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Isla Mujeres, Cozumel or Playa del Carmen for best swimming and snorkeling?

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May 20th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #1
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Isla Mujeres, Cozumel or Playa del Carmen for best swimming and snorkeling?

Hello, I really want to go down to either Isla Mujeres or Cozumel or Playa del Carmen to swim and snorkel. I would like to hear your opinions on which place would be best. I am not interested in partying or all inclusives. Thanks....
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May 20th, 2013, 05:59 PM
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I' d look at Akumal
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May 20th, 2013, 11:10 PM
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KVR
 
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Cozumel has the best snorkeling and diving due to lots of iron shore and reefs in that area.

In the Playa del Carmen area: Akumal, Pureto Morlas, the Kian Sa'an Biosphere, Ya-kul Lagoon, MaroMa Beach and some of the cenotes.

Isla Mujeres does not compare to those areas with regard to snorkeling.
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May 21st, 2013, 03:29 AM
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ambergris caye in belize
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May 22nd, 2013, 10:51 AM
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TC
 
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Cozumel absolutely has the best snorkeling of these three. Have a look at one of these hotels: Playa Azul, Coral Princess or Hotel B. They are all on the North end of the island which is where you will find the best shore reef for snorkeling. They are all low key, non-party hotels. Restaurants on Cozumel are wonderful. Many choices. Easy to get around by taxi or walking. Very safe.
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Sep 27th, 2013, 08:07 AM
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The snorkeling off the shore in Puerto Morelos (just south of Cancun) is AMAZING (and less expensive). If you stay in Playa del Carmen, it'd definitely be worth hopping on the super inexpensive collectivo to Puerto Morelos and do your snorkeling there. And Puerto Morelos is a cute little town, very quiet with some great places to eat.
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Sep 28th, 2013, 10:24 PM
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Playa Del Carmen is a great place to stay, not to snorkel. Great beach and good swimming, but the water was too choppy to snorkel, at least when I was there. On the other hand, it's only about a 45-minute ferry ride to Cozumel. And you can easily get to other snorkeling spots (Akumal, etc.).
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Sep 29th, 2013, 03:55 AM
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When are you going? A highlight of our 2010 trips to the region was snorkeling with whale sharks off Isla Mujeres. We've also enjoyed dozens of sea turtles off Akumal, the cenotes around Tulúm, and stops in the marine reserve at Puerto Morelos.

My photos with blog and travelogue links on the main page of each collection are below in case you're interested. Have a great trip, whatever you decide!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/staceyholeman/collections
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Sep 29th, 2013, 03:57 AM
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PS The Whaleshark viewing season is June to September, specific dates.
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Sep 30th, 2013, 07:55 AM
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The OP is a little old. Perhaps they have come or gone. I was going to question the idea that Cozumel is the best place for snorkeling. It's been a few years or more since I was there, but it wasn't that good due to hurricane damage and a poster on another current thread seems to suggest this is still the case.

Has Cozumel snorkeling recovered?
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Sep 30th, 2013, 01:47 PM
  #11
TC
 
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We spend every winter in Cozumel. The shallow reefs are making a wonderful comeback.....some better than others. Our condo is on the North end of the island and the wall is once again covered with coral, sponges, anemones and with them ..masses of fish. It's beautiful.
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Sep 30th, 2013, 01:56 PM
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Good to know, TC. Thanks for the update.
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Dec 2nd, 2013, 01:10 PM
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I did a snorkeling excursion to Isla Mujeres several years ago while vacationing at Club Med Cancun. the tour operator REQUIRED everyone to wear lifevests while snorkeling the water(to me this defeats the purpose of snorkeling-especially if you like to dive below the surface of the water). had I known this before signing up I wouldn't have gone snorkeling. have anyone else been required to wear lifevest while snorkeling in the water at Isla Mujeres?
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Dec 2nd, 2013, 02:51 PM
  #14
 
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Yes ITexan, this applies to Isla Mujeres for the simple reason that many areas along the beaches have been expoited and trampeled and abused to the point where all the coral and marine life are dead. Some of these areas are even roped off so as to allow the coral to grow back. When you wear the lifejacket you are therefore unable to go down and touch and plunder these fragile areas. I strongly believe they are doing the right thing.
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Dec 2nd, 2013, 06:49 PM
  #15
 
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I'm not in the practice of "plundering" when I snorkeling yet thanks for confirming that lifevests are required. saves me from signing up for those snorkeling excursions in the future
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