Snorkeling in the Riviera Maya
Get Your Snorkel Gear On and Get Into the Sea!
If you are a snorkeler or if snorkeling is on your bucket list, the Mexican Caribbean is a great place to make a splash and check out what is happening underwater. The crystal clear waters and calm seas make snorkeling an easy activity for everyone. Whether you are a beginner or snorkel enthusiast, the Riviera Maya is home to the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Reef.
Explore the Second Largest Barrier Reef in the World
Snorkeling in the Riviera Maya is as easy as that. The Mexican Caribbean is home to 400 fish species, 100 coral types and endangered species of both corals and fish that are hard to see anywhere else. Riviera Maya dive centers are happy to teach you to snorkel if you are a beginner, conduct personal guided tours of the best snorkel locations or rent you snorkel gear for your own snorkel excursion.
Snorkeling Highlights in the Riviera Maya
There are some unique off-the-shore snorkel spots that will make your snorkeling a little easier and whole lot more enjoyable. If you want to see fish and coral the reef offshore of any local beaches are perfect to explore.
Some of the best snorkeling is done by boat, as the Mesoamerican Reef is located half a mile to a mile off shore. Local dive centers, catamaran tours and independent snorkel guides are happy to take you on a tour of their secret spots. You will be guaranteed a great tour, local information, and a safe trip into the sea. Rental gear is included in guided tours and boat trips are short. Catamaran tours will take you to various locations on the coast, so if you are looking for a diverse snorkel experience this could be your best choice.
Akumal is THE Place For Turtles
Turtles can be seen every day off the beaches of Akumal, and not just one. You will see a few on a good day, and many on a great day. Fish and coral can be viewed as well, but Akumal is the place of the turtles.
Playa del Carmen has a small portion of reef off the shore of Coco Beach, a popular snorkel place that is close to shore. Boat tours will take you to shallow snorkel spots that have great coral and lots of fish!
Xpuha beach has a few coral clusters where you can see indigenous fish and coral types. These areas are not technically part of the Mesoamerican reef but they are still full of great things to see!
Paamul beach has a larger reef system close to the shore where you can see not only fish and corals, but lobster, rays and larger fish types.
All of these locations have boat tours that will take you to larger Mesoamerican reef snorkel spots. We encourage you to try both so you get a well-rounded view of the secrets that lie under the surface of the sea.
Snorkel Safety Tips and Rules
If you choose to venture out on your own into the Mexican Caribbean, keep these safety tips in mind. The sea is a beautiful place, but it has its own agenda. The sea off the shores of the Riviera Maya is calm, clear and glorious but if you are unfamiliar with the territory, or not sure of your skills, the sea can be a challenge.
- Always snorkel with a buddy. Never snorkel alone.
- Wear a life jacket in case you snorkel too far or get into waters deeper than you are used to.
- Check that your snorkel gear is in good condition, and fits well. Losing a fin or breaking a mask strap can cause stress.
- Have a surface buoy so water vehicles and boats and see you. Busy beach areas have a lot of boat and water vehicle traffic so you need to stick out in that big, vast ocean.
Have Fun Snorkeling and Do It Safely
Oceans and seas make up 73% of the planet . The Riviera Maya is a great place to learn to snorkel and an even better place to experience the underwater world. Master your skill or learn a new activity in the clear waters of the Mexican Caribbean. Take an underwater camera with you so you can show your friends and family all the great stuff you saw! Oh, and one last thing. Help us protect our reefs! Do not stand on, or touch the corals. Refrain from grabbing or handling the marine life, including the turtles. And remember to wear biodegradable sunscreen.
Stay Close By
South Akumal| 8 Beds | 8 Bath
This beachfront house has 8 air conditioned king bedrooms, swimming pool and 4,200 sq. ft. of space. Enjoy a great rooftop deck, beach shade palapa, 2 kayaks, BBQ grill & shaded beach side dining area. Great for groups. Sleeps 21
North Akumal| 1 Beds | 1 Bath
Beach level condos on Half Moon Bay w/ AC, full kitchens, living rooms, and patios or balconies overlooking the sea. Good snorkeling either in the bay or nearby Yalku Lagoon. Restaurants nearby.
South Akumal| 2 to 4 Beds | 2 to 3 Bath
25% off new stays until Nov 22nd 2019! Deluxe 2 & 3 bedroom condominiums on Jade bay! Just completed in 2012, these condos are luxurious with awesome Caribbean views, Jacuzzi’s, private swimming pools, top notch interiors, kayaks for cruising the bay & more.
South Akumal- Jade Bay| 8 Beds | 4 Bath
All new reservations through April 30, 2019, receive complimentary chef and butler service for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Casa Alma Rosa is a 4000 square foot villa on the beaches of Jade Bay in Akumal. This villa has a vast amount of indoor and outdoor spaces that makes it feel like a true Caribbean oasis that accommodates up to 13 people.
South Akumal| 6 Beds | 4 Bath
Casa Sea Gate is a fine choice for a family vacation. Enjoy 4 air conditioned bedrooms, swimming pool, barbecue grilling area, multiple terraces and patios and a location just 5 minutes away from central Akumal and the main beach. Sleeps 10.
North Akumal| 5 Beds | 3 Bath
Special! Sep 20 – Nov 14, 2019 the rate is only $125 a night, Nov 15-Dec 20 3/3 rates are only $140 a night. On Half Moon Bay beach in North Akumal. Vista Del Mar offers 3 bedroom condos. Each with full kitchen, living room and dining area, decorated in a Caribbean style. A swimming pool, restaurant and dive shop are on premises. Great views.
South Akumal – Jade Bay| 1 Bed | 1 Bath
This low rise offers vacation condo rentals with a large beachfront pool and is 3 minutes south of Akumal. Spacious 1 condos and studios. All have central AC, full kitchens. oceanfront units have furnished terraces or patios that face the pool and beach.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 10 Beds | 6 Bath
Main Villa Special: $350 USD / Night for Up to 4 People. Choice of any 2 bedrooms. This lovely 6-bedroom oceanfront vacation rental that accommodates up to 18 people has stunning views of Half Moon Bay. The open floor living space includes a sunken living area, a fully-equipped airy kitchen, and lovely dining room area.
Playacar, Playa del Carmen | 5 Beds | 7 Bath
With plenty of space for gatherings of family or friends, this five-bedroom Playacar vacation home features a private pool and plenty of indoor and outdoor hangout spaces… right by the beach!
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 8 Beds | 3 Bath
Have everything you need to make your vacation great. Stay at the newest luxury condos for your vacation. Well-appointed 3 bedroom condos with a pool. Nahil Beachfront vacation rentals are located in Akumal on Half Moon Bay.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 1 Bed | 1 Bath
This luxe 2-level bungalow is located a minute’s walk from the fine Soliman bay beach, near Tulum. With 1 bedroom with ac, 2 baths and a well-equipped kitchen it is an ideal getaway for couples and families of 4.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 9 Beds | 7 Bath
Book now and save 20% off on all new reservations for stays from now until Dec 20, 2019. A great value! This upscale, kid-friendly beach house located right on the white beach overlooking the Caribbean. 6 extra-large air-conditioned bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms makes it easy to accommodate everyone. Enjoy a large zero-entry heated pool. Kayaks come as part of your rental.