Scuba Diving Playa del Carmen: The Definitive Guide
You don’t need to be an experto for scuba diving in Playa del Carmen.
Although many people travel exclusively to carry out this underwater experience, anyone who visits this region of Mexico can live this beautiful experience.
If they have the days in their itinerary and the desire to do so, they can know the world that is under the sea and the underground rivers that connect the freshwater of the cenotes with the salty water of the Mexican Caribbean.
Due to its jungle vegetation, its tourist offer, and its proximity to the waters of the Caribbean, the Riviera Maya is one of the most privileged areas of Mexico.
It is in these turquoise waters the second largest barrier reef on the entire planet is found, placing it as one of the most attractive places to dive.
Playa del Carmen has the ideal location to move you to any area of the Quintana Roo coast and its unique cave system in the world.
Since the subject of diving is very extensive and the offer of places to do it throughout the Mayan coast is very vast, at Viva Playa we created this article where we simplify what you can do if you still do not have the PADI certification, and what you can explore if you are already a diver taking your departure from Playa del Carmen as your departure.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW IF ITS MY FIRST TIME?
If you are looking to immerse yourself in this world, choose a dive shop or diving school, and schedule an appointment on your vacation.
If you have a few extra days, you can try a diving course like DSD (Discover Scuba Dive), which for first-timers is an introduction to diving with qualified supervision so that you can do it during your stay.
The next step after this is to get certified, and there are several diving courses to do it, your DSD guide can guide you on it.
It is important to know that there are two formats of diving tours, private and group, the costs can vary and depend on your budget is that you should inform yourself of one or the other.
There are many diving schools in Playa del Carmen, so we recommend you do good research and look for recommendations from locals to define what best suits your taste, time, and budget.
SCUBA DIVING IN SALTWATER
The crystal clear waters of the Mexican Caribbean are home to the Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which is the second-largest reef system in the world, starting just off the coast of Cancun and extending for almost a thousand kilometers along the Quintana Roo coast.
The Riviera Maya has warm temperatures and full of life throughout the year, wherefrom north to south you can immerse yourself with your tank.
Starting with the underwater museum of art (MUSA) off the coast of Isla Mujeres, explore the engine room of a sunken ship near Puerto Morelos, dive with the bull shark near Playa del Carmen (from November to February), dive any from the coral reefs of the island of Cozumel or explore the imposing Banco Chinchorro near Mahahual.
CAVES AND / OR CAVERNS DIVING
Diving in cenotes is a unique and indescribable experience. What we can tell you with words is that the cenotes are windows to marine life, and to the largest underground river system in the world (the Yucatan peninsula) and were used by the Mayans to give sacrifices in the offering.
The water is so clear that you have around 100 meters of visibility, making this an unforgettable adventure that many compare to going into outer space or stepping on another planet.
In some cenotes, you will see beautiful stalactites and stalagmites, incredible effects of light reflected in the formations, and the effect of the halocline (a kind of portal where fresh water and salt water mix).
There are many cenotes in Playa del Carmen and in the area, all of them different and special. If you are a beginner, you will have to train until you obtain your certification as an Open Water Diver and with it, be able to dive these incredible caverns.
Diving in cenotes requires a different kind of kick and not being claustrophobic due to the reduction of light, and space.
It will be through experience, the location where you want to dive (From Puerto Morelos to Bacalar) and the suggestions of your dive guide, that you will get to know the classic cenotes, among which are:
Once you have obtained your certification as “Advanced” and finally your “Cavern Certification” you will be able to explore the countless underground rivers and caverns that are under the Quintana Roo jungle and its borders with Yucatan.
Advantages of Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen
Because it is a central point in the Riviera Maya, lovers of water sports prefer Playa del Carmen because of its proximity to other outstanding destinations such as Cozumel, Cancun, Tulum, and the cenotes, which allows to move easily and quickly either to surfer, dive or go fishing.