best places to dive in the mayan riviera - uncharted backpacker

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera – Mexico Diving

Discover the mesmerizing underwater wonders of the Mayan Riviera. Dive into our curated list of top diving spots in Mexico’s tropical paradise, where history and marine beauty intertwine.

Mexicos Caribbean Is famed for its world class diving. Unfortunately with its popularity, many get confused where and who to dive with. Here is a quick guide to get you to some of the best dive sites in the region. 

Cozumel – Mexico Diving

Just a twenty minute ferry ride from Playa Del Carmine is the island of Cozumel. Cozumel is relatively flat with palm fringed beaches and incredibly blue water. Why most come here however is for the scuba as it is located on part of the second largest coral reef system in the world. 

Santa Rosa Wall

Santa Rosa is a steep, vertical wall with many swim-through caves to explore. 

It is best to explore this site as a first dive reaching maximum depths of between 80 and 100 feet, with many of the swim-throughs between 50 and 80 feet. 

It’s not uncommon to see sharks and Eagle Rays here! 

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera - Mexico Diving


South of Santa Rosa Wall is Cedral.  Cedral reef covers a large area of Cozumel, it features steep walls, sloping dunes, an amazing shallow reef, and a bewildering variety of marine life. 

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera - Mexico Diving

Cozumels famed giant Coral and sponge cover the dramatic walls as far down as you can see in the crystal clear blue water, the colorful shallow reef is between 50 and 30 feet, making it a great dive site for all kinds of divers. 

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera - Mexico Diving

Palancar Reef

Most dive sites in Cozumel are characterized by sloping steep walls and colorful shallow reefs. Palancar, however you we will see Cozumel’s famous, large coral pinnacles. 

The pinnacles are outstanding! Not to mention the large marine life in the area. We saw many eagle rays here. 

Bull Sharks in Playa del Carmine 

If you’re lucky enough to be in Playa during Bullshark season then I highly recommend diving with them. 

It’s a relatively easy dive, you drop down to around 60 feet and have a chain to hold onto as the current is incredibly strong. 

Out of the blue Bull sharks begin to emerge and sometimes even get within a few feet of you! This is an amazing Mexico Diving!

Salty Endeavours Dive Shop 

For Cozumel and diving with bullsharks I recommend Salty Endeavours. The groups you go out with are small, making the experience much better than some of the other dive shops. All the guides I was with knew exactly what kind of diving I was looking for, trust me, this is the only dive shop I would go with in the area! 

Cenote Diving 

Descending deep into the Mayan underworld in Mexico’s, Yucatan Peninsula. There are around 6000 Cenotes here, each with their own unique characteristics. It’s easy to see why the Mayans considered them gateways to different worlds. 

The Pit 

The Mayans believed that Cenotes were the entrance to another realm. After diving here I have the same feeling. 

The moment you enter the cenote, you notice a calmness. It is absolutely silent, apart from the clicking of an odd bat or drip of water. 

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera - Mexico Diving

This tranquility continues as you descend into the dark blue waters. At around 70 feet, you reach the “Halocine.” A cloud that separates the fresh water from salt water. Your vision becomes blurred, and you must adjust your buoyancy. as good as Mexico Diving gets!

Dos Ojos 

Dos Ojos is an entirely different world! Here you start in a smaller cavern and enter its large cave doorway. Going slowly you pass by incredible underwater stalagmites and you even pop up in a cavern where you can hear bats everywhere! 


Descending into the dark blue depths of what the Mayans believed to be the entrance to the under realm was something in all my years of traveling I have never felt before.

Nearing 100 feet into this new realm, a cloud emerged with a graveyard of trees protruding the doorway to the underworld. This is where it happened. Ayden gave me the signal to decend below the cloud, which is also known as the Halocline, a place where salt water meets fresh water. 

Entering the cloud, an instant biological response of panic sets in. You can see only the last glimpse of light dissipate before you. Finally, I entered darkness. Below the cloud, I floated amidst nothing above or below. As if death had finally befallen me, no sounds, no light, a place where you no longer exist. This was my favourite Mexico Diving.

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera - Mexico Diving

Cenote Guys 

I can assure you that Cenote diving is quite possibly one of the coolest experiences you can do. I am without a doubt hooked! 

“I came to Yucatan as a tourist six years ago. I had heard about Cenote diving, and I was curious. After my first dive in the Angelita Cenote, my life changed. Everything I knew felt different, and all I wanted to do was dive in Cenotes, a life altering experience. ” 

These are the words that Ayden, the founder of @thecenoteguy said to me on our way to the Angelita Cenote. 

This company is amazing and I would highly recommended them into taking you into the Mayan Underworld. 

Best Places to Dive in the Mayan Riviera - Mexico Diving

Marine Conservation

Our oceans are under threat, all species are being affected by climate change and the warming of our oceans. Its we the people who can make a difference. Support the fishing industries less, don’t just pick your litter up, but clean up others. The most important thing we can do overall is educate. Educate those who don’t understand and be persistent with those who are ignorant to the subject. We have one planet and one ocean, let’s work together to protect this paradise. 

Stephen Gollan

Uncharted Backpacker is a glimpse at the past eleven years of globetrotting I have done. Now at over ninety countries I share my travel knowledge for you so you too can travel the world and see what wonders it has to offer.

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