Palancar Reef formation, and more specifically, this dive site is located in between Palancar Bricks to the south and Palancar Horseshoe to the north.
Generally, Palancar Caves is done as a multi-level dive. The dive starts over a sandy bottom, where you go down to around 40 feet.
Once you’ve descended and equalized, you make your way over to the wall, descending to a wall at about 80 feet or lower (max 120 feet).
As you start to near NDL limits or get close to your oxygen reserve, you typically end on the shallows, about 25 feet over the reef.
Palancar Caves dive site is a must-visit for intermediate divers. While it’s not as teeming with fish life as some of the other Cozumel dive sites, it’s a great dive nonetheless.
Expect to see stunning tall coral pinnacles and spires that make you feel like you’re swimming through an underwater castle in a kaleidoscope of colors.
Moderate currents make this dive site an exciting and challenging experience especially while you dive along the wall area, making it perfect for intermediate divers looking to take their skills to the next level.
With its impressive coral formations, soft sponges, and maze of swim-throughs, this dive site is sure to be a highlight for you as it was for me!
Dive Profile: Max depth 23m, 40 minutes
Dive Sightings: Green sea turtle, foureye butterflyfish, queen angelfish, blue chromis, stoplight parrotfish, blue tang, whitespotted filefish
Palancar Gardens was my very first dive in Cozumel, and it was a great introduction to what I would experience over the rest of my week in Cozumel!
Palancar Gardens is often chosen a first dive site as it’s a way for divemasters to assess your skill levels in a safe environment.
It’s a great option for beginner divers as there’s a lot to see in between 30 feet and 80 feet.
However, it can also be a suitable wall dive for experienced divers who are certified and experienced enough to go down as far as 130 feet along the wall.
Palancar Gardens is aptly named for its abundant coral formations, which are covered in gorgonian soft corals, sea fans, and colorful sponges.
While fish life isn’t as abundant here, divers can expect to see a lot of crustaceans and other animals that like to make their home in the crevices of the coral.
The deeper you go into Palancar Gardens, the less fish life you’ll see, and the more the dive becomes about the colorful coral ecosystem with its variety of passageways, arches, and caverns.
As one of the busiest areas of Palancar, you’ll see lots of diver bubbles from people below you, which can add to the excitement of the dive!
Basically, Palancar Gardens is a great beginner dive site that’s also suitable for experienced divers looking to explore the coral formations, passageways, and arches in the area.
Punta Palancar (Point Palancar)
Dive Profile: Max depth 23m, 51 minutes
Dive Sightings: Huge loggerhead turtle (80+ years old), juvenile angelfish, parrotfish, lobster, pipefish, spotted moray eel
Whether or not this is specifically considered a unique dive site or not is up for debate.
Some infographics of dive sites in Cozumel show it, and some do not.
This is what my divemaster called it — we started in Punta Palancar and ended up at the southern end of Palancar Gardens by the end of the dive.
That said, I needed to include it here because it included my favorite animal encounter in my entire diving experience: an ancient loggerhead turtle!
I saw it down about 80 feet deep, and the trick of the deep water’s distortion effect made it look so massive that it looked to be practically the size of a Fiat!
It stayed with us for several minutes, completely unbothered by our presence, and even continued its swim with us into the shallower areas, where it looked like a completely different turtle after the distortion of the deep blue went away.
The Point Palancar dive site goes down to 100 feet (30 meters) along a wall teeming with vibrant coral life and sponges. You’ll see some fish like groupers, jacks, and barracudas, but mostly, this is about the coral formations.
The current here can be a little strong! When we were diving it, we definitely got slammed around a bit in a swim-through (but nothing too serious).
You should have some experience already with diving with currents and navigating labyrinthine coral swim-throughs before trying Point Palancar.
However, with strong currents comes excellent visibility, so expect pristine clear waters as you admire the Cozumel reefs.
The maze-like swim-throughs are extremely fun, and this is also where you’ll find a small little memorial headstone in a cave dedicated to a local diver. Your DM will have to point it out as not everyone knows about this!
Santa Rosa Wall
Dive Profile: Max depth 29m, 36 minutes
Dive Sightings: Queen angelfish, French angelfish, yellowtail stingray, bicolor angelfish, spotted eagle ray, schooling grunts, trumpetfish
Santa Rosa Wall was my first deep dive with my advanced open water certification, and wow, was it ever memorable!
We descended over a sandy bottom, where we equalized and got ready to head down to the wall drop-off.
On the way there, we admired the stunning arches in the coral formations, where you could see between the archways into the dark, deep blue of the open ocean. It was mesmerizing.
The Santa Rosa Wall is a popular dive site for intermediate to advanced divers who want a wall dive they’ll never forget.
The exhilaration of looking at the coral wall on one side and the endless deep blue waters on the other side are mesmerizing!
This vertical wall is often dove at depths at 15 meters (45 feet) to 40 meters (130 feet), offering a diverse range of landscapes to see.
Generally speaking, there is more fish life at shallower depths, but at lower depths, you’re less likely to see other scuba divers and you have a greater chance of seeing large pelagics.
The Santa Rosa Wall is best-suited for intermediate divers who are comfortable diving with currents, as it has a moderate to strong current.
This can add to the dive’s excitement, but it can also be reason enough to change the dive site, which happened for me once — we shifted the plans and did the Santa Rosa shallows inside.
Fish life is limited in the wall dive portion, but you can expect to see nurse sharks, rays, turtles, moray eels, and even the occasional great hammerhead in the deep blue (but you’d have to be very lucky for this).
The sites on Palancar Reef aren’t the only Cozumel dive sites with swim-throughs!
Santa Rosa also has its share of tunnels, caves, and even overhangs where you can look up and see fun marine life like sea sponges above you!
While there may not be as many fish as other dive sites, the Santa Rosa Wall is home to plenty of splendid toadfish, eels, and crustaceans that like to hide in the wall’s crevices.
Dive Profile: Dive #1 Max depth 16m, 54 min; Dive #2 Max depth 17m, 57 minutes
Dive Sightings (Dive 1): Splendid toadfish, pufferfish, peacock flounder, baby flounder, sleeping nurse shark, spotted moray eel, queen angelfish, spotted trunkfish, durgon triggerfish, queen triggerfish, honeycomb cowfish, spotted filefish, broomtail filefish
Dive Sightings (Dive 2): Barracuda, giant lobsters, scorpionfish, scrawled & orange filefish, lizardfish, spotted cowfish, stingray, spotted drumfish, balloonfish, porcupine fish, splendid toadfish, trumpetfish, batfish, queen triggerfish
Yucab Reef is a fantastic intermediate dive site that is often done as a second dive in a two-tank dive due to how much you can see with a shallow dive profile (for example, I never went deeper than 17 meters).
You start by approaching the reef from a sandy bottom start, where you’ll then pass by turtle grass, soon reaching the vibrant and colorful reef system.
The reason why it’s intermediate, despite its relatively shallow depth, is the strong current at Yucab Reef.
While this strong current causes healthy reef growth, it also will give you quite a boost, pushing you along in the water quickly — you’ll almost feel like you’re flying, especially if you’re in a horizontal position!
Despite the strong current, there aren’t a lot of obstacles at Yucab Reef, making it a good introduction to drift diving for new divers looking to do their first drift dive.
I had never done a drift dive before my dive at Yucab, and it was a perfect introduction to drift diving, because it’s not as intimidating as doing a drift dive along a wall.
One of the highlights of diving at Yucab Reef is the sheer colorful abundance of hard coral species and huge barrel sponges that you’ll see!
These structures provide shelter for a variety of marine life, including nurse sharks, which can often be found underneath the edges of the coral taking a nap (I’ve never seen sleepier sharks in my life).
But the best part of diving Yucab is just how many species of fish you’ll see. It’s like diving in an aquarium! I’m a huge fish identification nerd, and it was the perfect place to flex my ID skills.
If you want to soar over a pristine reef, taking in a huge variety of reef fish, this is the dive for you!
Dive Profile: Dive #1 Max depth 13m, 62 minutes; Dive #2 Max depth 15m, 59 minutes
Dive Sightings (Dive 1): stingray, goldentail moray eel, graysby grouper, longsnout seahorse, shrimp, spotted eagle ray, smooth trunkfish, spotted trunkfish, spotted burrfish, brindled burrfish, American round stingray
Dive Sightings (Dive 2): three spotted eagle rays, bandit butterflyfish, French angelfish, spotted trunkfish, spotted drumfish, anemone shrimp, peacock flounder, green turtle, barracuda, two sting rays, queen triggerfish, pufferfish
The San Clemente dive site is particularly known for its shallow depth profile ranging from 30 to 50 feet (9 to 15 meters).
Like Yucab, San Clemente is a dive site that is often chosen as the second dive in a two-tank dive. That’s due to its shallower profile and the fact that it is less visited than other shallow sites like Yucab and Tormentos.
San Clemente is a great dive site for beginners because its shallow depth, for extended air consumption, which is great if that is something you are working towards improving.
This dive site is also known for its abundance of fish life, similar to what you’ll see at Yucab.
However, the current at San Clemente is not as strong as at Yucab, making it a more comfortable dive for beginners who are just getting comfortable with drift diving.
Overall, San Clemente is a great dive site for those who want to explore Cozumel’s marine life without going too deep or dealing with strong currents.
Dive Profile: #1 Max depth 18m, 58 min; Dive #2 Max depth 19m, 61 minutes
Dive Sightings (Dive 1): three spotted eagle rays with cleaner fish, green sea turtle, bicolor angelfish, ocean surgeonfish, yellowhead wrasse, canary wrasse, fairy basslet, ocean triggefish, foureye butterflyfish, splendid toadfish
Dive Sightings (Dive 2): giant spotted eagle ray, porcupinefish, barracuda, black durgon, ocean triggerfish, filefish, stoplight parrotfish, neon wrasse, fairy basslet, octopus, shrimp
Located between the 3-mile-long Palancar and Santa Rosa Reefs, Punta Francesca is an often-overlooked dive site.
Unlike its neighboring dive sites, Punta Francesa is not a wall dive, but rather a strip of reef that runs along a sandy area.
To reach Punta Francesa, you descend to sandy area before following a gradual slope. The current at this site can be moderate, making it an ideal location for intermediate-level divers.
With a maximum depth of 66 ft (20 meters) but still plenty to see at 40 ft (12 m), this site is perfect for those working on air consumption as well as people wanting longer bottom times so they can make the most of a second dive.
The site is well-known for its stunning gorgonian sea fans, sea sponges, and the abundant marine life that thrives in this type of environment
Punta Francesa is not a site for encountering large pelagic species, though we often got to see spotted eagle rays swimming past as we were visiting in the winter months.
Punta Francesa’s moderate current also offers excellent visibility, almost always exceeding 20 meters of viz.
This is perfect for allowing divers to appreciate the vibrant colors and marine life that call this reef home — and makes it easier to spot macro life!
Santa Rosa Shallows
Dive Profile: Max depth 17m, 58 minutes
Dive Sightings: honeycomb cowfish, splendid toadfish, big sleeping nurse shark, smaller nurse shark, schooling grunts, giant green moray eel, smaller green moray
This dive site is just what it sounds like: the shallower counterpoint to the Santa Rosa wall dive.
Typically, the shallows are completed as a second dive after a first dive which goes deeper, traversing the Santa Rosa wall.
We actually did it once as a fluke as our first dive of the day, as once our divemaster got in the water, he quickly realized that the current would be too strong at the Santa Rosa wall.
But we certainly weren’t disappointed with the shallows: it was no consolation prize (and I had already dove the Santa Rosa wall, so I didn’t feel like I missed anything).
The max depth here in Santa Rosa shallows is around 60 feet, perfect for a second dive.
Also, the current at the Shallows is mild compared to other shallow dives, so it’s an ideal location for newer divers who are still getting acclimated to drift diving.
The Santa Rosa shallows dive site is famous for its abundant reef life, so you can swim from coral patch to coral patch, admiring the stunning display of colors and textures.
Where there’s coral, there’s a wealth of reef fish to see here: parrotfish, angelfish, and butterflyfish abound.
That said, if you keep an eye out, you’ll likely spot larger pelagic species like nurse sharks, eagle rays, and stingrays.
Nurse sharks especially like to nap underneath the coral ledges here!
One of the most impressive things about this dive site is the incredible viz, which can reach up to 100+ feet on a good, clear day!
Dives: 3 (2 day, 1 night) ** Note: These were training dives for my AOW certificate
Dive Profile: Dive #1 Max depth 10m, 47 minutes; Dive #2 Max depth 9m, 47 minutes; Dive #3 Max depth 9m, 50 minutes [night dive]
Dive 1: Sting ray, spotted moray eel, green moray eel, queen angelfish
Dive 2: Spotted moray eel, parrotfish, French angelfish, needlefish, filefish, flamingo tongues on purple sea fans
Dive 3: Large octopus hunting on sea floor, baby octopus on coral, large spotted moray eel, flying granad, shrimp, French angelfish, yellowtail stingray, moving sea stars, arrow crab, balloonfish, gold-spotted snake eel
So far, I’ve exclusively covered boat dives, but Tikila Reef is a great option for self-sufficient shore divers.
This reef is easily accessible from Tikila Restaurant and Sunset Beach Club, and while it’s great for beginners, it has enough to see for even seasoned divers… and it’s especially great as a night dive!
The reef is just a short 5-minute swim from the shore, with a maximum depth of 11 meters (36 feet) with the shallowest part at just 6 meters (20 feet).
Its shallow depth is great for those who want to hone their air consumption skills and still have long bottom times.
To the north of where you enter the water, there are several coral restoration projects underway, with large bell-shaped structures deployed to promote coral growth and regeneration.
These structures provide an added attraction for divers who are interested in marine conservation!
Tikila Reef is also an excellent spot for night diving, as the reef comes alive with a different set of marine creatures after sunset.
The nocturnal creatures, such as lobsters, octopi, crabs, and shrimp, can be seen actively searching for food, making for a truly unique and memorable diving experience.
Dive Profile: Max depth 13m, 52 minutes
Dive Sightings: trumpetfish, baby nurse shark, lobsters, arrow crab, rockfish, sand tilefish, scorpionfish
Paradise Reef is the first reef once you reach the Cozumel Marine Park, at the most northerly edge of the protected area
Since it’s a shallower site, with a depth of around 30 to 40 feet (9 to 12 meters), it’s a common dive site for second dives as well as for beginners who are just getting their feet wet in Cozumel.
However, the current can be strong here, and also surprising. When I dove it, I did it as a boat dive.
I’m not sure why our dive center dropped us off against the current, but it did not make for a pleasant dive… hence the short length of the dive relative to the depth profile, as there as a lot of kicking involved.
That said, perhaps if I went with a different dive shop, they would have placed the drop-off better. That’s why going with a good dive operator matters (this was with my AOW course).
Note that you can access this site as a shore dive from Caleta if you are an experienced diver, but most divers access it by boat as the second dive on a two-tank dive day.
When diving in Paradise Reef, expect to see lots of vibrant coral, sea anemones, sponges, and big coral heads.
Keep an eye out for camouflaged marine life: there is a possibility of spotting seahorses and scorpionfish (this is very poisonous, as the name suggests, so never touch!)
While it wasn’t a favorite dive site of mine, I chalk that up to the captain dropping us off at a strange spot where we were against the current, so that’s not necessarily the fault of the reef.
Other Great Cozumel Dive Sites
Looking for a challenging, rewarding dive?
Don’t miss Palancar Horseshoe, so named for its natural U-shape, which creates an impressive amphitheater that can be seen from the surface on days with good visibility.
The depth of Palancar Horseshoe ranges from 50 to 90 feet (15 to 27 meters), making it an intermediate dive with potential to become advanced by exploring deeper.
The dive profile is often a multi-level drift dive, since like most dive sites in Cozumel, there’s a moderate current.
Typically, it starts at about 25 feet (8 meters) deep, before you go down to the coral towers and horseshoe area, where you’ll find tons of coral swim-throughs.
The coral life here is the star of the show: think lettuce coral, finger coral, barrel coral, as well as soft corals, sea sponges, and sea fans.
Like all the dives on the Palancar Reef, the natural “architecture” of the reef is the real draw. While there is of course marine life, that’s not the main draw.
That said, you’re still likely to see some larger life, like turtles and eagle rays (particularly at the start and end of the dive over sandy parts).
Mostly, you’ll see animals that make their home in the protected parts of the reef: this includes the Cozumel splendid toadfish, shrimp, crabs, lobsters, and eels.
Like all the sites of Palancar Reef, Palancar Horseshoe is an unforgettable dive site that offers a unique combination of natural beauty, challenging swim-throughs that have you improving you buoyancy, and diverse marine life.
The final section of Palancar we’ll cover on this post, Palancar Bricks is another great intermediate choice.
Typically done as a first dive, its depth ranges from 50 feet to 90 feet (approximately 15 to 27 meters), and it’s similar to other Palancar dives in that it’s more about the coral structures and vibrancy than any particular marine life.
The site is not a continuous reef, but rather consists of a tower area and a wall area with sandy areas in between.
While diving in the sandy areas, divers may spot southern stingrays (round, with a yellowish leopard print pattern) and other types of rays.
Nurse sharks can be found under ledges, often taking a nap, as well as curious large green moray eels.
There is a small chance of encountering a Caribbean reef shark at Palancar Bricks, but it is not very likely; nurse sharks are a lot more common.
Cantarel (Eagle Ray Wall)
Cantarel is a gorgeous dive site but it’s only recommended for advanced divers due to its challenging conditions.
Since Cantarel is located more to the Northern part of the island of Cozumel, there are strong winds, causing choppy surface conditions that require a negative buoyancy descent.
The current here is also stronger than at other drift dive sites in Cozumel, with a higher chance of down currents, especially along the wall.
Divers who opt to dive Cantarel must be knowledgeable about how to deal with down currents, as these can be highly dangerous if the diver panics while caught in a down current.
Now that we’ve gotten all the scary stuff out of the way, let’s go into why you’d even want to dive here in the first place: its stunning eagle ray population!
Between January and March, the spotted eagle rays migrate through this patch of the Caribbean Sea.
While it’s likely that you’ll see eagle rays on other dives in Cozumel, you won’t see them in such large numbers unless you go to a place like Cantarel, where divers have reported seeing as many as 20!
Typically, Cantarel is done as a multi-level drift dive, starting in shallows before descending further down a notch in the coral wall. This must be done carefully to avoid scaring the rays.
The majority of the dive is done around 80 feet or 24 meters, typically for around 30 or 45 minutes. This is a good candidate for being a Nitrox dive, as it gives you more time before hitting your NDL, and it’s not extremely deep.
In addition to the eagle rays, divers might also see other marine life such as sea horses, filefish, razorfish, and lionfish.
Tormentos Reef is a popular intermediate dive site known for its strong currents, making it a great drift dive.
With a relatively shallow depth of 50-60 feet (15-18 meters), it’s often done as the second dive of the day.
What makes Tormentos special is its towering coral reef heads, which stretch as much as 30 feet (9 meters) high, with lots of underhangs in the reef.
Make sure to bring a torch to light up these underhangs! Nurse sharks are known to frequent the underhangs, as well as schools of grunts and snappers.
Look carefully in the nooks of the reef with your dive torch, and you may be able to spot lobsters, splendid toadfish, and eels!
For an intermediate dive site option, Columbia Reef is a popular choice.
The dive site is divided into three sections, locally called Colombia Regular, Colombia Shallows, and Colombia Deep.
It’s very customizable in terms of difficulty: you can stay shallower (around 50 feet or 15 meters) which makes it a great second dive. It’s also good as a first dive when you can go deeper, as much as 90 feet / 27 meters.
Going deep, you can explore coral swim-throughs and dive along the wall, spotting barracudas and groupers.
Stay shallow, and you’ll see abundance of green sea turtles, hawksbill turtles, and lots of tropical sea life that makes its home on brilliantly-colored coral.
Ship Wreck C-53
Ship Wreck C-53 is a wreck dive of the decommissioned boat Felipe Xicotencatl.
It was intentionally sunk in June 2000 as an artificial reef, offshore from Chankanaab Park, on top of a sandbar to prevent damage to existing coral reefs.
This dive site is suitable for intermediate to advanced divers, ideally with wreck experience. Most dive shops will take you there with your PADI AOW certification; additional wreck diving certification is typically not needed.
Generally, it’s a considered a relatively easy-to-explore wreck dive, since the openings are rather large.
However, there is occasionally a strong current, so you should keep that in mind when deciding if this dive is in your wheelhouse.
The depth profile of this dive is from 50 feet to 80 feet, so depending on how deep you go, it’s suitable either as a first or a second dive.
Since the wreck has only been there for about 20 years, the marine life around it is still forming, but you will see some sponges and coral starting to form on the boat’s metal frame.
Many species of fish, such as groupers, barracudas, and green moray eels, have decided to call this artificial reef home, but primarily, it’s a fun wreck to explore.
Probably the most technically difficult dive on this list, Punta Sur is suitable for extremely advanced divers who have excellent buoyancy control and great air consumption dialed in.
For those brave and skilled enough to explore it, it’s an incredible dive site!
To reach the main attraction of Punta Sur, “Devil’s Throat”, divers must descend to a depth of 60 feet. Then, you enter a cave at 80 feet, going through a steep tunnel sloping downwards, dropping you deep at 130 feet.
The descent through the Devil’s Throat requires strong buoyancy control, knowledge of deep diving best practices, and air consumption.
It should not be attempted by novice or intermediate divers, and it’s not suitable for Nitrox dives due to its maximum depth.
Once divers have successfully navigated the Devil’s Throat, they’ll end up in the “Little Cathedral,” a series of vibrant coral formations and caves that will eventually bring you to 30 feet.
Since it’s such a deep dive, you’ll likely need to make decompression stops, so you should be experienced with making deco stops and maintaining neutral buoyancy.
Allison Green is a former educator turned travel blogger. She holds a Masters in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. Her blog posts merge her educational background and her experience traveling to 60+ countries to encourage thoughtful travel experiences that both educate and entertain. She has been a speaker at the World Travel Writers Conference and her writing, photography, and podcasting work has appeared in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, CBC Canada, and Forbes, amongst others. Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up, she has also lived in Prague, Sofia, and New York City.