Best Places for Snorkeling in Tulum

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11 Best Places to Skorkel in Tulum - 2023 Visitors Guide

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Are you looking for the snorkeling places in Tulum? With 6,000 cenotes spread across the Yucatan Peninsula alone, you’re spoiled for choice! But how do you narrow down your options and ensure that where you go is worth every penny spent? Worry not – this guide will lead the way. We’ve highlighted our favorite guided tours so all of your worries are taken care of. So go on – explore beautiful underwater worlds with ease! 


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Short on time for your escape to Tulum? Don’t worry—we’ve got the perfect tour to make sure you don’t miss out!

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Best Places to Snorkel in Tulum

Best Snorkeling in Tulum: Tulum Ruins Beach
Best Snorkeling in Tulum: Tulum Ruins Beach

1. Snorkeling at Tulum’s Beaches: Tulum Playa Ruinas

If you’re searching for a nearby, easily accessible spot to snorkel in Tulum, the Tulum Ruins are your best bet. Not only can you explore ancient Mayan history at this archaeological site, but you can also enjoy one of Tulum’s finest beaches with lapping Caribbean Sea waters along its edge. Put on that snorkeling gear and dive into an unforgettable experience through this guided tour where you’ll have a private sailing and snorkeling adventure around the Mexican Caribbean – get up close to all sorts of sea life!

El Gran Cenote - Gran Cenote Tulum
El Gran Cenote – The Big Cenote Tulum

2. Gran Cenote

If you are looking for the ultimate Tulum snorkeling experience, then a visit to Gran Cenote is an absolute must! This open-air pool consists of a network of caves and caverns connected by wooden boardwalks. Furthermore, there are two distinct sections divided by a bridge that make it perfect for families traveling together – with turtles and schools of fish providing plenty of entertainment along the way. Make sure to add this beautiful spot to your itinerary!

Sea Turtles Akumal
Sea Turtles Akumal

3. Akumal

Featuring pristine waters and plush white-sand beaches, Akumal is an idyllic getaway that offers a wealth of underwater life. The name actually means “place of the turtle” in Mayan – appropriately so, since you’ll be swimming among these gentle creatures! To make your experience even more memorable, we suggest taking a guided snorkeling tour to view three out of seven species of turtles native to Akumal as well as explore two captivating cenotes with the help from an expert guide.

While it’s tempting to reach out and pet the precious creatures, it is essential that you remember not to do so. Akumal tours were suspended for many years due to potential danger towards marine life; however, they resumed under one condition – tourists must respect their habitats.

Xel Ha Park Snorkeling
Xel Ha Park Snorkeling

4. Xel-Ha Park

When it comes to the best snorkeling spots near Tulum, Xel-Ha is an absolute must. Not only is this one of Mexico‘s trendiest water parks but also a fascinating ecological center that promises hours and hours of family fun!

Not only will you get to swim with vibrant marine life in the crystal clear waters, but there are plenty of other activities such as floating on donuts or ziplining over the tranquil sea. You can even explore hidden caves and discover some spectacular sights!

Cenote Calavera
Cenote Calavera

5. Cenote Calavera

Tulum’s Cenote Calavera, affectionately dubbed the Temple of Doom by locals, is an absolute must-see for snorkelers and swimmers exploring the area. Although located along a main road on your way to Coba, this secret cenote has managed to remain tranquil and serene. Characteristic of Cantaro-type cenotes where ceilings have crumbled away, revealing hidden waters beneath them, brave adventurers can choose between plunging from the cliff edge above or lowering themselves in slowly if they prefer. Whichever route you choose will lead you into a magical underwater world!

Cenote Dos Ojos diving
Cenote Dos Ojos diving

6. Cenote Dos Ojos

For those looking for a serene and unforgettable experience, Two Eyes Cenote (or Dos Ojos) is the perfect spot. Located just north of Tulum, this cenote’s crystal-clear waters are thriving with an abundance of small fish – ideal for divers! To truly appreciate its beauty, meander your way down to explore the second platform which offers a more tranquil atmosphere than that found on the first one. No need to worry about equipment either – snorkeling gear rentals can be acquired at Dos Ojos Cenote for around $10 per person; absolutely worth it considering you get access to both eyes

Grand Bahia Principe Tulum
Grand Bahia Principe Tulum


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7. Grand Bahia Principe Tulum

Are you searching for the perfect location to go snorkeling in Grand Bahia Principe Tulum all inclusive resort? You’ve stumbled upon one of the most beloved spots along this pristine beachfront – making it a top choice among tourists. For even better results, take a short journey towards Akumal and experience an invigorating swim within its sheltered cove that acts as a barrier against typical winds found in this area. Aside from offering remarkable opportunities for snorkeling, this resort is also considered an ideal place to stay while visiting Tulum!

Cenote Azul Playa del Carmen

8. Cenote Azul

Are you looking for the perfect place to try snorkeling in Tulum? Look no further than Cenote Azul‘s relaxing, open-air pool – it is ideal for newbies! Dive into its depths or simply float atop the surface and observe the exotic fish. If traveling with young ones (or if needing extra security), life jackets are available to rent from their friendly staff. Oh, and be sure to take pictures of this otherworldly spot; they make amazing photos for Instagram!

Beautiful turquoise waters in San Miguel, Cozumel, Mexico
Beautiful turquoise waters in San Miguel, Cozumel

9. Cozumel

Tucked away between the bustling cities of Cancun and Tulum lies Cozumel’s gorgeous west coast, boasting a myriad of breathtaking sites that make for ideal snorkeling. If it’s on your to-do list while visiting the island, Marina Caleta offers plenty of excellent scuba diving companies as well as its renowned spots like Chankanaab Beach and Park – perfect for families looking to explore!

10. Cenote Jardin Del Eden

If you’re in search of paradise, look no further than Cenote Jardin Del Eden. This magnificent open-air sinkhole is so strikingly reminiscent to the Garden of Eden itself that it’s routinely visitors’ most preferred cenote to witness and dive into. The water here is exceptionally transparent – letting you glimpse directly down its depths – yet can be unexpectedly deep at certain points; thus, unless experienced swimmers are around, a life jacket should always be worn as an extra precautionary measure.

Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid
Fall Equinox at Chichen Itza Pyramid

11. Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza is one of the most renowned archeological sites located close to Tulum, and the stunning Cenote Ik Kil found in its vicinity will take your breath away. With lush foliage enveloping it, this cenote may appear intimidating; however, a staircase made for convenient access lies nearby. While snorkeling experts may enjoy this cenote more thoroughly than others, everyone can appreciate its captivating views and diverse marine life as well as luxuriate in warm waters that have been heated by sunlight spilling through an opening on top of it.

Expert Tip: A guided tour is the perfect way to maximize your snorkeling adventure! Knowledgeable guides can direct you to spectacular sea creatures, vibrant coral gardens and lesser-known locales that would remain hidden without their expertise. Plus, they’ll make sure you’re safe along the way – what more could one ask for?

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Which are the Best Cenotes in Tulum for Snorkeling?

Cenote Calavera and Dos Ojos are just some of our favorite but you cant really go wrong with any cenote. Make sure you read our detailed Best Cenotes in Tulum Guide.

Is there a reef in Tulum?

Located not far from the gorgeous Playa Paraiso, you can access some of Mexico’s finest snorkeling experiences with just a brief boat ride. Tours are available at your convenience or simply visit the beach and chat directly with fisherman who maintain tour kiosks thereabouts. Tulum is definitely home to some of Mexico’s very best snorkeling spots!

Should I bring my own snorkel gear to Tulum?

Generally, snorkel gear is supplied or can be rented for a nominal fee. I suggest bringing your own though – not only won’t it weigh you down, but this will ensure maximum hygiene standards too!

Does Tulum have a seaweed problem?

Depending on the timing of your journey, you may experience an influx of seaweed. Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict when this sargasso will make its sudden appearance. Don’t stress too much though- there are still plenty of entertaining activities and breathtaking spots in Tulum that can provide a memorable adventure – even if some areas have been affected by the seaweed!

Are there swimmable beaches in Tulum?

Travelers to Tulum are graced with two awe-inspiring, swimmable beaches – one situated north of the ruins and another south towards Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and Punta Allen. Though access may be limited during sargasso season, rest assured you’re welcome in these tranquil waters which remain shallow for approximately 60 feet before suddenly becoming deep yet without any hazardous currents.

How long is the drive from Cancun to Tulum?

It’s an easy 1 hour and 30 minute drive from Cancun Airport to Tulum, a total of 73 miles. For more specifics on your journey there and back, take a peek at my post on how to travel between these two destinations.

Tulum currently does not have its own airport.

Cancun Airport Map - Terminals
Cancun Airport Map of All the Terminals

Snorkeling with whale sharks

If you have the Yucatan Peninsula on your travel itinerary during the warmest months, June to mid-September, then make sure to experience swimming with whale sharks – they are truly majestic creatures! We wished we had visited during this season but luckily our friends were able to do it a few weeks later. Seeing their photos and hearing about how people got sick on the boat was rather less exciting for us, yet still made me dream of one day having my own opportunity. 

If you’re looking for a memorable experience, why not take the opportunity to explore Cancun and its surroundings? A tour from there will get you up close with magnificent whale sharks. These gentle giants can be spotted near Isla Mujeres, Contoy, and Holbox. You can also book directly from Tulum or Playa del Carmen*; whatever works best for you!

The best time for snorkeling in Tulum

If you’re seeking a perfect snorkeling experience in Tulum or anywhere else, be sure to pick the days when there’s no wind. Statistics from the region demonstrate that while the wind is more common during the first semester of any given year, it can still occur at various times throughout. This means that one day may have calm waters but suddenly change on another due to gusts of winds – so Cozumel should remain protected even if other areas become too blustery for comfortable swimming conditions.

If snorkeling is my main goal for a Tulum adventure, I’d make sure to visit during the summer months when whale sharks are most present.

Traveling to 🇲🇽 Mexico soon?

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🤿 Tours & Activities: For tours and activities in Mexico, I highly recommend using either Viator or GetYourGuide. These websites offer a full refund if you cancel your booking 24 hours before the start of the tour, and they also provide excellent customer service in case of any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: I always suggest purchasing travel insurance as a precaution before traveling, especially after a recent accident in a taxi in Mexico. For short trips, I recommend Travel Insurance Master, whereas for digital nomads, Safety Wing is a better option.

📷 Best Camera for your trip: I always carry with me a GoPro, It’s light, compact, takes great video and pictures, and most importantly, it’s waterproof! You just can’t go wrong with one. If you are interested in higher quality video and photography, I always carry with me on my trips and highly recommend the Sony A7IV which I think is the best travel DSLR Camera out there.

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