Isla Mujeres is known for its diving & snorkeling. Visibility is exceptional, normally 80-100 feet. There are over 50 local dive sites and most can be reached in less than
25 minutes. Among the most popular are:
This is one of the best dive sites for all level of divers and underwater photographers. With over 800 meters of reef, you’ll see terrific fields of elk horn, stag horn and brain coral! The vibrant colors of the reef and abundant schools of blue tangs, wrasse, grunts, and snappers enchant the most experienced of divers. The large parrot, queen angel fish, and spotted trunkfish also make it a spectacular dive. The depth ranges from 30-40 ft. Manchones Reef is also home to the
Cruz de la Bahia (Cross of the Bay) which was placed at Manchones August
Navy Boat Shipwreck
At a depth of 70 feet, this is a very exciting dive where you can explore the inside of the wreck from the bathrooms to the office, passing by the guns and, getting surprised by amberjacks and stingrays that love to play "hide and go seek".
Cave of the Sleeping Sharks
This is an isolated and an exciting place to dive. Discovered by
Carlos Garcia Castilla, a local fisherman, and made famous by
Cousteau, Dr. Eugene Clark and Ramon
Bravo. The cave’s fresh water bubbles attract a variety of sharks, making them groggy and allowing adventuresome divers to get a close-up view. Bull, black tip, gray reef sharks, and nurse sharks are commonly sited. The shark cave is at a depth of 60-70 feet.
Mid-way between Cancun & Isla Mujeres, Bandera reef is a long, elongated coral reef topped with elk-horn coral and cut through with ledges and overhangs. Schools of barracuda and pompano swarm over the reef as well as large crabs, spotted moray eels, langosta, and angel fish. This is a 40 foot dive.
Tavos Reef is an obscure dive site which is a small reef coupled with unique lime stone formations that have created a variety of crevices & tunnels, many of which are large enough for divers to pass through. This dive site also has the unique feature of attracting gray and white-tip reef sharks which seem to enjoy swimming through the arches and overhangs. This is a 35 foot dive.
On the Caribbean side of Isla Mujeres, “Media Luna” is 30-40 foot dive with unique arches, ridges, ledges and a wonderful variety of coral that make it a great dive for underwater exploring. Large sea anemone, spiny sea urchins, and langosta are frequently sighted.
This is a 100 ft deep sunken cargo ship 7 miles off of Isla Mujeres! It’s the home of a large moray eel, and several large jew fish. Turtles and rays are also frequently spotted! This dive is recommended for advanced divers.
Cameronero or "Shrimp Boat" is a relatively new wreck, sunk only 6 years ago, which has gradually built up its own host of inhabitants. Large schools of snapper, grouper are seen. This is a 60-70 foot dive.
The beginning of the second longest coral barrier in the world, Punta Negra is a popular dive at a depth of 70 feet and with little current, an abundant of sea and plant life including turtles and sharks.
At the southern end of Isla Mujeres is the dive site called “Punta Sur” where the Gulf of Mexico & Caribbean merge, this site has the remains of an old wreck and a 400 year old anchor. This site 40 foot site has strong currents which makes it appropriate for small groups of advanced divers and is a favorite playground for dolphins and sea turtles.
A 60 - 70 foot dive, at Piedra Atravesada you will find a huge reef full of colorful corals and great varieties of fishes like Jurel, Mantas, Jewfish, Scorpion Fish, Spiders, Octopus, Starfish, Lobster and Parrot Fish.
Only 5 minutes by boat at a depth of 40 feet, you will find a delightful coral reef that has many caves, with considerable variety and quantity of fish such as: big Barracudas, Grey Nurse Sharks, Turtles, Blue and Green Parrot fish, Grunts, Porcupine, Jurels, Yellowjacks, Snappers, Midnight Parrot fish, Lobster, Shrimp, Starfish, as well as a great variety of soft corals.
At a depth of 70 feet, there is another Shipwreck, a shrimp boat 120 feet long that sank during hurricane Gilbert in 1988. There you will find Green Morey Eels 1.5 meter long; Nurse Sharks; Rainbow Parrot fish; schools of Cobia fish, Groupers, Amber jacks and Snappers; lots of Shells, Stone fish and Lobsters.
In addition to Caribbean diving, fresh-water cenote diving is also easily accessible with just a short ride to the mainland! The Yucatan peninsula’s incredible cenote diving is another special feature of Quintana Roo. Unique to the area are huge fresh water caverns decorated with stalactites and stalagmites. After two hundred and fifty million years of dramatic changes in sea level, these spectacular caves and caverns have been formed & are increasingly being explored by divers!