11 Best Snorkeling Spots in & Around Playa Del Carmen
If you’re seeking an unforgettable snorkeling adventure around Playa Del Carmen, this blog provides 11 spots that guarantee a memorable experience. Whether you prefer tranquil environments or observing schools of colorful fish, each location offers a unique opportunity to explore. So, get your snorkel equipment ready, and prepare for an underwater excursion that you won’t soon forget!
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The Very Best Snorkelling Sites
1. Xel-Ha Park
If you’re a snorkeling enthusiast near Playa Del Carmen, Xel Ha is the perfect destination for you. The large open park offers a variety of spots, from mangrove rivers to caves in the inlet, where you can discover a world of tropical fish and marine life. If you have your own transportation, it will take about 40 minutes to get there from the city. Alternatively, you can book a full-day Xel-Ha tour that includes roundtrip transportation.
2. Snorkel with Turtles in Akumal
If you want to get up close with turtles, head to Akumal! This beach town is only 25 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen and is well known for its sea turtles. You might even be able to see more than one turtle, as there are so many in the area. Additionally, manta rays and spotted eagle rays can also be spotted in the surrounding waters.
3. Cenote Dos Ojos
Dos Ojos, which means “two eyes” in Spanish, is a cenote that consists of two interconnected caves forming two pools. Although there is not much marine life in the area, the lush jungle surrounding it is teeming with various creatures such as bats, birds, and lizards. If you plan on swimming or snorkeling there, it’s important to be cautious and avoid damaging the delicate stalactites and stalagmites, which are the main attraction of Dos Ojos.
Great Snorkelling Sites
4. Playa Xpu-Ha
Playa Xpu-Ha is a must-visit destination that’s only 20 minutes away from Playa del Carmen. You can go snorkeling right off the coast and experience the beauty of swimming among coral patches. If you’re fortunate, you may even get to swim alongside stingrays and turtles. However, be cautious not to swim too close to the shallow areas as it could harm the coral and potentially lead to injury.
Prepare your snorkeling gear and embark on an unforgettable adventure! Cozumel is renowned worldwide as a top-notch snorkeling destination, offering crystal-clear waters that provide excellent visibility. During this tour, you will explore three gorgeous locations that are home to an array of marine life, including rays, turtles, and even nurse sharks!
Cozumel is less than 30 minutes away from downtown Playa del Carmen by ferry, making it a convenient day trip. For a unique experience, consider booking a spot on a fully transparent boat for your snorkeling excursion.
6. Cenote El Jardin Del Eden
If you enjoy crystal clear waters, lush Mayan jungle, and eye-catching stalagmites, you’ll love visiting Cenote El Jardin Del Eden. Located in Playa Del Carmen and known as the best cenote in the area, it offers an amazing underwater experience. You’ll discover an enchanting underwater world teeming with brightly colored tetras, damselfish, and mini catfish swimming around deep, unique caves!
At this place, you can be entertained by the garra rufa fish that will feed on the dead skin of your feet and groom them. Even though it may require some travel and a fee, visiting this location will be worth it.
Good Snorkeling Sites
7. Puerto Morelos
Head over to Puerto Morelos, a peaceful fishing village that offers fantastic snorkeling opportunities due to its nearness to the reef. Sign up for a half-day snorkeling excursion and you’ll have the chance to swim alongside an abundance of marine creatures, from seahorses to manta rays.
With any luck, you may also spot some sea turtles! Don’t be concerned if swimming isn’t your forte – the reef’s shallow waters allow you to discover the vibrant coral and its colors without having to venture too far from your comfort level.
You can wander around the fishing village and have lunch at a beach club. After that, you can easily return home with round-trip transportation included.
8. Puerto Aventuras
Puerto Aventuras is an ideal destination for a secluded snorkeling experience as it is rarely overcrowded. The area boasts a man-made reef that attracts a variety of brilliantly colored tropical fish. Moreover, the Mesoamerican Reef can be found a short distance away, where you can swim alongside brain coral and other exotic aquatic species.
To access the site, simply walk through the Omni hotel, conveniently situated next to the downtown main square. Its location is easily noticeable.
9. Isla Mujeres
If you are interested in snorkeling, Isla Mujeres has great options available. Once you arrive on the island, it is easy to organize a snorkeling trip with a local guide. You can read our article on snorkeling with the Cooperativa Isla Mujeres for more information.
These trips are affordable and can be a fun day trip from Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. You will have the opportunity to see shallow water reefs and the Musa Museum, which has over 470 underwater statues that create an artificial reef.
10. Yal-Ku Lagoon
Yal-Ku Lagoon, located a few miles north of Akumal and separated from the sea by a strip of land, is an excellent place to start snorkeling. You can observe various tropical fish, rays, and other marine life in the peaceful waters.
What’s more, you can experience a unique blend of saltwater and freshwater that originates from an underground cenote. Whether you’re a seasoned snorkeler or a novice, Yal Ku Lagoon is the ideal location for your next underwater exploration.
11. Playacar Beach
Playacar Beach near Playa del Carmen is an excellent spot for offshore snorkeling. You don’t need to swim very far to see the beautiful tropical fish, crabs, octopi, and Caribbean spiny lobsters that gather around the rocks. You might even have the opportunity to take a selfie with a friendly stingray! It’s a serene and stunning experience that you won’t want to miss.
We hope you enjoyed reading our guide on the best snorkeling spots around Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The Riviera Maya offers some amazing locations for snorkeling. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to use the chat function to reach out to us. It would be our pleasure to take you to any of the snorkeling sites mentioned in the guide.