Some highlights of the underwater world in and around Playa del Carmen.
In my opinion, the following are the best dive sites around Playa Del Carmen.
Tortugas (Turtles) – Max depth: 30 meters, intermediate/advanced dive.
This is a very famous dive site because, guess what? As the name suggests, it is populated by Turtles (mainly Green Turtles but also Hawksbill can be spotted). It is also a good spot for Barracudas and large Rays (Eagle Rays on a very lucky day).
It is a long carpet reef with huge Barrel Sponges scattered along. It can be described as a runway for turtles and divers. There is always a moderate to strong drift which makes for a great cruising along drift dive.
Barracuda – Max depth: 15 meters, intermediate dive.
This can be also a drift dive with moderate current. It is well known for large schools of Barracudas and colourful Grunts and Snappers. It has an interesting topography reminding the fingers of a hand. There are few small swim through and over-hangs that are just lush with Morays, Shrimps and Crabs.
Jardines (Gardens) – Max depth: 12 meters, suitable for all levels.
This is one of my favourite dive sites. No currents (besides the occasional very gentle drift), and very pleasant to explore. It is great for macro photography. It is worth it to spend some time exploring through the rocks to find Morays, Lobsters, Shrimps, Crabs and spotted Rays.
Jardines Deep – Max depth: 25 meters, advanced dive.
This dive site is popular during Bull Shark season from November to March. There is no reef. There is only sand and Bull Sharks.
Mama Viña Shipwreck – Max depth: 30 meters, advanced dive.
This used to be a shrimping ship and it was sunk in 1995 for the purpose of scuba diving. There are lots of schooling fish hanging around this wreck.
Spade fish, Jacks and Barracudas can be often spotted. Currents can be quite strong at times. Great dive!
Playa Del Carmen is good to dive all year round.