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
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 3 Beds | 3 Bath
Casa Xixim (pronounced Shee-Sheem) is a vacation villa designed and created from the heart. The owners fell in love with the natural beauty of Soliman Bay and wanted to create a space, a home, that compliments, honors, and celebrates this magical area.
Xcalak| 1 to 3 Beds | 1 Bath
Costa de Cocos Dive 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 funky central meeting point to share fish stories over a cold cerveza.
North Akumal| 5 Beds | 4 Bath
Casa Solymar’s 3 spacious bedrooms and faces the turquoise water of North Akumal. All of the bedroom suites are air-conditioned and come with private sitting areas and en-suite bathrooms. Enjoy this luxurious oceanfront home, full of designer Tommy Bahama furnishings & fine art.
North Akumal – Half Moon Bay| 4 to 8 Beds | 2 to 3 Bath
Nahil Beachfront Condos located in Akumal on Half Moon Bay are the perfect luxury accommodations that combine beauty and harmony in a spectacular setting. Panoramic Caribbean views frame your vacation while water sports become the focus for your family vacation.
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.
Playa Secreto – Puerto Morelos| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
It’s all about pleasure, privacy and peace of mind. Four posh bedrooms, a living room, with its cozy built-in sofas, wet bar and satellite TV has been designed for ultimate relaxation and long Mexican siestas. This ocean front villa is in exclusive Hacienda del Secreto, a private estate on Playa del Secreto. Enjoy a private swimming pool, beach & personalize spa and chef services. Sleeps 10
South Akumal – Jade Bay| 1 to 4 Beds | 1 to 3 Bath
This luxury condo building has a large beach front pool and is 3 minutes south of Akumal. Spacious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom units with 1, 2 or 3 bathrooms are available. All have central AC, full kitchens. oceanfront units have furnished terraces or patios that face the pool and beach.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 5 Beds | 4 Bath
This 3-bedroom house and casita is brilliant in terms of its location on Soliman Bay beach and its outdoor-friendly layout. It features a huge wooden poolside deck, a cozy swimming pool, an outdoor grill and a wide stretch of pure white beach just steps away. Kids and adults love it here!
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 1 to 4 Beds | 1 to 3 Bath
Three beach front condos with shared pool and each is fully air conditioned. These are fully equipped vacation rentals on a lovely part of Soliman Bay beach. Rent one, two or all three units, subject to availability. Lower level condos sleep 2. Upper level sleeps 4.
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
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.
Soliman Bay – Tulum| 3 Beds | 2 Bath
This cozy beach house has an open split-level first floor with a king bed and loft bedroom above with 2 queens. Enjoy a beach front patio, full kitchen, living/dining room & beach palapa. Guesthouse sleeps 4 more. Main house sleeps 6