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From a world-class underwater sculpture park to annual whale shark visitors, Cancún delights scuba divers with above and below the water attractions.

Highlights

Cenote Diving in Yucatan

Hundreds of crystal clear cenotes (caves) can be found throughout Mexico. Cenote Dos Ojos near Tulum is the most famous and is easily accessible to most divers.

El Museo Subaquàtico de Arte (MUSA)

The MUSA, located next to Cancun, is an underwater contemporary museum of art consisting of over 500 permanent life-size sculptures from English artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

Whale Sharks in Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres, just off-shore from Cancun, sits at the join of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. As such, it attracts hundreds of Whale Sharks from June to September each year.

Diving in Cancún

Quick facts

Often overlooked due to its party reputation, Cancún is the perfect location for a Mexican dive adventure.

Diving off this section of the Yucatan Peninsula means gliding over reef systems, through shark-filled tunnels and exploring excellent shipwrecks. You’ll also enjoy easy access to a fascinating underwater museum and the world-famous Isla Mujeres. Further afield yet still reachable within a day trip, you can dive into glassy cenotes or maybe head out to the verdant walls of Cozumel.

Diving in Cancún can be completed by boat or from shore, depending on your preference. Some areas may be restricted to snorkeling only. A 16% tax is levied on all diving activities in Mexico.

When to go

Diving in Cancún is possible throughout year. For uncrowded dive sites and whale shark encounters, book your holiday between May and November.

December to April

There is no bad time to dive the Caribbean. In fact, the water temperatures remain constant year-round and cool only slightly during the winter months, meaning it’s possible to dive approximately 300 days each year.

December to April is considered the best time to visit Mexico and therefore is the most popular time to dive in the Caribbean. Because the winter months constitute high season, you should make sure to book as early as possible in order to secure the best rate.

On average, water temperatures vary between 78 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC) in Cancún.

May to November

The best time for cenote diving is between May and September. These months bring the best light to the caves and result in the better photographs.

Also note that diving in the Caribbean is possible year-round. Simply keep an eye on the forecast during the summer and early fall. These seasons do see the occasional hurricane. When there isn’t a hurricane, the weather during the summer is hot and humid with the occasional rain shower.

June to September in particular is best for whale sharks near Isla Mujeres.

As an added bonus, the summer months are low season throughout Mexico. At this time, you’ll find the best deals on diving and accommodation. If you enjoy uncrowded, Caribbean dive sites, travel to Mexico between May and September.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

Diving in Cancún is a diverse experience. Pelagic lovers can go to Isla Mujeres. Photographers will want to dive MUSA and tec divers love the cenotes.

    USD 1,676Per trip

    Snorkeling in Cancún

    Non-divers will find plenty of reasons to enter the water in Cancún. From shore, you’ll be able to access the region’s best reefs and even dip your head in a cenote. If you happen to be in the area from June to September, make sure to take a day trip to Isla Mujeres in order to snorkel with whale sharks. MUSA is also perfect for topside spotters as many of the statues are placed at a shallow depth.
    The reefs of Cancún are teeming with life. Right off Cancún’s main drag of hotels there is a pretty little reef that begs your exploration. You can see a surprising amount of sharks and barracudas in this area, as well as all your other favorite Caribbean fish. One especially nice spot is MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte). This underwater sculpture park was installed in order to relieve the overwhelming pressure on Cancún’s coral reefs. Today, this museum represents a shallow dive with so much to see. You’ll discover several Biorock statues under the surface. These statues are constantly distorting due to their coral growth, so bring your camera to capture the magic! While in Cancún don’t miss out on diving in the cenotes. These freshwater caverns are unreal, seemingly from another world. Several are within a short drive of the city. Dos Ojos, in particular, features fascinating rock formations; looming stalagmites and stalactites. Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to snorkel with whale sharks during their annual migration past Isla Mujeres from June to September.

    What to see

    Dolphins patrol deeper waters, while stunning colorful fish hang out by the reefs. You will see eels and lobsters near overhangs, as well as plenty of eagle rays gliding through the shallows. If you dive through a few of the tunnels, you’re sure to see nurse sharks sleeping in the dark.

    A major attraction in the Cancún area are the whale sharks that visit Isla Mujeres from June to September, and a little further south, you’ll find bull sharks in Playa del Carmen from November until March. There’s also a chance of spotting Green Turtles, Loggerhead Turtles and sailfish during their respective migrations.

    Calendar

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    Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

    Location

    Located on the tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancún represents one of Mexico’s major tourist destinations. It’s position on the Caribbean Sea meant that the city has been inhabited for hundreds of years, first by a Mayan population then by Spanish settlers. Finally, in 1970, construction of the first resort in the area established the city known today as a colorful holiday destination.

    Approximately 4,000,000 tourists visit Cancún every year. The gorgeous white beaches, beautiful weather and warm seas create a paradisiacal escape for all who find themselves in this piece of Mexico.

    Other attractions

    While excellent dive sites abound, scuba diving is not the main attraction in Cancún. So, you can count on many other activities to keep you busy. Popular things to do include shopping along the Avenida Kukulkan, sunbathing at the Playa Delfines, learning about local culture at the Museo Maya de Cancún and taking in the views from the Torre Escenica. Further afield, you can venture to the well-preserved Mayan ruins scattered throughout the Yucatan Peninsula or take a day trip to the colorful island of Cozumel. Don’t forget to schedule some time to relax in one of the city’s premier spas.

    Getting there

    To reach the city of Cancún, simply fly into Cancún International Airport. Alternatively, take a bus from a nearby region. Some visitors may even arrive by yacht or cruise ship. The public transportation in the area is astounding. It can get you everywhere you want to go through use of buses, private transfers, rental car and taxis.

    UTC-05:00

    Time zone

    MXN

    Currency

    +52

    Calling code

    127 V

    Electric volt

    A, 

    B

    Plug type

    CUN

    Main airport
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