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| 1 to 2 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
Low Season Special 2018 – $110 USD / Night! These comfy condos have a great spot on Half Moon Bay beach. Take your pick of a 1 or 2 bedrooms with full kitchen and living areas facing the beach. All units have air conditioning and Satellite TV. Restaurants nearby.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 10 Beds | 5.5 Bath
30% Off Through December 22, 2018! (Not valid Thanksgiving week) This beach house has 6 bedrooms, additional sleeping areas, a spacious living room, kitchen, beautiful beach, terrace, vaulted palapa roof with interior stone and wood beams. Includes beach palapa & 2 kayaks.
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.
North Akumal| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
Right on Half Moon Bay beach, condo #2 is a nice little one bedroom with a second lock-off bedroom #3 if you need a little more space. Pool front, w/ AC, kitchen, living room, etc. Each condo has a view of the sea from a patio or balcony. 3 restaurants are nearby.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 3 to 5 Beds | 2 to 3 Bath
The smart layout of these 1, 2 and three bedroom air conditioned condominiums at Playa Blanca makes the maximum out of stunning sea views. It’s truly a bargain to stay at this beautiful beach condo in one of the most picturesque areas of Akumal and have all the commodities nearby. Unit #8 is pet friendly.
South Akumal| 2 to 4 Beds | 2 to 3 Bath
30% Off Through December 20, 2018! Thanksgiving Week Special November 18-26 for US$405/night! 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.
Playa del Secreto – Puerto Morelos| 7 Beds | 5 Bath
True privacy awaits on a secluded white sand beach at Villa La Gran Tortuga. This breezy Riviera Maya vacation home boasts ocean views and five bedrooms in addition to its serene beachfront location.
South Akumal| 5 Bed | 4 Bath
This 5,000 sq. ft. deluxe Spanish colonial style beach front villa with guest house has central AC, swimming pool, 4 bedrooms [main house], 2 full kitchens, 2 living rooms, TV/DVD, stereo, rooftop deck w/ wet bar, optional guesthouse with 1 bedroom. Sleeps 10 adults, 2 kids.
North Akumal – Yal Ku Lagoon| 5 Beds | 3 Bath
The Romero Estate is a historical house of Akumal, the 1st built on Yal ku lagoon, and it has been totally renovated to luxury class. Enjoy pool, AC throughout, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, private free entry to Yal ku and amazing views. Sleeps 8.
North Akumal| 2 Beds | Bath
Nikte Unit 6 is a spacious two-bedroom, two-bathroom unit with modern designs, spectacular finishes and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the glittering Caribbean Sea and lush, green jungle surrounding you. It comfortably sleeps up to four people, a fantastic option for a family or small group.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
Well-appointed 2 bedroom condos with a pool. Nahil Beachfront vacation rentals are located in Akumal on Half Moon Bay. Have everything you need to make your vacation great. This condo has wheelchair accessibility.
South Akumal| 4 Beds | 5 Bath
Ah Villa is a perfect vacation rental for those who seek casual elegance and all the modern conveniences of home. Enjoy a large pool with built-in jacuzzi, 4 ocean-side bedrooms, and the sandiest middle-of-the-beach location on South Akumal Bay.