Planning a scuba diving vacation to Mexico? This diverse country is literally brimming with exciting dive sites, from thrilling Cenotes (massive sinkholes) and living reefs to shipwrecks and manta ray cleaning stations. Whether you’re exploring the magical seascapes around the Riviera Maya or the caverns and tunnels of Cozumel, there are diving opportunities for all skill levels and interests.
Best dive sites in Mexico: Pacific Coast
If your heart is set on an open ocean dive with whale shark and great white encounters, then head to Mexico’s Pacific coast, where live-aboard cruises feature visits to some of the world’s finest scuba locations. Some of the most popular dive sites on the Pacific coast include:
- Guadalupe Island – Situated some 380 miles west of Baja California, this volcanic island is renowned for cage diving with nature’s most fearsome apex predator – the great white shark. Liveaboard scuba trips to Guadalupe are offered from August-October, when shark populations are at their peak.
- Socorro Islands(the Revillagigedos) –This archipelago of spectacular islands is located roughly 240 miles from Cabo San Lucas, off the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Socorro promises awe-inspiring encounters with hundreds of sharks, graceful manta rays as well as humpback whales. Dubbed the “Galapagos of Mexico” thanks to its impressive numbers of large animal encounters, Socorro is recommended for experienced divers only.
- Sea of Cortez – Less experienced divers who aren’t quite prepared to brave strong ocean currents are encouraged to book a scuba diving cruise (or day trip) to these biodiverse waters off the Gulf of California. This sheltered swath of water offers unforgettable encounters with sea lions, tropical reef fish, schooling jacks, hammerhead sharks in addition to killer whales, pilot whales and dolphin. Popular dive sites include Las Animas, Angel Island and El Arroyo, Punta Martir.
Caribbean Sea dive sites
- Cenote Dos Ojos, Yucatan – Mexico is a terrific introduction to cave diving, and there’s no better place to enjoy this experience than in Cenote Dos Ojos, a network of ancient fresh water caverns that span some 50 miles. Visibility is best between May and September, and tour operators offer this underwater adventure to intermediate and advanced divers.
- Pared Verde – Translated as the “Green Wall,” Pared Verde is an easy 25-minute jaunt from the docks of Playa del Carmen. Considered a drift dive, this massive 90-foot deep wall is surrounded by colorful sponges, sea fans, invertebrates as well as sea turtles, sting rays and moray eels.
- Manchones Reef – If you’re a beginner diver who loves underwater photography, Manchones Reef (also called MUSA) is an easy day trip from Cancun. What sets this site apart from the pack are its beautiful man-made installations, created by a local sculptor. The underwater statues have stimulated new coral growth, while relieving pressures on this delicate ecosystem.
- Palancar Reef –Cozumel is a world-class diving mecca, but of all the island’s dive sites, Palancar Reef is one of the best. Great for novice and intermediate divers, this stunning reef has gentle currents, enormous coral pinnacles and is thriving with tropical marine life.
- Puerto Morelos –Puerto Morelos is a famed tourist port town on the Riviera Maya that offers great shipwreck diving. The shipwreck – an old navy boat deliberately sunk – is one of several artificial reefs, created to expand marine habitats. The barnacle-laden ship now hosts a cornucopia of sea life and provides the perfect backdrop for a thrill-seeking adventure.
Additional Mexico Scuba Diving Resources:
- AquaWorld, SCUBA DIVING IN THE BEST LOCATIONS OF MEXICO https://aquaworld.com.mx/en/scuba-diving-in-the-best-locations-of-mexico/
- Deep Blue, Top 10 Dive Sites in Mexico https://www.deeperblue.com/top-dive-sites-mexico/
- The Diving Blog, Top 10 Best Dive Sites in Mexico http://thedivingblog.com/top-10-best-dive-sites-mexico/