11 Spots for the Best Snorkeling in Cancun

Do you want to go snorkeling in Cancun, but don’t know where to start? You’ve come to the right place!

Whether you’re vacationing in Cancun or living in the city, snorkeling can be a great way to explore and enjoy the underwater world.

Savor the beauty of Mexico’s Caribbean coast with these 11 great spots for the best snorkeling in Cancun.

1. Punta Nizuc

If you’re looking for a breathtaking snorkeling experience, Punta Nizuc is the place to be.

With its stunningly clear waters and expansive coral reefs, you’re in for a real treat.

This spot is easily accessible from downtown Cancun and offers great snorkeling for both beginners and experienced divers.

The reef here is home to an abundance of colorful fish and coral.

If you’re looking to get away from the crowds in the city and immerse yourself in the wonders of the ocean, Punta Nizuc should be right up your alley!

2. Snorkel at an Eco-Archaeological Park

Xcaret Park and Xel-Ha are the big names when it comes to adventure parks in the Cancun area.

They offer an experience like no other as it’s a combination of natural beauty and cultural immersion.

At both locations, you can enjoy snorkeling through beautiful corals, swimming with tropical fish or simply enjoying your time paddling your way in an underground cave.

Natural sights include wildlife such as jaguars, sharks, endangered species of monkeys, along with other animals that would make any visitor’s heart skip a beat!

Tip: Xcaret is known for its underground cave for snorkeling, but Xel-Ha is better for those who want to swim with tropical fish as there’s a natural inlet that flows in from the Caribbean.

Cancun Underwater Museum MUSA
cancun underwater museum (MUSA)

3. Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA)

The Cancun Underwater Museum was created by artist Jason deCaires Taylor, with over 470 life-size statues and figures that are submerged in the waters surrounding Isla Mujeres.

One of the most popular spots in Mexico for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts, it’s a stunning sight, that’s for sure!

It’s pretty spectacular to see all the statues from above and below the water.

The statues are made of a special material that’s designed to last for hundreds of years and resist corrosion, so you can be sure that they’ll be around for a long time.

4. Shipwreck Snorkeling

Dive into the refreshing Caribbean Sea and explore the shipwreck that lays in the waters off Cancun’s coast.

The wreck was sunk intentionally by the Mexican government in order to create a new reef area for snorkelers and other marine life.

It’s a popular spot for beginner and more advanced snorkelers to get their feet wet.

Cenote Dos Ojos Mexico
PHOTO BY Oswaldo Rubio

5. Cenote Dos Ojos

Dos Ojos is a cenote located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. This natural sinkhole is well-known for its clear water and excellent visibility.

Dos Ojos means “two eyes” in Spanish, and the cenote gets its name from the two caves that intersect and form two pools.

If you’re looking for a place to scuba dive or snorkel, Dos Ojos is definitely worth checking out.

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6. Manchones Reef

Manchones Reef is a protected reef on the southern end of Isla Mujeres that’s perfect for those who are just beginner snorkelers.

The reef is surrounded by beautiful beaches where you can relax in the sun after your swim.

The Manchones Reef extends into MUSA, a marine sanctuary that protects the natural environment and the sea life that inhabits it.

It’s also home to some of the best spots for scuba diving in Cancun.

Garrafon Reef Park Beach Club Isla Mujeres Mexico
Garrafon Reef Park Beach Club

7. Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Snorkeling at Garrafon Natural Reef Park is the best way to experience the amazing coral reef life in Mexico’s Caribbean Sea.

Part of the largest reef system in the world, the Great Mayan Reef, it has an abundance of marine life and the shallow depth is also perfect for beginners.

This is a reef that has one main attraction for all divers: high visibility!

The main reef is located just off the shore, so there are plenty of chances to see colorful corals while being protected from strong currents.

8. Cozumel

There are a few snorkel spots close to Cozumel that are perfect for those who want to catch a glimpse of the underwater world with their own eyes.

This snorkel tour will take you on an adventure to a total of 3 amazing snorkel spots, home to a diverse array of marine life, including rays, turtles, and nurse sharks.

It’s also just a short ride away from downtown Cozumel where you can enjoy some delicious Mexican food and margaritas after your trip!

9. Mesoamerican Barrier Reef

With this snorkel tour of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, you’ll be diving into some of the most pristine waters and incredible marine life in Mexico.

Spend the afternoon looking for colorful fish, coral, and sea turtles. Enjoy the sun, waves, and refreshing water as you explore this marine wonderland.

The small group experience with a professional guide will make for an unforgettable adventure!

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10. Isla Contoy

Isla Contoy is a little-known gem of a snorkel spot about 19 miles north of Isla Mujeres.

Only allowing 200 visitors per day to preserve the island’s natural beauty, this is an ideal snorkel spot for those who want to experience the serenity of the ocean without the crowds.

There are plenty of people who don’t know about this place but once they do, it’s hard not to go back.

This tropical oasis offers up new adventures every time you come back for another round of exploration!

Playa Norte Isla Mujeres Snorkeling
photo by Šarūnas Burdulis

11. Isla Mujeres

Located just 15 minutes from Cancun by ferry, the soft and sandy shores of Isla Mujeres is a haven for snorkelers.

It’s small, surrounded by beautiful reefs and a variety of fish are usually swimming just below the surface.

The water is shallow enough for beginners, making it the perfect place to explore the nearby coral reef with its colorful sea life.

Add in the island’s beautiful beaches, and you’ve got a perfect place for an afternoon
splish splash and lazying around.

Check out this guide to the best snorkeling spots in Isla Mujeres.

Is It Safe to Snorkel in Cancun?

All of the best snorkeling spots in Cancun are completely safe, so don’t worry!

While snorkeling is definitely one of the safest ways to see the ocean up close, it can also be quite dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Following some basic safety tips can help make your experience a lot more enjoyable.

Wear your gear properly and follow proper safety procedures while snorkeling will ensure you’ll have a great time.

If you’re a first-timer, you may want to consider following a tour guide instead of venturing out on your own.

Professional guides are much more likely to know the best spots and have the most experience, so they can help you have a safe and enjoyable time.

Remember to always keep your eyes and ears open and pay attention to your surroundings.

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How Much Does a Snorkel Tour Cost?

Snorkel tours in Cancun are generally priced around USD $50-$70 per person for hours of fun!

The average cost of a snorkel excursion can vary depending on the length of the tour and whether or not you want to do more than just swim with sea life.

Some tours also include a cruise aboard a luxury catamaran with unlimited alcohol.

Can I Snorkel Off the Beach in Cancun?

Technically, yes, but if colorful fish and corals is what you’re hoping to spot…you’re going to be in for a disappointing experience.

You’ll have a much better time if you join a group snorkeling tour – professional guides take care of everything and will take you to the best spots in the area.

What Equipment Do I Need to Snorkel?

Generally, most snorkel tours will provide all the gear you need to have a pleasant experience.

But if you’re venturing out on your own, at the bare minimum you’ll want to bring a well-fitted snorkel mask with breathing tube and fins to have a good time underwater.

A waterproof phone case is also a must-have, as you’ll want to take photos and videos of your trip!

You’ll also want to bring water shoes – these are especially useful for wading through the rocky shallows near shore.

Other items you might want to bring include sunscreen, a flotation device, sunglasses, and a towel to dry off with afterwards.

Remember, be respectful of the environment and wear reef-safe sunblock!

What Can I Expect from A Snorkel Tour?

You can expect to see all types of fish and coral reefs when you go snorkeling in Cancun.

Depending on the location your guide takes you to, you may also get a chance to swim with larger predators like sharks or dolphins.

Tours generally include roundtrip transportation, use of snorkel gear, and a professional guide to show you the best spots.

Some snorkel tours will take you to a private beach club, where you’ll have time to relax and enjoy a few drinks before heading back to your hotel.