Playa del Carmen diving is something that many visitors will want to consider trying. Certified dive shops are plentiful in this popular Mexican beach vacation destination, and they offer classes and excursions for all levels, even the absolute beginner. You can take a free introductory diving lesson at some of the all inclusive hotels, and once you are ready for the open water, shallow reefs like Chun Zumbul and Jardines are easy to access. For the more experienced diver, doing some cave diving or exploring a sunken ship are among the possibilities, and a side trip to Cozumel to enjoy its world-class sites is well worth adding to the agenda. You can dive in Playa year round, it should be noted, and whenever you decide to visit, the water should be both warm and clear.
Not far off the Maya Riviera coast is the second largest barrier reef in the world. This reef is commonly referred to as the Great Mayan Reef. It is second in size only to Australia's Great Barrier Reef, and its various sub-reef areas are among the top Playa del Carmen dive sites. Both beginners and advanced divers can enjoy reef diving off the Playa coast, and among the things that they can expect to see are lobsters, turtles, dolphins, whale sharks, and stingrays. More than 60 types of coral are found on the Great Mayan Reef, and some 500 fish species have been documented in the area waters. It doesn't take long to get from Playa del Carmen to any number of reef areas, so you won't waste a lot of time in transit. This means more time for diving!
In addition to exploring reef areas, those who are serious about doing some Playa del Carmen diving will also want to add some cenote diving to the itinerary. Cenotes, which are essentially sinkholes that link to underground rivers and submerged caves, are abundant in number in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula, and they are a true treat to explore. While cenote and cave diving at places like Xel Ha Park, you can view amazing underwater formations, the likes of which include stalactites and stalagmites. It should be noted that at Xel Ha, you can do more than dive in a cenote. This park boasts one of the world's most dynamic natural aquariums.
If you wish to try something other than diving when it comes to exploring the area waters on a Playa del Carmen vacation, you can always do some snorkeling. It is possible to explore reefs and cenotes while engaging in some Playa del Carmen snorkeling, so in many ways, it is akin to diving. Snorkeling equipment is available at any number of hotels and beach clubs if you don't have your own, and snorkeling excursions are extremely easy to arrange. Most of the dive operators in Playa del Carmen and other area destinations like Cancun can take you out on a fun snorkeling adventure. This adventure might include some other rewarding activities, such as fishing or relaxing on a beach.
Many Playa del Carmen dive shops can be found at hotels and beach clubs, though you will also find some that are stand alone operations. These shops can set you up with everything that you need to enjoy a fun day of diving or snorkeling, and they certainly know where all the top sites are. It should be noted that the reef diving is especially spectacular in nearby Cozumel, so you might inquire about side trips to the island when arranging excursions in Playa del Carmen. You will be glad you did, as some Cozumel diving can be the perfect complement to Playa del Carmen diving.