Snorkeling in the Riviera Maya is undoubtedly one of the dreams of many in the Caribbean Sea. We tell you the best places in the Caribbean Sea and the best cenotes to snorkel in Riviera Maya, let's enjoy?‍♀️????‍♀️

This area offers us a unique opportunity to see corals, swim with turtles, goldfish or the impressive whale shark. We also have cenotes and coves, where snorkeling in the Riviera Maya is also extraordinary. A good enjoyment awaits you, we already anticipate it.

snorkeling in riviera maya


First we are going to place ourselves on the map of Riviera Maya, the Mexican Caribbean coast. Cancun airport is the main entrance to the area.

From Cancun to Tulum is what we consider Riviera Maya, the area of ​​the Mexican Caribbean. They are about 130 kilometers of paradise coast of the Caribbean Sea, a dream destination. From Tulum begins what we know as Costa Maya.

The Mesoamerican reef, the second longest in the world, begins on Isla Contoy, north of Cancun, and reaches Honduras. It is a great playground for those of us who like the sea, diving and nature.

13 fantastic places to snorkel in Riviera Maya 1
maya riviera map


One of the amazing benefits to do snorkeling in Riviera Maya they are the crystalline waters of the Caribbean sea. Transparency gives us enviable visibility. There are days when the sea is rough and visibility is low, but conditions are usually good.

Another advantage is that the coral reef is close to the coast, This gives us the opportunity to snorkel freely swimming from the coast. It is not always possible, there are places that it is better to reach by boat. We are going to discover your possibilities.

Obviously all travel agencies offer excursions of snorkeling in Riviera Maya.

Yal-kú cove, Akumal


There really are many places to snorkel in the Riviera Maya, the ones we name are not the only ones. But the lists should be limited and we believe that with these ideas you will have a broad panorama. Remember that agencies offer you snorkeling if you don't want to go it alone.

  • ISLA MUJERES: there are different points on the island for snorkeling, several of them can only be reached by boat. Excursions to Isla Mujeres usually offer you the snorkeling experience at various points. If you go for free we recommend Playa Garrafón. The Musa Museum is highly sought after for snorkeling in the Mayan Riviera, due to its striking figures. We give you the complete information of women Island
  • PUERTO MORELOS: fishermen offer excursions to get to the reef and enjoy the marine fauna. The reef is not far away and tours are not expensive. It is a good place to go for free Puerto Morelos, enjoy snorkeling, the beach and eat in front of the sea. Discover the possibilities of Puerto Morelos
  • AKUMAL: it is the magical place to snorkel in Riviera Maya. In Akumal Bay you can swim with turtles, a candy that nobody wants to miss. You can also ask about the restaurant La Buena Vida: it is in a bay that is also good for free snorkeling. And as a gift I leave you an address where you can contact to do a night snorkel in Akumal with the Akumal Ecotourism Center.
  • SOLIMAN BAY: one of the most beautiful beaches with a nearby reef where you can swim by yourself and entertain yourself with corals and fish. There is a lot of rock on this beach, fish like rocks. Here we have seen lobsters, good surprises await you in Soliman.
  • PAAMUL: Another beautiful half-moon beach corner for free snorkeling is Paamul Beach. The reef is nearby and you can swim there. We really like this place, it still has a restaurant and a little hotel. Discover Paamul
  • COZUMEL: One of the mecca of diving is the island of Cozumel, and it also has several cool snorkeling spots. We recommend reefs that you arrive with a tour like El Cielo or Palancar. You can get to Dzul Ha or Chankanaab by taxi from the pier where the ferry leaves you and swim by yourself. He ferry to Cozumel leaves Playa del Carmen, read your possibilities on the island.
snorkeling in riviera maya


One of the surprises is how impressive it is to snorkel in cenotes. An aquatic world of a beauty that will hit you with emotion awaits you. I highly recommend it, can you explain to me if I was right? There are many more cenotes than the ones we have mentioned that are very beautiful for snorkeling, in fact our recommendation is that you always take your mask with you.

There are several cenote water parks in Riviera Maya such as Labna-Ha, Kantun Chi, Yax-Muul, Xenotes, Parque Dos Ojos or Aktunchen. In these parks they offer you the complete equipment and in some of them they offer you other experiences besides snorkeling such as ATVs, zip lines, hiking, abseiling, temazcal or commercial «Mayan» ceremonies (they are bad copies of what Mayan ceremonies really are. ).

Of all these parks we can offer you the cheapest tickets to Xenotes Park, buying directly from the company on its website by clicking on the ad.

The cenotes for snorkeling in the Mayan Riviera that we recommend are individual cenotes, they are not parks.

  • CENOTE TAAK BI HA: it is a cenote with crystalline water caves where you can enjoy the rock formations in a very magical place. The cenotes allow you to swim in more open places and others somewhat more closed. Snorkel in the Mayan Riviera in the Taak Bi Ha cenote.
  • CENOTE DOS OJOS: another beautiful cenote with crystalline semi-open waters that allows you to enjoy snorkeling freaking out with the limestone formations of the place. You have the possibility to swim to the cave of the Bats, an exciting passage. Snorkel in the Mayan Riviera in the Cenote Dos Ojos
  • GRAN CENOTE: I find this cenote with the same attraction as Dos Ojos, for the reason that it has sections for swimming in caves and others in the open, and this gives them a plus. Both are very popular and quite crowded, but he also has his reason for that. Snorkel in the Mayan Riviera in the cenote gran cenote
  • CASA CENOTE: it is an open cenote where you will love to swim. The reason is that it is like a river surrounded by mangroves and the scenery it gives you is incredible because of the mangrove roots and the fish. It is one of the cenotes with different characteristics in the area. Snorkel in Mayan Riviera in Cenote House
  • CENOTE CRISTALINO: there are several similar ones in the area such as Azul and Jardín del Edén that have similar characteristics: very crystalline, open and the possibility of seeing large rocks and aquatic vegetation. A delight of cenotes for snorkeling. Snorkel in the Mayan Riviera in the Crystalline cenote
snorkeling in cenotes in riviera maya


The coves are places near the coast where the waters of the cenotes will flow. Between Playa del Carmen and Tulum we find these coves. At the nature level they are beautiful and are more than fun places to practice snorkeling in Riviera Maya.

  • CALETA YAL-KÚ: This popular cove is located in Akumal, and is a beautiful place to swim for free. The mangroves, fish and haloclines make it a must if you are looking for a good snorkel. If you do not know what haloclines are, read about the place and you will see how you dare to go. Snorkel in Mayan Riviera in caleta Yal-Kú
  • CALETA XEL-HÁ: Xel-Há is a water park of the Xcaret group that is located in a beautiful cove. A place of reference for those seeking pure aquatic fun is undoubtedly Xel-Há. All the services, amenities and various experiences at your fingertips in one place. Snorkel in Mayan Riviera in Xel-Há cove
Yal-kú cove, Akumal


There are places that are easier to go with children due to their characteristics. That the water is calmer without currents, snorkeling sites not so deep that you can walk, for the services it offers and the comforts. These are factors that make us recommend some places to go with children.

Traveling with children to the Mayan Riviera

  • ISLA MUJERES PLAYA GARRAFÓN: Isla Mujeres is a great place to go with the family. You can tour the island by golf cart and snorkel at Playa Garrafón. In this place you find all the services. Next door is the Garrafón Park, another possibility. We help you with information on women Island
  • CENOTE CRISTALINO: we recommend it for its ease of access, services, shades and also ease of entering the water. Of the ideal to go with family. Snorkel in the Mayan Riviera with children in the Crystalline cenote
  • CALETA PARQUE XEL-HÁ: it is undoubtedly an ideal place to go with children. It has absolutely all the advantages to snorkel in a calm plan and also that children of all ages are entertained and have a great day. The cheapest tickets are buying directly on their website. That is why we leave you the link, see their promotions.


A really special snorkeling activity you can do is swim with the whale shark. This magnificent animal is the largest fish in the world, it is a totally calm and calm animal. Swimming with the whale shark is one of the special experiences that you will hardly forget.

You can go on an excursion from Cancun, Holbox Island or Isla Mujeres. But if you are staying in a hotel in Playa del Carmen or Tulum, the agencies still collect all clients from the Riviera Maya. We leave you all the information so you can choose well about the snorkel with the whale shark.

We DO NOT recommend aquatic activities with animals outside their natural habitat. Among those activities the swimming with dolphins

whale shark snorkeling


Is there a better time to snorkel in Riviera Maya? There are times of more winds on the coast. These winds cause more waves and more water is removed, which affects its transparency and clarity. The truth is that you can practice snorkeling in Riviera Maya at any time of the year, so come calm because you can fulfill your dream.

Regarding the wind, the calmest month of the year is September, and the time from July to January is the best season for snorkeling in Riviera Maya. As we have commented this does not mean that in other times you cannot snorkel. There are few days a year that ports close us to go out to sea, very few.

snorkeling recommendations

We sincerely hope that you enjoy the beauties of the sea and the cenotes. Always remember to follow the basic rules of not throwing garbage, take with you what you generate from garbage until you find a garbage can. And if you use protection that is biodegradable, or better lycra shirts to avoid using creams. Let's all do a better world together.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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