Cozumel has always ranked high in the list of best places to snorkel in Mexico, but that doesn’t mean you’ll only find great diving spots around Cozumel. The entire Riviera Maya is dotted with incredible caves while the reefs located close to Cancun offer great experiences as well.
Santa Rosa Wall
At just 30 min by boat from Cozumel , you’ll find Santa Rosa Wall, considered the largest dive spot in the area. The diving depth varies between 15 m (50 ft) and 40 m (130 ft). You can find beautiful sponges, turtles and different types of fish.
Cave of the Sleeping Sharks
Discovered by a local fisherman and made famous by Jacques Cousteau, the cave is home to a very interesting phenomenon. The cave’s bubbles attract sharks and they remain motionless for hours allowing tourists to get up-close and personal with these magnificent creatures. The cave is 60-70 ft deep and is located at 30 min boat ride from Isla Mujeres .
It marks the beginning of the second longest coral barrier in the world and is home to abundant sea and plant life, including turtles and sharks. It’s one of the most popular diving places around Cancun, being recommended for beginners.
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Located at 40 min from Playa del Carmen and offering a maximum dive depth of 10 m (32 ft), Dos Ojos is one of the largest flooded cave systems in the entire world. The caves are very popular for diving as they offer excellent visibility. Several varieties of fish and shrimp reside in the caves system. Prepare to spot some albino bats as well (which seemed to go unnoticed until 2007).
During hurricane Gilbert (1988) a 40 m (120 ft) shrimp boat sank at about 10 min boat ride from Cancun . Today it’s the home of snappers, lobsters, colorful fish and sharks. The place is recommended for advanced divers only.
The southernmost reef on Cozumel, Punta Sur dive spot comprises the remains of an old wreck. It’s home to the famous “Devil’s Throat”, which opens into a cathedral room. The site is excellent for small groups of advanced divers. Giant sponges, some sharks, fish, dolphins and turtles can be spotted here.
At just 5 min boat ride from Isla Mujeres you’ll find a 12 m (40 ft) diving spot filled with sharks, turtles, shrimps and snappers.
Fresh water cenotes diving is also a very popular activity among tourists and easily accessible from the mainland. The Yucatan peninsula features unique caverns decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, Grand Cenote is only one of them, located at 4 km from Tulum. It is one of the most popular diving and snorkeling spots in the area. The site is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
At about 22 min from Playa del Carmen, you’ll find Ponderosa which contains a cenote called Cenote el Eden. This connects to another cenote via a long tunnel. The maximum diving depth is 16 m (53 ft).