Mexico offers a variety of dive experiences to satisfy divers from beginners to technical divers. Besides the diversity and marine life divers can experience wreck diving, cave diving in the cenotes and even visit an underwater art museum.
El Museo Subaquàtico de Arte (MUSA)
The MUSA is an underwater contemporary art museum located next to Cancun. The museum has over 500 life-size sculptures created by English artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
Whalesharks in Isla Mujeres
Located where the Gulf of Mexico joins the Caribbean (just offshore from Cancun), Isla Mujeres is the best location in Mexico to see hundreds of whalesharks. Peak season to see whalesharks here is between June and September.
Manta Rays at Socorro Island
Socorro Island is far offshore, making it a perfect place to spot large numbers of pelagic species. Among these are schools of hammerhead sharks, manta rays and humpback whales. Manta rays can be seen throughout the year with peak season running between November and May. The humpback whales migrate past between January and March. During this time visibility could be lower (especially around the full moon) but that is also what attracts the manta’s – and maybe even a whale shark if you are lucky! Currents around Socorro Island can get very strong and this site best for advanced and experienced divers.
Sea lions in the Sea of Cortez
Sea lions can be seen at dive sites all around the Sea of Cortez with Isla San Pedro being a special favourite. More than 400 sea lions (many of them playful pups) can be found in this area.
Great white sharks in Guadalupe
Guadalupe is another island recommended for advanced and experienced divers only due to strong currents. Here divers can see schools of Great white sharks. The best time to see the Great whites in Guadalupe is between August and October.
Bull sharks in Playa Del Carmen
Each year schools of female bull sharks migrate to Playa del Carmen (on the Caribbean side of the Yukatán peninsula) to breed. The best time to see them is between November and March, although they could still be found in the area as late as May.
Cenote diving in the Yukatán
Cenote diving is nearly synonymous with diving in Mexico. The Yukatán jungle flooded during the last ice age- nearly 6,500 years ago. The rain and sulphuric minerals in the earth created this underwater cavern section. The system spans over 200 km’s and offer divers unique sites with natural light beams penetrating the clear water. Fresh water floats on top with saltwater underneath-creating the opportunity to witness haloclines. The best time to dive the cenotes are between May and September.
Wreck diving in Veracruz, Cozumel and Puerto Morelos
There are an estimate of 4000 wrecks in the Gulf of Mexico. Veracruz is slightly more ‘off the beaten path’ and offer 5 dive-able wrecks. Conzumel is home of the Felipe Xicotenantl which was scuttled for divers in 1999. Early in the year spotted eagle rays can be seen around the C56 Juan Escotia in Puerto Morelos.
Mexico offer all of the above along with excellent tropical diving and impressive reef systems. Good visibility and clear water provide perfect dive conditions. Divers from all experience levels will find satisfaction when diving in Mexico.
*A version of this article first appeared at www.scubadiverlife.com
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