Scuba Diving and Snorkeling in Cancún

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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

The snorkeling is best at Punta Nizuc, Punta Cancún, and Playa Tortugas, although you should be careful of the strong currents at Tortugas. You can rent gear for about $10 per day from many of the diving places as well as at many hotels.

Scuba diving is popular in Cancún, though it's not as spectacular as in Cozumel. Look for a scuba company that will give you lots of personal attention. (Smaller companies are often better at this than larger ones). Regardless, ask to meet the dive master, and check the equipment and certifications thoroughly. A few words of caution about one-hour courses that many resorts offer for free: such courses do not prepare you to dive in the open ocean—only in shallow water where you can easily surface without danger. If you've caught the scuba bug and want to take deep or boat dives, prepare yourself properly by investing in a full certification course.

Aqua Fun. Aqua Fun offers a two-hour tour of the mangroves that costs $66 per person and includes snorkeling at the Punta Nizuc reef. Daily tours take place at 9 am, noon, and 3 pm. Reservations must be made in advance. Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 16.5, Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77500. 998/885–2930. aquafun.com.mx.

AquaWorld. AquaWorld has a day-trip snorkeling excursion to Isla Mujeres for $77 per person. This operation also offers one-tank dives for $72 and two-tank dives starting at $77, as well as dive trip to MUSA the underwater museum. Dive explorations of boat wrecks cost $85, and three-day dive packages cost $266. Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 15.2, Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77500. 998/848–8327. www.aquaworld.com.mx.

Marina Barracuda. Sightseeing and snorkeling starts at $80 per hour (for 5 people) and includes snorkeling equipment, life jackets, and refreshments. Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 14, Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77500. 998/885–2444. www.marinabarracuda.com.

Marina Punta del Este. Located right in front of the Grand Park Royal Cancún Caribe, Marina Pinta del Este has dives that last from 3½ to 4 hours and cost $72 if you are certified or $88 if you need a lesson. Wreck dives are $79. Daily lessons begin at 9 am and 1 pm. Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 10.3, Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77500. 998/883–1210. www.puntaestemarina.com.

Scuba Cancún. Scuba Cancún specializes in diving trips and offers NAUI, CMAS, and PADI instruction. It's operated by Tomás Hurtado, who has more than 60 years of experience. Two-tank dives start at $68, one-tank dives start at $54, and they take place in the afternoons. Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 5, Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77500. 998/849–7508. www.scubacancun.com.mx.

Solo Buceo. Solo Buceo charges $55 for one-tank dives, $70 for two-tank dives, and $90 for twilight diving every Tuesday and Thursday. They also have NAUI, FMAS, CMAS, and PADI instruction (lessons run $90–$240). Blvd. Kukulcán, Km 9.5, Zona Hotelera, Cancún, Quintana Roo, 77500. 998/883–8979. www.solobuceo.com.

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