Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen
Playa de Carmen scuba-diving

Even before Playa del Carmen came to be known as a tourist destination, scuba diving enthusiasts have always come to Playa for its great diving opportunities. The mixture is indeed enthralling- warm and crystal clear waters, amazing coral reefs and a rich marine life. It boasts a magnificent fractured limestone formation, which provides a natural and stunning home to coral reefs and marine life. Jacques Cousteau, the acclaimed scuba diver and documentary producer, proclaimed nearby Cozumel Island as one of the best dive spots in the world.

These elements make the Great Maya Reef a prime destination for underwater adventurers and divers. The reef, which is the second largest in the world, stretches from the Bay Islands of Honduras (455 kilometers south of Playa del Carmen) to Cabo Catoche (53 kilometers north of Cancun)

Along the Riviera Maya, there are around 70 identified dive sides, majority of which is but a short boat ride away from Playa del Carmen. Some of the more popular dive sites include Sabatos, Chum Zumbal, Moc Che Deep, Moc Che, Pared Verde, Cerebros, Los Arcos, Jardines, Barracuda and Tortugas.

The reef's vastness makes for different levels of difficulty and depth. There are dive sites that reach depths of over 30 meters, and there are some deeper still that require extensive diving experience and training. The reef is also home to over 500 species of marine life, including corals and sea turtles.

Not only can you explore the warm waters of the Caribbean, but you can also dive in the underground waters. The cenotes (sink holes) are another way to enjoy scuba diving in the Riviera Maya. There are over 75 identified cave systems in which one can dive.

If you are a novice diver, you can train for more exciting dives in the shallows and at the Chunzumbal reef in front of Coco beach.

As if these were not enough, you can also go wreck diving at the site where the Mama Viña sank. Mama Viña is a steel trawler that sank in 1996 after its bout with a hurricane. The site is to be found south of Xcaret and is home to jacks, barracuda and other schools of fish.

Here are some dive shops that can help set you up with the necessary diving equipment and provide you with training and guides for the diving experience of your life.

Scuba-Diving Shops in Playa del Carmen

Cyan Ha Divers
Address: Near Las Palapas and Shangri-La Hotels, on the beach
Telephone: 984-873-0978
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Services: PADI instruction, cenote snorkeling and cavern tours

Dive Mexico
Address: Federal Maritima (on the beach) between 14th and 16th streets
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Services: Professional diving instruction, cavern diving, reef diving, PADI instruction, snorkeling

Explora
Address: Calle 28, on Tukan Beach
Services: Windsurfing, reef diving, cave and cavern exploration, catamaran sailing, jungle tours and motorcycle tours.

Fantasea Dive
Opening Hours: Daily, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Services: Reef diving, open water diving courses, fishing, wake boarding and water skiing

Geo Fish
Address: 8th St. between 5th Ave. and the beach
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Services: Diving and snorkeling, kitesurfing

Go Cenotes
Address: Avenida 1a, Calles 24 and 26
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Services: cenotes diving and snorkel tours, whale watching, reef diing, parasailing, catamaran and kayak rentals

La Terraya
Address: 2nd St between 5th Ave and the beach
Telephone: 984-879-3329
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Services: Scuba diving, PADI instruction and cavern tours

Phocea Riviera Maya
Address: At the Hotel Colibre, Calle 1 between Calle 12 & 10
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Services: Cavern diving, reef diving, diving instruction, snorkeling

Pink Panther Divers
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Telephone: 984-108-8527
Services: Scuba and cenote diving, snorkeling and fishing

ProTec Advanced Training Facility
Address: Calle 4 between Avenida 30 and 25
Telephone: 984-803-1168
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Services: Advanced driver training, cave and cavern diving

Seas Sub
Address: 1 av. Norte and Calle 26
Services: Equipment rental and repairs (dive and snorkel equipment)

Sealife
Address: Mamita's Beach and 28th St.
Telephone: 984-803-2866
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:30 to 4:30
Services: Reef diving for different levels of difficulty, wreck dives and cenote dives

Tank Ha Divers
Address: 5th avenue between 8th and 10th street
Telephone: 984-873-0302
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Services: PADI and NAUI instruction, cavern tours

The Abyss
Address: 1st Ave. between 8th and 10th St.
Telephone: 984-873-2164
Opening Hours: Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Services: PADI and NAUI instruction, cavern tours, snorkeling

The Dive Shop
Address: 1st Ave and 26th St.
Telephone: 984-803-1192
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:p.m., 5:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Services: Diving equipment rental and repairs

Yana Ha
Address: Calle 28 between 20th and 25th streets
Telephone: 984-803-1168
Opening Hours: Mondays to Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 2:p.m., 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Services: Cenotes Diving


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