Scuba Diving Tulum Mexico: The Complete Guide


Jason is an adventure travel writer with a passion for exploring the world's most beautiful and remote destinations.

Thinking about scuba diving in Tulum, Mexico? You’ve picked a fantastic destination. This slice of paradise is filled with some of the best diving spots in the world. 

But where do you start when planning a diving trip to Mexico? Choosing the right dive shop and location can be tough, especially if you’ve never dived before. 

In this guide, we’ll show you how to plan a scuba diving trip to Tulum, Mexico, and everything you need to know to make your trip a memorable one. 

Wondering what to wear under your wetsuit? We have you covered! Check out this post for the best gear recommendations. 

The Best Time To Go Scuba Diving In Tulum

It’s warm year-round in Tulum, with temperatures ranging from 73 to 88 degrees. Even in winter, the temperature only drops to around 78 on an average day, so there really is no bad time to go scuba diving in Tulum, Mexico. 

If you want to beat the crowds, book a trip between May and November. This time of year gets the best light streams in the cenotes, and there are fewer people diving. 

From November through to March, you’re more likely to get a visit from a bull shark that arrive en masse to breed. If you can visit this time of year, it’s quite spectacular to see. 

Of course, summer is the most popular time to visit Tulum since it’s the time when most people look to travel. Also, you’re more likely to see whale sharks between June and September. 

Summer is also when the green loggerhead turtles arrive on the beaches to lay their eggs, so you’ll likely see these swimming while diving. 

What To Expect When Scuba Diving In Tulum

man in black shorts diving in water

You have two options for diving in Tulum: reef and cenote diving. Each is totally different, so it’s important to know what you plan on doing to know what to expect. 

Reef diving

Reef diving in Tulum is the most popular option. You’ll get to see the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef sitting off the Caribbean coastline – the second-largest coral reef after the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. 

The reef in Tulum is teeming with marine life and has plenty of diving sites to choose from. Thousands of people visit the reef yearly, and it’s truly stunning to see for yourself. 

Cenote Diving

The cenotes in Tulum are world-famous, and many experienced divers come here just to experience their beauty. 

Cenotes are sinkholes with limestone walls, resulting in water-filled caves. They take thousands of years to form, and the Yucatan Peninsula has more than 6,000 cenotes alone. 

If you’re a beginner or nervous diver, a cenote dive is a great option to get started. They are completely contained and look almost like ponds. Since the water is totally calm and the depth is known, it can be much less stressful diving in a cenote. 

Cenote Angelina is the most popular one in Tulum, so this might be a good spot for your first cenote diving trip. 

Where to go Scuba Diving in Tulum

woman sitting on a rock near water

Speaking of the best places to go scuba diving in Tulum, you really are spoiled for choice. 


Cuevitas (“Little Caves”) is by far one of the most popular places to go diving in Tulum, Mexico. On the dive, you’ll see a series of arches, or little caves, and pass by hundreds of tropical fish. 

If you’re lucky, you’ll spot a lobster or blowfish in Cuevitas, and since it’s only 30 feet down, it’s a good cave diving trip for beginners. 

Casa Cenote

Casa Cenote is a long, winding dive but very easy to navigate. The maximum depth is 25 feet, so it’s another good one for beginners who are recently scuba dive certified. 

You’ll see freshwater and saltwater fish and even the occasional friendly crocodile. That’s not a joke; they’re very familiar with scuba divers now and aren’t a danger. 

Cenote Angelita

This one is the most popular cenote frequented by experienced divers. The start of the cave is clouded by the famous hydrogen sulfide cloud, but once you’re past it, the visibility is very good. 

The water in Cenote Angelita is green and looks like a pond, but it has a maximum depth of around 130 feet. Dive deep enough and look up, and it feels like you’re among the clouds; it’s an unreal experience. 

We wouldn’t recommend this dive for beginners since it requires some more technical knowledge. But it’s a great bucket list dive for experienced divers. 

Tankah Deep

This dive site is best for intermediate and advanced divers. It’s about 100 feet deep with stunning coral formations and hundreds and large fish. In winter, this is where you’ll spot bull sharks coming to breed. 

Dos Ojos

Cenote Dos Ojos is around twenty minutes from Tulum, but it’s still worth mentioning. This cenote is named for the two holes that look like eyes staring up into the sky. 

You can choose either cavern, and both are relatively shallow dives. Once under, you’ll pass through a series of caverns and tunnels that lead to stunning open spaces of turquoise water. 

The Marine Life You’ll See When Scuba Diving In Tulum

The turquoise water, encrusted coral reef, and abundance of marine life won’t disappoint in Tulum. If you’re lucky, you’ll see turtles, manta rays, lobsters, eels, reef fish, and even a whale shark on your dive. 

If you’re diving in the cenotes, the scenery is very different. You’ll need to take a 4×4 inland to reach the cenotes, through the untouched wilderness of Tulum. The subterranean waterways are also home to plenty of fish and the occasional crocodile. 

Underwater photographers come from around the world to photograph cenotes and their breathtaking light rays. 

Tips For Scuba Diving In Tulum

birds eye view of scuba divers in blue water

If this is your first time diving in Tulum, Mexico, here are a few key tips to help you make the most of your trip. 

Get certified

Most places require an instructor unless you have advanced diving certifications. There are a couple of different dive centers in Tulum to choose from, but we suggest taking a course to get an introduction to diving before you go. Most of the sites won’t allow you to dive unless you’re certified. 

Get the right travel insurance

You need specialized travel insurance that covers scuba diving on your trip. Diving isn’t usually covered automatically, which means you’ll have to pay out of pocket if an accident should happen. 

Do your research and ensure your travel insurance covers scuba diving trips before booking. 

Always ascend slowly

You’ll be diving with an instructor who will show you the proper way to dive and ascend, but always come up slowly. Breathe normally and take your time to avoid the bends. When your instructor covers safety with you, they’ll cover this, so pay close attention. 

Don’t touch anything

It’s important to leave the animals, fish, and coral reefs alone when diving in Tulum. Some are poisonous and deadly, and others are sharp and could cause injury. It’s also important that we don’t disturb wildlife while diving. So resist the urge to touch anything when visiting the underwater world. 

Best Dive Shops in Tulum

There are plenty of great dive shops in Tulum for renting gear and booking trips. Here are a couple of our favorites. 

Agua Clara Diving Tulum

Agua Clara is arguably one of the best dive shops in Tulum. It’s a PADI 5-Star Center and specializes in eco-friendly tours of small groups. They have a zero-waste approach and offer trips in the reef and multiple cenotes. 

This shop offers a PADI-accredited open water course for newbies, or you can opt for a simple reef dive to dip your toes in and see if you like diving. 

La Calypso Dive Center

La Calypso is most popular with French-speaking tourists and is another popular dive shop in Tulum. The instructors speak English, French, Spanish, and other languages, so it’s easy to see why it’s popular with tourists. 

You can take a PADI-certified course here, too, as well as beginner-friendly dives at reasonable prices. The team at La Calypso also takes divers out to the reef or to several of the cenotes inland. 

The beginner course is particularly good for non-swimmers and nervous divers. It takes place at Casa Cenote, and the instructors are great at building confidence in new divers. 

Koox Diving

Koox Diving is the best center in Tulum for experienced divers. They have some great courses on technical and deep sea diving that let you take part in some challenging dives. 

The prices are a little steeper here, but you get to go on some incredible trips. They have different trips to the reef and most of the nearby Cenotes, as well as freediving and swimming with whale sharks. 

If you want something a little different, they also offer a night tour to one of the cenotes to look for friendly crocodiles!


Infinity2Diving is another excellent dive shop in Tulum that has a range of PADI-certified courses, simple diving lessons, and trips to the reef and cenotes. 

This is the shop to go to if you want to go shipwreck diving. The team offers an excursion to General Felipe Santiago Xicoténcatl’s wrecked ship near Cozumel and the Mama Vina wreck in Playa del Carmen. 

These trips are only for experienced divers, but they are worth the trip if you’re looking for something different on your trip to Mexico. 

Want to Get Scuba Diving Certified?

Tulum in Mexico is one of the most incredible places in the world to go scuba diving. From the stunning coral reef to the marine life and out-of-this-world cenotes, it’s a trip every scuba diver should take. 

But you really need to be certified before you go scuba diving in Tulum, Mexico. Most of the trips are off-limits unless you have a certification, and it can take up a lot of your trip getting certified while you’re there. 

If you’re wondering how much it costs to get certified, head to our next post, where we cover the cost of scuba diver certification and the best courses you can take. 

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