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As an off-the-beaten path adventure, Veracruz delights divers with more than 14 locations, haunting wrecks and a protected marine park.


Wreck Diving in Veracruz City

Because of its prominence as a naval port, Veracruz is home to several diveable wrecks, including US warships lying in as little as 30ft (10m) of water.

An Undiscovered Marine Park

The marine park at Anton Lizardo has yet to make its way into Mexican diving fame. Healthy reefs, sharks and macro await discovery by the masses.

The Corals of Punta Gorda

To the south, Punta Gorda is an undiscovered paradise filled with hard and soft corals. Plentiful tropical fish fill in this underwater rainbow.

Diving in Veracruz

Quick facts

Not yet as famous as its neighbor to the south, the state of Veracruz holds unknown diving potential.

At its epicenter, lies Veracruz. At first glance, this chaotic city does not bring images of fantastic diving to mind, but just offshore lies the Veracruz Reef System with its 8 reef platforms, which are ripe for exploration. There are also 5 major wrecks nearby. Several of these are US military ships.

To the south of Veracruz city, you’ll find Anton Lizardo and the Isla de Sacrificios. These are the most popular diving destinations in the area. They offer crystal clear water, healthy wrecks and a variety a marine life.

To the extreme north and south of the state, other dive sites can be found although many have not yet been explored. Punta Gorda and Los Amarillos offer divers the chance to discover their own piece of the underwater paradise known as Veracruz.

When to go

Diving in Veracruz is fantastic year-round. For fewer crowds, lower prices and warmer underwater temperatures, book your trip between May and November.

December to April

There is no bad time to dive the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, Veracruz remains constant year-round with only slightly lower temperatures during the winter months.

December to April is considered the best time to visit Veracruz. At this time, the heat and humidity is noticeably less. Therefore it is the most popular time to dive in the Gulf of Mexico. Because the winter months constitute high season, you should make sure to book your dive holiday as early as possible in order to secure the best rate.

On average, water temperatures vary between 77 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC) near Punta Gorda. To the north, water temperatures are usually two to three degrees cooler, especially from December to April.

May to November

May to November is the most comfortable time for diving the north Gulf of Mexico. The waters warm ever so slightly to match the year-round temperatures of destinations like Cancun and Cozumel.

However, it’s best to 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.

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, 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

Divers who like guided dives will want to stick to the reefs and wrecks at Veracruz and Anton Lizardo. To get off-the-beaten-path, head to Punta Gorda.

    Snorkeling in Veracruz

    Snorkelers will be every bit as happy in Veracruz as divers are. In particular, Anton Lizardo’s marine park holds several reefs that are accessible to non-divers, and the Isla de Sacrificios makes a great day trip for snorkelers and divers alike. You’re sure to see a variety of hard and soft corals teeming with marine life on this offshore isle. It lies only one hour from the city of Veracruz.
    Veracruz is a great stop for fine tuning your skills. Anton Lizardo is where the most diving takes place and any of the reef dives in its national marine park hold fantastic potential. The Isla Sacrificios is always popular with divemasters in the area. The marine life at this offshore isle is sure to impress. Furthermore, El Hidalgo and the USS Tacoma wreck are two of five wrecks in the area. Most of these are accessible to advanced divers although a few are located in the shallows, perfect for a divers first wreck experience. Further south from Veracruz city, Punta Gorda will delight intermediate divers. This off-the-beaten path destination is alive with hard and soft coral.

    What to see

    As the dive sites off of Veracruz are not dived with extreme regularity, it’s possible to be surprised in this region. Migrational patterns are not yet known so it’s possible to see anything from whale sharks to bull sharks at any point in the year.

    Common species include groupers, snappers, Queen angelfish and Honeycomb cowfish. Eagle rays, tarpons and octopus can also be found occasionally. The backdrop to your diving adventures will most likely consist of Massive starlet coral, Boulder brain coral and Great star coral. These three species form approximately 70% of the reefs in the area.


    For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

    Most likely sightingsPossible sightings


    The state of Veracruz lies on the Gulf of Mexico in west-central Mexico. It borders the Yucatan Peninsula to the south and the state of Tamaulipas to the north. Because of its overly hot and humid weather, it has not yet become a tourist destination, but is sure to soon be discovered for its lush jungles and fascinating culture.

    Veracruz is known for its multi-culturalism. It’s historically Cuban and African population has largely influenced the language and cuisine of the state.

    Today you’ll find large tourist centers at Xalapa, Tuxpan, Tecolutla and Veracruz.

    Other attractions

    Veracruz is known as Mexico’s hidden gem. There’s plenty here to keep you busy for days. Definitely reserve a few hours for sightseeing. You’ll want to check out the San Juan de Ulúa Castle, the Baluarte de Santiago, the Museo Augustin Lara and the City Museum. While the beaches in Cancun are better kept, there are a few worth visiting in Veracruz. Head south to Boca del Rio or Mata de Uvas on the other side of Anton Lizardo. Finally don’t forget to pick up a few souvenirs at the handicraft markets along the seashore.

    Getting there

    Veracruz is served by General Heriberto Jara International Airport (VER). Currently the only flight to VER from the United States originates in Houston, Texas. The airport is well-connected by domestic flights to Mexico City and Cancun. It’s also possible to arrive in Veracruz by bus from Cancun or to drive to Veracruz from southern Texas in half a day.


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    Calling code

    127 V

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    Main airport
    Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

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