Explore Coral Reefs in Mexico

Sergeant Major fishes in caribbean reef Mexico Mayan RivieraCoral reefs are some of the most astounding natural features on Earth. Healthy reefs are teaming with activity, with all sorts of fish and marine life going about their business. But the coral itself is also alive. Corals look like pretty rocks and they act like plants, since they’re attached to the ocean floor, but they’re actually animals. Each coral branch contains thousands of small invertebrates called polyps, and these tiny creatures thrive in warm, tropical waters. Mexico is a favorite destination for snorkelers, divers, and coral reef enthusiasts because it offers the perfect environment for coral to flourish. When you book your next trip to Mexico, consider including some of these top diving spots in your itinerary.

Mesoamerican Reef

Also called the Great Mayan Reef, this is the second largest reef in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. The Great Mayan Reef extends for longer than 600 miles from Quintana Roo to Honduras, Guatemala, and Belize. Researchers have documented 65 types of coral, and five hundred species of fish and crustaceans. Some of the best areas to take in the beauty of the Great Mayan Reef are in Cancun, Xcalak, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, Puerto Aventuras, and Punta Maroma.

Tormentos Reef

Also in Cozumel, the Tormentos Reef is an ideal destination for divers who have attained at least an intermediate level. This is because there are some strong currents in this area. The depths range from about 50 to 70 feet. The Tormentos Reef is known for its plethora of brain and whip corals, along with an incredible diversity of sea life, including seahorses, angelfish, groupers, eels, triggerfish, and grunts.

Chunzumbul Reef

Visit the Playa del Carmen dive site to take in the natural wonders of the Chunzumbul Reef. Playa del Carmen is located in the Riviera Maya area in the state of Quintana Roo. Thanks to the relatively shallow water, snorkelers can enjoy the beauty of the reef, and it’s an ideal spot for beginning divers. The reef features a stunning coral cavern and vibrant schools of fish. Look for sea turtles, lovely lavender sea fans, rays, moray eels, and barracuda.

Playa del Carmen is a great choice for other reasons. It’s conveniently close to the international airport in Cancun, and it’s now considered one of the trendiest cities in Mexico. Here, you’ll find high-quality accommodations, along with plenty of shopping, fine dining, and nightlife destinations for when you’re not in the water.

Cerebros Reef

If you do visit Playa del Carmen, check out Cerebros Reef in addition to Chunzumbul. Cerebros has depths ranging from 20 to 50 feet, making it perfect for beginning divers and snorkelers. This reef’s defining characteristic is its stunning array of brain coral. Shrimp, lobster, scorpion fish, and moray eels are some of the marine denizens that make Cerebros their home.

How to get there

For years, savvy nature lovers have been booking accommodations in Mexico through Sea Side Reservations. The safety and comfort of travelers are our highest priorities, which is why we scour the country to find the best accommodations available. Get in touch with us to discuss accommodations near your favorite diving spots in Mexico.

Friday, July 14th, 2017
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Best Places for Scuba Diving in Mexico

Young Woman Scuba Dives on a Coral ReefPlanning 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:

  1. AquaWorld, SCUBA DIVING IN THE BEST LOCATIONS OF MEXICO https://aquaworld.com.mx/en/scuba-diving-in-the-best-locations-of-mexico/
  2. Deep Blue, Top 10 Dive Sites in Mexico https://www.deeperblue.com/top-dive-sites-mexico/
  3. The Diving Blog,  Top 10 Best Dive Sites in Mexico http://thedivingblog.com/top-10-best-dive-sites-mexico/
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
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