Ready to “swim with the fishes” as you enjoy some of the best snorkeling in Mexico? And I mean in the “fun vacation way”, not in the, “I’m a dangerous member of the mob” way.
Because with a tropical climate, pristine beaches, and stunning coral reefs, it’s no small wonder that Mexico is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world.
However, Mexico is BIG. Like, straight up this country goes on forever big. So, it can be hard to know where to go for the best snorkeling Mexico has to offer.
After all, you don’t want to travel all the way to the best beaches in Cancun just to find that, oh hey, the best snorkeling in Cancun is kind of crap (it’s not but you know what I mean).
So, rather than guess which spots might be good and which spots might be overrated, here is a definitive list of the best snorkeling spots in Mexico.
This way, you can quickly and easily get off the beaten path and plan the Mexico snorkeling vacay of your dreams.
After all, I’ve been to Mexico more times than I can count (easy since I’m just a hop across the border) and want to help you see Mexico like a local, not a tourist.
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Unsure of the best snorkeling in Mexico tour for you? 🤿 Then book this whale shark snorkleing tour in La Paz. It’s a once in a lifetime experience you don’t want to miss! 🦈
Best snorkeling in Mexico – Yucatán Peninsula
⭐️ Rating: 4.3/5.0 (26 Reviews) Price: $58 per person Duration: 4.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Front Desk of Aquaworld Operator: Aquaworld Cancun Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Speaking of the best snorkeling in Cancun…Now, MUSA might not be the only example of an underwater museum in the world.
But, as the only one in the country, MUSA offers some of the best snorkeling in Mexico.
“From the moment we walked in the door at AquaWorld, we were impressed and had a great time! I highly recommend AquaWorld for all of your water sports fun! We were treated with the upmost respect and the whole crew was very professional. We will definitely make reservations with AquaWorld for some snorkeling during our next trip to Cancun!!!”Katherine (read more reviews now)
It’s also located just off the Cancun Hotel Zone, showcasing around 500 sculptures, resting on the seafloor.
Crafted from cement and iron rebar, the installation was created to support marine life. However, it’s only possible to visit as part of a Snorkeling Tour at MUSA.
|One of the most unique snorkel spots in the world||Tours are subject to a $15 per person dock fee|
|Tour includes Manchones Reef – the habitat of sea turtles and rays||Not all galleries/statues are accessible to snorkelers|
2. Isla Mujeres
⭐️ Rating: 4.1/5.0 (498 Reviews) Price: $27 per person Duration: 10 hours 📍Meeting Point: Marina Las Perlas Operator: Amigo Tours LATAM Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
A short boat ride from Cancun, Isla Mujeres dazzles with aquamarine waters and white sand beaches.
In fact, you can wade with your snorkel into the shallows off Playa Norta – one of the prettiest beaches in the world.
“It was AMAZING! The first day was cancelled because the weather, I was a little worried because I already had paid, but they gave me 2 options: re scheduled or return the money. During my adventure, everything was amazing, people really kind, happy, nice.. I enjoyed everything. Just I would say that before snorkeling, explaining how to use the snorkel, bc not everybody has done that before.”Natalia (read more reviews now)
Here, you’ll see a variety of corals and colorful fish.
And while you can plan your own jaunt over via public boat, it’s far more fun with a catamaran.
Especially since this Isla Mujeres Catamaran Tour with Lunch and Open Bar cherry picks the loveliest beaches and includes snorkel spots.
|Upgrading to a premium tour reduces the group size||Snorkeling is dependent on the weather|
|Easy to reach with or without a tour||Beaches get crowded|
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (126 Reviews) Price: $60 per person Duration: 4 hours 📍Meeting Point: Cozumel Snorkel Center Operator: Cozumel Snorkel Center Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Also known for being one of the safest cities in Mexico, Cozumel is where you’ll find more of the best snorkeling in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula – at least if you’re keen to head offshore.
See, the island of Cozumel (Mexico’s third-largest) drifts off the coast from Playa del Carmen.
This is where you’ll find Playa el Cielo – the subject of millions of desktop wallpapers around the world.
Now, Cozumel is widely regarded for its epic scuba diving. However, the Cozumel snorkeling is just as solid.
“Wonderful experience. The guides were knowledgeable, professional and made the excursion an awesome trip. We were able to see turtles, sting ray, and starfish. We loved every second of the trip.”Sherry (read more reviews now)
Because from Playa el Cielo (Heaven Beach), you’ll be able to see starfish, stingrays, manta rays, and tropical fish.
Plus, you can always join this Cozumel Turtle Sanctuary Snorkel Tour to check out this awesome safe haven for green turtles.
|Cozumel snorkeling with turtles and giant starfish||As a large island, it can be overwhelming to visit for a day unless you join a tour to handle getting around|
|Crystal-clear water and dreamy beaches|
4. Playa Akumal
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (31 Reviews) Price: $100 per person Duration: 6-12 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pick up from your hotel included Operator: Ocean Tours Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Now, “Akumal” legit means “the land of the turtles.” So, that kinda gives you a clue as to why Akumal gives you the best snorkeling in Mexico with turtles.
“We loved this experience. The communication before the pick up time was very clear and it was overall very organized. We ended up being first to get to the spots and we were able to see sea, turtles and stingrays and lots of colorful fish. Also, the cenote’s were beautiful and our guide was very knowledgeable and a lot of fun. I highly recommend this tour if you want to snorkel and see cenotes.”Shelby (read more reviews now)
FYI: this resort is also where you’ll find some of the dreamiest all-inclusive Tulum resorts for adults only.
So, dive in from the beach or sign up for this Cenotes and Snorkeling with Turtles excursion.
Because it 100% guarantees a sighting of 3 of the world’s 7 sea turtle species!
Additionally, you’re also likely to spot reef fish and stingrays too.
|Turtle sighting guaranteed||Because the beach is a national park, you’ll need to pay an admission fee|
|Quieter than central Tulum||Beware of vendors selling unregulated tours near the entrance|
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (19 Reviews) Price: $166 per person Duration: 6 hours 📍Meeting Point: Dive Shop “Agua Clara Diving Tulum” Operator: Agua Clara Diving Tulum Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
I mean, you can’t talk about the best snorkeling in Mexico without mentioning a cenote or two, now can you? Good! Glad we agree.
Because the Yucatán Peninsula is brimming over with these mysterious sinkholes filled with water.
And Cenote Dos Ojos offers one of the coolest swimming conditions. After all, this “two-eyed” cenote is connected to an underwater channel.
“Just in one word: exceptional It is the third time that I come to the Riviera Maya and it is the first time that I do an excursion of this type. We are 3 adults and we had the 4 cenotes to ourselves in the middle of the jungle. We have done zip lines and canoes with a spectacular view. We have also eaten typical food in a Mayan village and the entire excursion accompanied by our guide Jose who explained life in the jungle to us. I highly recommend it.”Coralie (read more reviews now)
So, as you glide through the water, keep your eyes peeled for teeny fish who reside in the caverns.
And while you can visit these sunken marvels independently, it’s also possible to book a multi-cenote escapade.
In particular, this thrilling Four-Cenote Adventure includes a snorkel rental, zip-lining, and lunch.
|Ethereal, otherworldly swimming experience||Swimming in this cenote be a little scary for little kids|
|Life jackets (mandatory) are provided to all visitors||Prone to crowding due to its popularity as a diving spot|
A short drive north of Akumal, Yal-Kú is an open cenote and lagoon teeming with tropical fish of all shapes and sizes.
It’s also a popular day trip from Tulum that appeals to both couples and families alike.
Therefore, it’s wise to grab a Yal-Kú Park Admission Ticket in advance.
Then, once you’re in, you can spend a whole day soaking up the scenery and moving between the water and the hammocks.
|Tons of fish||Very busy|
|An easy day trip from Tulum and Playa del Carmen with fantastic amenities on-site||Inclement weather can lead to temporary closure when the current picks up|
7. Gran Cenote
Another double cenote, this time closer to Tulum Pueblo, Gran Cenote offers some of the best snorkeling in Mexico with turtles.
Yes, even turtles dwell in these mystifying sinkholes.
Gobbled up by the Mayan jungle, Gran Cenote is also a wonderland oasis of greenery that is filled with emerald-colored water that catches the sunlight.
In addition, you’ll likely spot bats, iguanas, birds, and fish aplenty in this open cenote.
All in all, this is one of the best places near Tulum for wildlife encounters.
|Wide variety of marine life and nature||Allow time to wash your hair before leaping in – it’s mandatory|
|Close to Tulum: no tour is needed||Gets crowded|
Rating: 5.0/5.0 (2 Reviews) Price: $237 per person Duration: 6 hours 📍Meeting Point: Dive Shop “Agua Clara Diving Tulum” Operator: Agua Clara Diving Tulum Details: Read more on Get Your Guide now!
Situated south of Tulum, Sian Ka’an means the “gate of heaven.” Which, when you see the lush greenery and coastal lagoons, you’ll totally understand.
“Alberto was a wonderful guide and we enjoyed our trip immensely. He was knowledgeable and friendly. I would recommend him to anyone looking to understand Mayan culture and environmental biodiversity!”Karen (read more reviews now)
Now, the reserve is home to a wide variety of dolphins, marine turtles, and up to 500 different species of fish.
So, if you want to get in the pristine water of Sian Ka’an, you’ll need to book a snorkeling expedition.
And this Sian Ka’an Lagoons and Cenote Escondido Tour focuses on the canals and lagoons
|Swimming with wild dolphins is a possibility||Sian Ka’an tours veer on the pricey side|
|Reserve is a mix of Mayan heritage sites and biodiversity|
Best snorkeling in Mexico – Baja California Sur
9. Land’s End
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (111 Reviews) Price: $90.56 per person Duration: 3.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Hotel Pick-up Operator: Cabo Outfitters Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Marking the spot where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, Land’s End is home to various rock formations and marine life and is a great place to check out after visiting deserts in Mexico.
For example, the Arch of Cabo San Lucas and the top-snorkel spot, Neptune’s Finger.
“AMAZING adventure! A must-spectacular views, great snorkeling. Our guides, Casey the owner and Luis his assistant were great! Knowledge, informative and fun! This is a must do!!! I will book with them again for any of their adventures!!! No experience needed – they take care of everything- just show up and have a great time!!!”Camille (read more reviews now)
Furthermore, you can sneak a peak at a ray or two at Lover’s Beach or Divorce Beach.
However, the best way to see the sights is by kayak. Therefore, this Arch and Lover’s Beach Kayaking + Snorkeling Trip gives you the chance to explore the cliffs and see some underwater creatures too.
|Kayak past a sea lion colony||Moderate kayaking required: participants need a decent fitness level|
|The tour includes a safety briefing|
⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5.0 (6 Reviews) Price: $181 per person Duration: 9 hours 📍Meeting Point: Pick up included Operator: Cabo Outfitters Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Overlooking the Gulf of California, Cabo Pulmo offers watery explorers a mix of snorkeling and diving.
Termed “the aquarium of the world” by Jacque Cousteau, you might even encounter a bull shark.
“Great day, Casey had every aspect of the trip planned, no glitches. The drive to Cabo Pulmo went by quickly as Casey shared his knowledge of the area. Kayaking to the snorkel spot was just long enough. We spent 2 1/2 hours snorkeling the area! Lunch was waiting for us and delicious. I appreciated that it had been preplanned. Exhilarated and happily exhausted most of us slept on the way back to our respective hotels.”Margie (read more reviews now)
But, rest assured – they’re friendly. So, book this epic Cabo Pulmo Marine Park Snorkeling and Kayaking tour that is spread out across 4 hours.
Because once you’re outfitted with your very own mask, you can paddle around basking sea lions and hop in and out of the ocean too.
|Shark sightings are possible||Come prepared for around 4 hours of kayaking|
|Lunch in the highlighted tour is particularly good|
11. Playa Balandra
One of the most jaw-dropping beaches in Mexico, Playa Balandra is somewhere you’ll want to spend an entire day.
But, besides getting your daily dose of vitamin D, this sheltered cove is awesome spot where you’ll find some of the best snorkeling in Mexico.
Because, with shallow, crystal clear water you hardly even need to bother with a mask.
And with a backdrop filled with deserts and hills, Playa Balandra feels way more remote than it actually is.
|Easily accesible without a tour||Obviously, this is great for the environment. But, numbers are capped at 400 people at a time. So, you’ll need to visit between 8:00 am and 12:00 pm or between 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm.|
|Some of the safest and best snorkeling in Mexico for kids|
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (881 Reviews) Price: $121 per person Duration: 7 hours 📍Meeting Point: Maritime & Naval Bureau Operator: Sun Rider Tours Details: Read more on Viator Now!
A short boat ride away from La Paz is the UNESCO-protected Espiritú Santo National Park.
In fact, it’s a volcanic island where over 500 species of fish live off the untouched shore alongside playful sea lions.
“This was the most amazing tour I have ever been on! Snorkeling with the sea lions was a dream. I only wish we could have snorkeled in the water a little longer (we spent about 15-20 mins out). We then went to the most beautiful beach to have lunch and relax. Tour guides really give you a sense of the history on different areas. Very welcoming people and kept it interesting. You might even see a humpback whale, dolphins, and sea turtles. We were lucky enough to and guides went over and beyond to give us an amazing experience. Also, don’t skimp out of tipping your guides based on their service!!”Brie (read more reviews now)
Actually, you’re more than likely see them while swimming through the water, which is fine since they’re pretty mellow around snorkelers.
Plus, this Snorkeling Adventure at Espiritú Santo Island National Park lets you get up close without compromising their or your safety.
|A rare chance to snorkel with sea lions||Restrictions on the number of visitors are in place to protect the park. So, you’ll need to make a reservation well in advance|
|A striking island landscape is unlike anywhere else in Mexico|
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (369 Reviews) Price: $139.37 per person Duration: 2-3 hours 📍Meeting Point: Miguel L. de Legaspy SN-S THE DOCK CAFE Operator: MeXplore Details: Read more on Viator now!
The largest of all the sharks (and fish in general), whale sharks are gentle giants.
However, they can only be found in the shores off La Paz at select times of the year.
Therefore, if you visit the area in March or April, don’t miss the chance to join a Whale Shark snorkeling tour.
Actually, this activity only takes 8 participants at a time since they want to limit any negative impact on the whale sharks.
“Great time. The sharks are massive and impressive to see up close. A very special experience. Highly recommend. Maritza, our guide, was endlessly knowledgeable, patient, clear, enjoyed explaining and discussing all things marine biology. Captain Danny was very adept and with an impressive ability to spot the sharks from a long distance. Everything was smooth and enjoyable. Group size was pleasant. Couldn’t have asked for better.”Daniel (read more reviews now)
And with an expert marine biologist at your side, you’ll swim meters away from these magnificent marine creatures.
|A bucket list experience not to miss out on||Very limited availability (in order to keep the whale sharks safe)|
|Wetsuit, mask, snorkel, and fins are provided|
Best snorkeling in Mexico – Oaxaca
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (205 Reviews) Price: $35 per person Duration: 7 hours 📍Meeting Point: They pick you up at your hotel Operator: Lamby Tours Huatulco Details: Read more on Viator now!
Skimming the Oaxacan coastline, the Parque Nacional Huatulco consists of jungle trails, beaches, and coral reefs.
“Such a good time. We were glad we took the earlier time because we had time to snorkel before other tour boats arrived! Totally worth it!”Kathryn (read more reviews now)
But, due to its density, it’s really only accessible by boat. So, to make the most of your time here you’ll need to book a full-day Huatulco Bahías Tour.
After all, this trip includes ample free time for exploring and snorkeling independently.
Then, once in the water, you can expect to swim with turtles, moray eel, manta rays, and perhaps even a dolphin.
|Tours allow for solo exploration||Restaurants in the park are expensive so consider packing a lunch|
|Wide variety of marine life, like dolphins||Tour boats tend to be really crowded|
15. Playa la Entrega
Believe it or not, Playa la Entrega sits right next door Huatulco National Park.
It also nestled inside a protected bay that is easily accessible from the road and lined with restaurants where you can fuel up once you’re done snorkeling.
Plus, this beach offers some of the best snorkeling in Mexico for kids since there are minimal waves and the water is shallow.
Additionally, there are a few caves where you can float with the fish. You can even save some money by bringing your own parasol and snorkel masks.
|Great beachside amenities for a full day trip||Lounger and parasol rental is costly|
|Perfect for families||Beach gets super busy on the weekends|
Best snorkeling in Mexico – Jalisco
16. Islas Marieta
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (4 Reviews) Price: $124.52 per person Duration: 4.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: At the end of Proa Street, next to the ramp in Marina Vallarta Operator: Ecotours Vallarta Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Take a break from the party scene in Puerto Vallarta and maroon yourself on the Islas Marietas.
See, these uninhabited islands are 5 miles off the coast. Therefore, you’ll need to sign yourself up for a Marieta Islands Snorkeling Trip to get there.
“I highly recommend this tour! Michael and Raphael were great! Be sure to go early to have a better chance of actually getting into the hidden beach. (: LOVED the snorkeling too! Overall, a great time. No complaints.”Anonymous (read more reviews now)
In a nutshell, though, this national park reads like a who’s who of reef fish. Therefore, expect to befriend Moorish idols, giant damselfish, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, parrotfish, and balloonfish.
But, do watch out for those sea urchins.
|Selected tour includes guide service from a marine biologist||Surcharges will apply to cover the boarding, entrance, and conversation fees (approx. $7.50)|
|Possible you’ll see dolphins and turtles||Not suitable for non-swimmers|
⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (304 Reviews) Price: $80 per person Duration: 4 hours 📍Meeting Point: Mr. Cream Pancakes & Waffles Operator: Vallarta Natours Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Another national marine park off PV, Los Arcos offers visitors some of the most rugged but best snorkeling in Mexico.
And cruising and snorkeling past the craggy rocks, you’ll meet angelfish, eels, manta rays, sea urchins, and so much more.
Plus, this Small Group Snorkeling in Los Arcos Led by a marine biologist is both fascinating and exciting in equal measure.
“Was really grateful that we had our particular marine biologist guide and that we left at 9 o’clock in the morning to get to los Arcos before the hordes of people who got there at 11 o’clock. Loved it.”Julie (read more reviews now)
Plus, with a maximum capacity of 10 travelers, you’ll have plenty of chances to ask all the questions you like.
|The selected tour leaves early to avoid the late-morning crowds||Visibility is highly variable|
|Anticipate lots of time in the water due to restrictions on how close boats can sail to the islands||This tour is only offered on Mondays|
18. Playa Majahuitas
⭐️ Rating: 4.3/5.0 (38 Reviews) Price: $99 per person Duration: 7 hours 📍Meeting Point: TBD Operator: Vallarta Adventures SA de CV Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Reachable only by boat, Playa Majahuitas is a hidden oasis for protected marine wildlife.
So, unless you’re a mighty strong swimmer, you’ll need a tour to get here.
“Amazing views and wonderful time spent.”Yamilet (read more reviews now)
However, once on the private beach you can snorkel, swim, and paddleboard to your heart’s content.
Plus, if you book this Yelapa Waterfall & Majahuitas Snorkel Adventure you also get to visit one of the coolest waterfalls in the region too.
|Humpback whale sightings are common in winter||Port fees are payable before departure|
|Snorkeling in Playa Majahuitas is the true castaway experience||Vendors near Yelapa Waterfall can be a little persistent|
Best snorkeling in Mexico – Guerrero
19. Playa las Gatas
⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (61 Reviews) Price: $75 per person Duration: 5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Hotel pick up and drop off Operator: Luis de la Maza Ixtapa Zihuatanejo tours Details: Read more on Viator Now!
Now, Playa las Gatas (Beach of the Cats) possibly earned its name due to the whiskery nurse sharks that once lingered off the shore.
“Our guide was awesome. Super friendly and knowledgeable. Very fun trip, would recommend for all skill levels.”Richard (read more reviews now)
Although, these days the nurse sharks have moved on. Even so, this beach in Zihuatanejo, Guerrero, delights with its shoals filled with a kaleidoscope of fish.
In fact, this is some of the best snorkeling in Mexico right off the beach.
However, this family-friendly Las Gatas Kayaking and Snorkeling Tour gives you a more immersive experience overall.
|Lovely conditions for kids and non-swimmers||Lots of coral so water shoes are highly recommended|
|Round out your snorkeling with a massage on the beach|
⭐️ Rating: 4.9/5.0 (11 Reviews) Price: $50 per person Duration: 4 hours 📍Meeting Point: Hotel pick up and drop off Operator: Assistour Acapulco – Day Tours Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!
Bobbing offshore in Acapulco Bay, Roqueta Island whisks you away from the popular beach resort.
And while speed boats depart from Caleta and Caletilla beaches regularly, it’s more typical to take a tour.
For example, this 4-Hour Roqueta Island Snorkeling with Lunch is limited to a few participants for more personalized service.
“A great day in Acapulco. Very personal service in a small group of 5 people. Many thanks to our tour guide “Mario” who made this day very special for us. The crew on the boat also took great care of everyone … In the end it was a little longer than 4 hours … we also saw the other highlights of Acapulco – thank you very much!”Maximillian (read more reviews now)
Plus, you can even enjoy a bespoke itinerary that takes you to hidden snorkeling spots.
Then, after getting up close and personal with parrotfish, damselfish, and moray eels, you’ll drift through coastal caves and unwind on the beaches of Roqueta.
|Tours are led by locals knowledgeable about reef fish||Roqueta is crowded at weekends|
|Island has rad hiking trails in addition to snorkeling||Restaurants on the island are hit and miss (but, the recommended tour includes lunch)|
Best Snorkeling in Mexico FAQ
What part of Mexico has the best snorkeling?
The part of Mexico with the best snorkeling in Cozumel. After all, this magical place is world-renowned for its bright blue water and for its close proximity to the Mesoamerican Reef.
In fact, this reef is an incredible area of biodiversity that is home to 105 unique corals and 262 different species of fish.
Is snorkeling good in Mexico?
Snorkeling and scuba diving are both excellent in Mexico. After all, the waters off the coast are teaming with vibrant fish and incredible sea life that you need to see to believe.
What is the best time of year to snorkel in Mexico?
The best time of year to snorkel in Mexico is between November and March. In particuliar, any time between November and January are exceptionally good since the water is coldest and averages 79°F.
Where is the most beautiful place to Snorkel?
Some of the most beautiful places to snorkel include:
- Baa Atoll, Maldives
- Maui, Hawaii
- Punta Mita, Mexico
- Koh Tao, Thailand
- Bora Bora
- Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Nusa Lembongan, Indonesia
Map of the Best Snorkeling in Mexico
Unsure of the best snorkeling in Mexico tour for you? 🤿 Then book this whale shark snorkleing tour in La Paz. It’s a once in a lifetime experience you don’t want to miss! 🦈