There are tons of reasons to head out to Mexico for your family vacation. Whether you choose the gorgeous southern coast of the country to delight in its sandy beaches and ocean sports or head to Central Mexico for an athletic tour of the mountains and smaller cities, you won’t regret choosing Mexico for your vacation destination. However, for folks who love getting up close and personal with sea life, it would be a shame not to take advantage of Mexico’s sun kissed shores by embarking on a few snorkeling adventures during your time in South America. The great thing about a Mexican vacation is that you’re never far from an amazing snorkeling opportunity. If you’re planning a Mexican getaway, here are 5 incredible snorkeling locations you can’t afford to miss.
1. Cancun Whale Shark Snorkeling
Snorkeling should always be safe, first and foremost. However, for those who like that extra thrill, heading to Cancun to get an up close and personal look at some of the sea’s most majestic, totally terrifying creatures is sure to fit the bill. Whether you’re staying at the Park Royal Los Tules in Puerto Vallarta or one of Royal Holiday’s Cancun-based locations (such as the Grand Park Royal Cancún Caribe,) heading out to the Gulf of Mexico to take a deep dive into shark-infested waters (you know, in a good way) will be an easy, fun way to do something as a family and get that heart rate pumping. It goes without saying, but whale shark snorkeling tours, thought totally safe, are not for the faint of heart, so if you’re traveling with little kids, try sticking to something that’s a bit more PG.
2. Puerto Morelos
If coral reefs are your thing, you won’t find anything to match the amazingly well-preserved reef of Puerto Morelos, a beach located a mere 45 minutes from Royal Holiday’s Grand Riveria Princess location as well as the Grand Park Royal Cancún Caribe resort. For snorkeling fiends who really know what they’re doing, the deeper waters of Puerto Morelos are perfect for trying to spot bigger game, while beginners will love the crystal-clear waters of the shallower pools. If you’re newer to the snorkeling game, there are plenty of tours that can take you and your family on a curated adventure into waters teeming with colorful marine life.
3. Casa Cenote
When staying near the Mayan Riviera, there’s simply no reason to put off a trip to Casa Cenote, a half-hidden snorkeling hotspot for travelers from all over the world. You can wade in the water, feel friendly fish nip at your feet, or go in search of schools of fish in the designated snorkeling areas, or lay by the shore and catch a bit of sun. For kids and snorkelers who are just starting out, the intimate cavern is perfect for exploration. For families that like low-key day trips involving a lot of sun and sand, this is a must-see destination.
4. Yal Ku Lagoon
Yal Ku Lagoon, located in Akumal, may not be your traditional “sleepy” lagoon, but when it comes to snorkeling, you won’t be disappointed. Underwater life of every size, shape, and color will great you on your journey into the deep, and you’ll be able to enjoy an ideal swimming environment replete with beautiful hanging greenery and age-old rock formations. For snorkelers who want a truly immersive experience in amazingly calm, clear waters, this is the place for it. The lagoon is large enough to play host to a diverse array of marine life but small enough not to become too touristy even on crowded days.
5. Akumal Bay
Some snorkelers are psyched to see any type of underwater life. However, for more experienced deep sea divers who are set on seeing a specific variety of sea life in its natural habitat, it helps to know a bit about where you’re diving. For instance, for the famous whale shark tours, Cancun may be the spot, with its easy access to transient schools of exotic sharks and smaller prey fish. If you’re looking to see some majestic turtles underwater, there’s no place like Akumal Bay to catch the creatures en masse. In Akumal Bay, gigantic, gorgeous sea turtles glide through the ocean, accompanied by stingrays, blue tang fish, and other exotic deep sea life. If you really want to commune with the fishes, go later in the year to catch the endangered turtles to get the best shot at snagging some up close and personal time.
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