How to Snorkel in Cancun: Tips and Tricks

Discovering the marine treasures that lie beneath the surface of the crystalline Caribbean Sea while you snorkel in Cancun is something that you will remember forever!

Across from the shores of the state of Quintana Roo sits the second largest barrier reef in the world: the Mesoamerican Reef. This system offers innumerable opportunities for fascinating expeditions with snorkel in Cancun, Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Playa del Carmen or the Riviera Maya with the most incredible underwater landscapes!

Snorkeling in Cancun is something you have to live to believe! The Mexican Caribbean is your best option to snorkel for the first time for its crystal clear waters and unbeatable conditions of visibility, calm waves and large number of experienced guides willing to make your adventure something memorable.

Have you ever put on a mask, fins and a snorkel tube? If not, no problem! These simple recommendations and some practice snorkeling in Cancun will turn you into an expert in no time:


Snorkel en Cancún | ¡También en cenotes dentro de cuevas!

Snorkel in Cancun: Class is in Session

It is mandatory that you wear a life jacket to snorkel in Cancun (the reefs are part of nature reserves or national parks, so they are under the jurisdiction of the Mexican federal government). This is not only for your safety, but also to protect the delicate ecosystem that can be easily damaged by irresponsible people.

  • The life jacket should stay snug (without over-tightening or making breathing difficult). If you use one that is loose, it will rise over your head and hurt you under your arms, which will make it very uncomfortable for you to move in the water.

Snorkel en Cancún | Hay infinidad de lugares para hacer snorkel

Your snorkel mask is your window to the underwater world. The companies that operate snorkel tours in Cancun use a variety of brands of equipment, but in their general the masks are armed with tempered glass, a soft plastic frame that will cover your eyes and nose, and a strip of rubber back that allows you to adjust it for different sizes.

  • Since the glass of all the masks tends to fog up when going from the heat in the boat to the water with a relatively lower temperature, it is best to give a quick rinse inside with saliva. Your saliva, yes, spit in the mask and give it a good swirl with your fingers!
  • If you have long hair, it is best that you pull it up in a ponytail, so it will not obstruct your view. When you put the mask on, do not let hair get between the mask and your skin, because it could leak water.

Snorkel en Cancún | Es más divertido en pareja

  • Before entering the sea, make sure that your mask is well adjusted to your face, ask your guide for help if you are not sure that you have put it on correctly.
  • If water gets in your mask while you are snorkeling, you do not have to take it off completely. Just raise your head to the surface, lift the bottom of the mask slightly, let the water come out and put the mask back on.

The snorkel tube is perhaps one of the most incredible inventions of mankind … Well, maybe I exaggerate, but it is certainly one of my favorite gadgets! Most of the snorkel companies in Cancun give travelers a new tube that can be taken as a souvenir.

  • The tube is attached to the adjustable viewfinder strap to be in a perpendicular position to your body while swimming and exploring the reef.
  • It has a kind of “bite guard” (yes, similar to the protectors the boxers use); This piece allows you to bite the tube lightly and your lips create a seal that does not allow water to enter your mouth.
  • If water gets into the tube, try to blow hard to remove it. If there is a lot of water, better head to the surface, remove the tube from the mouth and let the water out.

Snorkel en Cancún | Los paisajes submarinos te fascinarán

Snorkel fins will help you move with much greater precision and speed in the water, making your experience more enjoyable. They come in a wide variety of styles, sizes and designs; some are adjustable and others are not.

  • The most important thing about fins is that they fit well; if you use very large fins, they will end up coming off your feet. If you have too tight, you will gain some nice blisters from the  friction against your skin.
  • Once you have your fins on, walk backwards or sideways. If you try to walk as always, towards the front, you could hurt yourself.
  • What will propel you into the water while snorkeling in Cancun is your fins, not your arms. Your hands should go to your sides, in front, on your back, or better yet, holding a submersible camera to record the adventure and share

Snorkel en Cancún | Recuerdos para siempre

  • A good “kick” with fins is done by moving the whole leg from the hip, slowly and smoothly, without splashing water out of the water or hitting anything under you. Take into account that many snorkeling tours in Cancun are done in shallow waters, near the coral formations, so you have to move carefully.
  • If you snorkel as a group, you should be aware of where other travelers are, you could hit someone with your fins or receive a good kick if you do not pay attention!

Relax, flow with the water and follow the instructions of your guide. Remember to keep your distance from all the organisms that inhabit the marine ecosystem! Avoid using any type of products on the skin, such as creams, sunblock or insect repellents, so as not to alter the chemical balance of the protected areas. To protect yourself from the sun’s rays, the best thing is a long-sleeved rash that covers you from the neck to the waist.

With patience and practice you will become an expert snorkeler, and we want to be there with you to live this incredible experience! Contact us and we will recommend the best places to snorkel in Cancun.

MCT Admin
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