Shipwreck in the Riviera Maya, Yucatán, Mexico 23 Sep 2016
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The Riviera Maya is a paradise for divers. Indeed, south from Isla Mujeres past Cozumel and down the east coast of the Yucatán, lies one of the richest reef systems in the world. There are dive sites of every grade of difficulty, and the region’s dive operators offer a complete range of services, from “resort courses” (a one-day introduction to scuba) and instruction, to complex night dives. For beginners, the best locations are generally Isla Mujeres, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, or Playa del Carmen. Most operators and hotels also offer much less expensive snorkel tours, and without tanks and just a snorkel you can still see a great deal, especially off Cozumel and Puerto Morelos where the reefs are close inshore.
Inland, the freshwater cenote caves of the Yucatán are fascinating to explore, and have made the southern Riviera Maya around Akumal and Tulum the world’s most important area for cave and cavern diving and snorkelling. To undertake a full cave dive you must have an open-water dive certificate, but without this you can still snorkel in the upper chambers of the caverns.
The best way to explore the Yucatán peninsula is by booking onto Insight Guides' Yucatán: Ruins and Haciendas holiday, which will take you to all the best Mayan ruins in the peninsula and you'll also be able to swim in sparkling cenotes and explore the spectacular coral reefs.
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