Discover Cancun diving sites
Cancun is renowned for its shallow reefs with dazzling colors and a wide marine fauna, diving with a snorkel or scuba diving on the second largest reef in the world is pure fun.
Water temperatures in the sea range between 25º-28º C (77-82º F) in winter and 27-29º (81-85º F) in summer. The temperature in the cenotes is a little lower, they have a constant temperature of 24ºC (75ºF).
Visibility ranges from 12 m (40 ft) in the winter months to 27 m (90 ft) in summer. The visibility in the cenotes and caverns is up to 50 meters (150 ft). The coastline of Cancun is home to nearly 100 species of coral, 350 molluscs and 164 species of fish.
PLACES TO DIVE IN CANCUN
MUSA, the Underwater Art Museum, is located in the National Marine Park of Cancun and Isla Mujeres. This project is unique and raises the fusion of art with large-scale environmental conservation. Come and enjoy the largest underwater museum in the world that has more than 500 sculptures installed on the seabed from 4 to 10 meters deep.
MUSA has 3 galleries: Manchones Gallery in Isla Mujeres; Punta Nizuc Gallery and Punta Sam Gallery, both in Cancun.
The sculptures have been created by six artists from 3 different countries: Mexico, Cuba and England. It is intended that the museum becomes an unparalleled work and a heritage of humanity to complete over 10,000 sculptures under the sea. This museum can also be seen from the surface since the set of submerged pieces forms the silhouette of a human eye.
MUSA has won international recognition for the originality of its work. All the sculptures, made with marine concrete, were placed with the purpose of creating an artificial habitat that helps to preserve the beauty of the natural reef and its corals.
For those who prefer to be on land and not miss out on these works, MUSA has a Visitor Center in Plaza Kukulcán, where replicas of the most popular submerged sculptures are exhibited. In addition, it shows in detail the process carried out by the sculptors.
Punta Cancun is one of the most popular destinations to dive with colourful coral formations where it is easy to find manta rays, barracudas and sharks.
Chintales reefs are shallow (10 mt / 35 ft) with great visibility located near Punta Cancun, is an ideal place for beginners where you can see lobster, rays and groupers, among others.
C58 Minesweeper Shipwreck is a World War II vessel that is in good condition at a depth of (24 meters / 80 ft). It is a place for expert divers because of the strong currents. It is visited by stingrays, large groupers, barracudas and eagle rays.
Punta Nizuc is an ideal place to snorkel and dive with a great diversity of marine life where you can find lobsters, groupers and manta rays, among others. The depth is about 10 meters (30ft) and has very good visibility. In addition, you can visit some impressive sculptures.
PLACES TO DIVE IN PUERTO MORELOS
Arrecifes National Park of Puerto Morelos is located only 100 meters (328 ft) from the beach. There are several excellent reefs for diving, such as:
Los Jardines, at a depth of 17 meters (45 ft) with colourful reefs and a great variety of marine fauna.
El Puente, with a depth of 20 meters (60 ft) with natural bridges and where you can find big fish.
Cuevones, with a depth of 20 meters (60 ft), has caves under the coral that are home to several species.
Maroma wall, with a depth of 21 to 30 meters (70 to 100 ft) with large barrel sponges and large fish, place with very strong currents so it is recommended for experienced divers.
C-56 Juan Escutia cannon, with a depth of 21 to 27 meters (70 to 90 ft) is a place where spotted eagle rays can be found, especially in winter, moray eels and stingrays.
Other reefs that are worth visiting are La Bocana and El Túnel where it is easy to find turtles, eagle rays, sharks and endless colourful fish.
PLACES TO DIVE IN ISLA MUJERES
Around Isla Mujeres, there are several very good places to practice diving, such as:
Los Manchones is located about 10 minutes from Isla Mujeres and has a coral bank 12 km (7.5mi) long and 700 m (0,43 mi) wide. At a depth of 9 to 12 meters (30 to 40 ft) you will find incredible coral landscapes that are a paradise for underwater photographers; also here the Cross of the Bay is located, a tribute to all the people who have died in the sea.
Arrecife Bandera is characterized by its elongated shape and is located between Cancun and Isla Mujeres. At a depth of 12 meters (40 ft) you can find beautiful elkhorn reefs and large crabs, moray eels, lobsters, barracudas and angelfish.
Arrecife Tavos, with a depth of 11 mt (35 ft) is one of the smallest reefs and has unique rock formations that create tunnels and crevices that can be seen swimming white tip reef sharks.
Arrecife Media Luna, at a depth of 10-12 mt (30-40 ft) has channels, arches and bridges where you can enjoy a wide variety of corals with large anemones, sea urchins and lobsters.
Arrecife Puentes y Pailas, 5 minutes from the island by boat and a depth of 12 meters. (40 ft) has several caves, bridges and tunnels to explore. It is home to a great variety of marine fauna such as barracudas, nurse sharks, turtles, lobsters, parrotfish and horse mackerels, among others.
Arrecife Piedra Atravesada, 30 minutes from the island with depth from 18 to 21 meters (60-70 ft) has the colourful coral habitat of octopus, starfish, parrotfish, mantas and horse mackerel.
Punta Negra Reef, 35 minutes from the island with a depth of 21 meters (70 ft) is the place where the second largest reef barrier in the world begins. It has little current and it is easy to find turtles and sharks.
Arrecife Punta Sur is located 15 minutes from the island where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Caribbean Sea. At a depth of 10 to 12 meters (35 to 50 ft) you can explore an old shipwreck, however, by strong currents, it is recommended for experienced divers. It is not difficult to see dolphins, sea turtles and barracudas.
Atlantis, a place with calm waters, good visibility and excellent for beginners. You can find turtles, barracudas and the occasional nurse shark.
El Hondureño, a shrimp boat that sank in 1988 at a depth of 21 meters (70 ft). It is a place to find from parrotfish, groupers and snappers to nurse sharks.
Cave of the Sleeping Sharks
Only 30 minutes by boat from Isla Mujeres is located in a unique place in the world that has fascinated marine biologists around the world. In the cavities of the cave there is a high concentration of oxygen that reduces salinity and thus the sharks do not need to move and can remain motionless for several hours. This amazing adventure is recommended for experienced divers as it is located at a depth of 20 to 30 meters (65 - 98 ft).
OTHER PLACES TO DIVE IN CANCUN AREA
Dive into the world's largest underground freshwater system, explore the magical and wonderful world of the cenotes and its underground rivers. The cenotes are located throughout the Yucatan Peninsula offering unforgettable experiences for beginner divers and experienced divers. It is advisable to always be accompanied by an experienced guide.
Another unforgettable experience is swimming with whale sharks, harmless animals that measure up to 15 meters (40ft) and walk peacefully through the Caribbean waters during the months of May to September.
If you want to do extreme diving you can swim with the bull sharks that can measure more than three meters and weigh up to 250 kg (39.3 stone). These majestic animals appear on the shores of Playa del Carmen from November to March. To be able to participate in this dive you need to be an experienced diver and like the adrenaline. You can interact and photograph the sharks at a depth of 22 to 27 meters (75 to 90 ft)