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Diving and Snorkeling in Cancun and the Mexican Caribbean

Snorkeling and diving are your passports to adventure under the sea

Photo credit: © Deborah Coles |
Scuba Diving

While vacationing in Cancun, guests are sure to notice the pristine waterfront and inviting seaside. The best way to take advantage of the gorgeous ocean waters is by diving or snorkeling. These two activities provide the perfect method of exploring everything that the warm Cancun waters have to offer. Make a splash and transport yourself to an underwater wonderland, where extensive coral reef formations and vibrant marine life will stimulate your senses.

Choosing the Right Activity

The best part about snorkeling and diving is that each activity offers a unique experience that caters to different lifestyles. Those seeking a truly thrilling adventure will be intrigued by the technical process and underwater freedom presented by diving. Anyone who has already been certified will be able to dive right in to the water, and those who are just beginning will find that PADI certification courses are easily available at many dive shops, including the Manta Divers Scuba Center, Scuba Cancun and more. Vacationers who are apprehensive about the process of becoming PADI certified and those who simply do not wish to dive down to deeper depths will find that snorkeling is a great alternative that still allows you to take in Cancun's beautiful underwater scenery. The equipment is less demanding and the simplicity of snorkeling is perfect for participants of all ages and lifestyles. No matter which activity you choose, the sights of Cancun's top diving and snorkeling destinations guarantee to impress.

Preparing to Make a Splash

Once you've decided between snorkeling and diving, it's time to get ready for your trip under the sea. Divers have more necessary preparation than snorkelers do, which may be an important factor when deciding which activity is right for you. Diving requires certification, so plan ahead if you need to take a course at a nearby dive shop. Equipment is necessary for both activities, although diving requires more. Places like the Manta Divers Scuba Center provide a full range of rental equipment, making it easy to obtain everything you need in one stop. Both activities typically require a mask and fins, snorkelers will need a snorkel breathing tube, and divers require air tanks to allow them to breathe underwater. It is highly suggested that you consider renting a wet suit, which will protect your body from the sharp coral reef formations. Don't forget to apply sunscreen with a high SPF, because the powerful rays of the sun will still reach your skin in the water. Many travelers forget this important step, and the resulting sunburns can ruin your vacation fun. Once you have adequately prepared for your ocean activity, choose a great destination with the help of a local dive shop.

Heading for the Water


...enormous selection of underwater destinations...


Once it's time to finally hit the water, you'll find that Cancun boasts an enormous selection of underwater destinations to choose from. Both snorkeling and diving are popular off the coasts of Cancun and Cozumel. Many tourists stay in the popular hotel districts of Cancun, and dive shops like the family-operated Scuba Cancun offer transportation services to shuttle you southward towards the beautiful sights of Cozumel. This region features favorite destinations like Paradise Reef, Santa Rosa and the deep underwater walls of Palancar. Other stunning options include cavern diving through the cenotes of the Yucatan Peninsula, exotic snorkeling in the waters of the Yucatan jungle pools, and Cancun reef locations like Grampin and Largos. Facilities like AquaWorld and Scuba Fred's provide a trip for experienced divers to a breath-taking shipwreck from the 1980s.

The various facilities found in Cancun offer a variety of packages and excursions, making it easy to find an option that fits in with your schedule and budget. Scuba Cancun offers a variety of one or two tank dives that leave in the morning and in the afternoon. Their packages include transportation, equipment, plentiful water, an authentic Mexican lunch and your dive. Some packages include wetsuit rentals and high-power dive lights. Scuba Fred's offers a selection of both day and night dives in a variety of destinations. This facility also features combination packages for vacationers looking to get a discount by booking a hotel and dive package together. Cancun's AquaWorld features a bevy of underwater packages that leave from a variety of locations. Guests of this facility may even book a private instructor to show them the ropes of diving. Each of these establishments promise to provide you with everything you need to embark on an unforgettable snorkeling or diving experience.

Last Words of Advice

Before you head out on your thrilling adventure, keep in mind a few important tips. Most diving and snorkeling packages do not include the price of Underwater National Park entry fees. These are usually minimal, but it is important to ensure that you have the extra cash available. Many dives are entirely dependent on the conditions of the weather, so check out the forecast before heading out. While the waters are a relatively safe place, beware of lurking dangers like jellyfish or fire corals. Tourists should remove any jewelry, as the shine from metal is likely to attract creature like barracuda. Treat the reef with cautious care, as coral formations are extremely delicate. Lastly, enjoy yourself! Consider an underwater camera to capture the immense beauty that will be surrounding you during your excursion. It is an experience you won't soon forget.

No action-packed Caribbean getaway is complete without a thrilling underwater adventure. Once you weigh your options and decide whether snorkeling or diving is your activity of choice, you can prepare yourself for the experience and locate an ideal facility to assist you with your needs. Whether you purchase a package with diving and other activities like cave tubing, or simply choose to rent snorkel equipment and explore the offshore waters, an underwater journey through the warm Caribbean waters off the shores of Cancun promises to leave you with an unforgettable memory of your vacation.


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