Snorkeling in Cancun Mexico
Not only Cancun but I would say from Cancun down to Playa del Carmen I have no found a great place to jump in the water and start snorkeling or diving. If you are in the hustle and bustle of Downtown Cancun you may have to drift off a little to avoid ferries and cruise ships but just south you will find amazing ocean scenery from underwater museums "Musa" containing 470 statues to the island of Cozumel which is easily accessible by ferry.
I have been down there about a dozen times and each time I have found new and exciting places to snorkel. If you do dive though check out the underwater caves outside of Playa del Carmen called "cenotes." I always bring my own gear, especially mask and snorkel just because I have very nice gear and it helps when you know where the mouth piece has been. I haven't found to many places that have great fins and aren't ripped a little but if you have no space in your suitcase bring some neoprene socks just to make sure you don't get blisters.
If you are at a all inclusive and need to get out of the hotel for a day, this is your trip! Cozumel is a beautiful little island off the coast of Playa del Carmen and you can ferry across for around $10.00 and takes about 45 minutes and leaves every hour on the hour from 6 am to 9 pm. Double check holidays and most often you should be able to walk on but arrive early just in case. If you miss one ferry the city is really cool or you can go check out Senior Frogs right next to the terminal for a mid day beverage if you like.
You will arrive on the west side of the island and that is where you want to be to snorkel. If you head the east side of the island there are no real places to snorkel because it is exposed to the Atlantic Ocean and if you want there is a couple places to surf or boogey board.
On your own your best bet is Playas las Casitas there are lots of colorful fish, some sunken ships and amazing beaches. Make sure you are a confident swimmer first of all and if you have kids make sure they wear a snorkel vest. To head to the sunken ship you want to find the Love Cafe and swim straight out to the yellow "nun" buoy. The boat is 55 feet and about 30-35 feet down depending on the tide. To get to the second boat, use the bow of the boat as a clock and swim about 100 feet at 11 o'clock to the next boat which will be about 25-30 feet deep. There is some boat traffic in this area so be cautious with a dive flag or someone so you are visible.
**Be a solid swimmer for the boat wrecks**
In October of 2005 Hurricane Wilma passed through Cancun and eastern Mexico causing around 30 million USD in damage, however, it left chunks of concrete that created an artificial reef that runs about 10-20 feet down. There are lots of fish and plenty to see and it is right off the shore.
Musa - Underwater Museum
Need I say more really? A museum underwater is probably the coolest thing ever. With over 470 life sized sculptures that have been down there since 2009, it is located right beside Manchones reef site. We recommend Aqua World to go check out the site and it offers a 3 hour tour with 45 minutes of snorkel which is located between the coast of Cancun and Isla Mujeres. Dependant on weather conditions you will then go visit a second site which has a plethora of marine life for about 20 mins. We recommend Aqua World tour group and prices are as follows.
8-11 years old - $22.50
over 11 years old - $45.00
***There is also a 16% sales tax and $10.00 USD marine park/dock fee***
Leaves daily at 9:30 am
Life jacket (mandatory)
Brand new snorkel tube
+ 52 (998) 848 8326 & 27
The most amazing sight you will ever see in your life and I stand by that! First of all a Whale Shark is not technically a shark. They are slow moving filter feeding shark that are HARMLESS. The largest whale shark ever recorded was length of 12.65 m (41.5 ft) and a weight of about 21.5 t (47,000 lb) which is absolutely massive. Your best bet is in summer time (June to September) to see these magnificent creatures.
Again using Aqua World the excursion departs from Gran Puerto Cancun and transportation to and from is included. The boat departs at 8 am and primarily are seen off of Isla Holbox and Isla Contoy. It is common to see them travel in 30-40 large and once the pod is found, the boat stops and you jump in! It is recommended that you are a comfortable swimmer in open ocean.
Sometimes you can even see manta rays travel a midst whale sharks and you can see them too!
You will be dropped off at Gran Puerto at 2:30 and then shuttled back to your hotel.
Price : $168.00
Transportation(for hotels up to Playa Del Carmen, hotels beyond this point may incur an extra charge)
Light breakfast of coffee and pastries
Life jackets (mandatory)
Water, soda and beers
Sandwich and dry snacks
Isla Mujeres beach club services
+ 52 (998) 848 8326 & 27
If I haven't emphasized this enough, if you get the opportunity to do this excursion through this company or another, DO IT! Always double check that the tour guides are actually seeing whale sharks first before you commit to spending a bunch of money and end up just boating around but this is such an amazing experience and is worth every penny! Go have some fun and enjoy this life changing snorkel adventure.