Isla Mujeres ref area with lot of fish swimming around at a depth of 40ft

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Discover the 5 Best Snorkeling Sites

Snorkeling is one of the main attractions for visitors to Cancun and Isla Mujeres. In addition to the white sand and blue waters beaches along the Mexican Caribbean, the variety of marine life attracts countless lovers of diving and snorkeling. One of the best known places for this aquatic activity in Mexico is Cozumel for its barrier reef. However, between Cancun and Isla Mujeres you will find different diving and snorkeling places, nothing to envy to the aforementioned Island of Cozumel in Quintana Roo.

The 5 most beautiful places for snorkeling in Cancun and surroundings less than 15 km around


Playa Norte is definitely one of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico due to the intense blue water. In addition to its extraordinary beauty, this beach has a large shallow area for snorkeling, without currents or waves. Despite how close to the shore you can find a large number of fish less than 2 meters deep. It is an ideal place for beginners since it allows you to practice this activity with the whole family, especially children. Another attraction is that to access this beautiful place you do not require a boat, you can swim from the shore about 50 meters. In the same way, you can choose to go by catamaran or yacht directly to the point of jumping into the water and swimming only a couple of meters where the fish are.


The reef El Meco, north of Cancun, has a depth from 4 to 5 meters and owes its name to the Mayan ruins located right in front of the reef. This point is ideal for people with little experience in snorkeling since there are no strong currents, it is small and it only has one reef area. Although a few years ago some underwater statues were placed where the corals have been growing, attracting fish and crustaceans. As in the MUSA underwater museum, these figures create another area to explore with the snorkel.


The famous El Farito reef, National Aquatic Park, is located on an islet about 900 meters from Isla Mujeres. Here you will see a small lighthouse on top of a reef rock. It has an extension of 360 meters from the Farito point to the end of the reef. That is why to get to this beautiful place you need a boat, such as a catamaran, yacht or one of the boats that are rented in Isla Mujeres. It is from 1 to 4 meters deep and has 4 reef sections. Among the corals that we can find, the elkhorn coral and brain coral stand out. The last part of the reef, the one closest to Farito, is where the largest number of fish and coral live. In this reef there is also the Virgen del Carmen, which in turn was installed and submerged in 1966. This virgin is the protector of all sailors and fishermen.


Manchones reef is located 950 meters south of Punta Sur on Isla Mujeres or 8 km northeast of Cancun. It has a 12 meters maximum depth and 1 km of radius. In this beautiful reef you will find the famous Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) inaugurated in 2010. At the MUSA you can see with a simple mask, snorkel and your fins more than 400 underwater statues. Also, if you want to explore its depths, you can hire a diving service that will take you from Cancun. Manchones has the famous bronze cross submerged at 12 meters. This cross was submerged in 1994 as a tribute to the founding of Isla Mujeres in 1857.


The Sunken Ship is located 3 km north of El Meco and only 1 km east of La Amada Marina in Cancun. This boat is submerged at a depth of 4 meters and the bow protrudes, which you can see from the surface. The interior of the ship is full of colorful fish, passages with many urchins and some lobsters. This artificial reef can present currents and is recommended for adventurers with an average level of experience. Because it is necessary to be careful not to touch the boat, since you could suffer a cut from its rusted steel. However, the place is ideal to explore with the whole family when there is no strong wind or waves. On the other hand, the only access to the Sunken Ship is through a boat or catamaran. From Cancun it will take you only 20 minutes and from Isla Mujeres around 40 minutes.

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Isla Mujeres aerial view with a catamaran on the north side of the island