Snorkeling in/near Playa del Carmen

Nov 24th, 2017, 06:54 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 128
Snorkeling in/near Playa del Carmen

Hi Fodorites,

I'll be in PdC in mid-December for 4 days and would love to spend an afternoon snorkeling. I will be staying in an airbnb and taking the bus from Cancun airport -- so I won't have a car or concierge access.

What's the easiest way to get to some good snorkeling? I'm hoping not to spend too much money, and expect to rent any equipment needed -- including a vest as I'm not a strong swimmer. Also, I'll be by myself, so safety is key. Lastly, I'd love to snorkel in a coral reef (rather than cenotes, for example).

How much should I expect to pay for a half-day's trip, and how can I manage it without a car? Thank you!
imelda72 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2017, 04:12 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,853
I think you will get a lot more responses on the Playa del Carmen forum on Trip Advisor.
schmerl is offline  
Nov 25th, 2017, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 521
Not much snorkeling in Playa itself, you need to either cross over to Cozumel which is considered the best, or down to Akumal where you may also see some turtles and rays, or close to the airport in Puerto Morelos at a nearby reef. In either case some require your drivers license or a certain amount of money so as to remind you that you need to take care and return the equipment you rent. You may choose to bring your own mask and fins and the like, which can be purchased at Costco or some other major outlets...
Rohelio is offline  
Nov 25th, 2017, 10:38 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Agree with Rohelio either take the ferry over to Cozumel, or take a taxi or colectivo to Akumal. If you go to Akumal, avoid the hustlers and piratas and snorkel out in front of Secrets or the ABBR resorts, not in front of Lol Ha where the tours and daytrippers go. You can rent gear from one of the two dive shops there.
jamie99 is offline  
Nov 25th, 2017, 07:40 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Puerto Moreles would seem to have the kind of snorkeling you seek. I believe you can take a bus, with a taxi for just the last small stretch from the main highway (where the bus would leave you) to the town itself.

The reef there is part of a protected area, so you hire someone to take you out to the reef (within sight of the shore). I went some time ago (2008) as a solo woman who had never snorkeled before, and I did a LOT of research before selecting that particular spot. No regrets! I felt very safe and saw some gorgeous fish, shellfish, and coral formations. I'm not sure what the current prices are, but when I went, the "standard" hire included all equipment, the boat to and from the reef, and snorkeling (with assistance, if desired) in at least two different places. Worked for me!

Hope that helps.
kja is offline  
Nov 29th, 2017, 09:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I've snorkeled both off Cozumel and Puerto Morelos. It is VERY easy to do it at Cozumel. First, there are various tourism vendors with kiosks on ave Constituyentes selling snorkeling packages that are fairly good deals. Usually they are the couple hour boat tour/snorkeling (which includes equipment) and also include the ferry, as I recall. Pricing is competitive, so check a couple around there. Now you can easily do the same thing yourself if you just go to the ferry terminal and buy the ticket over and then on the pier there are numerous companies selling those trips, also, and you can maybe get a better feel for their boat, etc., once you are there looking at them. There are lots of them so I don't think there is a problem with being sold out if you don't buy in advance, but can't swear to that. I've done both methods and both were fine.

I did a day packaged tour to/from Puerto Morelos which is also very easy, of course. They pick you up and handle the entire day. I think I booked through, I suppose Viator has similar things. I can't recall the name of the actual company that was doing it (cancundiscounts is also just a local aggregator).

It's up to you, those day trip packages are pretty cheap, I think a lot easier than having to deal with all that public transportation, hiring a boat, etc. on your own. I don't see the point of that DIY, but you may.

I haven't been to Akumal to compare.

It could be the times I went, but I personally thought it was better at Cozumel. Conversely, my sister said when she snorkeled at PM several years earlier, she thought it was better there. But then when I did go to PM last year I didn't think it was that great at all and we didn't see as many fish as I had a Cozumel a couple years earlier. So who knows.
Christina is offline  
Dec 16th, 2017, 05:11 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 128
Thanks, all! I'd really like to go to Cozumel. I want to see the reef, and last time I went to PdC we didn't make it over. I also don't really want to deal with taking a bus and hiring a taxi, etc.

On the other hand, I'd love not to spend more than $50 or so for just a couple of hours of snorkeling. Those vendors along Av Constituyentes or Quinta Av -- is that feasible? Or are they more expensive?
imelda72 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2017, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 521
You need to compare, the prices do vary for the exact same tour , it depends whom you deal with. They are very quick to want to sell you a tour , so take the opportunity to shop and compare....
Rohelio is offline  
Dec 16th, 2017, 10:06 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 2,980
You don't need a tour, take the ferry over to Cozumel and taxi to Playa Palancar, snorkel trip with two stops is $35 for a few hours. Boat goes out several times per day.
Or take taxi to Puerto Morelos, a 2 hour snorkel trip will cost usually $25 with two stops, water and gear included.
jamie99 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2017, 02:24 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 819
Any suggestions for a good beach in Cozumel for walk-in snorkeling?
NGail is offline  
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