5 Stunning Scuba Dive Sites on the Riviera Maya, Mexico

The Riviera Maya is one of the most beautiful places on the planet, in my view. Turquoise coastlines with beautiful white sands, historic sites, Cenotes and the weather attract millions of tourists each year. But the sub-acquatic Riviera Maya has just as much to offer as the land, as hundreds of thousands of scuba divers find out each year.

Caves, cenotes, marine line and some favourable water temperatures are the pull here. And here is our run down of 5 must see scuba dive sites on Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

 Pared Verde (Green Wall)

Pared Verde is located not too far from Playa del Carmen. It translates to, ‘Green Wall,’ and in the video below you can see why:

This site is at a depth of 70 – 100m and is suitable for advanced scuba divers. Medium to strong current affect the area, so it’s certainly no novice dive. But if you have some experience under your belt, this is one worth enjoying. Rays, sharks and stunning turtles are amongst the marine life you can expect to encounter on this dive.

Gran Cenote, Tulum

As the name suggests, Gran Cenote is considered one of the best cenotes to dive in on Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

gran cenote

Image credit.

This site is suitable for Open Water Divers. And if you don’t have Open Water Certification, you and the whole family can enjoy snorkelling here.

Diving in cenotes is a brilliant experience and we can’t recommend this one enough!


Gorgonians can be found North of Akumel, some 20 minutes or so by boat. This is a beautiful little reef with some stunning underwater scenery. And don’t be surprised if you bump into a turtle or two here as well. A treat!

The depth here ranges from just over 18m to 30m and it suitable for Open Water Divers and beyond.

Mama Viña Wreck Dive

If you’re into your wreck diving, you will want to check out Mama Viña.

The Mama Viña is a relatively small vessel. It’s an old shrimp boat that was actually deliberately sunk 20 years ago (1995). As expected, it has now developed an artificial reef. It sits 18-30m in depth and the vessel itself is pretty much entirely in tact.

One thing you should know though, is that this area has some incredibly strong currents and the bow of the boat faces the current head on. For that reason, this site is really only suitable for advanced scuba divers.

Punta Nizuc

Ok, so technically not the Riviera Maya, Punta Nizuc is a site just off the coast of nearby Cancun. Cancun is little over an hour from Playa del Carmen so is certainly doable as a day trip when you’re visiting the Riviera Maya in Mexico.

There’s a stunning reef here with depths from 10 – 30m. It’s accessible for those even relatively new to diving and if you’re a newbie and you’re not sure, you could even take in some of the scenery just snorkelling.

The scenery on this reef is just incredible. And the marine life you could encounter here includes giant lobsters, manta rays barracuda and plenty of other sea life.

However, it’s not just the naturally occurring elements of Punta Nizuc that are a pull to scuba divers. This is also home to a man made underwater museum, MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte).

musa cancun underwater museum diving

Now that’s worth getting your wetsuit on for!


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