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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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. 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.
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!