Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen – One of the best spots for a Mexican Caribbean Diving Holiday
If you are looking for the next magnificent location for your diving vacation – Playa Del Carmen might be the perfect choice. With great weather conditions throughout the year and an average temperature of 25 degrees, you can just plan your days off ahead and go! Located closest to Cancun International Airport, the 55.2 km transfer to the town will take you about an hour.
The region lures people in from across the globe. In large part because the scuba diving in Playa del Carmen is acknowledged to be some of the best in the world. Situated on the eastern Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, the city is surrounded by gorgeous beaches where you can do everything from sitting and sipping cocktails to partaking in adventure sports. But Playa del Carmen is the home of the scuba dive. As well as the thrilling opportunities to swim with sea-based marine wildlife of all kinds, even a beginner scuba diving in Playa del Carmen will be able to see amazing sights thanks to the area’s famous cenotes – water-filled sinkholes where the limestone rock of the region has eroded away to form perfect microcosms of almost everything beautiful about Mexico. The glorious light and sun, the deep and often translucent blue waters and the plant and animal life flitting through the depths.
Many local people are part of the Playa del Carmen diving scene, travelling up and down the Yucatan Peninsula to visit the most legendary or the most hidden gems which this wondrous area has to offer. When you’re scuba diving around Playa del Carmen prices vary, but you will almost always get the best deal at the smaller, locally-run dive shops. It always pays to find a local guide who will show you the best spots – and tell you the times to go to the busier but must-see local cenotes so you can visit when it’s quiet. As well as cenotes, if you like scuba diving and are visiting Playa del Carmen there are coral reefs both just offshore and around the nearby island of Cozumel which can be reached via a short boat trip. All in all, if you like all things scuba, you will love all things Playa del Carmen.
One of the things that attracts divers from all around the world to Playa del Carmen each winter is the unique opportunity to dive with bull sharks. The warm waters are known to attract the female sharks. Whale sharks also migrate to Playa each summer, feeding on plankton and enjoying the warm currents. Snorkeling with these gentle giants, the biggest fish in the world, is truly awe-inspiring.
Snorkel in Playa del Carmen
For most people, the chance to snorkel in Playa del Carmen is the whole reason why they came. If you’re in the local area, you can’t leave without swimming with sea turtles, tropical fish, baracudas, etc.
Puerto Aventuras – tropical fish at the artificial reef
The white-sand beaches around Puerto Aventuras are picture postcard-beautiful enough that even if you’re not in Playa del Carmen for the snorkeling they’re still worth a visit. But beneath the waves lie artificial reefs which are home to the area’s diverse marine wildlife, including brightly colored tropical fish, crabs, and even the occasional octopus. This makes it one of the prime Playa del Carmen snorkeling spots – ideal whether you’re a beginner or an experienced diver.
We offer trips to all of the best cenotes near Playa del Carmen:
Take your camera if you are planning to add Cenote Maravilla to your list of dive locations. The wonderful stalactite formations and thick hydrogen sulfide cloud create some intriguing visual effects which might be enough for most cave divers. But where Maravilla really shines is when the light penetrates the cave when the sun is high in the sky above. It is a still little-visited site which is always worth the trip.
Cenote Zapote (a.k.a. Hell’s Bells)
Surrounded by a stand of the zapote trees which give it its name, this cenote is often called “Hells Bells” because of the shape of the rock formations within. The shapes of these formations are unique, making Cenote Zapote one of the most stunning local cave diving sites.
You certainly will not be short of things to see at Tajma Ha. The cave entrance links on to several of the most beautiful local caverns, including the Light Room, Cenote Sugarbowl, Chinese Gardens and Cenote Esmerelda. These attractive names are nothing compared to the stunning reality of the caves themselves. If you have the diving skills, you cannot afford to miss Tajma Ha.
Ponderosa (a.k.a. The Garden of Eden)
Sometimes called El Jardin de Eden, from the surface Cenote Ponderosa looks like a small idyllic lake. You can go snorkelling here and have a one-of-a-kind experience surrounded by the jungle. But beneath the surface, you will pass through the incredible halocline where the fresh and saltwater meet to enter the completely different world below. Diving in the Garden of Eden is ideal for divers of all skill levels. The awe-inspiring light show can be seen even at shallower depths and the cenote never gets particularly deep.
Chac Mool draws in so many visitors for a number of obvious reasons. In the main dome, the light show from above highlights the trees and branches trailing down into the water and creates a feeling of natural splendour which only grows as you dip beneath the surface. Do not miss the so-called Cavern Zone – it is the perfect spot for lovers of light, collapsed rock formations and views of the mysterious jungle above.
Kukulcan (a.ka. Cenote Cancun or Cenote Riviera Maya)
Part of the Chac Mool cave system, Kukulcan is the beginner diver’s paradise. The white limestone walls here will glow when you shine your light on them, allowing you to see the stalactites and fossils which can be found in several places within. This is only the smallest wonder in this most beautiful of cenotes, though. The high visibility allows you to witness a truly incredible light show at certain times of day, an iridescent curtain which beams down from above.
Chikin Ha is actually the name of a nature park which contains three separate cenotes, of which the translucent waters of Chikin Ha itself are probably the most accessible. Whether you are a keen cave diver wanting to experience everything you have heard the Mexico dive scene has to offer, or you simply want to view some of the natural beauty of cenotes, you will find what you are looking for at Chikin Ha.
Cenote diving near Playa del Carmen – one of the most amazing things to do and see
When you arrive in Playa, as the locals call it, you will be faced with a truly stunning range of things to do. Playa is the third largest city in Quintana Roo, famous for its beautiful coastline, water parks, and natural aquariums. Tulum’s ancient Mayan ruins are less than an hour away and you can also check out Chikin-ha, only a short ride distant, where you can walk among buildings with thousands of years of history.
One of the most amazing things to do though is the cenote diving and snorkeling for which the area is probably best known. Only the western hemisphere boasts this as an option, so it’s silly not to take advantage of the opportunity when you’re there! Playa del Carmen is really close to the well-known Cenote Azul and to Cenote Dos Ojos – one of the most popular cenote diving locations.
Doing something like a cenote tour of Playa del Carmen will usually pay dividends. Mainly because only local guides know when the busier times are at the most popular local diving spots – and how best to avoid them. The sights of Gran Cenote and Dos Ojos really should not be missed if you are even slightly interested in cenote diving in Playa del Carmen. But they are also immensely popular, so getting some local info is always worthwhile.
You will also more easily be able to find the secret darlings of the Playa del Carmen cave diving scene with a local guide pointing your way. These are often a little off the beaten path or take a short trip to get to. But they’re entirely worth it if you prefer having the waters more to yourself and your diving buddies.
As far as cenote snorkeling goes, Playa del Carmen again has some of the best spots in the local area. Be sure to check out: Cenote Azul – amazing blue waters, marine wildlife including fish, turtles and eels and the feeling of being surrounded by greenery in a kind of jungle oasis make this one of the top cenotes in Playa del Carmen to visit for any reason. Cenote Jardin del Eden (Cenote El Jardin) – this beautiful cenote is well named indeed. Jump from the cliffside into the water and you’ll be swimming in one of the most well-developed Playa del Carmen caves. El Jardin has something for everyone – picturesque shallows and deeper caverns can both be found here.
The Ko’ox Diving dive shop gives you adventure you need in Playa del Carmen Mexico
If you are staying in Playa Del Carmen, Ko’ox Diving can take you to all of the most exciting diving and snorkeling locations in the Riviera Maya for free. Just contact us and tell us when you would like to go on an adventure, and we will meet you at our pick up location to take you to Tulum. We might be a bit biased, but out of all of the dive shops in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, we think Ko’ox is the friendliest. As well as being a handy local Playa scuba center, we can also take you on unique Playa del Carmen tours and Mexico cultural tours featuring all the top local sights to see and things to do. Perfect if you’re worried about coming to this awesome part of the world and missing something out. If you’re thinking about getting or upping your scuba certification Playa del Carmen and the surrounding area are a great choice to do it in. Ko’ox has got the experts and the equipment to make it happen too, so just let us know if that’s something you want to be part of your trip. Frequently touted as one of if not the best dive shop in Playa del Carmen, whatever you want from your stay – from an introduction to the world of snorkeling or scuba to a dive master to take you through the region’s deepest and most challenging cave diving locations – the Ko’ox team has got you covered.
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