Snorkeling Around Playa Del Carmen

Photo credit: © Alberto Azparren

If you're itching to get in the water with your snorkel, mask, and fins and do a bit of exploring, you may want to plan a guided tour in advance of your trip.  Although there are some great snorkeling opportunities around this trendy town, right on local beaches is not one of them. 

The boat traffic may be to blame in part for the lack of snorkeling opportunities directly from the shore of Playa Del Carmen.  Even at the spots where you might find some patches of coral, such as from a beach at the very far north end of town, the boats prevent you from going out too far. 

That doesn't mean you should put a hold on your dreams of snorkeling the waters of Mexico's Caribben coast when you visit Playa Del Carmen.  Indeed, if you have access to a sail boat or sign up for a snorkeling tour you'll be able access several offshore reefs such as the Moche Reef and the Inha Reef where you'll swim with spotted eagle reef, sea turtles, and dog face puffer fish.  If you head north of town, you'll also have access to the Meso American Barrier Reef, which is the second largest coral reef system in the world.  

Snorkeling Sites

If you're looking forward to experiencing below the water's surface you might want to check out Moche Reef. A healthy reef system teeming with sea life, this is a favorite stop for snorkeling tours in the area. Sightings include spotted eagle rays, moray eels, and bright reef fish. This snorkeling site is located in Playa Del Carmen.

Inha Reef is another option. If you've wanted to see the sea turtle in their natural habitat, this is the reef for you. In addition to the typical tropical fish, there are almost always turtle sightings.

A third site to consider is Cerebros. Named for the Spanish word meaning "brains," this site features an abundance of brain corals, though there are some patches of elkhorn coral and whips. The reef goes about 20 feet deep and abounds with sea life.

The chart below summarizes some key facts concerning 3 of the most popular places where you can go snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Playa Del Carmen
Site Location
Moche Reef 1.7 mi. East-Northeast of Downtown Playa del Carmen
Inha Reef 6.2 mi. South West of Central downtown Playa del Carmen
Cerebros 3.4 mi. East-Northeast of Central Playa del Carmen

Snorkeling Services

If you looking for someone offering snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to check with Mexico Blue Dream. If there is a particular place you want to go or some specific sites you want to see, this is the tour operator for you. They offer numerous snorkel excursions that can cater to each snorkelers individual needs. They are located within downtown Playa del Carmen.

A second place catering to snorkelers is Sealife Divers. You can take scuba diving out of the equation and still get to see the magnificent underwater world. This dive center offers regular snorkeling tours both out at sea and inland at the mysterious cenotes.

A third company worth contacting is Scuba Playa. Bring your bathing suit and a towel; they provide the rest for your once in a lifetime snorkeling adventure. They're located within downtown Playa del Carmen.

Information regarding 14 companies that provide snorkeling services can be seen in the chart below.

Snorkeling Services In Playa Del Carmen
Name Type Phone Location
Cyan-Ha Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (984) 803-2517 0.6 mi. Northeast of Downtown Playa del Carmen
Dive Life Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (551) 357-2569 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Dive Mike Snorkeling Tour Operator (984) 803-1228 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Mexico Blue Dream Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (984) 803-0660 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Phantom Dive Center Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (984) 879-3988 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Phocea Mexico Snorkeling Tour Operator (984) 873-1210 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Playa Scuba Snorkeling Tour Operator (984) 803-2403 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Reef Marina Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (984) 873-4120 1.6 mi. South West of Downtown Playa del Carmen
Scuba Libre Snorkeling Tour Operator (984) 803-2671 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Scuba Playa Snorkeling Tour Operator -- Downtown Playa del Carmen
Sealife Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator -- 0.5 mi. Northeast of Downtown Playa del Carmen
Studio Blue Carmen Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (987) 872-4414 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Tank-Ha Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (984) 873-0302 Downtown Playa del Carmen
Yucatek Dive Center Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (984) 803-2836 Downtown Playa del Carmen

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our detailed Caribbean snorkeling article.

Snorkeling opportunities do exist in Playa Del Carmen, you just have to know where to find them – and if you don't know where to find them, you just have to know who to ask. 


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