Manatee Encounters: Where to Find Manatees in Mexico

Did you know that you can find manatees in Mexico? If you’re wondering where to see them look no further!

You can find manatees living in their natural habitats, from the shallow waters of the Caribbean Sea to the freshwater cenotes of Yucatan. Learn about the best places to spot these majestic creatures and prepare for a unique nature adventure.

Mexico’s Manatee Reserves

Mexico is home to some of the world’s best manatee reserves, offering the perfect opportunity for a unique manatee sighting. Popular spots include Laguna de Términos in Campeche and Bacalar Lakes off the coast of Yucatan. Both locations provide plenty of tranquil lagoons and bayous to find magnificent manatees basking in the sun!

The Yucatan Peninsula: A Haven for Manatees.

The Yucatan Peninsula is the perfect place to find manatees, with the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon hosting a wide range of breathtaking wildlife. You can expect to spot West Indian Manatees enjoying their relaxation in quiet and safe areas like Puerto Morelos, Punta Allen, and Tulum. As long as you don’t disturb them, it’s perfectly safe to swim with the manatees and
observe these majestic animals up close!

Campeche and the Cozumel Archipelago: Ideal for Watching Manatees.

Located on the western edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, Campeche and its archipelago, Cozumel, are known to be havens for manatees. You can find large groups of animals in secluded lagoons surrounded by pristine white sand beaches. Keep your eyes open and you might even spot baby manatees partying with their moms as well! Don’t forget to take your underwater camera with you—these moments are worth every memory.

Where to Watch Manatees in Tulum and the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico.

If you’re looking for manatees in Tulum, head to Bahia de Ascension. Its crystal clear waters and abundance of seagrass make it great for manatee watching. Further up the coast in the Northwestern Gulf of Mexico, close to Sisal and Rio Lagartos, there is actually a special place where manatees can be collared and tracked by local authorities to help protect them. Here you can see locals releasing familiarized captive-born manatees back into their natural habitat.

Safest Practices When Observing Manatees while in Mexico

Manatees are currently listed as an endangered species. They face a number of threats such as being hit by boats, entanglement in fishing gear, and habitat loss due to coastal development. It is critical that we work to protect and conserve these amazing creatures and help them survive. So if you want to know what is the best manatee tour, make sure it is respectful to these animals and as ecological as possible:

When visiting Mexico for manatee watching, it’s essential to observe them safely:

  • Keep a safe distance, and never try to get too close.
  • Avoid making loud noises and splashing around in shallow waters, as this can disturb the tranquility of the animals.
  • Don’t feed them
  • Make sure to wear bright colors or fluorescent clothing while swimming, boating, or diving so that the manatees don’t accidentally run into you or your boat!
  • Use a zoom lens if you’re using a camera.
  • Respect the rules and regulations put in place by local authorities, and never attempt to touch or feed any of the animals.


What to bring if you go on a manatee sighting tour:

  • When going on a manatee sighting tour, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Bring an underwater camera to capture the experience
  • water shoes or sandals that are comfortable when walking in shallow water,
  • UV-protected swimwear,
  • Towels
  • Hats
  • Use UV-protective clothing. Avoid applying sunscreen or repellent, as even reef-friendly ones do pollute the fragile water ecosystem.
  • Additionally, bring a water bottle to stay hydrated throughout your trip.


See Manatis with Koox Adventures

Manatee Adventures Prices in USD Duration Currently not available
From Tulum $149 8am-1pm Get a Quote
From Playa del Carmen $149 8am-1pm Get a Quote

🤿See Whale Sharks & 🌴 Explore the Cenotes & 🐊Croc Dive 🐢Akumal & 🐟Try Spearfishing or 🏝 Dive & Snorkel with Sea Lions in La Paz🌵