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
North Akumal| 7 Beds | 4 Bath
This 3,200 sq.ft. vacation villa in North Akumal has 4 bedrooms, swimming pool with Jacuzzi, 2 sun decks, a rooftop ocean view deck, full kitchen, dining room & bedroom Caribbean view terraces.
North Akumal| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
Enjoy these quiet beach front condos, each with AC, 2 bedrooms, a living room, dining area, kitchen and large balcony or patio overlooking the sea. You'll have swimming pool privileges next door at Hacienda de la Tortuga. Sleeps 5
North Akumal| 1 Beds | 1 Bath
On Half Moon Bay beach in North Akumal. Del Sol Beachfront Condos offers 1 bedroom Akumal beach vacation rentals condos and studios. Each a kitchenette and living area, decorated in a Caribbean style. A swimming pool, restaurant and dive shop are on premises. Great views.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 10 Beds | 9 Bath
This sought-after luxury villa boasts a private location on Soliman Bay beach, 5 elegant bedrooms, a zero edge pool and a beachfront palapa suite. With 5-star service, cathedral ceilings and an additional ‘al-fresco’ kitchen and dining space – we call it “a VIP vacation without compromising”!
North Akumal| 4 Beds | 3 Bath
Special! $500/night on available nights in the Holiday Season 2019/20! This oceanfront villa is a great romantic getaway for one or two couples. There are 3 air conditioned bedrooms, swimming pool, full kitchen, dining room, living room, 2 patios, gas grill and rooftop sundeck.
Central Akumal| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 Bath
A Snorkeler’s and sun worshippers paradise, this Akumal hotel offers oceanfront hotel rooms and bungalows with AC, a private bathroom (great water pressure), a small fridge, a safe and either a terrace or a balcony. A swimming pool, dive center, restaurant and snack bar are on site.
South Akumal| 5 Beds | 5 Bath
Enjoy this beach villa with 5 air-conditioned bedrooms, all facing the beach & Caribbean. Amenities include a full kitchen, oceanside patio with grill, sandy private tanning area, loungers & hammocks and a beach view living room.
North Akumal| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
Right on Half Moon Bay beach, these condos are a great value. Take your choice of either 1 or 2 bedrooms w/ AC, kitchen, living room, etc. Each condo has a view of the sea from a patio or balcony. 3 restaurants are nearby.
Xcalak| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 Bath
Costa de Cocos Dive and Flyfishing Resort is a perfect place to kayak or motor about, snorkel or dive on pristine reefs, fish, or take a trip to Banco Chinchorro atoll. This secluded resort offers water view bungalows with private bathrooms. Fishing and diving trips can be arranged on-site. The restaurant and bar, are a central meeting point to share fish stories over a cold cerveza.
Central Akumal| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
Welcome to the ONLY beachfront condos on Akumal Bay. Enjoy a private beach area you can snorkel with turtles right off beach on the north end of Akumal Bay. The condos face west so you can enjoy sunsets every night. An excellent choice.
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.
North Akumal| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
Great sea view, air conditioned comfort, pool, good snorkeling, and convenience to shopping, restaurants, Yal ku lagoon and more. La Sirena condos are a deal. These 2 bedroom condos all face the sea. Some have an exterior terrace. Sleeps 2-4