Riviera Maya, Cancun & Cozumel
The Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico provides some outstanding vacation locations with world class diving. Facing the Gulf of Mexico, the Rivera Mayo and to its north Cancun are located on the mainland while Cozumel is an island located nearby. Cancun is the northern point of the Great Mesoamerican Reef which runs 450 miles to Honduras, the second largest reef in the world. For Decades Cozumel has been the destination that divers went to, the current sweeping around the islands and deep reefs provide some of the best drift dives in the world. Visibility can exceed 100 feet. In recent years divers have extended their range and now the main land is also a well know destination. Here the reefs are shallow and the currents are generally calm. Visibility on these reefs average 50 to 70 feet depending on the season. Water temperatures in both locations range from 75 to 85°f (23° to 29°c).
The must do in this area is to dive a cenote. A cenote is a sinkhole. The peninsula has numerous Limestone caves and underground rivers. Sometimes the roof of a cave will collapse and the cave fill with rainwater. Many of these cenotes are very large and make a perfect dive even for beginners with unlimited visibility.
Mexican Pacific Coast
Mexico's Pacific coast has distinct areas that scuba divers enjoy.
The southern coast of the Mexican Rivera around Acapulco provide divers with a range of dives that include small reefs and a number of small ship wrecks. Dive sites are mostly just a few minutes from shore and the marine life is varied. The northern coast has a greater number of dive sites and both Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta have numerous dive operators. Many of the dive sites in this area are for advance divers as the current can be very strong and unpredictable. These conditions also means that larger fish can show up at any time. A favorite place to see humpback whales in the winter months.
Baja is the other area. A peninsula that attaches to California much of the area is remote. Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip, is an outstanding staging area for diving here. To the east is the Sea of Cortez, breeding grounds to humpback whales, and whale sharks. It is also home to numerous dolphins and manta rays. The Pacific side of Baja is rich in plankton and attracts those large species that feed on them or feed on those that feed on them.
Water temperature in the Mexican Pacific coast is generally 78° - 83°F (25° - 28°C). However divers normally dress for colder water temperatures since thermoclines and cold currents are common and may be ten degrees cooler.