Cancun, in the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, is sometime called The Glittering City. Exactly what this refers to – it could be either the lights of the buzzing nightclub scene or the sunlight reflecting off of the crystal clear ocean – is unclear, but it is certainly one of the more complimentary city nicknames out there. (Much better than London’s, that’s for sure: The Big Smoke!)
The city itself is famous in America because it’s a popular destination for Spring Breakers – every year, in the American equivalent of the Easter half-term holiday, hordes of college students flock to Cancun to engage in revelry of the highest degree.
Worry not, dear traveller – it’s not like that all the time. In fact, it’s a pretty great place, no matter what kind of tourist you are. However, as you’re currently reading this article, we have to assume you’re at least mildly interested in scuba diving. Luckily for you, Cancun is just amazing for that particular pastime. Here’s a short guide for you. Divulge and dive in!
Where to Go
There are a few different hotspots in the Cancun area, so you have some choices to make. First off, there is Arrecifes Chitales. You’ll find this shallow reef near Punta Cancun, so it’s not far to travel, and as it’s only about 40 feet deep, it’s great for beginners.
Don’t worry, though: it’s good for any veterans, too, as you can go further out and experience the current. It’s the perfect spot for drift diving, and the water is so delightfully warm that you’ll barely know you’re out of the sun.
Next, we have the Isla Mujeres. This little island is beautiful itself, with a luscious lagoon ripe for exploration, but it’s also home to a number of great dive spots. A lot of them are fantastic for beginners as you can see so far, but for experts we’d suggest the scarily named Cave of Sleeping Sharks.
Our last recommendation is the Underwater Museum, because it is precisely what it sounds like. An eco-friendly museum beneath the waves, this dive takes you around about 500 sculptures. Fantastic!
Wanna Get Certified?
If you want to get hold of your scuba diving certification, there are a few ways to do this. To start out, you can go to a resort course, where you’ll cover the basics – enough to last you your whole stay in Cancun.
However, if you want to then scuba dive elsewhere, you’ll need the full Open Water Certification. There are a handful of places nearby which offer this; be prepared to spend up to 4 days and $400. You may even get a specialty course thrown into the mix, such as Cavern Diving!
There are plenty of other tips we could give (like book your flights with Cheapflights, make sure to bring along an underwater camera for some unforgettable snapshots, try out a night dive for memories to last a lifetime) but ultimately, you have to just get out there and do it for the best experience.
Oh, and don’t forget to dive around the Great Maya Barrier Reef – this reef is only beaten in size by that big one in Australia!