Best Snorkeling Spots in Riviera Maya

BackBest Snorkeling Spots in Riviera Maya

The Riviera Maya’s incredible ruins and beaches are world-famous. However, if you are heading there, make sure you spend time exploring the treasures found under the water. 

Riviera Maya stretches along the coastline of Mexico’s northeastern Yucatan Peninsula. It is a well-known place for those looking to experience the Caribbean Sea’s beauty, diversity, and wonders through snorkeling. This long hotspot of snorkeling along the coast stretches from Puerto Aventuras in the north to Tulum in the south. Riviera Maya’s gorgeous reefs are well worth a visit if you are heading to that region.  Their crystal clear sparkling waters and unique aquatic life, including coral reefs, fish, and turtles will leave you with an unforgettable experience. Some beautiful species you may see include French angelfish, queen angelfish, nurse sharks, and a variety of species of grunt and surgeons, butterflyfish, and wrasses. 

The first and most popular stop along this stretch is Akumal Bay, which is known to be an excellent location for snorkeling with southern stingrays and green sea turtles. Make sure to hire a guide to experience the turtles at this location, as you cannot go without one. 

Five miles south of Akumal Bay and near Puerto Aventuras are Xcacel and Xpuha, both known to be the best reef snorkeling locations that are easily accessible by the beach. These two locations are known for encounters with stingrays, spotted eagle rays, and green sea turtles. If you want a little more adventure, check out Tankah Bay or Tulum Reef, which can only be reached by boat. 

Are you searching for a breathtaking experience? Book your snorkeling trip to Puerto Morelos, which is located between Playa del Carmen and Cancun and accessed by boat. This snorkeling location is protected by a National Park and therefore is still remarkably preserved. Corals and sea fans cover the ocean floor, giving for a beautiful view. 

Cenotes offer a slightly different snorkeling experience. These unique, ancient water holes are sometimes linked to underground caves and can be found tucked away in a jungle. Crystalline waters, freshwater fish, and turtles are just some of the things you will experience at Cenotes. The most popular cenote spots in the Riviera Maya region include Casa Cenote, Cenote Pet Cemetery, and Cenote Dos Ojos.

Are you looking to see one of the most important underwater museums in the world?  Check out the MUSA, which has over 500 artworks that span over three locations. These sculptures play an important ecological role as they have been colonized by underwater life. Manchones Reef is the first of the two locations to check out and is located close to Isla Mujeres. Next is Punta Nizuc, which is located close to Cancun.  

From mid-May to mid-September, the Mayan Riviera is one of the top destinations in the world to see and snorkel with whale sharks, and many companies offer tours to swim with these gentle giants during their season!

On the other side of the country in the Sea of Cortez, or the Gulf of California, there are hundreds of spots along the Baja California peninsula that are untamed and preserved for an impeccable and breathtaking underwater snorkeling experience. This region of water has a very colorful variety of inhabitants including the king angelfish, the Cortez angelfish, the Cortez rainbow wrasses, butterflyfish, and yellowtail surgeons. The Cabo San Lucas region also has a lot of popular and well-visited snorkeling options to offer including Playa Empacadora, Playa Santa Maria, and Chileno Bay. 

If you are ready to book your snorkeling trip, there are a few things to keep in mind about the timing of your trip in order to get the best experience possible. The best snorkeling season for Mexico is between October and April. Times to avoid would be during the rainy season of the Yucatan peninsula which goes from June-October and accounts for 90% of the annual rainfall. 

If you are looking for cool waters, the cold season goes from November to January when the temperature measures at 72-79°F/22-26°C, and the water at 79°F/26°C on average. If you visit from June to August during their warmest season then the temperature measures 79-86°F/26-30°C, and the water at 84°F/29°C on average, making for a lot warmer of an experience. 

With all of the options along the Riviera Maya and Yucatan Peninsula, you can’t go wrong with any of the locations for snorkeling experiences and you will be sure to have memories that will last forever.


 

Blog Subjects: Riviera Maya, Mexico, Mexico Activities