Visit the world’s finest live ocean galleries for the best snorkeling in Mexico and see the magnificent underwater world in person.
Best Snorkeling In Mexico
Aside from being well known for tacos, music, and tequila, ancient white sands roll out the red carpet for pristine coral reefs perfect for snorkeling.
Unlike any other place on the planet, Mexico’s clear skies and crystal clear water is a looking glass into nature’s most expensive coral reefs. You’ll see handsome whale sharks and organic coral reefs under the Mesoamerican sun.
But before you book the experience of a lifetime, I’ll be your temporary tour guide into Mexico’s best-kept snorkeling secrets!
Looking for more snorkeling tips? Check out these articles:
Best Snorkeling Spots in Mexico
One of Mexico’s most popular and best-kept secrets is The Yucatan Peninsula. Also known as the Atlantic coastal region “Riviera Maya” or Maya Riviera. This is the promised land of snorkeling. Sea turtles, stingrays, and octopuses are just a few of many sea creatures that roam the Chinchorro Reefs in Costa Maya. It has everything the fish love, coral!
Inside Yucatan is Akumal— miles of coral reefs, making it the best place for fish watch. Akumal is perfect for snorkeling because it has everything you need: a beach, food, and hotels. So feel free to cruise the coast or venture towards flowering seagrasses and discover walls of fish arranged into playful shapes.
Lastly, Yal Ku Lagoon is a shallow cenote that is the perfect reminder of freshwater and swamp life to North Americans. It sits just north of Akumal, with glassy coral reefs close to the shore that it’s safe and fun for children and beginner snorkelers. In addition, Yal Ku Lagoon is the top-rated spot to swim with jellyfish without getting the burning sting.
Now that we’ve covered the essential hot spots for the best snorkeling in Mexico, let’s tour snorkeling by the terrain.
Snorkeling by Terrain
The best snorkeling in Mexico from the beach is right off the shore. Offshore snorkeling offers a luxurious experience because the aquatic life thrives in forested areas of coral reefs, seagrass, and algae that support the reefs with oxygen.
And for the best snorkeling experience, you need healthy coral reefs! Just because there is a beautiful beach and lavishly warm water doesn’t mean it’s perfect for snorkeling.
The best snorkeling experience needs a great location and wind speed. Moderate breezes to near gale winds create waves that could be dangerous to snorkel. Rumors spread that the best snorkeling season is just a month in September. And if you don’t mind a strong draft, you open your snorkel opportunity from July to January.
- In front of a bar and restaurant called La Beuna Vida, Half Moon Bay has cocktails and turtles.
- Dzul Ha in Cozumel has a bar and grill with snorkel equipment for rent. Cozumel beaches have a gentle breeze wind pattern that makes for calm waters and a relaxing experience.
- Xel-Ha is a natural reserve 65 miles south of Cancun, surrounded by freshwater lagoons, changing rooms, and restaurants.
- Isla Contoy or Contoy Island is best for private charters that very few get to experience and as a mission to preserve the island’s fragile ecosystem from tropical marine birds to four different species of marine turtle.
One of the Yucatan peninsula’s unique features is the rivers that bend below ground, forming underground waterways that make for the perfect underground snorkel getaway.
The beautiful cenote is a lovely natural disaster resulting from fallen limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater. Such a hybrid of ocean and cavern is a uniquely famous landmark of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula.
These cenotes offer adventure, thrill, and an incredible snorkeling experience.
- Ponderosa is South of Playa del Carmen with an open lagoon, freshwater morays, and extraordinary views.
- Cenote Dos Ojos is a 20-minute drive north of Tulum, and it is a part of the Sac Actum system, also known as the world’s longest cenote system.
- Gran Cenote has two access points. One with a sandy beach perfect for beginner snorkelers and another with a platform for deep snorkeling and professional diving.
Snorkeling With Children
The best place to take children snorkeling is Xel-Ha of Yal Ku Lagoon. They offer safety-grade snorkeling gear and mandatory life jackets. It is an eco-park with primarily marine wildlife, lifeguards, and food service. And just south of the park is a cenote with a sweat lodge still intact left underneath Mayan Ruins.
Best Beaches to Snorkel in Mexico
If you’re looking for the perfect getaway, it’s never been closer. There’s nothing better than bright white sand and warm blue water to showcase the best beaches to snorkel in Mexico. One of the best is Cozumel Island– 30 miles long with underwater view conditions suitable for beginners.
- Museo Subacuático de Arte at Isla Mujeres (MUSA), Mexico, is the perfect way to spend your snorkel adventure cruising handcrafted sculptures of coral reefs that can only be seen 28 feet underwater. Punta Nizuc and Punta Sam can easily be enjoyed from the surface by beginners.
- Mexico’s city Cancun is home to the world’s friendliest giant whale sharks and humpback whales between December and April.
- Puerto Morelos is South of Cancun and nothing short of a wonder. The coral reefs are close to the shore, and the conditions remain temperate.
- The national park in Puerto Morelos, Mexico, is most famous for its people-friendly underwater wildlife that stands out from the rest. Instead of getting up close and personal with tropical fish, you might end up swimming side by side with dolphins!
Now that your dream of snorkeling the shiny turquoise oceans in Mexico, here are a few reminders to help bring your dreams to life without the headache.
Snorkel Adventure Checklist
Here are some of the things to consider when going to the best snorkeling beaches in Mexico.
Choose the Right Location
Your snorkeling adventure has no limits. Coastal property is controlled and regulated by the Mexican Federal Government– which grants residents and visitors free permission to snorkel on any of Mexico’s beaches.
So wiggle your way around the highways and look for signs that read a beach, diving, fishing, cabana, or a restaurant to find instant access to the best place for snorkeling in Mexico.
Book an Experience Between July and January
Unfortunately, snorkeling is not a year-round activity. The best month to book a once-in-a-lifetime snorkel experience is in September. The winds are temperate, and you want to be swimming against the currents.
If you’re a spontaneous planner, choose the months between July and January. And be sure to check the weather forecast frequently as the weather can change quite quickly.
Bring Your Own Gear
Even if you’re a beginner, expert divers recommend that you purchase your mask and vest to accompany your snorkel excursion. You can find a huge range of snorkel sets online, or buy one at a sports store or mall when you get to Mexico.
Using your own gear limits the spread of germs, and it ensures that your personal snorkel gear is snug to your fit. Don’t forget to wear biodegradable sunblock to save the coral reefs, and wear water shoes to protect your feet.
Travel South for The Best Snorkeling in Mexico
Don’t wait to book your getaway! Discover Mexico’s colorful ocean landscape and bountiful rich sea life with the best places to snorkel inside the world’s second-largest barrier reef.
Whether you’re going to visit in the mild winter months or the reef’s best season in April and October, Mexico’s Caribbean will gift you the best experience.