Best Snorkeling Beaches In Cancun, Mexico

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Cancun is among the most beautiful places in the world. The crystal clear, pristine beaches are perfect for swimming and exploring, the vacation locations are stunning, and there is much to do on the mainland, but the best part about Cancun is the snorkeling. Many are interested in snorkeling here, so let’s take the time to find out more about snorkeling in this unique location.

Snorkeling in Cancun is wonderful. The water is clean, clear, calm, and warm. Special marine life sightings, including whale sharks and turtles, happen in the waters of Cancun. There are several snorkeling locations here, such as an underwater museum, several beautiful reefs, and coastal islands.

Many people visit Cancun several times, drawn to return again and again by the beautiful experience of snorkeling here. There are many locations to visit and so many wonderful experiences to be had while snorkeling in Cancun that there are too many for one trip. Let’s explore some of the best snorkeling locations in Cancun and learn what makes snorkeling here so special.

Snorkeling In Cancun

There are few snorkeling locations in the world that are as spectacular as Cancun. There are many fantastic snorkeling locations here that are unlike any other in the world. Snorkeling here is truly something special.

The waters of Cancun are stunning and clear. The water is so clear, in fact, that even during nighttime excursions, there is much to see in the waters of the Cancun coastline.

The shoreline of Cancun is full of areas for snorkeling, and many visitors simply walk from their hotel into the ocean and enjoy snorkeling the clear waters and exploring the white sands. 

There is not much to see regarding marine life directly from the sandy beaches, but the further out toward the reefs you swim, the more you will find. However, the best way to experience snorkeling in Cancun is to join a guided snorkeling tour.

Utilizing a guided tour and the local knowledge of an expert provides a much better snorkeling experience, as a snorkeling tour will take you directly to the very best snorkeling locations, and the guide will help you navigate the area safely.

The fact that the best snorkeling locations are typically best accessed by boat and with a tour means that the unfortunate truth of snorkeling in Cancun is that the best snorkeling experiences are not free. However, the cost is worthwhile once you experience the magnificence of snorkeling in Cancun for yourself.

Cancun is home to a myriad of marine life found living in and around the many coral reefs present in the area. There are many small creatures to find, as well as some gentle giants that frequent the warm waters of Cancun.

Some marine life experiences are possible only in Cancun and nowhere else in the world, and these experiences alone make snorkeling in Cancun worthwhile.

The stunning wildlife experiences, the beautiful sights, the clear waters, magnificent beaches, and the unforgettable memories made in Cancun make this the perfect location for anyone who enjoys snorkeling and spending time in pristine oceans.

What Makes Snorkeling In Cancun Special?

We have covered much about the snorkeling experience in Cancun already, and we have established that this is area is a stunning snorkeling location, but what makes snorkeling in Cancun special compared to other snorkeling hotspots throughout the world?

Snorkeling in Cancun is made special by the marine life, night snorkeling excursions, the condition of the water in the area, the island accessible from Cancun, and the well-executed tours provided by local operators.

We will go more in-depth into the snorkeling tour operations of Cancun and the marine life present in the waters here a little later in this article, but they are worth mentioning now as well. 

There are simply no better snorkeling tours available than those in Cancun, and the marine life experiences and sightings when snorkeling in Cancun are truly something special. The tour operators make snorkeling here simple, safe, and fun, while the marine sightings are unlike anywhere else in the world.

Another special aspect of snorkeling in Cancun is simply the water. The water is warm, gentle, and as clear as water should be. This allows for very comfortable, safe, and interesting snorkeling excursions, and the visibility provides excellent sightings of sea creatures, plants, and other underwater attractions.

The clear water also makes it safe to snorkel at night, which is another special aspect of snorkeling in Cancun. Bioluminescent snorkeling is a major aspect of snorkeling here, as there are bioluminescent microbes in some of the waters in Cancun that are completely safe and harmless, but when disturbed, they glow with a bright light clearly visible at night.

Cancun is also near to multiple offshore islands that are ideal for snorkeling but not accessible except by boat. These islands are worth the trip, as they hold many secrets and experiences for snorkelers that are not available anywhere else.

In short, snorkeling in Cancun is a special experience, and anyone who enjoys the ocean, snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, or marine life will find themselves thoroughly enjoying a snorkeling adventure in this wonderful place.

Cancun Snorkeling Tours

Emphasizing the tour operators of a certain region is not commonly done when exploring special locations famed for a specific activity because most tour operators take advantage of clients and can be difficult to work with. This is not the case in Cancun.

The snorkeling tour operators in Cancun are excellent, professional, knowledgeable, respectful, and they truly care about the area in which they work and the people that they are hosting.

It is difficult to find any tour operators better than those running snorkeling operations in Cancun. The guides understand the waters, the reefs, and the marine life present at every location. The guides happily explain everything that they see while guiding tourists through the chosen snorkeling locations.

These tour guides take snorkelers to the perfect snorkeling locations and keep them safe while they explore, and expertly answer every question thrown at them with grace and ease.

Not enough can be said about the professionalism of the snorkeling tour guides in Cancun. They are safe to utilize and well worth the cost.

Marine Life Seen While Snorkeling In Cancun 

Some of the most spectacular marine species in the world reside in the waters of Cancun. Snorkeling is among the best ways to experience and view the marine life here and offers some of the most exhilarating experiences possible anywhere.

Some of the most notable marine species found in Cancun are the whale sharks and the turtles present in the area. Whale shark snorkeling excursions are commonly done in Cancun during the whale shark season, and there is nothing like swimming alongside these gentle giants of the deep.

Turtles in Cancun are also often seen, especially between May and September, and many species make their nests and lay eggs on the beaches of Cancun and the nearby islands. These creatures are a special sighting even for the locals of the area. The turtles are endangered but available for viewing, and the sight is one that you will never forget.

Whale sharks and turtles are not the only notable marine species visible in Cancun. There are several species to see here that are worth looking for, and every snorkeling trip is highlighted by sighting these creatures.

Some of the notable marine life spotted while snorkeling in Cancun includes:

  • Whale Sharks
  • Hawkbill Turtles
  • Green Turtles
  • Loggerhead Turtles
  • Barracudas
  • Various Stingrays
  • Boxfish
  • Starfish
  • Ange Fish
  • Surgeon Fish
  • Various Seahorses
  • Splendid Toad Fish
  • Nurse Sharks
  • Caribbean Reef Sharks
  • Bull Sharks
  • Moray Eels
  • Mahi Mahi
  • While Marin
  • Blue Marlin
  • Wahoo Fish
  • Manatees
  • Box Jellyfish

These are only the most notable species found in Cancun. There is a myriad of other fish, creatures, plants, corals, and marine life to find and enjoy in the water of Cancun.

6 Incredible Cancun Snorkeling Locations

Cancun is known worldwide for its incredibly snorkeling locations, but this is a large area, and there are many locations to explore, so which are the best? The truth is that there are some snorkeling locations that stand out from the rest. Let’s explore the best snorkeling locations in Cancun.

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is technically not within Cancun, but this island is only a very short boat trip away, and the trip alone offers some of the best snorkeling opportunities possible. 

The waters between mainland Cancun and the Isla Mujeres are where snorkelers are most likely to encounter whale sharks, and tour operators allow snorkelers to leave the boat to swim with these massive creatures.

After the whale shark encounters, Isla Mujeres is home to one of the most active and beautiful coral reef systems in the area. The water is clear, warm, and gentle, and the snorkeling here is highly enjoyable for snorkelers of every skill level.

Plenty of marine life is to be seen here, and the island offers many places for shopping and several good restaurants to enjoy as well.

Museo Subacuático de Arte

Do not be put off by the difficult to pronounce the name of this snorkeling location. The name is in Spanish and translates to The Underwater Museum Of Art.

This underwater museum is one of the very best locations for snorkeling in all of Cancun for several reasons. The biggest reason is that this location is home to more than 500 statues and sculptures that have been placed underwater for snorkelers to view and enjoy.

The sea and the creatures within it have claimed these sculptures as their own and are now teeming with life and home to many various sea creatures.

This special museum was developed to protect the natural reefs of Cancun by giving snorkelers and divers another location to explore and allowing the local government to close certain reefs for conservation purposes without compromising the attraction that is snorkeling and scuba diving in Cancun. 

The statues and sculptures also provide a home for many marine species in the waters here, which is sorely needed due to the diminishing natural habitat of many species here.

This is a spectacular snorkeling location and should be visited by every snorkeler who visits Cancun. 

Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos is a special snorkeling location due to the experiences to be had in the area. This area is a favorite and vital breeding ground for sea turtles, which means that during the months of May to September, turtle sightings are almost guaranteed here.

There are several locations here where the turtles can be seen, but they are quite remote are require an experienced guide to reach safely.

The snorkeling here is exceptional, and aside from the turtles, there are a great many marine animals to see. Puerto Morelos is also an ideal location for night snorkeling, as several species of bioluminescent fish are present here, which are spectacular to see.

As do most snorkeling locations in Cancun, Puerto Morelos is also the site of several cantinas, restaurants, and a great flea market. There is a lot to experience at this wonderful place, and snorkeling is only part of it, albeit a significant part.

Punta Nizuc

Punta Nizuc is a favorite snorkeling location because it is the closest offshore location that is close to the hotel zone within Cancun. However, this is only one of the reasons why this location is so favored among snorkelers.

The waters of Punta Nizuc are calm and clear, and the snorkeling is good for swimmers of all ages and skill levels. Sea turtles, starfish, urchins, lobsters, eagle rays, and a great myriad of tropical fish as visible here, along with beautiful coral reefs and underwater gardens.

This snorkeling location is easy to get to and is among the most beautiful places to snorkel in all of Cancun. 


Cancun is a truly special location for snorkelers, and there are experiences to be had here that simply do not occur anywhere else. The reefs, islands, underwater museum, and stunning natural features of Cancun are perfect for exploring while snorkeling.

If you are the person who enjoys a day in the water, who loves marine wildlife, interesting creatures, beautiful underwater visuals, and pristine waters, then snorkeling in Cancun is the perfect trip for you!