Cancun Scuba Diving
The sea turtle turns to swim closer to the reef, casting you a glance that says still here, are you? You kick your legs to follow, leaving a trail of bubbles in your wake. You spin your underwater camera around to capture your face - at least as much as is visible behind the mask and regulator. After all, the last time you showed your friends video from a dive, they refused to believe it was real.
You turn the camera back around, letting it drift over the colorful coral, and catch the turtle idly chomping on a bit of seaweed. You wave goodbye as it gracefully swims off.
An Otherworldly Experience
Scuba diving is as close as most people can get to visiting another world. You’ll venture beneath the waves, exploring the reefs and seabeds and swimming beside the fish, turtles, and other denizens of the Yucatan’s waters. Whether you’re an experienced diver or excited to try it for the first time, Cancun’s Scuba scene is one of the world’s best.
Your Cancun Scuba Adventure
With so many amazing underwater sights to choose from, you simply can’t go wrong when diving off the coast of Cancun. Here are a few of our favorite dives - why not try them all?
Open Water Certification
If you don’t already have your Scuba certification, start with this 3-day course. You’ll begin with training in a pool, and have your first real dives later that same day. By the end of the course you’ll have a diving certification valid anywhere in the world, opening up a whole new realm of exploration and adventure to you.
Diving in Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a town south of Cancun that offers incredible diving opportunities. The clear, shallow waters off of Playa del Carmen host dive sites that take as little as five minutes to reach by boat. You’ll also be in a great place to explore the freshwater cenotes for a truly unique diving experience.
The Underwater Museum (MUSA)
Beneath the waters of the Yucatan, over 500 statues growing with corals and algae stand on the seafloor. This is the Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA), the largest underwater museum in the world. MUSA is one of the most popular diving destinations in and around Cancun, and it’s no wonder why. Not only is it a unique experience, but it’s designed to handle heavy tourist traffic in order to reduce the stresses of tourism on nearby reefs.
For a whole new type of thrill, charter a night dive! The ocean becomes an eerie place lit only by your flashlight, where some of the biggest and shyest fish come out to explore the dark waters. If you thought diving in general was like exploring a new world, wait until you do it in the dark!
This huge coral reef to the south of Cancun is the second largest reef in the world. Diving there, you’ll be exploring the home of 30 types of coral, some 200 species of aquatic plants, and over 100 species of fish. It’s one of the most beautiful - and most unique - spots in the underwater world, and it’s just minutes away from the Cancun Hotel Zone.
For a signature Yucatan experience, nothing compares with diving in a cenote. These natural freshwater wells are the result of limestone bedrock sinking into underground pools ages ago. Diving these natural wonders combines underwater exploration with spelunking, as you swim through their cavernous depths. Be sure to follow your guide’s rules at all times, as exploring cenotes can be dangerous for the inexperienced!
Planning Your Trip
If you don’t already have your SCUBA certification, start there. Then start stacking on as many dives as you want!
Before You Go
SCUBA diving makes for a lifelong hobby. Though the initial starting costs may be high, the skills you’ll learn will prove to be invaluable. Once you’re a certified open-water diver, you’ll be able to explore underwater locations around the globe.
You Should Also Know…
Coral reefs are exceedingly beautiful - but also extremely fragile. Never touch the coral - not only can it damage the reef, but many corals are sharp enough to cause serious injury.
SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Now you know!
Most dives will be listed as either 1-tank or 2-tanks, depending on the length of the dive. At 10m depth, one tank will generally last about an hour, though this shrinks to only a few minutes’ time at 40m depth.
Underwater cameras can make for some incredible photos. If you already have a favorite camera, you might want to consider adding a simple waterproof bag for your adventure.
Scuba Diving & Water Tours
Xel-Ha All Inclusive Tour with Transport$119
Subsee Explorer Tour$47
Jungle Tour "Sunrise Marina"
Learn Scuba Diving with "AquaWorld" Tour$115
AquaWorld Cozumel Snorkel Tour$104
Cozumel Certified Scuba Diving Tour$188
Coba - Mayan Encounter Tour
Caribbean Funday Premium Tour$89
Xel-Ha All Inclusive Tour Admission Only
Certified Diving with Marina Punta del E$76
Snorkel Native Park Tour
Isla Contoy Asterix Tours$105
Hummer Jungle Tour$188
Rio Secreto Tour
Dolphin Swim Adventure Tour Isla Mujeres$96
Dolphin Encounter Tour Isla Mujeres Dolp$80
Dolphin Royal Swim Tour Isla Mujeres Dol$117
Discovery Island Tour$53