Considered by many as one of the top diving destinations in the world, Playa del Carmen, located in eastern Mexico along the Caribbean Sea, on the eastern edge of the Yucatan Peninsula, is a scuba diver’s paradise. Thanks to the region’s fascinating cenotes, brilliantly, clear watered reefs and enchanting bull sharks, this area has a bit of everything to offer divers, from the beginner to the experienced.
When is The Best Time to Visit Playa Del Carmen For a Scuba Dive?
There is no bad time to visit this area as water temperatures remain consistent all year long, only getting slightly cooler during the winter months. Average water temperature ranges from 77 to 82 degrees. However, there are a few interesting natural occurrences to note in order to create your ideal scuba experience. For example, choosing November through March to dive will mean you get to encounter many large bull sharks as the females arrive during this time to breed. This will give you a once in a lifetime opportunity to see wildlife in its natural underwater setting.
For the most “uncrowded” dive times, visit the Playa del Carmen from May to November. If pelagic encounters interest you, try December through April. Most people label the months of December through April as the best time to dive in the Caribbean. However, if you want to cenote dive, you should consider visiting anytime from May to September as you will get the best light seeping into the cave, creating beautiful scenery and amazing photographs. The months June through September are ideal for whale shark sightings if you would prefer them over the more aggressive bull shark. From May to September, you can expect to see loggerhead and green turtles as they arrive to lay eggs up and down the Riviera Maya.
Other Sea Life You Might Encounter
In addition to the variety of sharks, tropical fish, and turtles you might encounter, you could also spy eagle rays, sailfish, eels, sergeant majors, groupers, lobsters and angelfish during your dive.
Is There a Better or Worse Place to Dive?
In general, if you consider yourself a beginner diver, you will most likely enjoy diving the reefs located just offshore in Playa del Carmen. Tec divers will most likely benefit from cenote diving and advanced divers can challenge their abilities with open sea dives. As you can see, this means Playa del Carmen has something to offer all levels of divers.
Where to Dive in Playa Del Carmen
Suffice it to say, thanks to the fact that there are over 20 dive sites in and near Playa del Carmen, you could dive for weeks and not repeat a dive within this amazingly beautiful region of Mexico. However, there are some areas that stand out above and beyond others. For example, a local favorite for cenote diving is Cenote Dos Ojos, which is ideal for Tec divers hoping to perfect their rebreather skills. For reef systems, Pared Verde can’t be beat. It is one of the many systems offshore at Playa del Carmen. You will notice this reef is teeming with tropical fish that call the reef home. A favorite deep reef in the region is Punta Venado, which is known for its pelagic encounters and healthy, vibrant coral. For something even more fascinating, consider taking a 20-minute boat ride just south of Playa del Carmen and dive the Mama Vina wreck. Finally, Los Arcos is the location you want to visit if you desire an encounter with a bull shark, as long as you dive in November through March.
Where to Stay
There are many diving companies like Playa Scuba Dive Center that will gladly take you out to dive in various locations throughout Playa del Carmen. Of course, if you want to stay in a resort that also specializes in diving that is an ideal set up. Below are a few of the several dive resorts located in Playa del Carmen:
- Royal Hideaway Playacar: This amazingly beautiful resort features a 24/7 scuba travel expert to help you plan your excursion, specializes in flooded freshwater cave diving and is a member of the “Leading Hotels of the World Group.” When not in the water diving, guests can enjoy 24-hour room service, boutiques, theaters, three Jacuzzis and an infinity pool, among other amenities.
- Allegro Playacar: Situated right on the beach, this resort is surrounded by the lush landscape of the Caribbean. Guests will especially enjoy the visits to archeological ruins of Tulum as well as cenote diving. This resort also boasts a swim up bar, water sports and more.
- The Reef Playacar: While staying at this world-class resort, try all of their six on-site restaurants, spa services, while enjoying Mexican inspired furnishings and decor, all situated right on the white sandy beaches and majestic turquoise seas.
- Additional Locations: There are several other resorts in and around Playa del Carmen that specialize in offering guests the very best in world-class luxury as well as providing them the opportunity to scuba dive in either the ocean, a cenote or both.
Playa del Carmen is most certainly a scuba diver’s dream come true. Consider visiting and spending your whole vacation taking in the various diving locations and enjoying the beautiful white sandy beaches and crystal-clear Caribbean water. Hopefully, your experience will be one of pure joy, where you have only good experiences to share. However, if you should find yourself in need of medical evacuation while diving Playa Del Carmen, count on Air Evac International to get you safely back to the United States.