Once overlooked as an island that has no great snorkeling to speak of, Isla Mujeres has recently come on the map again as a place known for snorkeling with the largest fish in the world: the whale shark.
It has only been in the last few years that this destination has been recognized for its location on the whale shark migration path, which brings them to Isla Mujeres between June and August. They can sit in the same spot for quite a long time taking in the plankton and small fish as they eat, giving snorkelers the amazing opportunity to observe these gentle giants in their natural habitat. Even though these creatures are not aggressive, tours are still recommended for snorkeling here.
If you are one who likes to snorkel on your own from the beach, Isla Mujeres may not be your ideal vacation destination. Although they do have which locals recommend to snorkelers, the waves around the island can be high and rough. Then you have which is perhaps the calmest spot on the island, but visibility is not great and can be frustrating for snorkelers who know that crystal clear waters exist so nearby in other parts of the country.
If you want to explore what's below the surface you might want to visit Garrafon Reef Park. Clear waters, an abundance and variety of fish, and a reef combine to make a popular snorkeling site. Unfortunately, storms and an unending supply of visitors has paid its toll on the reef, which is not as healthy as it once was. This snorkeling site is found within the southern part of Isla Mujeres.
is another option. A section along the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, this spot is well-loved not only because it is a gorgeous plot of coral with vibrant sea life, but also because it is home to one of the MUSA exhibit pieces which places a life-sized sculpture in the sea for divers and snorkelers to see during their underwater explorations.
A third location to consider is. This site is a nice one if you happen to be in the area, but few would recommend you go out of your way to visit. The reef is home to several schools of fish and you may see a sea turtle or two, but there is also a lot of fire coral which can become a problem if the current is heavy and you are constantly being pushed into the reef.
A fourth place to go snorkeling is. Although there is no coral reef here, you can see fish swimming along in the current between the bay and the lagoon through a narrow inlet. If you're interested, this site is located in the western part of Isla Mujeres.
Review this table for summary info concerning 6 of the most popular locations to go snorkeling in this area.
|Garrafon Reef Park||4.2 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|4.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|0.9 mi. South of Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|1.1 mi. South of Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|1.4 mi. South of Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|Downtown Isla Mujeres|
If you looking for someone that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to contact Aqua Adventures. Wale Shark tour season is from May 15th to September 17th. Wale shark boats never have more than ten swimmers and only two snorkelers will enter the water at a time. They are located on Isla Mujeres.
A second company worth knowing about is Captain Tony's. Captain Tony gives snorkeling tours that include some of the best spots in the area. An extended tour to Contoy Island also includes lunch and drinks.
A third option is Carey Dive Center. Offering a wide range of watersports excursions, this is one of the largest and most well-established dive centers on the island. For those who don't want to become certified to dive, snorkeling is also a possibility with them, whether you want to rent gear to go out on your own or sign up for a snorkeling tour. They're found within Colonias, in the central part of Isla Mujeres.
Be sure to look at the following table for a list of 6 firms that offer snorkeling related services.
|Aqua Adventures||Snorkeling Tour Operator||(998) 236-4316||Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|Captain Tony's||Snorkeling Tour Operator||--||Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|Carey Dive Center||Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service||(998) 877-0763||Colonias, Central Isla Mujeres|
|La Islena||Snorkeling Tour Operator||--||Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|Sea Hawk||Snorkeling Tour Operator||--||Downtown Isla Mujeres|
|Snorkeling Tour Operator||--||Downtown Isla Mujeres|
To learn more concerning snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for beginners and "pros" read this detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.
Isla Mujeres has some great snorkeling opportunities, even if the reasons are different than what most people are used to. Just be sure to sign up for a tour with a reputable dive centerto be extra cautious and you'll be ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.
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