I love scuba diving. It’s shaped the vacations I’ve taken in ways no other hobby of mine does. One of the best experiences I’ve ever had was on a recent trip to Mexico, where I was able to not only dive off the coast, but also explore the freshwater cenotes for which the Yucatan is famous. Because Playa del Carmen is a spot that draws a lot of tourism every year, they have really well developed resources for people who want to go scuba diving. It’s also known for its incredible natural beauty, which made it a great place to get away from everyday life.
The best thing I can say about Playa is that there were a lot of other divers there, enjoying the awesome dive opportunities, so I always had a dive buddy and someone to compare notes with. There are several really great companies that offer inclusive packages and dive tours of the reefs around the area. These are considered underwater national parks, and they are full of amazing marine wildlife such as sea turtles, beautiful underwater plants, and also barracuda. Those last are not the friendliest of fish, and I’d recommend not getting too close to them, as they are highly aggressive.
Diving in the cenotes was unlike anything I’d ever experienced. Even sea caves have a different feel about them. These sunken freshwater upwellings were amazing, but you need to be an experienced diver to enjoy them fully. While there was no wildlife to see, there were other interesting things you won’t find anywhere else. Indigenous people used these wells to offer sacrifices to their gods, and there are some pretty interesting objects at the bottom if they haven’t been looted. The fact that you’ll be diving with a lamp is why I suggest only experienced divers sign on for this. Once you go past the reach of the sunlight, the darkness gets intense. I do not recommend this for people with claustrophobia issues.
If you aren’t experienced at scuba diving, you can change that in Playa del Carmen. There are a number of safety courses and techniques classes that every diver at every level can take. I say that, because what you don’t know can harm you, and these classes help people to get the most fun out of their diving in a safe way that won’t hurt them or their diving partners. Playa is. Playa del Carmen scuba diving is an amazing experience, and one I plan to repeat if I get the chance.