Where to snorkel in Puerto Morelos Mexico?

The Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico is a very popular destination nowadays. The small village of Puerto Morelos definitely becomes more and more celebrated among tourists who seek a relaxed place to enjoy the sun and excellent diving, snorkeling opportunities in the Marine Park. We show you where to snorkel in Puerto Morelos and what to see underwater!

Shore snorkeling vs. guided snorkel in Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos snorkeling tours

After arriving at Puerto Morelos Beach, it won’t be so difficult to find a snorkel trip, there are countless tour operators around offering their services. A 2-stops trip cost around 25 USD. The boat takes you to the reef that lies about 500 meters offshore. For maximum comfort, you can book a complex Riviera Maya Snorkeling trip that includes everything that you need for a day full of underwater adventures! The Puerto Morelos Reef is part of the Great Mesoamerican Reef, the world’s second largest reef system that stretches at the coast of Mexico. Vibrant corals and rich marine life are guaranteed since the area is a marine reserve. Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos Reef National Park will give you the opportunity to observe healthy ecosystems featuring many different soft and hard coral types, as well as various creatures from small sea slugs to rays, lemon sharks if you are lucky.

Puerto Morelos Reef

Note: it is not allowed anymore to swim directly to the outer main reef from the shore the as it was before. The only option is signing up for a tour. Snorkel vest must be worn!

Puerto Morelos Reef snorkeling trips are enjoyable only be calm weather conditions. If the wind is strong, sea is choppy we don’t recommend to go out the main reef due to strong currents and low visibility. But don’t be disappointed if the weather does not seem so nice! Luckily, you can snorkel in Puerto Morelos from the shore too!

Puerto Morelos snorkeling from shore

Although the main reef offers the widest variety of corals and marine life, you find a lot of things to see if you just snorkel from the shore too which is of course free. Where to snorkel in Puerto Morelos from shore? While standing on the beach, you will see a buoy line in the water. Stay behind it for your own safety. Please check on the Puerto Morelos snorkeling map below where you can snorkel. Technically the area between Hotel Amar Inn and Day & Night Beach Club. The water is shallow for a few meters and the sea bottom is covered with sea grass. Watch out, this is a perfect place to spot rays and turtles! Swim towards the open water (but stay inside the buoys) to find the coral patches. Here the water is about 4-6 meters deep, and current can be strong, therefore we recommend snorkeling here for confident swimmers only. Wearing life jacket is not a must in this area. You can rent fins and mask at the dive shops on the beach, but we recommend to buy your own snorkel set due to practical and hygienic reasons.

Puerto Morelos shore snorkeling map

What type of corals and fish to see?

Now you know where to snorkel in Puerto Morelos but you might ask what will you see exactly? The Puerto Morelos Reef, as we mentioned is part of the world’s second largest barrier reef and a protected area. You will snorkel above hard coral formations including Brain, Staghorn and Elkhorn corals and a wide variety of soft corals like Black Sea Rods, Bent Sea Bonds and colorful Sea fans. You will be mesmerized by the colorful tropical fish: Parrotfish, big shoals of Blue Tangs just to mention a few. If you just snorkel from shore, you won’t find big coral formations rather smaller pinnacles built-up from hard corals. The amount of fish is amazing close the shore as well, Barracuda groups, shoals of French Grunt, Atlantic Spadefish are cruising around. We even spotted a blind Porcupine fish too, watch our Puerto Morelos snorkeling video to see him! The sandy sea bottom is home to soft coral species. You have a good chance to meet turtles and rays in the shallow water!

Do you like corals but want to see something different under the sea? Don’t miss out snorkeling in the Underwater Museum while staying in Cancun – Mexico!

Corals - Puerto Morelos

How to get to Puerto Morelos Mexico?

The village is gaining popularity among tourists who prefer quiet holidays rather than resort life. This small-town still keeps its traditional charm despite the recent developments. It lies halfway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. If you have a rental car, it is only a 20-30 mins drive from Playa or from Cancun. Other options: take private taxi, ADO Bus or the local collectivos. Easy but comfortable way of getting around! We highly recommend to visit this lovely town for just a day, or even spend a longer period here. Although we stayed in Playa del Carmen, we definitely did not regret to take time to snorkel in Puerto Morelos. It was definitely one of the highlights of our Mexican trip, we liked it more than Akumal Beach if it comes to the beach and marine life.

Anett Szaszi

Anett is a certified scuba diver, freediver and an expert in snorkeling with more than 10 years experience. She fell in love with the ocean when she put her head underwater in the Red Sea in 2008. Since then , she is traveling all over the world to discover our waters. Wherever she goes, she takes her mask, fins and underwater camera with her. Visiting mega-cities is not her style but getting lost in tiny coastal villages, capturing the beauty of the sea while snorkeling. She is interested in sustainable traveling and marine conservation. She is hoping to inspire people to protect our oceans by sharing her underwater stories. Find her photos on @anett.szaszi Instagram too!

2 thoughts on “Where to snorkel in Puerto Morelos Mexico?

  • 2019-10-30 at 20:07

    We will be in Cancun for 5 days, we are currently planning a trip to Xel ha, Isle Mujeres, and Cozumel. We have one day that we are thinking about going to Puerto Morelos and either snorkel from shore or take a basic snorkeling tour as you mentioned around $25USD. Based upon our current plan, what snorkeling adventure makes more sense. We have about 4 hours to spend there.

    • 2019-10-30 at 21:59

      Hi Jeff,

      Yes, it is definitely a good idea to go to Puerto Morelos. If you are lucky and the sea is calm, you can snorkel from the shore (there are nice corals and plenty of fish to see, you just need to swim around and find the area) or take a boat to the big reef. And the beach is nice as well. In case of rough sea, I would go to one of the nearby cenotes and spend the time there.
      Hope this helps, have a nice holiday 🙂


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