DIVING AND SNORKELING IN THE RIVIERA MAYA
If you like to explore the underwater world, Riviera Maya is the ideal place for this adventure, since the second longest reef in the world borders its coastline and offers unique experiences. There are facilities, instructors and equipment rental in Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Paamul, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Kantenah, Chemuyil, Xcacel and Akumal, the latter is known as the paradise of divers.
Reefs of the Riviera Maya
Its name comes from the abundance of brain coral formations with a depth of 6m and 14m. There is almost no current and visibility ranges between 15m and 20m. It is home to many lobsters, crabs, moray eels and scorpion fish.
Los Arcos is the deepest dive in Playa, from 24m to 33m. The site has two beautiful arches. Its average visibility is around 30m. Due to the depth and currents it is considered an advanced dive.
Green Wall, an incredible wall, decorated with beautiful corals. The depth goes from 21m to 30m. The current is moderate and the average visibility is 30m. Towards the end of the reef there is the chimney, an opening in the coral by which one ascends to begin the ascent. It is easy to see the turtles, rays, barracudas and big moray eels.
Moc-che Profundo, a coral wall with a sandy bottom at 30m. The average visibility is 30m. with a moderate current. During the winter season the reef is frequented by bull sharks.
Moc-Che is a low reef that descends gently to the sand with numerous coral formations. The depth goes from 8m to 14m. The currents range from mild to moderate with an average visibility of 20m. The highlight of the dive is a beautiful arch covered in coral, home to a huge green moray.
Gardens, its name is due to the corals that decorate this reef. The depth ranges from 6m to 12m and the average visibility is 20m. It is ideal for beginners as well as for experienced divers who want to enjoy a relaxed and long dive.
Chunzumbul, is a reef that looks like a garden with a depth that goes from 6m to 12 m. There are almost no currents and the average visibility is 20 m. It has a varied marine life such as crabs, sea needles, sole and schools of snappers. It is a good place for beginners.
Sábalos, a shallow reef of approximately 14 meters, with strong currents and an average visibility of 20m. A mix of large coral gardens and sandy terrain, home to large schools of snappers, swordfish and tarpons.
Barracuda, small caves with a medium current that host a large variety of marine life, such as rays, moray eels, barracudas, turtles and sometimes eagle rays. Its profanity ranges from 6m to 14m and the average visibility is 20m.
Turtle, with a maximum depth of 20m and average visibility of 30m. Typically 3 to 10 turtles are seen during the dive. In addition, you can also see hammerhead sharks, bull sharks, eagle rays and in some rare cases whale sharks.
Mama Viña is the fishing boat covered with coral with a depth of 30m. It is recommended for experienced divers due to strong currents, depth, rapid descent and negative entry. The landscape is spectacular, and with an average visibility of 30m, makes it an ideal place for underwater photography.
Islote, with visibility that oscillates between 30m and 40m and its slight currents, is one of the best places for underwater photography. The depth goes from 20m to 33m. The reef is home to lobsters, turtles, huge king crabs, nurse sharks and large rays. In summer you can see sailfish and marlin.
Punta Venado, with a maximum depth of 20m, its currents are slight and its visibility ranges from 27m to 30m. It is home to big moray eels, lobsters, nurse sharks and turtles.
Canyons, is a dive between 15 and 30 m, is characterized by a bottom with large coral formations and rich marine life.
Groupers, with a depth of 15 to 25m, is the place to see schools of these fish, as well as large schools of horse mackerel.
Cuevitas, full of passages and arcs formed by corals, with a depth of 15m, is an excellent place for beginners, it is easy to see turtles and large barracudas.
Escuelitas, 2 large patches of coral with a great wealth of marine life, is a dive of no more than 10m with good visibility, another excellent option for beginners.
El Dorado, deep canyons with a depth where you can dive up to 38m, with a wide variety of corals and sponges; Here it is easy to see catshark, moray eels, barracudas and rays.
Cuernos de Alce (Horns of Elk)
Horns of Elk, with unique formations that resemble the elk horns in which a large number of fish live, with a dive of no more than 25m.
Sirenis, you can do deep diving at about 58m, during the winter you can see hammerhead sharks, although the current tends to be strong; You can also do diving between 28 and 34m and you can see large schools of barracudas and huge turtles.
Bublemaker, in an ideal place for children, from the age of eight children can enjoy under the supervision of an instructor of a dive to a maximum of 2 meters surrounded by colorful fish on an incredible reef.
Diving in Cenotes
The underground river system of the Riviera Maya boasts of being the best cavern and cave diving in the world. There are more than 100 cenotes in the region, 52 of which have been considered good for diving and snorkeling.
The diving conditions are ideal, with very clear fresh water, pleasant temperature 25ºC (77ºF) throughout the year, without current, with very good visibility and spectacular rock formations.
Diving between stalactites and stalagmites where visibility is as clear as the air is to immerse yourself in what the Mayans considered the entrance to the mythical underworld.
Generally, they are low dives between 8 and 12 meters deep (25 and 40 feet), although there are also deep cenotes such as Angelita and El Pit, the deepest in Quintana Roo.
Diving with Sharks
Shark diving has had an important growth worldwide, and Playa del Carmen has become the number one spot.
In winter you can dive with the Tiburon Bull. In this dive you will be standing on a sandy bottom while the divemaster feeds the sharks with a metallic weave suit.
These sharks reach 3.5 meters and weigh more than 200 kilograms, are not shy and walk among divers, it is something very special adrenaline experience.
Most of the beaches on the Mayan Riviera are excellent for snorkeling. Among the best places are Punta Bete, Xcalacoco, Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Paamul, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Kantenah, Akumal, Chemuyil, Xcacel and Xel-Ha with their interconnected lagoons.
Other options are Boca Paila and Punta Allen. You can also snorkel in the cenotes and enjoy their crystal clear water.