The city of Cancun is located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. Renowned for being one of the most beautiful beach destinations in the world, this unique city caters to the needs of every traveler, whether they’re looking for relaxation or buzzing nightlife.
Cancun is one of the best dive and snorkel destinations in Mexico, mostly due to the stunning reef system and fascinating shipwrecks. There are dozens of dive sites in the region where you can perform various types of diving depending on personal preferences and experience level.
Diving in Cancun is available year-round. The city is located in a tropical area, so there’s very little to worry about regarding the weather. May to November is considered the best period to visit Cancun because of the increased chances of seeing whale sharks and you can also avoid the crowds.
The water temperature in Cancun remains constant throughout the year, with just a slight decrease during the coldest months (December through April). It averages 78° F/25° C to 82° F/28° C.
Cancun is a great place for drift diving; currents can get strong.
Diving in Cancun means you can enjoy good to excellent visibility, ranging from 20 meters (66 feet) to over 40 meters (131 feet).
The Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) is a unique aquatic museum located in the National Marine Park in the areas of Cancun and Isla Mujeres. The creation of British-born sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, the museum features hundreds of life-size sculptures. Snorkelers can enjoy the artificial reef at the shallow Punta Nizuc gallery in Cancun, while divers can explore the deeper gallery found at Isla Mujeres.
Museo Subacuatico de Arte. Photo by Andy Blackledge
One of the best diving experiences in Cancun is exploring the many wrecks off the coast. The wrecks are all teeming with marine life and colorful flora and some are even suitable for penetration. However, these artificial reefs usually lie deep and divers are required to have experience with this type of diving.
Whale sharks and nurse sharks are, without a doubt, the stars of Cancun’s marine wildlife. During the months when the huge whale sharks come to feed, it’s a common practice for divers to swim alongside them. Apart from sharks, dolphins, eels, lobsters, sea urchins, sailfish, and different species of sea turtles are also common encounters.
The reef surrounding Cancun is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, the second-largest barrier reef in the world. The reef is inhabited by over 500 species of fish, around 400 species of mollusks, and over 60 species of stony corals, among many other marine fauna and flora. Over the years, however, the reef has been seriously harmed, mostly due to human activity. This is the reason why MUSA emerged as an artificial reef.