Scuba Diving in Cancun - Bluewater Dive Travel
Scuba Diving in Cancun

Scuba Diving in Cancun

scuba diving in cancun

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Cancun may be famous for its party beaches, but those who know, know that the real treasure of Cancun's beaches lies underwater; it's one of the most popular places to go scuba diving in Mexico. The Mexican beach town is an excellent destination for scuba diving thanks to its amazing underwater attractions. There is also a dedicated infrastructure in Cancun to support divers of all levels, from rental shops to tours to certification schools.

Plus, Cancun has plenty to do on land while you're drying off after scuba diving. Here is your guide to everything you need to know if you're planning to go scuba diving in Cancun.

scuba Diving in cancun Highlights

Whether you are diving underwater for the first time or an experienced diver, there will be something that will wow you in Cancun waters.

A must-visit for all divers to Cancun is the Museo Subaquatico del Arte, an underwater art museum. Divers can see several hundred statues designed for underwater display. Cancun's waters have other interesting sights—divers love exploring the many shipwrecks.

However, the natural wonders of Cancun rival any shipwrecks and statues. Cancun is home to part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, offering great coral reef diving opportunities. Plus, there are plenty of places you can dive with wildlife, such as Isla Mujeres, which is home to many shark species. 

Scuba diving in Cancun Scuba diving in Cancun 

Besides diving in the open sea, Cancun offers the unique opportunity to go scuba diving in cenotes, which are limestone sinkholes that are only found in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Read more about Mexico's best dive destinations.


Introduction to Scuba Diving in Cancun

Cancun is a popular scuba diving destination for a reason. First, it is the perfect place for divers of all levels. Beginners can go on organized, supervised dives to shallow sites, while there are also organized day excursions for experienced divers.

Cancun is also great if you want to further your dive education; many operators offer certification courses for beginners and advanced divers. These multi-day classes combine classroom sessions, pool work, and diving in open-water sites.

Due to the popularity of Cancun's dive sites, there is a vibrant community in the area. There are plenty of dive shops, beach bars for decompressing after a dive, and plenty of other enthusiastic scuba divers to trade tips and stories with.


Diving Season: October and November are the best months to visit the southern Sea of Cortez

Water Temperature: 72 to 84oF (24 to 28oC).

Difficulty: All levels of diving, although the offshore seamounts can experience rough swell so are suited to more experienced divers. 

Non-diving Activities: Snorkeling with whale sharks and sea lions is a great experience for non-divers, as well as wildlife and fishing excursions, and kayaking trips.

Nearest Airport: Manuel Márquez de León International Airport (LAP).

Scuba diving in Cancun Cancun

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When to Go Scuba Diving in Cancun  

Another reason so many divers flock to Cancun is that you can scuba dive nearly all year round. The most popular season is winter, from November to April. Temperatures are cooler but still much warmer than in the United States. This season is also when Cancun is the liveliest. Winter is also one of the best times to go scuba diving because that is when the marine life around Cancun is the most active.

However, November to April is extremely busy in Cancun. Divers in search of a quieter experience come during the rainy season, which runs from May to October. Cancun is not prone to all-day-long, heavy rains, so you can still find plenty of diving opportunities. Plus, the water is warm enough to sometimes skip the wetsuit while diving!

It's important to know that hurricane season in Cancun is in September and October. While Cancun usually doesn't get hit very hard with storms, booking during this time is risky because heavy rain could disrupt your diving plans.


Cancun Information

Before you go to Cancun, here is some basic information about the city itself.

Cancun is a city on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, near the southern border with Belize. It is a beach town located right on the Caribbean Sea. Cancun is famous for its pristine beaches and affordable accommodation, which has made it a popular destination for young visitors, particularly from the United States.

Cancun has a party reputation, but it is still possible to have a quiet, nature-focused vacation in the town if you know where to go and stay. The town's infrastructure is well prepared for visitors, so divers can enjoy a great stay with all the creature comforts they're accustomed to.


Popular Dive Sites

One of the most popular dive sites in Cancun is the Museum of Underwater Art, mentioned above. The underwater sculptures offer a unique diving experience for divers of all levels. The site is achieving its goal: to take pressure off some of Cancun's other dive sites.

Cancun is also home to many shipwrecks that are popular diving destinations. If you can only do one, visit the El Frio wreck. Most suitable for advanced divers, the sunken L-shaped wreck is home to a wealth of marine wildlife. 

No trip to Cancun is complete without a visit to one of the many reefs in the waters around the area. Anywhere in the bay (between Cancun and Isla Mujeres) will yield a wealth of reefs, but one of the most popular is Manchones Reef, which is within the protected park and has an underwater statue, plenty of fish, and lots of coral heads.


Marine Life

One of the main reasons divers come to Cancun is that the city is home to many opportunities for diving with marine life. The reefs are rich with colorful tropical fish, but Cancun also has areas for those in search of bigger animals.

Cancun is a prime spot to dive with sharks. In the winter, the areas around Cancun and Playa del Carmen are home to bull sharks. Summer visitors can swim with whale sharks, a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with these gentle giants. 

Other popular marine animals are rays. Experienced divers can visit Secret Manta Valley, a manta cleaning station full of rays. C-58, another popular wreck site, is home to many eagle rays in the winter.


Diving Conditions

Diving conditions in Cancun are great year-round. In the winter, temperatures are "only" 76-79 degrees; 3mm wetsuits are all divers need to be comfortable. In the summer, water temperatures are in the 80s; divers only need to wear rash guards or short wetsuits to protect from the sun and jellyfish.

Visibility in Cancun is also stunning all year round. Some measurements say that in the clear water, you can see almost 100m. Visibility in the cenotes is over 100m.

Water visibility in Cancun

Cancun has many dive sites of varying difficulty levels. Tour operators will specify if they want divers to have experience before joining a group, so check before you go. Some sites, such as Secret Manta Valley and El Frio, have currents that may be too challenging for beginner divers.


The Best Time to Go Scuba Diving in Cancun

The best time to go scuba diving in Cancun is between November and April because there is the most marine life—as long as you don't mind the crowds! Those in search of a quieter experience should go in late spring or early summer when the crowds die down, but the hurricanes haven't hit yet.


How to Get to Cancun

Getting to Cancun is very easy. The city has its own international airport with direct flights to many major American and Canadian cities. You can also fly into Mexico City and then catch a connecting flight.


How to Dive in Cancun

Diving in Cancun is pretty easy. Many tour operators book group excursions, offer day trips for beginner divers and even offer certification. Going with a group is the best way to ensure you don't miss out. Research operators beforehand and check out customer reviews to find the right one.


Other Things to Do in Cancun 

When you need a break from diving, there are plenty of other things to see in Cancun. If you want to stay near the water, you can relax on one of the many famous beaches, such as Playa Delfines. 

Cancun is famous for its nightlife and vibrant party scene, and even if that's not typically your thing, you should at least check it out. The Zona Hotelera is home to many lively bars, clubs, and restaurants. During the day, check out La Isla Shopping Village for some of the best shopping in the area.

Finally, the entire Yucatan Peninsula is a treasure trove of Mayan culture. Visit the Mayan Museum of Cancun to learn more about the culture. Getting to nearby archeological sites like El Rey is very easy. If you're in the mood to get out of the city, the famous and ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza is not that far away.


How Safe Is Diving in Cancun?

Scuba diving in Cancun is very safe! In general, scuba diving is a safe sport as long as you stay within the limits of your training and always follow best practices. Conditions in Cancun are conducive to safe diving for people of all levels.

To ensure safety, make sure you dive with a reputable tour operator. The right one should take care of customer safety and vet divers to ensure they have the right experience level for an excursion.

Thanks to the gorgeous sites, developed diving infrastructure, and beautiful, nearly year-round conditions, Cancun is a great place to go scuba diving. 

Contact our team of expert dive travel agents today by emailing if you have any questions or want to book a scuba diving trip to Cancun! 

Cenote diving Cancun Cenote diving


Diving Conditions

  • Water Temperatures: 
  • Average 80oF (27oC) during the summer months.
  • Difficulty: All levels of diving, and also great snorkeling.
  • Visibility: 50 - 115 feet (15 - 35m)
  • Non-diving Activities: Marine-life snorkeling safaris, watersports, adventure activities



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Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: Mexican Peso (MXN)
  • Language: Spanish is the official language in Mexico but most people today learn English as a second language
  • Time Zone: UTC-7
  • Electricity: 127 V 60 Hz

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