If there is one word to describe Mexico for the scuba divers, then it should be “paradise” for sure without any second thought. Being bound to the Pacific Ocean and the deep Caribbean Sea of the Atlantic Ocean, Mexico houses millions of sea animals, tropical fishes, coral reefs, which are the center of attractions for the scuba and snorkeling lovers.
Be it the Kelp forest under the Pacific Ocean, beautiful reefs of the Yucatan Peninsula and the Sea of Cortez, mysteriously amazing crystal-clear cenotes, or the most amazing pelagic animal visits every year; there are many legit reasons to explore the best scuba diving in Mexico.
Starting from the underwater museum MUSA located at Cancun, manta rays at Socorro Island, blue sharks in Playa del Carmen, great white sharks at Guadalupe, sea lions at Isla San Pedro, to the fantastic liveaboard vessel drives, ferry rides, and cruise ship trips along with the most adventurous cliff diving and cenote diving – all are the best “Mexican things” that you can opt for exploring. Apart from sea attractions, there are plenty of ancient temples, beautiful museums, churches, Mayan Ruins, lighthouses, and many other fascinating places. These sites attract both divers and non-divers to delve into the essence of the country, along with its delicious cuisines and authentic taste of Mexican foods.
Here is a complete guide on the best 8-places in Mexico that you can visit if scuba diving and underwater photography is your first love. So let’s have a look.
Sea of Cortez Diving
The Sea of Cortez is located in the Pacific Ocean & the Baja California Peninsula stretches up to 700 miles. It is considered to be one of the most famous and best places to scuba dive in Mexico. Every year thousands of tourists flock around to enjoy the beautiful vibe of this place.
Being a host for more than 850 marine species, the Sea of Cortez is the house for a wide range of sea animals. The largest varieties of mobulas, rays, humpback and sperm whales, hammerhead sharks, sea lions, and plenty of tropical fishes, nudibranchs, pike blennies, jawfishes, snails and corals make this place a heaven for the scuba divers.
The splendid crystal-clear water and moderate temperature with clear sea visibility are ideal for scuba diving, snorkeling, and underwater photography. Also, the diving condition remains quite friendly as the water temperature here is around 67-85°F & the sea visibility is 49-114 feet. These conditions allow the divers to dive at a depth of about 16-131 feet that make it a place for best scuba diving in Mexico.
Following are some of the best diving sites of the Sea of Cortez that you are going to fall in love with:
- Los Cabos
- Cabo Pulmo
- La Paz
- El Bajo
- Midriff Islands
- San Carlos
- Cabo San Lucas
- Los Candeleros
There are plenty of clubs and resorts available at the Cortez that lets you book your diving with them along with their PADI certified guides and instructors. All forms of scuba diving for both advanced divers and beginners are available. Some of the best clubs with whom you can book your diving are as follows:
- The Cortez Club
- Manta Scuba Diving
- Sea Creatures
- Fun Baja
- Dive Cabo
There are no bad seasons for Sea of Cortez diving. Months between December-March are best for those who are fond of pelagic species. For liveaboard tours and scuba diving, the time between August-November would be ideal. So, you can book the trip based on your preferences.
The Sea of Cortez offers you some of the relaxing activities that you can indulge in to take a break from the too main-stream scuba diving. You can go paddling to take a Kayaking tour throughout the coastlines of the Sea of Cortez, or you can even get a charter yacht to spend your holidays more luxuriously.
You may relax at the beaches of the coastline to spend a mesmerizing evening in the lap of Mother Nature. Besides, opting for a fishing excursion is also going to be a good idea for you to spend your days amazingly there.
Scuba Diving at Baja California
Located at the northwestern side of Mexico, Baja California is bounded to the southwest by the Pacific Ocean, the east by the Gulf of California and the North by the United States of America. Its total area is 143396 mi2 and is one of the popular destinations for best scuba diving in Mexico.
Baja California is one of those mesmerizing diving destinations of Mexico that attracts plenty of tourists every year. It is a place full of opportunities for scuba diving within the Gulf of California and has several marvelous diving destinations, which are only accessible through liveaboards.
The wide range of Baja California scuba diving sites is full of sea animals like great white sharks, elephant seals, Guadalupe seals, hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, and many more. All of these creatures are the inhabitants of this coastal region and make it a pretty beautiful place to dive at.
Also, Baja California has an average water temperature of 55-75°F and offers a moderately clear sea visibility of up to 50-60 feet to make your diving experience more fascinating. Here are the following must-explore diving destinations of this place.
- Puerto Penasco
- Cabo San Lucas
- La Paz
- Bahía de Los Angeles
- The Socorro islands
Here are some of the best resorts and clubs that you can book your trip with for having the best experience of diving for both beginners and professional scuba divers. Besides, these resorts also assist you with PADI certified trainers who will guide you to dive in the scuba diving sites mentioned above:
- Ricardo’s Diving Tours
- Baja Blue Diver
- Ventana Al Mar
- West Marine
Now, if we talk about the ideal time to visit Baja California, then November-May is considered to be the best time to dive at Socorro Islands. The months between August-October are apt for diving at Guadalupe by liveaboard.
Well, if you think that Baja California offers you only scuba diving and other water sports, then you are highly mistaken. At this place, you can involve in other exciting activities to bring a change to your taste, starting with chilling and relaxing at the exotic beaches of Baja California.
You can visit the San Jose Estuary to enjoy a wide variety of colorful birds around you. Also, do not forget to visit the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park. You can even plan to get a day trip to pray at the San Jose del Cabo Church. And lastly, you can visit Cuadra San Francisco, the sandy scrubland of Baja California.
Scuba Diving at Cancun Mexico
Being one of the most famous scuba diving destinations of south-east Mexico, Cancun is located at the north-eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula of Quintana Roo with an area of total 764 mi2.
Cancun is one of the most magnificent locations for best scuba diving in Mexico because of its gliding destinations of reef systems, glassy cenotes, shark-filled tunnels, and mesmerizing underwater museum. Also, the wide range of sea animals and corals make it a heaven for underwater photographers.
With a moderate water temperature of 79-84°F and clear visibility of sea up to 49-131 feet, Cancun offers an intriguing deep-sea diving experience to the scuba divers. Following are the best place for scuba diving near Cancun Mexico:
- MUSA (Museo Subacuatico De Arte)
- Dos Ojos
- Isla Mujeres
Now, let’s have a look at some of the best diving clubs at Cancun Mexico with whom you can enjoy most of your adventurous diving experience accompanied with utmost safety and support of their professional
PADI certified divers:
- Scuba Diving Cancun
- Dressel Divers
- Squalo Divers
- Manta Dive and Snorkel Cancun
- Scuba Total
Generally, the months between December-April are the best time to visit Mexico, and it is also considered to be the most popular season for visiting Cancun. And the months of May-November are the best for cenote diving here.
However, besides scuba diving, there are many other things to do in Cancun Mexico that makes it a center of attraction for tourists all over the world. You can take a voyage to the history at the ancient ruins of Chichen Itza to know more about this culturally rich city.
You can even swim at MUSA and explore the enchanting underwater museum. Do have a visit to the Maya Museum and San Miguelito Ruins. Also, take a day trip to Isla Mujeres and Tulum to discover the beauty of the white sandy beaches and transparent blue water. If you are a shopaholic or foodie, indulge yourself in a fun visit to the shops and food markets of Market 28.
Costa Maya Scuba Diving
Costa Maya, another popular destination for best scuba diving in Mexico, is bounded by the Caribbean Sea and located in Quintana Roo state. This cruise ship portal area is also known as the subdivision of Mahahual village and is extended to Xcalak in the south, having a total area of 100 km.
Crystal clear blue water of Banco Chinchorro of the Caribbean Sea of Costa Maya is suitable for both beginners and advanced scuba divers. The huge variety of sea animals, virgin reefs, and thousands of tropical fishes make it a paradise for scuba diving lovers and marine photographers.
Besides, having a moderate water temperature of around 70-80°F and sea visibility of up to 80-100 feet, Costa Maya offers a friendly and pleasant scuba diving environment. The ideal diving sites to scuba dive at Costa Maya are as follows:
- Mahahual – Kai ha, Dos Primos, Punta Isabela
If you are planning scuba diving excursions in Costa Maya, here are some of the best clubs or dive shops with whom you can book your diving to get the best and safe scuba diving experience.
- Doctor Dive Costa Maya
- Gypsea Divers
- Pepe Dive Mahahual
- Beach ClubAlux Divers
Months between December-April are the best time to visit Costa Maya as both the weather and visibility remain ideal for scuba diving at this time. Also, it is the best time for visiting the pelagic species.
Other than scuba diving, there are many more options to have fun at Costa Maya that you can explore. You can calmly relax at the port of Costa Maya and enjoy the scenic beauty. If you are a history lover, then you must take a day trip at the historical Mayan Ruins.
You can even go for a bike or jeep ride to explore the jungles of Costa Maya or visit the fishing village of Mahahual. Shop for your favorite things and dine at restaurants to relinquish your taste bud with the best Mexican cuisines.
Scuba Diving in Cozumel
The island of Cozumel, a dream destination of every passionate scuba diving lover, is situated in the Caribbean Sea, at Yucatan Peninsula of the state Quintana Roo, the eastern coast of Mexico. The area is about 249.94 mi2 in total.
The crystal-clear visibility of 80-100 feet & an average water temperature of 77°F makes Costa Maya an ideal destination for the best scuba diving in Mexico.
The huge varieties of turtles, rays, shrimps, stingrays, colorful sponges, whales, sharks, dolphins, and plenty of fishes are the reason behind the picturesque beauty of this diving place. Now, the list of fascinating diving sites at Cozumel is quite long. We have provided a handful of the best places that you can check out for your next diving expedition.
- Punta Sur Reef
- Columbia Wall
- Santa Rosa Wall
- The Devil’s Throat
You can book your scuba diving in Cozumel with the top dive shops and clubs to get the best diving experience suitable for both beginners and professional scuba divers:
- Scuba Life Cozumel
- Pepe Scuba
- Island Divers Cozumel
- Cozumel Dive School
- Plongee Grand Cozumel Diving
December-April is considered to be the most popular time to visit Cozumel. Nevertheless, May-November is ideal for those who prefer to dive in calm conditions.
There are many exotic activities that you can enjoy here apart from scuba diving. Starting from mountain climbing in Al Mirador to going paddleboarding throughout Cozumel Island, you can experience various adventures here.
For a change, you can even opt for the splendid sea trekking at the seashore. An Atlantis Submarine trip is also a good idea to explore the underwater world differently. And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy the delicious local cuisines here.
Scuba Diving in Riviera Maya Mexico
Located at the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico’s eastern Caribbean side in the state of Quintana Roo, Riviera Maya is also well known as one of the popular attractions for fascinating scuba diving in Mexico. This place has an area of about 115 miles in total.
The entire region of Riviera Maya of Yucatan possesses quite a colorful and mesmerizing environment where an array of marine life is visible, which includes shrimps, lionfishes, pufferfishes, rays, turtles, lobsters, seahorses, nurse sharks, morays and many more. A moderate water temperature of around 75-85°F and sea visibility of 50-131 feet makes it an ideal place for best scuba diving in Mexico.
Here we have listed down some of the best diving sites to dive at Riviera Maya:
- Banco Chinchorro
- Isla Mujeres
- Playa Del Carmen
There are several diving clubs and resorts that offer you the best experience for scuba diving in Riviera Maya Mexico along with their PADI certified trainers and guides. Following are some of the reckoned ones:
- Dressel Divers Puerto Aventuras
- Blue Life
- Seth Dive Playa Car
- La Calypso Dive Center
- Blue Dream
Now, coming to the best time for visiting Riviera Maya Mexico, the months lying between December-April is usually considered to be the best season to visit this coastal area. However, if you want to go for cenote diving, then May-November is the apt time.
Riviera Maya never fails to mesmerize its vacationers when it comes to serving as the best tourist attraction of Mexico. Apart from scuba diving, you can visit the stunning Bohemian Town, enjoy the splendid biosphere of Sian Ka’an, have a peaceful walk at the white sand beaches, and have a historical tour at the Mayan Ruins. And last but not least, do not forget to bless your taste buds with the delicious cuisines available at Riviera Maya.
Cliff Diving in Mexico
La Quebrada of Acapulco, the famous beach town, is one of the best places for cliff diving in Mexico that is reckoned for its 100 feet cliff. The cenotes of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula have become a popular cliff diving destination.
Parque Glorieta Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada of Mazatlan, located at Sinaloa, the western coast of Mexico alongside the Pacific Ocean, is another popular cliff diving spot. Also, Matacanes of Santiago situated in the northern-central portion of Mexico and is well known for its cliff diving sports.
Cliff diving is one of the most popular water sports in Mexico that makes it a more adventurous destination for scuba diving lovers. There are many famous divers’ groups who show their iconic and spine-chilling diving performances every day from the cliffs and dive through the deepest water of the sea.
This place famous for scuba diving culture serves vast opportunities for both beginners and pro skilled cliff divers to enjoy at their best. The clear visibility and moderate water temperature seem to be the best friend of the divers.
So, if cliff diving is your passion, then the following diving sites are going to be heaven for you. Take a look.
- La Quebrada of Acapulco
- The cenotes of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula
- The Prague Glorieta Rodolfo Sanchez Taboada of Mazatlan
- Matacanes of Santiago
Here are some of the best dive shops located in Mexico that offer you quality cliff diving experience along with their PADI certified scuba guides to train and accompany you.
- Dressel Divers
- Chico’s Dive Shop
- Blue Life
- Dive Cabo
- Mexico Divers SDI/ PADI Resort
The Caribbean Sea remains suitable for diving throughout the year. However, the months between November-May are the ideal time to visit the Pacific coasts.
Apart from scuba diving and cliff diving in Mexico, there are a considerable number of things that you can do at this awesome destination if you want to spend your holiday in the best way. You can visit places like the Museum of Mexico, Chichen Itza, and Pyramids of Teotihuacan. Try not to miss the ride in El Chepe into the Copper Canyon.
A road trip is also a good idea to enjoy the Mexican flavors at every nook and corner of the cities. Also, treat your taste bud with the refreshing tequila and plenty of delicious Mexican cuisines. The iconic show of Day of the Dead in Oaxaca is too good to miss.
Historical trips at the Mayan Ruins have all the beauties to feed your interest in history. There are many more things that you can enjoy, which serve to be the center of attractions of the Mexican cities.
Cenote Diving in Mexico
There are plenty of cenotes present in Mexico, which are worth exploring. Located throughout the Yucatan Peninsula, the ancient sinkholes or cenotes are one of the best spots for best scuba diving in Mexico.
The primitive cenotes under the water have become a major attraction for scuba diving lovers all over the world.
The huge cave system of the marine world is the home of multiple fossilized corals and glossy limestones that take the divers to an utterly magical world under the water, which is worth discovering and capturing stunning photographs. Natural light under the water and 131 feet depth of the sea of Yucatan makes it easy for the divers to roam around here.
Following are the best cenotes that you cannot miss if you are planning for a cenote diving at Mexico:
- Dos Ojos
- Taj maha
- El pitDreamgate
Now, to enjoy and explore the beautiful cenotes stated above, book your diving trips along with the best cenote diving shops in Mexico. For your convenience, we have listed down a few of the diving clubs.
- Best Cenote Dives
- Dive Cenotes Mexico
- Koox Diving
- Agua Clara Diving Tulum
- Bahia Divers Dive Center
In the months between May-September, the lighting and visibility of the cenotes remain best for the divers. Thus, this is the ideal time to go for cenote diving.
If you are in Yucatan, then there is no point in missing the other interesting attractions of this place apart from Mexican cenote diving. You can start your exploration from the beautiful sunset view at Holbox, which is considered as the new Tulum, and then head towards Tulum, a peaceful escape from the towns overcrowd.
The Yum Balam Reserve is there in Yucatan, where you can enjoy the wonders of wildlife. Also, the iconic historically rich destination of the Mayan Ruins is too good to miss. Get to know about the art interest of Yucatan at Merida, the cultural heart of the town.
And of course, the center of attraction of this place – La Playa de las Coloradas, the Salt Lake with its rose-pink water is a must-visit destination if you are in Yucatan.
Let your inner wanderlust conquer the most amazing places in the world. And Mexico should be undoubtedly there in your checklist as it is the home for all the fantastic coastal destinations and an excellent spot for the scuba diving lovers to flock around. Also, it has numerous interesting sites for the non-divers to get the best flavor of this country. We hope that this guide on the 8-most famous destinations for best scuba diving in Mexico will help you in planning your next deep-sea diving journey.