top 5 places to snorkel in cancun

Top 5 Places to Snorkel in Cancun, Mexico

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 variety of marine life to view with your snorkel mask, from small fish to gigantic whale sharks.

best places to snorkel in cancun

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. This because an expert will take you to the reefs with the best views and help you throughout the tour.

Besides, going with an expert means you will be safer – can you imagine snorkeling too far from the shore and losing it! Even in the serene Caribbean waters, this could get most people scared.😨

top 5 places to snorkel in canucn mexico

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

During your trip to Mexico, you will have a few opportunities to snorkel, but these are the one you can’t miss. These areas are located in the well-protected National Marine Park and provide maximum visibility of schools of fish and marine life.🐠 Such life goes from sea urchins to eagle rays passing through all kinds of corals.

1. Punta Nizuc

This snorkel area in Cancun is called Nizuc, it’s located at the southern tip of the Hotel Zone and is the closest offshore reef from the mainland. This area is home to turtles, starfish, lobsters and many other critters that live among the coral and algae.🐢

As a bonus, Nizuc also has one of the three galleries of MUSA, the Underwater Museum of Art.😱 Some of their most iconic pieces are Understanding – six seated giants that create an out-of-this-world scene -, The Gardener of Hope, Reclamation, and many more!

understanding in musa nizuc a top snorkeling spot in cancun

The best way to see them from up close is snorkeling🔎, but visiting it on board a submarine is also a great option especially for little kids and people that don’t know how to swim.


We Recommend: The SubSee — A Unique, Personalized Caribbean Experience

2. 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 that you can explore it in a day. A good option is to go to Playa Norte✨ with a slice of bread and attract plenty of tropical fish to snorkel with. However, the best spots are a bit further away from the shore: El Farito and Manchones.

playa norte

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

El Farito means the little lighthouse. It is a trendy spot because it’s shallow yet full of fish and corals. On the other hand, Manchones is a deeper reef with even more marine life🐡 but don’t worry about it being deep, Isla Mujeres’ transparent waters provide perfect visibility so you won’t miss the show!

el farito en isla mujeres

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, drinks and so much FUN!💦

snorkel in isla mujeres


3. The Cancun Underwater Museum, MUSA

MUSA has three sections or galleries (Nizuc, Manchones, and Punta Sam) the biggest one is Manchones, and it consists of more than 400 life-sized sculptures! They are part of a collection called The Silent Evolution, made in 2009 by British artist Jason DeCaires Taylor👨🏻‍🎨🎨.

MUSA Manchones by trip in mexico

We Recommended for you: 4 Reasons to Visit MUSA

The Cancun museum is an eco-project designed to give a well-earned break to the nearby natural reefs and to provide a safe habitat for those creatures whose home reefs were harmed by human activity. It has generated worldwide interest and definitely worth a snorkeling visit when planning your vacations in Cancun.

snorkel in MUSA

4. The Island of Cozumel

Just a ferry ride away from Cancun, you can enjoy snorkeling in Cozumel. This has been a favorite activity among tourists for years. Less famous than scuba diving, snorkeling is another fantastic way of seeing the vibrantly colorful coral formations in the island.


Recommended for you: Diving to Cozumel’s Reefs and Walls?

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.

5. Isla Contoy

The Mexican Caribbean hides a secret gem: Isla Contoy🌴… each summer, this island hosts whale sharks and giant manta rays.  Snorkeling with them is possible!  There are tours departing from Cancun, Mexico from June until August (sometimes even mid-September).


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

Imagine swimming with a creature 3 times bigger than you🐋 These gentle giants of the sea are completely harmless, and they’re not whales… they are sharks! That makes them the biggest fish in the sea! 

So there you have it, the ultimate guide for snorkeling in and near Cancun, Mexico. Which one is your favorite?🤔 Let us know on the comments below!




  • 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


  • 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,

  • 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.

  • Hi,

    I’m planning a trip for next month (to bring in the new year) just can’t decided where to stay or tour. Looking for a memorable experience for a party of 2 (new young couple, kicking off a year of travel). We’re beginners at snorkeling but eager to explore a new world. Any recommendation for a Dec. tour, please advise if it’s best we postpone to a later date for a better experience.

    • Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you for contacting us, I’ve sent the information you are looking for snorkeling in Cancun. We are looking forward to your visit.
      Kind Regards
      Rosario Garcia

  • We are headed to Cancun 03/10 – 03/19/18 and staying the at J.W. I would like to go snorkeling or even better diving, but I am not certified. Can I get some information on where to go and the BEST location to see corals and fish? I have a 100 gallon reef tank at home and would love to see corals in the open waters. Thank you!

  • Hello! My friend and I will be in Cancun on Saturday 12th of May, we would like to go snorkeling for a day and see wild animals, could you recommend some trips on that day please? Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Angie,
      Thanks for contacting us. we have sent you information to your email.
      We hope to see you soon in our marina.

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