Diving in the Yucatán Peninsula offers cenotes and high-speed drifts. Most open water sites are found in the Caribbean Sea.
Yucatán's Riviera Maya features caverns and bull sharks while Cancún has healthy reefs and a stunning underwater museum. Dive the offshore islands for shark migrations and open ocean drifts.
Don't miss opportunities to dive in glassy cenotes scattered around the Yucatan, and make sure you schedule some time at the far southern edge of the territory - this biodiversity hotspot is worth the trip.
Dolphins and sharks patrol deeper waters as colorful fish hang out by the reefs. While diving in the Yucatán spot eels and lobsters near overhangs or eagle rays gliding through the shallows. Dive in mangroves and you may run across a manatee.
Diving in the Yucatan Peninsula is a year-round activity: there is no bad time to dive. In fact, water temperatures cool only slightly from 82ºF/28ºC in summer to 77ºF/25ºC during the winter months.
If you enjoy uncrowded dive sites travel to the Yucatan between May and November when the region is quietest.
In terms of marine life, diving in the Yucatan Peninsula is known for its bull sharks that are seen from November-March. If you want the best light for stunning photographs the best time for cenote diving in the Yucatan is May-September.
June-September is best for whale sharks. From May to September hawksbill and loggerhead turtles arrive to lay their eggs. As you can see, diving in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico is very pleasant and critter-filled all year.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
Separating the Gulf of Mexico from the Caribbean, the Yucatan Peninsula juts up from the base of Mexico. There are dozens of international and domestic airports welcoming adventurous travelers to Mexico's Mayan temples and thriving reefs.
The main gateway for diving in the Yucatán region is Cancún Airport. You can fly non-stop to Cancún from London (10h 10m), Paris (10h 45m) and Los Angeles (4h 26m). The journey from Asia takes about a day with a stopover in one of these European or US hubs. It's worth it for the sunny beaches and fierce bull sharks.
Once in country getting around is straightforward as plenty of inexpensive taxis and buses zoom across the landscape. Diving in the Yucatan is a combination of boat dives and shore dives. Speedboats take you to outer reefs and islands - look out for migrating whale sharks and turtles en route.
For diving in cenotes, you'll be whisked off in a 4x4 truck. Between dives, hop on a bus tour to marvel at the Mayan ruins.