The best places to go on a submarine excursion are located on the surroundings of Playa del Carmen:
- The Great Mayan Reef: it is one of the extensive coral walls existing on the coasts of the State of Quintana Roo. It comes closer to the mainland at Playa del Carmen (at 100 metres off the coastline approximately), settling the surf and the impetus of the Caribbean, which allows calmly exploring its submarine secrets.
- Tulúm: or "the wall" in Mayan language, is an archaeological compound of great importance in the Mexican Caribbean, but also an excellent spot for diving because its transparent waters shelter a profuse and fascinating marine flora and fauna. It is located at 70 kilometres from Playa del Carmen.
- Puerto Aventuras: this modern tourist complex, located at 30 kilometres from Playa del Carmen, is a magic doorway to the wonderful submarine world. Besides, there is nothing like lying on its white sands or "getting lost" in the leafy vegetation surrounding it, after the submarine adventure.
- Paamul: it is ideal for diving all year long, especially when the sea turtles arrive to lay their eggs on the shore. It is located at 24 kilometres from Playa del Carmen.
- Akumal: green divers and apprentices can submerge in the Bay of Akumal (the place of turtles), situated at 36 kilometres from Playa del Carmen. Its calmed waters surrounded by reefs forming submarine caves resemble a giant swimming pool.
-Diving in the cenotes: the cenotes close to Playa del Carmen have become an invitation to adventure hard to refuse for divers from all over the world since the 1980s.
The cenotes are geological formations created by the filtration of the rain falling on a soft and porous terrain of limestone. Galleries, tunnels and caves were formed during the passing of the years, creating deep lakes of singular beauty in the zones with the greatest erosion.
Dexterity, experience and the company of a guide or instructor who knows the hollows, are required in order to dive in this strange pits that the Mayas called Izothott. The cenotes closest to Playa del Carmen are:
A few recommendations:
- Xcaret: there is a series of cenotes and caves inhabited by colourful fishes and turtles, amongst other aquatic creatures, in this splendid Eco-Archaeological Park. It is well attended by scuba diving and snorkelling devotees. It is situated 55 kilometres away from Cancun and at 5 kilometres from Playa del Carmen.
- Xel-Ha: there is a series of cenotes and caves fed by the waters of several subterranean rivers and streams within this Natural Park. It is located at 115 kilometres from Cancun and 16 kilometres away from the Archaeological Compound of Tulúm.
- Sian Ka'an: the cenotes of this Biosphere Reserve are connected to the waters of the Caribbean, giving life to a particular variety of flora and fauna species; but it is also suitable for diving in the sea, 200 metres offshore, close to a coral formation.
*Do not touch the corals during your submersion.
*Do not extract the algae.
*It is forbidden to extract living organisms out of the water.
*The use of harpoons or fishing nets is not allowed.
*Do not interfere with the journey of the migratory birds or with those nesting.
*Do not litter the sea from the vessels.
*Try to use natural sunscreens and suntan lotions.
*Remember to inform about the aquatic activities you are about to undertake at your hotel's reception desk.