Puerto Morelos Snork

Scuba & Snorkeling

The Mexican Caribbean’s beaches and dive sites rank top in the world, so it’s no surprise the region and its turquoise-hued seas are a dream for snorkeling enthusiasts and beginners alike. The best part is that in most of our destinations, you don’t have to go too far offshore to get a good view of vibrant reefs teeming with tropical fish and marine life. With coral walls plunging to incredible depths and sunken ships dotting the seafloor, you’re almost guaranteed great views anywhere you’re snorkeling in the Mexican Caribbean.

Swim with the Wildlife

If you’re visiting in summer, you’ll catch the turtles migrating towards Akumal in the Riviera Maya and Cozumel,—the largest island in the Mexican Caribbean— which boasts some  of the world’s best dive sites, from reefs to walls to thrilling drift dives and even sunken ships, where you can swim amongst turtles, sharks, parrot fish, and the namesake Cozumel toadfish.

Along the Riviera Maya, in Playa del Carmen, visitors can go on thrilling scuba dives where you might encounter a gentle bull shark or two, between the months of November and March.

Even if you’re not diving, you can still spot marine life like eagle rays (from December through March) and sea turtles (from May to September) from the surface. You can also strap on a pair of fins and snorkel right off the coast. 

The tiny town of Puerto Morelos, located about 30 minutes north of Playa del Carmen, is where you’ll come across some of Riviera Maya’s best snorkeling. Part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (the second-largest barrier reef in the world) and a Protected National Marine Park, you’ll want to keep your eyes peeled for angelfish, lobsters, and colorful fish. Isla Mujeres and Holbox, meanwhile, are famous for spotting whale sharks—the world’s largest fish—which also frequent the waters around the island in summer. While visiting Isla Mujeres, don’t miss Manchones Reef, where the submerged bronze Cross of the Bay is located. In between Isla Mujeres and Cancun, grab a mask and book a tour to snorkel around nearly 500 life-size sculptures at the Cancun Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA).

Underwater Gems

About 20 minutes off the coast of Mahahual, in Grand Costa Maya, lies the largest coral atoll in Mexico. Not only is the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve home to 2,500 species of turtles, sharks, rays, and fish—as well as dolphins, and manatees—snorkelers can also admire more than 60 sunken ships, including 16th and 17th century Spanish and English galleons. And did we mention crocodiles? That’s right, visitors can have an underwater encounter with crocodiles. With a safety crew on deck, you can get up close and personal with our resident reptiles.

Also in Grand Costa Maya, on the southern tip of Quintana Roo, you won’t want to miss the magical town of Bacalar and the spectacular Lagoon of Seven Colors. The lagoon gets its name from the vibrant, shifting shades of turquoise and blue. The crystal-clear waters and surrounding cenotes make it popular for snorkeling. Additionally, the town is a good four hours from Cancun, and is less frequented by tourists, meaning you won’t have to worry about bumping into anything except marine life while snorkeling in the famous lagoon.


Explore the Mexican Caribbean