7 Days Diving in Riviera Maya
In Riviera Maya, you can find a privileged state of the Mexican Caribbean, Quintana Roo. It is surrounded by lush nature, including mangroves, jungle, cenotes, underwater rivers, and, of course, a stunning sea. This location is one of the most popular diving locations in Mexico due to the clean water and the wide diversity of marine life that can be found there. You won't regret traveling to this state if you're looking for the best diving in Mexico. I had the good fortune to spend several months there, but for you, I'll limit it to a week of diving the Riviera Maya.
Diving in Cancun
Most likely, if you go to Quintana Roo, you'll arrive in this wonderful Caribbean city. Cancun is well-known for its many resorts and its crystal-clear beaches. But for those who enjoy being beneath water, this city has much more to offer. The MUSA Underwater Museum is conceivably the most well-liked of them all.
The MUSA is a fun place to dive and is Mexico's first underwater museum. This is unquestionably one of Cancun's top diving locations. It features up to 515 life-size sculptures and is situated in front of Isla Mujeres. Additionally, a unique marine cement is used in the construction of the sculptures to encourage the growth of coral reefs, aiding in the preservation of the maritime environment.
The depths of the sculptures vary. In reality, there are some that you can see while snorkeling, but the entire museum may be enjoyed by going deeper underwater. In order to complete the full tour of the underwater museum, two dives are typically made. The greatest depth of this type of dive is about 30 feet (10 meters), making it suitable for both experienced divers and new dives Hence, this is a fantastic first warm-up dive of your holiday because of the lower depths.
If you have a strong interest in history and enjoy wreck diving, yu will certainly enjoy this next diving adventure! Two former US Navy ships that served as minesweepers in World War II can be seen at this dive site. Those are two of Cancun's most amazing wrecks.
The shipwrecks C-58 and C55 were sunk to make an artificial reef, and today they are great dive sites that, in the winter, can provide a haven for a large number of Eagle Rays. Advanced divers are advised to do this excursion because it includes two dives to a depth of 25 meters (80 feet). Nitrox use is also advised.
Diving in Playa del Carmen
We have enjoyed our two days in Cancun and are prepared to head to Playa del Carmen. In the Riviera Maya, this is yet another of the key cities for scuba diving. You may find everything there, including large resorts, neighborhood stores, restaurants ranging from fine dining to street vendors, and, of course, loads of fun.
Furthermore, if you're interested in diving, there are a variety of dive sites in this area that you may pick from, including reefs, cenotes, and in our case, shark dives!
Diving with Bull Sharks
Unquestionably, one of the most amazing diving experiences you can have is diving with a bull shark in Playa del Carmen. This is achievable from November to March, when the water cools and these spectacular animals travel through the region.
At a depth of 24 meters, where divers can dive with bull sharks, they can see them from a distance of 5 to 10 meters as they go about their daily lives without the use of any lures. They'll come to check out the divers out of genuine curiosity. We needed to unwind with an island vibe after this heart-pounding dive.
Diving in Cozumel
Cozumel is an approximately 40 minutes ferries ride away from Playa del Carmen and it is a small island that can be compared with the paradise!
The island is known for its crystal-clear, turquoise-blue sea, which transforms it into the classic image of the Mexican Caribbean Sea on a postcard. Do not hesitate to include it in your itinerary because it is a part of the Great Belt of Reefs of the Western Atlantic, also known as the Great Mayan Reef, and it is one of the top diving locations in the Riviera Maya and the entire globe.
Diving in the Cozumel National Marine Park
In Cozumel, divers can enjoy diving in a variety of locations. Depending on your level, operators will perform two dives in the morning or afternoon in various locations. Divers of all levels can find what they need in Cozumel thanks to the wide variety of reefs available.
Arrecife Paraso (also well-known for night dives in Cozumel), Palancar Reef (with a depth of up to 30 meters (100 feet), intricate formations, tunnels, crevasses, and several caves to explore, or the Wall of Santa Rosa are some of the most well-known diving locations (a coral wall that goes from 10 meters up to 30 meters deep).
Finding operators who offer morning and afternoon dives is advised because two or three days in Cozumel are insufficient. Four-tank diving in Cozumel for three days will leave you wanting more.
Diving in Punta Sur and Devil’s Throat
The enormous swim-through known as Devil's Throat was possibly the highlight for us. The current is typically strong, and once you are inside the throat, you are in an environment that is overhead, which can take you as far as 130 feet/40 meters. Obviously, experienced divers should only engage in this kind of diving.
Reef sharks and big schools of fish can be seen after you are outside the tunnel. Incredible structures are created by impressive pillars rising from the depths and are entirely covered in brilliant corals. Actually, one of the best dives in the Caribbean involves extending bottom time by avoiding the throat. The nicest thing you could do in Cozumel is reserve a private charter boat and go on two dives at Punta Sur.
Diving in Tulum
Cenote diving is a must-do activity while visiting the Riviera Maya. Tulum is the ideal location to carry out this activity. Cenotes are deep water wells that receive their water from rainwater that has been filtered. There are three different types of cenotes: closed, semi-open, and open cenotes. The water's temperature is roughly 24 degrees Celsius. Which is best for you will depend on your degree of expertise, but whichever you choose, you will be able to view a variety of stalactite and stalagmite rock formations that will astound you.
Diving in cenotes and caves
The Riviera Maya is filled with many cenotes. According to some records, there are still new cenotes being discovered and over 7000 total. Therefore, believing that one day will enough is not practical, but it is still beneficial to gain experience.
Since it is not done from a boat or the beach's edge, this form of diving is a little less common than what you may be accustomed to. The diving facility will take care of transporting you in a van to the many cenotes where you wish to go diving as well as bringing all the diving supplies and other items required to create an unforgettable experience.
Your van ride will vary in length depending on which cenote you visit because they are often located some distance from the city. We decided to go scuba diving in the Dos Ojos cenote for the day.
One of the most stunning and well-known cenotes for scuba diving is this one. You will be left speechless by the subsurface geology and the remarkably transparent waters of this cenote. All divers can appreciate this experience because there are various tours inside this cenote according on your degree of certification.
The Gran Cenote, Car Wash Cenote, Dreamgate Cenote, among many more, are some well-known cenotes to dive from Tulum.
A Week is not Enough
As you can see, the Riviera Maya has a lot of intriguing diving sites, so you will need to decide where you want to spend more time diving based on your interests. The one thing you can be certain of is that whatever you decide, you will spend a wonderful week diving in the Riviera Maya.
All photos are credited to Robert Stansfield.