There are plenty of places to stay in Mexico that cater to a ridiculously wide range of activities but when it comes to scuba diving there are some specific areas to aim for. Each have their pros and cons so research is required as many are highly family oriented.
Cozumel, a mostly undeveloped Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, is a popular cruise ship port of call famed for its scuba diving. At Arrecifes de Cozumel National Park, divers can explore a section of the Mesoamerican Reef and Museo Subacuático de Arte’s submerged sculptures. Chankanaab is an eco park surrounding a lagoon with underwater caverns, home to dolphins, manatees and sea turtles.
The national Marine Park at Cozumel is famous for it’s rich diving opportunities and plenty of colourful marine life. Majority of people come here to experience drift diving and explore the incredible cave formations (Cave diving experience not required but you will have to pay a fee to dive within the park, approx:)
Playa del Carmen
Playa del Carmen is a coastal resort town in Mexico, along the Yucatán Peninsula’s Riviera Maya strip of Caribbean shoreline. In the state of Quintana Roo, it’s known for its palm-lined beaches, coral reefs and scuba diving. Its Quinta Avenida pedestrian thoroughfare runs parallel to the beach, offering blocks of shops, restaurants and nightspots ranging from laid-back bars to dance clubs.
A town and sea port in Quintana Roo, Mexico’s easternmost state, on the Yucatán Peninsula. The town is at the southern end of the municipality of Benito Juárez in the northeast of the state, about 36 km south of the resort city of Cancún. The marine terminal at Puerto Morelos is equipped to handle containers and is the largest and most important sea port in the state of Quintana Roo. It has historically been the main port between the mainland of Yucatán and the Island of Cozumel, and an automobile ferry used to run from Puerto Morelos to Cozumel. The town is named after Independence leader José María Morelos. Resorts are abundant in the Puerto Morelos region along the Riviera Maya and attractions, such as the Crococun Crocodile Zoo, are also increasing in number.
One hundred meters off shore lies the Puerto Morelos portion of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, designated as a National Marine Park due to local environmental activists.
Osla Mujeres is a Mexican island in the Caribbean Sea, 13 kilometers off the coast from Cancún. It’s a holiday destination known for beaches such as northern Playa Norte, resort hotels and for snorkeling and scuba diving on the surrounding coral reefs. At Punta Sur, the southern tip, there’s a lighthouse, the remains of a Mayan temple and a sanctuary for sea turtles.
Akumal is a small beach-front tourist resort community in Mexico, 100 km (62 mi) south of Cancún, between the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is located on Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay on the site of a former coconut plantation in Tulum Municipality in the state of Quintana Roo, and is part of the Riviera Maya area. The 2010 census showed a population of 1,310 inhabitants.
The town was officially founded in 1958 as a community for scuba divers by Pablo Bush Romero—a Mexican businessman, diver, writer, historian, and archaeologist. Pablo Bush’s family still owns a portion of Akumal, including the hotel Hotel Club Akumal Caribe. Akumal is also home to ONDARTE International Artist Residency.
Dos Ojos Cavern
If cave diving floats your boat, head straight for Dos Ojos, a pair of intrconnecting underwater caverns in the Mayan riviera. A series of of underwater tunnels formed when the Yucatan Jungle flooded during the last ice age, Dos Ojos is unique in that you can dive with just an open water certificate though there is little in the way of marine life but the natural light more than makes up for it. Again, a fee is required and all divers must be accompanied by a dive master.
The Gran Cenote
Another spectacular cave dive off the coast is is the Gran Cenote, two miles from Tulum. What makes this site especially alluring is that the Mayan ruins at Cobá is on the way. Less experienced divers can stay near the entrance where an abundance of fish awaits but go a bit deeper and you’ll find some amazing stalactite rock formations.
The Car Wash
Not far from The Gran Cenote is The Car Wash, affectionately named for the Tulum taxi drivers that used to wash their cabs here.From the surface not much appears to ne going on but venture down to find an incredible underground forest; verdant green in the summer and an icy blue through the winter.
Costa Maya is a small tourist region in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the only state bounded by the Caribbean Sea to its east. This municipality is close to Chetumal on the border with Belize.