|Diving and Snorkeling
Playa del Carmen
What to Pack
|One of the best activities in the Mexican Caribbean is to go diving or snorkeing. The area of Cancun and the rest of the Riviera Maya lay along the world's second largest reef system. The water hardly ever gets below 80 degrees so you can dive or snorkel all year round. There are many different spots to dive or snorkel and plenty of dive shops to satify your needs(If you are staying in Playa del Carmen, PlayaMexico highly recommends the Abyss Dive Shop ). If you are a beginner at diving you have serveral different options. You can arrange a Resort Dive, which the dive shop will give you a short class before your dive, or you can become a certified diver if your vacation allows you enough time. Here are some of the best snorkeing and dive spots in the Mexican Caribbean.
Punta Nizuc - You can reach this marine park by one of the many jungle tours offered in Cancun or simply walk the beach down to Club Med. The snorkeling here is pretty good although the reef seems to be mostly dead.
Cave of the Sleeping Sharks - This dive off of Isla Mujeres is one of my favorites. The dive is roughly 60ft and goes down into a underwater cave. The reason for the name is pretty obvious as you can see many sharks laying on the bottom of the sea floor sleeping.
Cozumel - There are so many dive and snorkel sites off this island. One of the best dive spots is the Palancar Reef made famous by Jacques Cousteau as he said that it was the world's best dive site. Also there is a wonderful marine park on Cozumel, Chankanaab. Here you can snorkel a wonderful reef that runs from 6 to 30ft deep.
Yal-Ku Lagoon - This lagoon is a wonderful place to spend the day snorkeling. Admission to the park is only $5US and is worh every cent. In the area by the mouth of the lagoon(closest to the sea) you will see wonderful coral formations. Moving farther back in the lagoon there is a sand bottom area and I have observed many sea turtles in this area on several occasions. On the upper part of the lagoon there are many different rock formations that run from 1 to 20ft in depth. Here you can see many different varieties of fish including seargent majors, parrotfish, blue angels, as well as many more. While visitng Yal-Ku also don't be suprised to see some nice sized stingrays.
Mr. Cancun's Reef - This is a small but very enjoyable reef to snorkel. The only way to get there is to walk south from the Playacar resorts(about 10 min past the Gala). Make sure when you go take some bread or rolls because the fish love them and will swarm around you if you feed them.