Riviera Maya

Country: Mexico

Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, View Location on Google Map

 

Riviera Maya in a Nutshell - The 100-mile long Tourist Corridor known as Riviera Maya extends 24 miles from Punta Brava, south of Puerto Morelos to the fishing village of Punta Allen inside the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an. The further south one travels, the land becomes less developed and more ancestral Mayan. Riviera Maya offers wonderful beaches, turquoise waters and fine white sand, archeological sites, picturesque little towns, recreation centers, freshwater lagoons, underwater caves, cenotes, ecological, and food and lodging options ranging from rustic cabins to gleaming condos, five-star hotels, and all inclusive accommodation.

 Dive Overview -  The Riviera Maya provides divers with a world of underwater options. With the second largest reef in the world along its coastline, is an underwater paradise. Beside the destination offers caves, sinkholes (cenotes) and a vast network of underground rivers to explore.
 
Watch this awesome video to give you a great feel for what it would be like to dive in Riviera Maya!

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Diving Information 

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Marine Life & Environment -  An expansive coral reef system extending just off the coast is home to a dizzying array of marine life including colorful tropical fish, manta rays, dolphins and whale sharks.

Diving Conditions

Water Temperature: 25-28°C/77-82°F in winter and 27-29°C/81-85°F in summer

Visibility: 25-28°C/77-82°F in winter and 27-29°C/81-85°F in summer

Weather: Air temperatures range from 18-32°C/65-90°F

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Top Dive Sites -  Here are some of the most popular dive sites around Riviera Maya!

Gran Cenote - Gran Cenote is considered one of the best cenotes for Cavern and Cave Diving, as well as for snorkeling in the Riviera Maya. It´s is part of the system Sac-Aktun which means “Cave” in Maya. It is along the highway to Coba just 4kms outside the town of Tulum. The cavern dive leads you along the edge of the circular shaped Cenote which has a max. depth of 10m. Perfect buoyancy is required as the Cavern Dive and Cave passages are highly decorated. White walls, crystal clear waters and amazing formations await to hypnotize the diver. Cave divers can explore various routes inside the incredible decorate cave.

Cenote Aktun Ha - Better known as “Car Wash”. Aktun-Ha is situated 8kms outside from Tulum on the road to Coba. With the water level just a few inches below ground level, divers find an easy entrance into the water. For Cavern divers there are upstream and and downstream dives possible. The upstream section with its large chestnut colored columns is the most popular route. You will enter the water through the roots and fallen trees which like any good fairy tail take you into a strange and different world. Looking back towards the entrance, it seems like we are underneath the clouds thanks to a small algae that lives near the surface. The light falling through the roots create an amazing light show and the large room behind these roots is beautifully decorated.

Cenote Dos Ojos - The entrance to this popular and famous Cenote is situated one Kilometer South of Xel-Ha and roughly 48km from Playa del Carmen. A 4km long dirt road leads from the highway to the parking lots and Cavern and Cave entrances. The name “Dos Ojos” means “Two eyes” and originated for the two circular shaped Cenotes which are located very close to one and another. Dos Ojosknown for its multiple shallow Dives gives divers plenty of bottom time to enjoy the beautiful decorated system. In the Cenote called “the First Eye” two very different cavern dives start and end. The Dos Ojos Cavern Dive leads the diver mainly along the opening of the “Second Eye” where there is plenty of daylight. Remember to look occasionally towards the entrance for great backlit effects. With shallow dives, crystal clear visibility and great decoration, Dos Ojos is spectacular for Cavern and Cave Diving.

Pared Verde (Green Wall) - Spectacular coral formations full of marine life. The top of the wall starts at 75ft (24m) and bottoms out in sand at 100ft (30m). The current here is moderate and the average visibility is 100ft (30m). There is a chimney style swim thru towards the end of the dive. Here you can see turtles, stingrays, barracudas, and large moray eels.

Cenote Calavera - Cenote Calavera, which means “Skull Cave” is also known as “Temple of Doom”. It is located just outside of Tulum, on the road to Coba. Completely different from any other cavern in the area, the entrance passes through a round hole on the surface rock. The adventure starts almost immediately, as you need to jump about 3m to the waters surface. The cavern area is a huge rooms with a hill of sediments and rocks in the center. During the dive, divers wind their way slowly around the hill, travelling at different depth alongside the walls of the cenote. In this dive it is possible to move through three different halocline layers. There is much light in the cavern and many hidden fossils to discover.

Cenote Chac Mool - The entrance to this Cenote is about 100m South of Puerto Aventuras. There are two water entries to Chac-Mool, both leading into the same rooms. The first room is relatively large with with much light entering from the opening. In the second room, a portion of the ceiling has collapsed under an air dome where Divers can surface thus allowing divers to admire two levels of beautiful stalactites. Along the opening of the main entrance, trunks and branches reach into the water. It is here where on a sunny day a stunning laser light show takes place. Chac-Mool is one of the Caverns which has a Halocline. This is where salt and fresh come together creating fascinating visual effects. With its large rooms and and maximum depth of 12m, Chac Mool is perfect for any novice Cavern Diver. It also offers long penetration for Cave Divers and is home to the largest underwater stalactite in the world.

 

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Travel Information 

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How to Get There -  The Cancun International Airport is the main gate of entrance to Riviera Maya, and it is served by all major international airlines with direct or non-stop service from many places around the world. From the airport, there are several transportation services like shuttles and taxis providing convenient and safe airport transfers to any location in the Riviera Maya. In the southeast corner of Terminal 2 there is a bus service from the airport to Playa del Carmen. The bus departs every 30 minutes from 5:00 hrs to 1:00 hrs. The trip takes about 50 minutes. Other option is to get to Cozumel Airport and take a modern ferry to Playa del Carmen
 
How to Dive Riviera Maya -  Resorts, liveaboards and dive centers are available. There are facilities, instructors and equipment rentals at Playa del Carmen, Xcaret, Paamul, Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, Kantenah, Chemuyil Xcacel and Akumal, known as a diver’s paradise.
 

Weather -  The rainy season is from May through October and the dry season is November through April. May and June have the highest humidity. June through October is hurricane season.

 

Topside & Non-Diving Activities

✓ Swim by the archeological site located by the Sea, Tulum

✓ Visit one of world’s most amazing theme parks in Xcaret

✓ Snorkeling in the world’s largest natural aquarium: Xel-Ha

✓ Experience Akumal’s silky beaches

✓ Explore the Mayan caves in Aktun Chen

✓ Visit bars, shops and restaurants in Playa del Carmen

✓ Tour around Mayan villages

✓ Visit the Biosphere Reserve of Sia Ka’an to see one of the greatest biodiversity in the world

✓ Experience the Mayan spa treatment in Riviera Maya

✓ Enjoy a cosmopolitan and exciting nightlife with a wide range of restaurants

✓Enjoy great shopping experience at modern shopping malls or traditional and colorful markets

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Other Useful Information 

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Currency: Mexican Pesos
Language: Spanish, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
Time Zone: EST-05:00
Electricity: 110-120 volts, 60hz

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Underwater Gallery 

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