Everything you need to know about snorkeling in Cancun

No trip to Cancun is complete without exploring the underwater wonders of this stunning part of the world. The good news is there are plenty of options to choose from, and there is something for every swimming ability. If you’re planning a snorkeling trip while here on vacation but you’re not sure where you can do this, you’ve come to the right place because, in this post, we’ll share everything you need to know about snorkeling in Cancun and some of the best places to do it.

When is the best time to snorkel in Cancun?

With picturesque weather year-round, there isn’t a bad time to go snorkeling in Cancun however, March through to August features warm weather and ideal conditions for snorkeling. If you want to snorkel with nurse sharks or whale sharks, the trip is often at night time.

How safe is it to snorkel in Cancun?

When you are going out with a professional tour company, you can have confidence knowing that snorkeling in Cancun is extremely safe and a great day out. This is because they take guests to snorkel suitable locations where the water is calm. They also have all the necessary equipment such as life jackets, and boat crew spotting snorkelers as they are in the water. Snorkeling tour companies have access to some of the best locations, and you’re likely to have the greatest experience when booking with a professional guide.

People who tend to get into trouble when snorkeling in Cancun are those who go out on their own not knowing the current or area.

Top tips for snorkeling in Cancun

  1. Ensure your sunscreen is reef safe. This is readily available in Cancun, and it can help reduce preventable damage to the reef’s ecosystem.
  2. Be respectful when snorkeling. Avoid kicking your flippers downwards, and don’t touch coral and sea life. This keeps them safe and you too.
  3. Most snorkeling tour companies charge a reef preservation fee of $12 USD per person. So make sure you’ve got this handy if you haven’t already paid for it.

Where are the best spots to snorkel in Cancun?

There are tonnes of snorkeling options available to you in Cancun, and the one that is best suited to you will depend on what you want to see. Here are some great choices to help you decide:

MUSA Cancun’s Underwater Museum

This underwater spectacle is sure to be unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s not like a regular reef, instead, it features a selection of man-made sculptures. They were purposely placed here to promote coral growth and to reduce the number of people visiting natural snorkeling sites to take pressure off the local reefs. These sculptures have been underwater now since 2009, and there are three galleries in total, Punta Nizac, Punta Sam, and Manchones. Manchones is usually reserved for dives only as they are too deep to see clearly from the surface of the water. Punta Nizac is a crowd favorite as it has both a natural reef and a museum.

Puerto Morelos

Around 12 miles from Cancun, you’ll come across the tiny town of Puerto Morelos. Situated around 400 meters from the shores is a stunning stretch of reef that provides perfect conditions for a day of snorkeling. Local residents of this reef include an abundance of colorful fish and coral, sea turtles, rays, and barracudas. You can’t snorkel from the shore anymore, you have to book through a tour. Be sure to do this in advance to avoid disappointment.


Xel-Ha is a must-do when visiting Cancun. It offers freshwater lagoons and inlets that connect to the ocean. There is an abundance of marine life to be seen here. Be sure to allow a whole day to visit as there is so much to see and do. You can observe 360-degree views from the lighthouse, 131 ft up, and once you’re finished taking in the glorious sights, you can descend via its waterslide. There are bars, restaurants, and both land and water activities. There is something for everyone, and you’re guaranteed to have a fun-filled day here.


This place is well-known for its spectacular diving and snorkeling. With various sites, vibrant marine life, and shipwrecks, you could spend hours on end here and not get bored. Several tours head here daily, some include a trip to Chankanaab park which has the world’s only inland reef and features turquoise waters, and it is brimming with sea life.

How much does snorkeling cost in Cancun?

The price of snorkeling depends on which tour you book and where; however, the cost typically ranges from $50 USD to $120 USD per person.

Ready to book your snorkeling trip?

We’ve only mentioned a few of the many snorkeling options available around the Cancun area. Before booking, it is a good idea to do your research first to ensure you are choosing the ultimate trip for you. Another spectacular way to discover the various underwater wonderlands in Cancun is by booking a yacht charter trip. You can be wined and dined while being transported to some of the most prestigious locations.

If this is something that you’d be interested in, contact us here at Riviera Charters, we have a luxurious fleet and can help you to create the trip of your dreams. We have something for every vacation and budget.

Izzy Casey

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