Destinations

Cancún Scuba Diving and Snorkeling: 10Best Mexico Scuba Opinions

Cancun and the Riviera Maya boast among the most enjoyable locations to scuba dive and snorkel on this planet. From the most important barrier reef within the Western Hemisphere to shipwrecks, and even an underwater museum, there is no such thing as a scarcity of wonderful choices for scuba divers and snorkelers – whether or not you are a newbie or you have got your diving certification.

If you are not licensed to dive, however want to strive it throughout your trip, you’ll be able to take a brief course (usually round 4 hours) that may mean you can dive to 40 toes beneath the supervision of a licensed scuba teacher.

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, which is residence to 65 species of coral and greater than 500 species of fish, runs alongside your entire Yucatan Peninsula and proper previous Cozumel. It’s additionally the second-largest barrier reef on this planet. The heat waters of the crystal clear Caribbean Sea are the best place to discover what lies under the floor.

Other standard locations to snorkel or dive on the Yucatán Peninsula are cenotes (pure sinkholes). The peninsula has an intensive freshwater underground river system and the bottom is fabricated from porous limestone. Cenotes had been fashioned when the limestone collapsed and the groundwater was uncovered, a phenomenon that is distinctive to this area.

Lagoons and inlets are additionally widespread right here and are fantastic locations to discover when you don’t really feel comfy within the open ocean.



There is one thing mysterious, haunting and romantic a couple of shipwreck. You cannot dive all the way down to the Titanic, however the C58 Minesweeper Wreck Dive is just about 80 toes under the floor and is accessible by boat from Cancun. It’s an outdated Navy vessel from World War II that was offered to the Mexican Navy in 1962 and finally sank for the aim of turning into a synthetic reef. It is advisable that divers be skilled, because the currents on the best way all the way down to the ship might be fairly sturdy. The space is frequented by groupers, eagle rays, barracuda and manta rays. You can swim across the total ship and even enter the wreck the place Hurricane Wilma tore it in two in 2005.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: The C58 Minesweeper Wreck serves as a synthetic reef, thereby giving pure reefs a break.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Wear a wetsuit, particularly throughout winter months. Despite the water temperature being within the 80s, it’s possible you’ll be chilly.

Read more about C58 Minesweeper Wreck Dive →


Punta Nizuc

Punta Nizuc is an remoted seaside positioned at Kilometer 24 on the south finish of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. There is loads of public parking or you’ll be able to take the bus and get off on the final cease, which is throughout the road from the Westin Regina. Be positive to deliver water, snacks, towels, sunscreen and the rest you suppose you may want or need. Maybe even an umbrella for shade, as a result of this seaside is totally with out shade. Of course, additionally, you will have to deliver your individual snorkel tools. Then, simply stroll a couple of toes offshore the place the water is shallow and begin exploring.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: At Punta Nizuc, guests can deliver their very own gear and discover on their very own.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Go it alone. There is not any purpose to pay a tour operator if you wish to snorkel at Punta Nizuc.

Read more about Punta Nizuc →


Cave of the Sleeping Sharks

Photo courtesy of DanSchmitt/iStock

About 50 years in the past, Isla Mujeres resident Carlos Garcia Castilla discovered a cave deep within the waters off of the island. Inside the cave he discovered many sharks that gave the impression to be sleeping. These days, divers incessantly go to the cave to witness its inhabitants stay immobile for hours, then return to dry land to inform their story. The Cave of the Sleeping Sharks is roughly 65 toes under the floor. The phenomenon baffled marine biologists as a result of sharks should be in fixed movement with a purpose to breathe, till it was found that the caves had a particularly excessive quantity of oxygen and decreased salinity, and these situations most likely made it simpler for the sharks to breathe with out shifting.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: C’mon! Sleeping sharks? What may very well be cooler than diving in an underwater cave to see sleeping sharks?

Kristin’s skilled tip: There are usually not at all times sharks within the cave, so ask your tour information about present situations earlier than you reserve and dive.

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Xel-Ha

This eco-park is a part of the Grupo Xcaret household (Xcaret, Xplor, Xenotes, Xoximilco, Xenses and Xavage). Xel-Ha boasts the “largest, most beautiful natural aquarium in the world.” You can swim in grottos & cenotes (pure sinkholes) and see native marine life, discover Mayan ruins, bounce off the Cliff of Courage, cross the floating bridge, journey bikes or fly kites. There are loads of different actions and reveals to maintain you occupied for your entire day or you’ll be able to merely spend your time enjoyable within the solar or napping in a seaside hammock. Xel-Ha additionally incorporates a scrumptious buffet restaurant and a youngsters’s space.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: Xel-Ha affords a day of snorkeling for your entire household.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Combine your tour to Xel-Ha with a cease on the Mayan ruins of Tulum. Tulum might be seen in about an hour, so it will not add way more time to the size of your tour, and it is a fantastic attraction to see.

Read more about Xel-Ha →


Yal-Ku Lagoon

Beautiful Yal-Ku Lagoon is positioned in Akumal, which is roughly 65 miles south of Cancun on Highway 307. It’s related to the Caribbean Sea, which suggests you’ll be able to see barracuda, parrot fish, stingrays and sea turtles, however its waters are calm and serene. Larger sea animals are discovered nearer to the place the lagoon meets the ocean. The depth ranges from 6 to fifteen toes. The limestone backside will get very slippery, so watch out. There are stairs to enter and exit the water. No information wanted right here. The space surrounding the lagoon could be very pure however consists of sculptures, restrooms with showers and a small snack bar.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: Yal-Ku Lagoon is a little bit of a hidden treasure and a tremendous place to chill off on a sizzling day.

Kristin’s skilled tip: After you snorkel the lagoon, seize a chilly beer from the snack bar and take a stroll alongside the paths that wind across the fringe of the lagoon.

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Underwater Museum (MUSA)

This is considered one of Cancun’s most unusual points of interest. The Underwater Museum (MUSA) is made up of a whole bunch of sunken statues sculpted by artist Jason deCaires Taylor. The statues are lined in coral, which advantages the surroundings in two methods… by creating an “artificial reef” and by directing among the visitors away from the pure reefs. Snorkel and dive excursions are supplied by many Cancun distributors, together with Aquaworld Cancun, which has been an enormous supporter of the Cancun Underwater Museum mission from its inception. There are three areas of the underwater museum; off of Punta Cancun, off of Punta Nizuc and off of Isla Mujeres.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: Cancun’s Underwater Museum is solely superb and might be seen by snorkeling or diving.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Make a reservation with Aquaworld Cancun, or one other respected provider, as a result of you’ll be able to solely attain this website by boat.

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Cenote Dos Ojos

Photo courtesy of Simon Dannhauer/iStock

Cenotes, or pure sinkholes, are a phenomenon distinctive to the Yucatan Peninsula. These swimming pools, some utterly underground and a few open, are related by an underground river system and are full of cool contemporary water, good for escaping the new Caribbean solar. There are so many various kinds of cenotes that each divers and snorkelers can discover the proper one to discover. Cenote Dos Ojos, positioned between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, is shallow on one aspect and deeper on the opposite and is nice for snorkelers of all ages. Dos Ojos is a part of the Sac Actun cave system and incorporates the deepest recognized cave passage in Quintana Roo at 119.1 meters (391 ft).

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: Dos Ojos affords spectacular snorkeling and diving for each novices and specialists.

Kristin’s skilled tip: The water could be very chilly, divers undoubtedly want a wetsuit.

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Akumal Bay

Akumal is named the “place of the turtle” and is made up of three bays: Half Moon Bay, Akumal Bay and Aventuras Akumal Bay. There are each shallow and deep reef dive websites, most only some minutes from shore by boat. Depending on the location, you’ll be able to see eels, barracuda, groupers and squid throughout a dive. Check out the coral-overgrown bike the place you will see faculties of fish, crabs and rays, or Xaak, a deep dive website the place coral reaches as much as 30 toes from the ocean ground. Marine turtles, nurse sharks, rays and plenty of various kinds of fish are widespread right here. Snorkelers solely must swim about 100 yards off the sandy shore of Akumal Bay to see sea turtles of their pure habitat.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: Visitors can rise up shut and private with sea turtles in Akumal.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Never contact or disturb coral or marine animals.

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National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos

Photo courtesy of Kristin Busse

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef on this planet, runs parallel to the Yucatan Peninsula. The Great Barrier Reef in Australia is the one reef that’s bigger. At the National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos, the reef is nearer to the shore than in different areas of the Riviera Maya. In 1998, this part of the reef turned a protected space. Snorkeling excursions and scuba diving journeys can be found from a number of dive retailers within the small, seaside city of Puerto Morelos. It’s unlawful to swim out to the reef from the shore. To defend the reef, all snorkelers and divers should exit to the reef with guides.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: At the National Reef Park of Puerto Morelos, guests can discover the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef just some meters off shore.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Book a snorkel or dive tour. Individuals are usually not allowed to swim out to the reef on their very own. You should go together with an accredited information.

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Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park

Photo courtesy of eaglerayjoel/iStock

Cozumel, a snorkel and dive mecca, is an island positioned roughly 11 miles off the coast of Playa del Carmen and is residence to the second largest coral barrier reef on this planet, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. There are each shallow reefs, nice for snorkeling and deep dives obtainable for skilled scuba divers. Visitors will see each colourful coral and ocean inhabitants. It’s essential to notice that hitting or kicking the reef, even by chance, can injury years of coral progress, so it is essential to watch out and observe all directions given by your information. Many completely different dive retailers provide excursions to the Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park.

Recommended for Scuba Diving & Snorkeling as a result of: Cozumel Reefs National Marine Park boasts among the finest snorkeling and diving on Earth.

Kristin’s skilled tip: Bring an underwater digital camera (even a disposable one). The ocean surrounding Cozumel is crystal clear.

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