6 Best Dive Sites in Playa del Carmen

Dive Sites Playa Del Carmen

6 Best Dive Sites in Playa del Carmen

Nestled along the sun-kissed Caribbean coast of Mexico, an hour south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen is a tropical haven renowned for its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and rich cultural heritage.

Beyond its sandy shores, this coastal gem has earned a reputation as a scuba diving paradise. The dive sites in Playa del Carmen attract divers from all corners of the globe.

The allure of this wonderous place lies not only in its azure waters and year-round pleasant climate, but also in the diving available here too. From the magical cenotes to the easy access to Cozumel, and the diving in Playa itself.

The reef system in Playa del Carmen is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef – the second-largest barrier reef in the world. Its underwater landscapes, adorned with colorful coral formations and teeming with diverse marine life, make it a great location for divers to enjoy year-round.

From enchanting encounters with graceful sea turtles and majestic eagle rays to diving alongside vibrant schools of tropical fish, the marine biodiversity is truly awe-inspiring. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or an eager beginner, the underwater world of Playa del Carmen promises an unforgettable experience for all who venture below the waves.

Let Deep Mexico show you some of our favorite Playa del Carmen dive sites.


1. Jardines Reef

Jardines, which translates as ‘Gardens’ is a shallow dive site, which is known for vibrant coral formations, and an incredible number of schools of fish! This dive site could almost be renamed as ‘aquarium’ due to the sheer volume of fish found here. In fact, there’s one point of the diver where the wall of fish is so impressive, you just float in awe as you see it!

The crystal-clear waters of Playa del Carmen provide excellent visibility for an unforgettable diving experience at this site, so make sure you bring your camera to snap some pictures.

Divers can encounter many colorful tropical fish – including grunts, snappers, and pufferfish. Also majestic rays, curious sea turtles, and even the occasional nurse shark gliding through the waters.

Suitable for all levels of divers due to its gentle flowing current, Jardines ranges from 9-15 meters.

2. Tortugas Reef

Named after the numerous sea turtles that call this site home, Tortugas is a must-visit destination for those enchanted by these graceful creatures.

This dive site is a drift dive, and you’ll need to feel confident swimming with the flow to enjoy it to the fullest. It’s also on a slope, so depending on where you position yourself, you can float through this site anywhere from 15 – 30metres.

This site is known for its large barrel sponges, which are fun to look inside! You often find cute underwater critters making their own ecosystems inside. Besides sea turtles, divers will see pufferfish, lobsters hiding under the rocks and coral, and it’s even been known to see a shark or two in these waters.

playa del carmen scuba diving sites
Playa del Carmen dive sites are known for having a large number of fish!

3. Sabalos Reef

Sabalos offers a rich marine ecosystem teeming with life and is a gem among the Playa del Carmen dive sites, with an average depth of 15 meters. This site is shaped like smaller interconnecting horseshoes, which create small coves in which you can explore to find sea critters and schools of fish.

There is a pretty strong current around the site, so between each horseshoe-shaped-bay you need to swim carefully for a few moments to get to the next one. Your experienced DEEP Mexico guide will explain this in detail during your briefing. But once there, you have serene calm water to explore, with coral crevices and overhangs where marine life likes to hang out.

Divers can spot barracudas, green moray eels, spotted moray eels, large groupers, colorful parrotfish, and fascinating macro critters, such as cleaner shrimp and seahorses amid the coral formations.


4. Pared Verde

Pared Verde, known as the Green Wall, offers a thrilling underwater wall dive with vivid green-colored coral formations. This deeper site ranges from 12 meters to approximately 30 meters, offering a diverse range of depths for exploration.

This depth also means you can be more likely to spot some larger marine life in this area, such as larger groupers, and occasionally lone bull sharks during the winter season.

Divers can observe various species of fish, including angelfish, butterflyfish, and triggerfish, as they swim along the wall’s edge. The beauty of this dive is to take it slow and literally ‘go-with-the-flow’ and let the drift of the current take you along the wall. It’s up to you to keep your eyes peeled to see the action on the wall as you float alongside it!



5. Shark Point

Only during the winter season, from November to March do divers visit ‘Shark Point’. For the adventurous diver, this Playa del Carmen dive site provides a thrilling encounter with bull sharks.

Recommended for advanced divers due to depths ranging from 18 meters to over 30 meters, you are guaranteed to come face-to-face with some of the most thrilling creatures of the deep!

This is an observation dive, so once you descend, you rest on the sandy bottom, and hold onto a rope line, to stay in place. Then you watch as the sharks surround you from all angles! As well as sharks you’ll also see curious remoras and some not-so-friendly triggerfish at this site too.

The adrenaline rush of diving with bull sharks in their natural habitat is an unforgettable and exhilarating experience that you simply must try if you are in Playa del Carmen during the season!

shark point playa del carmen
See the Bull Sharks at Shark Point!

6. Moc Che

Moc Che is one of the favorite dive sites of instructors in Playa del Carmen, as it offers captivating macro marine life encounters and unique rock formations.

There are actually two parts to this reef, Moc Che deep, and Moc Che shallow, which allow you to see the change of marine ecosystem at different depths.

Moc Che shallow ranges from around 9-12 meters, and is a great dive site for underwater photographers, as there is so much macro life to see in the coral. The underwater rock formations create an intriguing landscape for divers to explore, adding an element of mystery to the dive as you never know what you might spot!

Plus there’s also the fun of the underwater archway that you can swim through, that’s always filled with a school of yellow grunts.


Explore the Dive Sites in Playa Del Carmen with DEEP Mexico

Exploring the ocean scuba diving sites in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is a truly mesmerizing experience that offers a glimpse into the breathtaking underwater world. From vibrant coral gardens to encounters with majestic sea turtles and thrilling dives with sharks, this tropical paradise has something to offer every diver, regardless of their skill level.

At DEEP Mexico, we are proud to have established ourselves as a leading dive operator in the region, providing unparalleled services to divers from around the globe. Our team of highly skilled and knowledgeable instructors, and our passion for the underwater world shines through in all that we do.

Safety is paramount at DEEP Mexico, and we adhere to stringent protocols and best practices, ensuring you can dive with peace of mind.

Whether you are a seasoned diver looking for the ultimate adrenaline rush or a novice eager to take your first underwater breaths, DEEP Mexico offers a range of dive experiences tailored to your preferences and expertise. With access to the most captivating dive sites and top-notch equipment, start your underwater journey with DEEP Mexico today!


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