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| 4 Beds | 4 Bath
This place really exists and looks just like the tropical paradise in the famous Corona commercials. Its name is Casa Playa del Caribe and it is hidden from the crowds of tourists in a peaceful area of South Akumal, Riviera Maya.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 5 Beds | 7 Bath
Casa Rosa offers modern, eclectic glamour in the heart of Half Moon Bay in Akumal. Eclectic touches of whimsical, contemporary, and traditional Mexican art throughout give this luxurious, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom home an unparalleled charm while serving up breathtaking views of the Caribbean.
Soliman Bay| 4 Beds | 2 Bath
Casa del Corazon #1 is situated a few steps away from the white sand of Soliman Bay beach. This beach bungalow hosts 2 bedrooms located on separate levels, 2 baths and a modern kitchen. There is also a pool available for Casa’s guests to use.
Soliman Bay| 2 Beds | 1 Bath
Casa Corazon #3 is one of the most secluded bungalows nestled next to the pool, just steps from Soliman Bay beach. This 2-bedroom, 2 bath bungalow comes with a fully-equipped kitchen and an ample terrace, overlooking the jungle and the beach.
North Akumal| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 Bath
Rediscover the essence of low-key beachfront living, with postcard-perfect views of the Akumal Beach of Half Moon Bay and comfortable rooms, featuring AC, a beachfront balcony, a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, satellite TV, and a small fridge. The famous Buena Vida ‘swing’ bar and a dive shop are next door.
North Akumal| 1 or 2 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
7 nights for the price of 6 for all of 2019!This beachfront condo building on Half Moon Bay has a pool & spacious 1 & 2 bedroom condos w/ either patio or balcony overlooking the Caribbean. All units have ceiling fans, kitchen & spacious living area. Restaurant onsite.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 1 Bed | 1 Bath
This eco-comfy, 2-level bungalow is located a minute’s walk from the fine Soliman bay beach, near Tulum. With 2 bedrooms (including a Bali-style master suite), 2 baths and a well-equipped kitchen it is an ideal getaway for couples and families of 4.
Tankah Bay, Tulum | 7 Beds | 6 Bath
Villa Sofia is a palatial six-bedroom, five-bathroom, beachfront paradise in the exclusive Tankah Bay community, just minutes from Tulum and Akumal. Its stunning ocean views, minimalist and elegant design, and private beach access make it an ideal tropical escape for a family or gathering of friends.
South Akumal – Jade Bay| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
This luxury condo building has a large beachfront and is 3 minutes south of Akumal. Spacious 2 bedroom units all have central AC, full kitchens. oceanfront units have furnished terraces or patios that face the pool and beach. 3 bedroom condos and junior suites also available.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 3 Beds | 1 Bath
This cheap vacation rental bi-level guest house is an ideal alternative for a couple or a family of 4. Each level has a separate entrance and comes with a kitchenette, a living area, a private bathroom, AC, Wi-Fi and an outdoor BBQ. Explore Soliman Bay beach which is just a short walk away.
Playacar – Playa del Carmen | 4 Beds | 6 Bath
Living up to its name, Beach House sets you right on the white sand beach in the exclusive Playacar area of Playa del Carmen. Get ready to dip into the beachfront pool and swoon over Caribbean Sea views.
North Akumal| 3 Bed | 3 Bath
Located on the ocean inlet to Yalku Lagoon this lovely villa has a great view, with 3 air conditioned bedrooms, an ocean side swimming pool, living room, dining area, kitchen, pool patio w/ grill and 2 ocean side balconies. Sleeps 10.