5 Top places to snorkel in Cancun, Mexico

Top 5 Places to Snorkel in Cancun, Mexico

—This post was originally published on January 13, 2015.

Snorkeling is a must-do for anyone vacationing in the Caribbean, so here are the top 5 places to snorkel in Cancun, Mexico. Apart from crystal clear waters, there’s a great selection of marine life to view with your snorkel mask, most notably, the whale sharks.

Where to Snorkel in Cancun, Mexico?

You can snorkel off of Cancun’s beaches, but it’s much more enjoyable to take an organized snorkel excursion. That’s because excursions maximize your snorkeling experience by visiting the most beautiful areas populated with a host of marine life.

marine life you can find when snorkeling in cancun

The 5 most beautiful places to snorkel in Cancun and its surroundings

These areas are located in the well protected National Marine Park and provide maximum visibility of schools of fish and marine life.

1. Punta Nizuc

The Cancun snorkel area called Punta Nizuc is located at the southern tip of the island and is the closest offshore reef from the Cancun Hotel Zone. This reef area is home to turtles, starfish, lobsters and many other critters that live among the coral and algae.

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AquaWorld’s Paradise Snorkel Tour and the SubSee Explorer offer a fantastic tour to Punta Nizuc, a definite must when looking for things to do with kids in Cancun.

Reef diving in Cancun

2. The Island of Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is still a fishing island that receives flocks of tourists daily. The island village is only 5 miles long and half a mile wide, so you can explore it in a day. The reef named Manchones lies just off the coast, as do other impressive sites where you can snorkel in Isla Mujeres’ peaceful waters.

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We Recommend: Where Is Isla Mujeres? Ferry Boats Will Take You To Find Out!

It’s very common to observe sea turtles when snorkeling in Isla Mujeres, so it’s a good idea to bring an underwater camera. AquaWorld’s day trip to Isla Mujeres offers a complete tour to the island including snorkeling, lunch, shopping and fun.

Day Trip Isla Mujeres
Snorkel in Isla Mujeres

Snorkel in Isla Mujeres

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3. The Cancun Underwater Museum: MUSA

The Underwater Museum of Cancun is divided into two sections and consists of more than 470 life-sized sculptures. The underwater statues were gradually submerged since 2009 and Manchones Reef hosts the first MUSA exhibition.  The Cancun museum is an eco-project designed to give a well-earned break to the natural reef and to provide habitat for fish and other reef creatures.

visit-musa-plaza-kukulkan-cancun

We Recommend: 4 Reasons to Visit MUSA, the Museum Under the Caribbean Sea

Punta Nizuc houses 17 of Jason DeCaires Taylor’s statues, which are part of the second ‘hall’ of the underwater sculpture museum. This project has generated worldwide interest and definitely worth a snorkeling visit when planning your Cancun vacation.

subsee-mexican-caribbean-submarine-cancun-reef
Snorkel in the Cancun Underwater Museum MUSA

4. The Island of Cozumel

Just a short stop from Cancun, you can enjoy snorkeling in Cozumel. This has been a favorite activity among tourists for years. The coral formations in the shallow waters are diverse and vibrantly colorful.

the-dive-shop-diving-in-cozumel-buceo

We Recommend: Diving to Cozumel’s Reefs and Walls? The Dive Shop Has You Covered

The reefs of Cozumel stretch along the coast of the island, providing a home for brightly colored tropical fish and pristine natural gardens. If you’re looking for a day trip to Cozumel, AquaWorld provides a tour from Cancun that includes transportation, lunch and snorkeling.

Cozumel Snorkel

5. Swim With Whale Sharks in Cancun

Especially relevant, one of the most popular seasonal activities is snorkeling with whale sharks in Cancun from June until August (sometimes even mid-September). That’s when these majestic creatures come to feed themselves around the neighboring islands of Contoy and Holbox.

swimming with whale sharks cancun 6

We Recommend: 5 Things to Know Before Swimming With Whale Sharks

Imagine swimming with a creature that’s bigger than you! These gentle giants of the sea are completely harmless and AquaWorld offers a snorkel tour that allows you to swim with them. You simply must experience snorkeling during the whale sharks’ impressive yearly journey to the Mexican Caribbean!

Whalesharks

Swim with the whale sharks

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56 comments

  • We are planning a trip to Cancun the first week in June. We have snorted for years and are looking for a unique experience Large groups scare away most of the fish. Are there early morning tours that arrive before everyone else

    • I am looking for a snorkel tour that would most likely include seeing some turtles. It could be for 3 to 4 people including a 7 yr old .
      We would need picking up from The Finest Hotel in QR in Playa Mujeres. We are not worried about lunch – maybe a trip 9 – 1 . Is there anything that may fill this please and if so what would be the cost?

      Thank you

      Rose

  • Hey

    I am not an expert in snorkeliing.
    I see that for underwater museum you need to be a good scuba diver as well.
    How much difficulty level does it have? We are interested only in snorkeliing l.

    • Hi Mack, you don’t need to be a good scuba dive to visit MUSA – we have the Discover Scuba for non certified divers. But if you’re only interested in snorkeling then this activity would be recommendable. Snorkel in MUSA We have sent you more information via e-mail. Kind regards

  • My girlfriend and I will be in Cancun July 7-9 and would like to snorkel as much as possible on the 8th, any suggestions?

  • My son who is 11 and I will be in canCun July 19-24. We want to going on a snorkeling trip. July 2o and 23. Can you send me the best package for us ?

    • Hi Joe, I have sent you a list of some great activities for you and your son, let us know which of the activities you’re interested in and we’ll creat a package for you. Kind regards

  • We are interested in snorkeling but a few of us get sea sick. Do you have a recommendation for a short boat ride? Thanks

  • We will be in Cancun the first week of August and looking for a day of snorkeling..heard that the Isle of mujeres is a good spot. Any information would be appreciated.

  • ill be in cancun next month and I’m wondering which would be the best snorkeling trip to take to see colorful fish and turtles? Are there any “booze cruise” or more adult friendly boats for this?

  • Would also like some information on some snorkel tours & Isla Mujeres daytrips. Coming to Cancun next week ! Thank you in advance

  • This will be my first visit to Cancun. Traveling with a group of 6 friends. We’ll be there late February. Where can we snorkel to see turtles? Thanks!

  • Hello,

    My wife and I will be at the Excellence Riviera Cancun from the 26-29th this month. Being our first time in Cancun, I have no idea what is in our area that we can easily get to without a rental. Everything you offer looks so amazing, can you help me with some additional information.

  • Hello,

    In Cancun the 25-29th of August and looking to find a great snorkeling experience for 4 adults. Trying to find the right package and location is difficult. Can you please help me with some additional information.

    • Hi Shonti, thank you for contacting Aquaworld, I just send you great options for snorkeling to your e-mail. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help you with! Kind Regards

  • How is the snorkeling in December? We will be there December 10-17 and were hoping the snorkeling would still be as good as the summer.

  • My wife and I will be in Cancun 12/22-12/27. We would like to snorkel for our first time, preferably with a small group or no group. Please let us know if you have any ideas.

  • Perfect list, would love to follow every inch of it. I´m a wanderer myself and I could put quite a few check marks to some from these list and still willing t see more and more. So happy travelling to all of us!

  • We are staying at Secrets The Vine from Feb 1 – 7. Are there some close places we can snorkel for only 1/2 day? We’d need equipment, etc.

  • Hello I have a group of 4 and I would like to go snorkeling and go to the beach and have some drinks with my friends. What do u recommend? I’ll be staying in cancun.

  • Hi , il will be booking a trip for two for early May. Snorkeling will be our main goal. We do like to snorkel off shore any recommendations. Also trying to decide between playa Del carmen, can in and Puerto nueva. Any suggestions for best shore snorkeling?

  • Hi, three of us (my sister, her husband and me) will stay three days in Cancun on May 8-10, 2017. We like to go to a snorkeling tour to see corals, fishes and underwater museum. My sister has some problem on her feet and don’t want to get into water, but like to watch us to snorkeling. Do you have any tour to fit our situation? Do you have any glass bottom boat for the tour? Any suggestion will be appreciate! JJ

  • Hi, we will be in Cancun July 4-10 with 4 kids could you send me some good snorkeling trips around the JW Marriott?

  • Hi this is Marylan,

    I just arrived in Cancun from 6/19-6/23. I was wondering if you can email me some information about snorkeling this week. Thanks,
    Marylan

  • My family is taking a vacation to Cancun next summer (June 2018). There will be 4-5 of us, the youngest being 16 years old. I was wondering if you could send me some information on the most affordable and best rated snorkeling tours in Cancun. This will be their first time snorkeling. My daughter would like one that would include seeing some sea turtles and possible sharks. However I think the possibility of seeing those are really up to chance and environmental factors.

    • Hi Frances, thanks for your great question!! I’ve just sent you an e-mail with more information! Please let me know if you need more information and I’ll be very happy to help! Best regards, Karla.

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