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
Playa del Carmen – Playacar | 6 Beds | 6 Bath
Clear your mind and open your senses to Casa Clara, a lush, tropical villa in the heart of Playa del Carmen. This six-bedroom, six-bathroom extraordinary villa surrounds you with tropical villa and panoramic ocean views from the terrace – all just minutes away from the shops and restaurants of Fifth Avenue. .
Soliman Bay| 2 Beds | 1 Bath
Get 20% off the base nightly rate for stays from May 1 to October 31, 2019! 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.
South Akumal| 5 Beds | 4 Bath
This deluxe beachfront villa has 4 bedrooms with air conditioning, a beachside pool, two kitchens & lots of space inside & out. A rooftop deck has an incredible Caribbean views. Sleeps 8
Soliman Bay| 6 Beds | 6 Bath
For those who want to vacation in high style and luxury, Villa Sueno del Mar is a perfect choice, right on Soliman Bay beach. Enjoy luxurious bedroom in the main house, 1 in a guest house, all with ocean views.
North Akumal| 1 Bed | 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.
North Akumal| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
Take 33% off for new reservations of 5 nights or more with stays between June 1 and August 31. Some restrictions apply, only on participating units. 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. This condo rental #5 is on the second floor. Each condo has a view of the sea from a patio or balcony. 3 restaurants are nearby.
North Akumal| 1 Beds | 1 Bath
Nikte Luxury Studio is a slice of tropical paradise nestled between the mangroves and Akumal’s Half Moon Bay. This spacious studio perfect for solo travelers, two guests, or a large group looking for a little extra room.
South Akumal| 4 Beds | 2 Bath
This cozy beach level unit of a duplex villa is just right for those who want sand, sun and snorkeling followed by central AC. It has 2 bedrooms, entertainment room, living room, Satellite TV, full kitchen, beach patio. Sleeps 6
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
Puerto Aventuras | 4 Beds | 4 Bath
Give in to Caribbean luxury under the massive palapa roof at Casa del Agua, a high-end beachfront villa featuring perks like a private pool, butler service, and four tropical-style suites.
North Akumal| 3 Beds | 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. This condo rental #7 is on the top floor. Each condo has a view of the sea from a patio or balcony. 3 restaurants are nearby.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 4 Beds | 3.5 Bath
Enjoy privacy along with some of the best views of Tulum’s Soliman Bay. This three bedroom villa offers the ideal spot to relax and recharge. A roof-top deck with a jacuzzi is the perfect way to end a perfect day of vacation.