Mexico, a place of culture, color, and adventure, always manages to bring something new and exciting for the tourists visiting the country. One such exciting destination, which is a must-visit in Mexico, is the Riviera Maya area. While the place packs in a range of activities you can indulge in for a memorable trip, scuba diving Riviera Maya, Mexico, is something you definitely need to try.
So, are you super excited about spending an adventurous vacation at Riviera Maya? The very first thing you need to know about the place before we get you into the scuba diving and snorkeling details is Where is Riviera Maya Mexico located? Riviera Maya is a district located in the south of Cancun tagging along the coastal Federal Highway 307. The Riviera Maya area in Mexico starts from the Puerto Morelos, a popular fishing village, going all the way to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
If you are looking for a unique Caribbean coastal experience, this is the place to be. If you are a snorkeler or diving enthusiast, the glimpse of the Xcaret followed by the colorful reef at Puerto Morelos definitely makes a lasting impression on your mind.
Right after Cancun, Riviera Maya is no doubt a popular place for thrill-seekers. One of the basic reasons Cancun and Riviera Maya shares the same platform for tourists is because they more or less have the same type of weather. Hence the immediate question that arises is What is the Weather in Riviera Maya? Riviera Maya has its weather divided into two distinct sections rainy season and dry season. While the rainy season spreads through May to October, the dry season dates from October to that of April. If you are good to go with all sorts of odds, then Riviera Maya can be enjoyed throughout the year.
Besides, from an up-close encounter with marine life to the beautiful underwater cenotes, a trip to the Riviera Maya will bring it all. Also known as Mayan Riviera, this Mesoamerican reef extends from the popular Yucatan Peninsula to Belize. So, make sure you pack in your Go-Pro for underwater videography or photography!
What to Do in Riviera Maya Mexico?
So, you are here at the Riviera Maya! What’s next? How should you proceed to enjoy your vacation? Be assured that you will definitely have some amazing Riviera Maya Diving memories. Whether you are a newbie in the world of diving or someone with experience, here are some important activities you can indulge in when at this adventure-packed space.
One thing that you will admire about the Riviera Maya diving experience is the fact that the reefs here are at their prime condition. Here, you get access to 20 different diving sites that provide you a unique diving experience. Make sure you grab a quick ferry trip while you are here and dive by the Cozumel Island, which is ranked among the 10-popular diving destinations on a global scale.
While the reef diving experience will show you a significant section of marine life in Mexico, it is important to take things deeper for a truly memorable diving experience. The views of deep diving depend on how deep can a person dive in. But no worries at all, since Riviera Maya caters you with clear, warm waters that ensure a great technical deep diving adventure. In case you are a fresher in the field of deep diving, you can seek help from qualified instructors for proper training and necessary equipment.
If you are new to the world of marine diving, this concept is something you might not have heard of. However, it is something you should definitely try out if you plan a trip to Mexico. The Puerto Aventuras area is blessed with 3-beautiful reef systems. Among these, the outer system has a wall ranging within a height of 100 to 135 feet. The drop is too deep even for the most experienced technical divers. Apart from this, the close by Cozumel comprises spectacular walls and dramatic drops that adds a different level of beauty to the blue waters.
If you are planning for scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico, make sure you try to experience the marine beauty at night. While the underwater world is definitely beautiful in the day, it becomes more active as things get darker. There are several creatures that come out only during the night. Plus, using the head-mounted flashlights during diving will bring alive a whole new collection of colors in the coral formation.
Well, if you are someone who is looking for a special adventure in the deep ocean waters, indulging in shark diving is another great experience. The Riviera Maya water bodies are popular for the bull sharks that can be found in the shallow, warm waters. The female shark in this area can reach a growth of 7.9 feet. Take a quick boat ride starting from the Playa del Carmen between the months of November and March to have this experience. However, to perform this activity, never forget to carry the necessary scuba diving equipment as it involves high risk.
6-Cavern and Cave Diving
Scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico, is incomplete without taking a quick tour through the cenotes in the area. This popular activity attracts experienced and new divers from different parts of the world. But, what exactly are cenotes? They are actually flooded variants of underground rivers and cave systems. These sites are believed to serve as an entry to the nether regions. If you wish to indulge in cave diving, make sure you do this only under a certified trainer’s supervision.
7-Sea Turtle Diving
The oldest and probably the most mysterious creatures to be a part of the blue waters are the turtles. The Riviera Maya coastline is a critical nesting ground for the rare green turtles and the beautiful loggerhead turtles. During the months of May going to September, you will have a great chance to experience these endangered beings as you dive through.
8-Whale Shark Snorkeling
If you wish to see these sea giants as you opt for Scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico, make sure you reach the northern head of the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula. It is the place where the Whale Sharks are known to breed and feed. The best season to visit this place is from May to September. Imagine swimming side-by-side with this sea giant that can grow as long as 40 feet.
Are you planning a visit to Mexico during the winter season? If yes, make sure you add sailfish snorkeling to your itinerary for scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico. During this season, the Caribbean waters of Mexico serve as a home for the fastest ocean fish known as the Sailfish. Given the sardines’ abundance in the area, the Sailfish can be found in a huge population in the area. So, why miss out on swimming along with these beautiful creatures as they chase after the sardines.
If you do not wish to go for a full-on scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico, experience, you can still have fun. Opt for exciting activities such as ziplines, ATV tours, rappel, underground cave walks, underground river walkthrough, archaeological sites, or theme park visits.
Popular Diving Sites at the Riviera Maya, Mexico
Well, now that you know the activities you can indulge in, here are some amazing places for a great diving Mexico experience. Make sure you try all of them for a perfect weekend trip to Mexico.
1-Playa del Carmen
The Playa del Carmen area of the Caribbean is popular for fabulous reefs. From Carmen city, you can easily access different reef diving sites. For a diving experience that involves lobsters, turtles, moray eels, or crustaceans, the Los Arcos serves as an amazing dive site. Some of the popular diving sites by the Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, include Cerebros, Pared Verde, Jardines, Mama Vina, Chun-Zumbul, Sabalos, Tortugas, Moc-che, and more.
Scuba diving, Riviera Maya, Mexico, gives you a chance to visit one of the best diving sites that are at Cozumel. Located an hour away from the popular Playa del Carmen, the water in the area is clear enough to allow you visibility of 80 to 100 feet. The Cozumel site boasts everything from spectacular marine life to beautiful coral reefs.
Diving through the cenote tends to be a powerful and relishing experience. Among the 3-large underwater rivers, the best and most spectacular option for you is the Dos Ojos. Apart from this, Gran Cenote should be next on your itinerary. Other popular cenotes you should visit include names such as Chac Mool, Ponderosa El Eden, Ik II Cenote, Xcanche, as well as Chak Tun.
4-Tulum and Akumal
Another reason for you to plan your trip for scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico, is the beautiful sights at Akumal and Tulum. These places are a dream-come-true for divers and snorkelers. With an amazing population of turtles and spectacular reefs, these spots will make your diving experience truly exquisite. Some of Akumal’s shallow diving sites include Las Redes, Motorcycle Reef, Dick’s Reef, Yal-Ku, and many more.
If you wish to discover beautifully colored fishes, Puerto Morelos’ National Marine Park is a must-visit for all divers. There are several sites for scuba diving that you can explore like a wooden wreck, underwater garden, as well as the military boat.
How can you reach the Riviera Maya?
All said and done, how do you reach the Riviera Maya from different parts of the world? Here we explain to you the various ways to reach this exotic diving location.
The closest airport that gets you to the Riviera Maya is the Cozumel (CZM) airport. However, you can also opt for other feasible options such as the Yellow Transfers that operate the bus from the Cancun International Airport all the way to the Playa del Carmen on a 30 minutes interval. Some of the popular airports nearby include San Pedro (SPR) and Caye Caulker (CUK).
If you are visiting internationally for scuba diving in Riviera Maya, Mexico, the closest international airport to this area is the Cancun Airport. Then, one can come across an obvious question of How Far is Riviera Maya from Cancun? And how much time does it take to reach there? Well, Riviera Maya is situated on the south coast of Cancun, so, considering Playa del Carmen as the center point or reference point for the entire Riviera Maya area, the distance is calculated to be 70 miles.
So, you can get on any of the buses that drive to the Playa del Carmen multiple times throughout the day. You can also rent a car or book a cab since cars take just 1.5 hours, hence are faster than buses.
Best time to visit the Riviera Maya for a quick dive
Every tourist spots have a definite period, which is considered to be the best time to visit that place. So let’s see What is the Best Time to of Year to Visit Riviera Maya. The peak visiting season for Riviera Maya is during the months of December all the way to March-end. In these months, the area is sprawling and happening with visitors and bright sunny days. Like most of the locations in the Caribbean area, Riviera Maya tends to experience hot-rainy months that start from June all the way to October.
Tourisms tend to get over-hyped with the question of What is the rainy season in Riviera Maya. Whether all the services will remain open or not? Can you get down for diving and other activities in the rainy season? Honestly, there is no need to get utterly concerned about the rainy season. Instead, the rainy season extending from May to November with an average of 26°C is considered the best time for water fun, since the water remains warm and comfortable. Also, it is an amazing experience to opt for water activities with the rainfall around.
But in case you are not much of a rain-loving person, then especially for diving purposes, the rainy months might not be well-suited. However, you can always pack an umbrella to handle it. While hurricanes are not common in this particular area, they surely impact this space. So, the ideal months for diving in Riviera Maya for everyone are from December to March.
Cancun or Riviera Maya? Which is a Better Option?
A comparison between two similar aspects has been practiced from time immemorial, be it in work or person or place. Thus, it can be very well understood that Cancun and Riviera Maya has always been subjected to such comparisons. But then on a basic note What is the difference between Cancun and Riviera Maya? And which one of the two can be considered as a better choice?
Cancun being the more urbanized one enjoys the forefront. In Cancun, you get ‘all-inclusive’ luxurious hotels and restaurants. There are always patches of the crowd all over the place. And it is a place with a lot of fun. So, you do not get chances to have a peaceful and serene walk and enjoy the seaside, or chose more cozy lodgings.
On the other hand, Riviera Maya provides you with the authentic taste of Mexico. In Riviera Maya, you can indulge in various activities, and on the very flip side, you can also choose to enjoy self-company along the sea beach and many more of the same. Also, apart from getting ‘all-inclusive’ hotels, if you are fond of experiencing the countryside living, then Riviera Maya can offer you such accommodations as well.
So the choice between the two differs from person to person. One looking for liveliness would opt for Cancun, and the one looking for self-enjoyment would opt for Riviera Maya. Also, you can always travel from Cancun to Riviera Maya and vice versa, so that you can enjoy both the flavors. Hence, it can be very well said that there is no concrete and definite answer to such a comparison like this.
Best Diving Practices to Follow at the Riviera Maya
When planning a diving experience at the Riviera Maya, one needs to pack much more than a simple flip-flop or bathing suit. With so much to discover both underwater and above it, you need to plan accordingly. Make sure you bring your dive gear to experience the best of the water world.
While you might get access to gears provided by local diving instructors, they might or might not be a custom fit for your needs. So, packing in your own custom gear would be an ideal choice. If you just forgot to pack the same, you will surely have access to dedicated diving gear shops with all the gears of choice. Plus, it might get a tad bit cool in the area during winters. So, do not forget to carry a sweater and the best underwater camera for diving with you.
Scuba diving in this exotic location can sure be fun. However, also keep safety in mind as the deep waters can be uncharted territories that shouldn’t be ventured into without experienced supervision. Before you plan your trip to the Riviera Maya, Mexico, you might be better off practicing some buoyancy control or better yet, take some lessons from your local instructor if available.
When at the Riviera Maya, Mexico, make sure you look for a certified instructor that knows the ins and outs of deep water diving, scuba diving, or snorkeling. Be clear about any issues that might be bothering you as you venture into the water for your diving experience. With safety protocols in place, this particular destination in Mexico will surely treat you with the best experiences as you learn more about the marine world. So, why wait? Start planning your trip to this picture-perfect destination today!