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.

  1. Always snorkel with a buddy. Never snorkel alone.
  2. Wear a life jacket in case you snorkel too far or get into waters deeper than you are used to.
  3. Check that your snorkel gear is in good condition, and fits well. Losing a fin or breaking a mask strap can cause stress.
  4. 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

  • Casa de los Suenos

    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.

  • The Reef Condos – Condo D

    North Akumal| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
    These beachfront condos on Half Moon Bay have 2 bedrooms all 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.

  • Luxury Vacation Villa Alma Rosa in Akumal Riviera Maya

    Casa Alma Rosa

    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.

  • Las Villas Akumal Condos – 3 Bedroom Condo Rentals

    South Akumal – Jade Bay| 4 Beds | 3 Bath
    Have a beautiful three bedroom vacation rental with a large beachfront pool and is 3 minutes south of Akumal Bay beach. All 3-bedroom condos are oceanfront with central AC, full kitchens, furnished terraces or patios. Studios and two bedroom condos are also available. 

  • Del Sol Beachfront 3 Bedroom Condos

    North Akumal| 5 Beds | 3 Bath
    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.

  • Casa Rosa

    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.

  • Los Tulipanes Soliman Bay Tulum

    Los Tulipanes Casita

    Soliman Bay – Tulum| 1 Bed | 1 Bath
    Casita Los Tulipanes is a great 1-bedroom apartment, located steps away from Soliman Bay beach. Besides being pet-friendly, it comes with a full kitchen, a balcony, onsite parking, WIFI, air conditioning and a satellite TV. Great snorkeling and kayaking guaranteed!

  • Holbox Dream Hotel Isla Holbox

    Holbox Dream Beachfront Hotel

    Isla Holbox| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 Bath
    Is your mind filled with dreams of Caribbean Island life? Holbox Dream is a beachfront hotel that captures the essence of a laid-back beach vacation and the tranquility of a tropical Island. Spacious bright rooms offer the perfect place to relax and slip into a stress-free life.

  • Casa Coral Condo #101

    South Akumal| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
    Some of the most popular condos in Akumal. Deluxe 2  condominiums on Jade bay. These upscale condos are luxurious with awesome Caribbean views, Jacuzzi's, private swimming pools, top-notch interiors, kayaks for cruising the bay & more.

  • The Reef Condos – Condo B

    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.

  • Del Sol Beachfront 2 Bedroom Condos

    North Akumal| 5 Beds | 1 to 2 Bath
    On Half Moon Bay beach in North Akumal. Del Sol Beachfront Condos offers 2 bedroom Akumal beach vacation rentals 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.

  • La Sirena Condos Akumal

    La Sirena Condominiums

    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

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