When you’re in the Caribbean, it’s always a pleasure to look out at the turquoise ocean, but have you ever wondered about what there is to see beneath the waves?
Scuba diving in Playa del Carmen is a huge attraction, as you can tell by the numerous dive shops in the area!
Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen
Seasoned divers often will dismiss Playa del Carmen for a diving trip, in favor of the more decorated and well-known Cozumel dive sites. While Cozumel, no doubt IS more beautiful, that’s not to say the diving in Playa should be overlooked.
There is a range of shallow sites, deep dives, drifts, and even the shipwreck, Mama Viña, in Playa del Carmen to explore. Plus, during the wintertime, you can arrange to see the bull sharks when they come to the area to gestate. The visibility is generally great too, meaning you can see the beautiful fish and corals clearly as you swim around them.
Playa del Carmen also is a great place to stay if you’re a more adventurous cenote diver. As you may know, the cenotes in the region are freshwater sinkholes that are great for swimming in, but there are many more that are available for scuba divers to explore! You swim inside the cavern area of the ancient caves and get to see the incredible stalactites and stalagmites that have been there for millions of years!
Cenote diving takes a little more experience but is worth it for a dive unlike any other.
Even if you’ve never been diving before in your life, you can still try scuba diving! The conditions for scuba in Playa del Carmen make it excellent for beginners. There are a ton of reefs which are a pretty short boat ride from the shore and are shallower for newbies.
Non-divers can do a day ‘Discover Scuba Diving experience, under the watchful eye of an instructor, who will show you some basic skills in the pool, before heading into the ocean in the afternoon to see the fish and the reefs for real!
So, how do you experience these amazing dives? We’re going to give you a run-down of some of the best dive shops in Playa Del Carmen.
5 Best Dive Shops in Playa del Carmen
Blue Life has been around for many years in Playa del Carmen, and their dive shop, close to Coco Beach makes for a short walk to the boat for their dive trips.
Their experienced team knows the reefs like the back of their hand and can put together great courses and packages for you to experience and progress through your diving career.
As well as expert ocean skills, they also excel in cenote diving and offer cave courses for those advanced divers who want more of a challenge!
Diversity Diving is a great little dive shop with a local vibe. Their mantra is ‘Come as a guest. Leave as a friend!’
You’ll find that the divers that go with Diversity come back year after year with them and are part of the family. They can arrange dives for beginners, courses to get certified, as well as ocean and cenote, dive too!
One of the best things about a dive trip with Diversity Diving is that they have their boat, so they have their choice of the dive sites, making it easier to plan special reef visits, such as deep dives or the shipwreck.
DivePoint Mexico is a newer dive operation with a big focus on client wellbeing and enjoyment. They pride themselves on a great level of structure and safety, knowing all there is to know about the dive sites and cenotes that they can offer you, as well as having well-maintained equipment for all of their divers.
This shop is driven by girl power. The owner and most of the staff are female and love nothing more than introducing the world of diving to other mermaids who want to discover what is under the waves! Plus, as a small shop, they offer a more personable service, with dive groups often just being your reservation with an individual instructor.
Tank-ha Dive Centre
Tank-ha is a larger dive operation based in the heart of downtown Playa del Carmen. They are a busy shop with a great team of caring staff who love all things diving.
They are known for having great equipment, and you can often see their divers heading through town on their golf carts – saving the walk to the beach!
The Cenote Guy
As the name suggests, The Cenote Guy specializes in taking divers to experience the mystical cenotes of the Riviera Maya.
Aiden, and his team, know all there is to know about diving in the cenotes of the region, and his many excellent reviews on TripAdvisor prove that they certainly know their stuff in terms of safety AND giving you a great diving experience. They are popular, so you’ll be sure to make diver friends on a dive day with them.
Check out their daily dive offers, certain cenotes have a discount depending on the day you choose.
Keeping Kids in School
Aside from the amazing activities, you can partake in, like scuba diving or cenote hopping, on your Playa del Carmen vacation, we’d also like you to think about giving back to the community of the area.
In this part of Mexico, many children are unable to receive a full education, as unlike in other countries, high school education is not free. It can be pricey for families, often costing two months’ worth of the low local wages to cover a year of school admission fees. This, along with the price of resources, uniforms, and other supplies needed to continue an education means that some children simply cannot afford to attend.
The good news is it costs less than $2 USD per day to keep a student in high school. KKIS is a non-profit charity that works in Playa del Carmen to help to keep students in school.
So, before you splash out on a dive day, also consider how you can contribute to helping a child achieve and succeed, by supporting KKIS.