With some of the clearest waters in the world, scuba diving in the Caribbean Sea is an unforgettable experience. By far one of the best activities to participate in when visiting Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum in the southern Mexican state of Quintana Roo, there are plenty of scuba diving shops offering a variety of different experiences.
While the waters are generally quite rough along the coastline, near the reefs, the waves tend to be slightly smaller and provide excellent diving conditions, whether you are a beginner or an expert diver. If it is your first experience scuba diving, or one of many dives, the region around Cancun is filled with thriving reefs, plenty of sea life, and many incredible underwater memories.
There are plenty of diving shops offering experiences such as diving the underwater museum, and the nearby cenotes, and the reefs located off-shore in the region of Cancun. Dive shops are located in Cancun, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, as well as a few other small towns in between, and provide different types of services.
Most dive shops will train beginner divers, and provide them the chance to get their Open Water Certification alongside amateur divers looking to get their Advanced Certification.
Dive shops in the state of Quintana Roo in southern Mexico provide divers with all of the necessary equipment from masks and fins to BCD’s and wetsuits. With professionally trained divers, it is possible to have the safest and best experience diving in the region of Cancun.
The hardest part of your dive will be deciding where you should dive! The area offers two very unique diving experiences that cannot be done elsewhere in the world. These unique dive experiences include diving cenotes and the Cancun underwater museum.
Underwater in the Caribbean Sea, there is a vast variety of incredible sea life. From whale sharks to nurse sharks, turtles, octopus, puffer fish, sting rays, and angel fish to eels and barracuda, there are endless opportunities to see all types of sea life.
Known to locals and divers as Musa, the Cancun Underwater Museum is a unique underwater museum, that is one of a few in the world. Created in 2009, the underwater museum was founded and created in the waters by Isla Mujeres, a nearby island located across from Cancun. With over 500 life sized sculptures, Musa offers divers the chance to swim amongst reefs, fish, and huge statues.
The sculptures under the water promote coral life, due to the material used to make them. Many corals have already started to grow on the sculptures, ensuring there are tons of fish and sea creatures around the area. The sculptures differ in shape and size, however there are many sculptures of humans holding objects as well as two full sized Volkswagen Beetles.
The museum takes about forty minutes to dive, where you will see plenty of fish, sculptures, and corals. The only downside to scuba diving the Cancun Underwater Museum is that some of the sculptures are located in shallow waters of less than 4 metres, which only allows snorkelers to swim on the surface. As a diver, you will see more than half of the museum, however there will be a few sculptures that you will be unable to see due to the shallow locations.
There are many reefs located in and around the Cancun area. With all types of sea life, a dive in a reef near Cancun will be an unforgettable experience. In the right season, there are whale sharks off of the coast of Cancun as well as plenty of reef sharks, nurse sharks, and even some larger, fiercer sharks. The reefs also contain many smaller sea creatures including turtles, sting rays, eels, octopus, and squid. With brightly coloured corals and large reefs covering many miles, the reefs around Cancun also have plenty of different types of fish. There are brightly coloured angel fish of yellow, blue, and orange, puffer fish, butterfly fish, barracuda, and grouper fish. Occasionally, divers can see stone fish and yellowtail snapper.
There are plenty of reefs in and around the Cancun area, however some have clearer waters and contain more vibrant and colourful sea life and corals. The best places to dive in Cancun are near Isla Mujeres and Cozumel, however, if you move further down the coast to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, there are many untouched, colourful coral reefs. To see more of the Great Maya Reef, visit dive sites near Puerto Morelos, Punta Maroma, Puerto Aventuras, Tulum, and the incredible Sian Ka’an biosphere. Cozumel provides divers with some of the most untouched corals in the Caribbean Sea. The Sian Ka’an biosphere is arguably one of the most unique dive sites in the region. With crocodiles, colourful fish, and coral reefs, the biosphere is a thriving underwater world.
Cenotes are unique to the southern region of Mexico, and consist of hundreds of underwater rivers connected to large, sacred caverns known as the cenotes. These natural pits, also known as sinkholes, were formed hundreds of years ago from the collapse of limestone bedrock. They are sacred to the local Mayan people, who protect the cenotes. With crystal blue waters that are deeply concentrated with calcium, there is a variety of different sea life located in the waters.
Since cenotes only exist in this region, scuba diving here is a once in a lifetime opportunity. This unique experience is only more exciting due to the fact that many of the underwater rivers in the region have yet to be explored. It is not possible for divers to carry enough oxygen to explore the entire underwater river system.
While diving in a cenote, it is possible to see a variety of different types of fish and occasionally turtles and other large underwater sea creatures. Many stalagmites and stalactites hang from the ceilings of the cenotes and add to the incredible underwater experience in the area. Bats and other birds hang from the ceilings of the caves, ensuring an experience both above and below the surface of the water. After scuba diving a cenote, it will be difficult to find a scuba diving experience that will compare to the wonder that you have seen and felt in the unexplored passageways of the underwater rivers in Mexico.
Mexico is filled with wonderful reefs, caves, and seas that are waiting to be explored. The next time you are visiting one of the holiday destinations of Cancun, Cozumel, Tulum, or Playa del Carmen, consider taking your adventures underwater to experience the world that awaits you!