9 Must-Visit Snorkeling Resorts in Scenic Riviera Maya

Mexico is a gorgeous country, with some of the most top-rated getaway destinations across the globe. One of these destinations is Riviera Maya, a stretch of coastline near Cancun on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. Riviera Maya’s beaches are home to the Great Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second-largest reef system. 

With crystal clear waters, gorgeous weather, and a wide variety of diverse sea life, it’s no wonder that thousands of tourists flock to the cities of Riviera Maya year-round.

Unfortunately, it’s common to get caught up in the excitement of planning activities and poolside dinners. Riviera Maya is home to hundreds of all-inclusive resorts, and it can be challenging to choose the best fit for yourself or your party. 

Luckily, we’ve narrowed down nine of the best snorkeling resorts in Riviera Maya to help narrow down the options and lock in an excellent choice for your trip.

Top 9 Snorkeling Resorts in Riviera Maya

Here are our top nine picks for phenomenal snorkeling resorts in Riviera Maya. There’s a choice for everyone, including adults, couples, families, and disabled tourists.

1. Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa

Our top pick on the list is the Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa. This Puerto Morelos beachfront resort is designated as a VIP property for its exceptional service and accommodations and has a stellar four and a half-star hotel rating. 

You’re welcome to leave the resort and venture out into Riviera Maya at any time, but you probably won’t want to. The Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is located right on the beach, with a total of nine restaurants, five bars and lounges, and 24-hour room service.

There are three outdoor pools with poolside bars and even one swim-up bar for the ultimate lounging experience. When you’re not relaxing by the pool, you can enjoy plenty of the resort’s on-site activities such as yoga, kayaking, and snorkeling. You can snorkel right along the beach as much as you like or schedule an organized boat trip with an experienced tour guide.

Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa is also one of the most diverse and handicap accessible resorts in Riviera Maya. Just say one word, and you’ll have access to a staff member who speaks English, Spanish, French, German, or Italian. All of their pathways and concierge desks are wheelchair-accessible, as well as the rooms and connected bathrooms.

(Looking for more snorkeling spots in Cancun? Try reading; Best Snorkeling Destinations in Cancun)

2. Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort

Akumal Beach is known for being one of the most popular snorkeling locations in Riviera Maya and is home to the four-star Akumal Bay Beach Beach & Wellness Resort. 

This Akumal Bay Resort is one-size-fits-all with various activities and accommodations depending on your age, mood, or preference. For relaxing, help yourself to tan on the private beach or the full-service spa. If you’d like to push your limits, hit up the 24-hour fitness facilities.

Most importantly, scuba diving and snorkeling are available on-site, accessible with one visit to the concierge desk. Take the kids with you or park them at the free children’s club where they can enjoy their own activities and socialize with others.

3. Barceló Maya Beach

The Barceló Maya Beach is a four-star, all-inclusive destination and is an excellent pick for families visiting Riviera Maya.

The resort is expansive, with over six hundred rooms, three restaurants and bars, and two outdoor pools. They have endless activities located on-site, including basketball, eco-tours, volley, windsurfing, and of course, snorkeling. 

No matter which hotel you’re located in on Barceló’s vast property, you have access to the full five-mile stretch of beach that the resort borders. Snorkels, masks, and fins are available for free one hour per person per day from the dive shop, but you’re also welcome to bring your own equipment. 

The reefs off the coast of Barceló are home to a plethora of beautiful and exciting sea life, and you don’t have to leave on a paid excursion to spend hours in the ocean soaking in the views.

4. Viceroy Riviera Maya

A small-scale, all-inclusive getaway with amazing beachfront views is none other than the five-star VIP Viceroy Riviera Maya. 

This resort is adults-only, with a minimum check-in age of 14. The amenities are basic but luxurious, with access to a full-service spa, outdoor pool, and fitness facility. Scuba diving is available on-site, or you can travel 35 minutes away to the gorgeous Dos Ojos natural reserve cenote with equipment provided by Viceroy.

An extra plus to the Viceroy Riviera Maya is their acceptance of dogs with no weight limit. It’s an extra nightly fee, but a priceless experience for the pet lover who can’t stand to leave their furry companion at home.

5. Excellence Riviera Cancun

If you’re looking to plan a Riviera Maya vacation that you won’t forget, then consider booking a stay at Excellence Riviera Cancun. This VIP resort has an astonishing five-star rating and is located on a private beach in Puerto Morelos. The only downside is that this resort is for adults only, so families need to look elsewhere.

If you want to work off your free buffet breakfast or wholesome meal from one of the resort’s ten restaurants, then feel free to access any of the fitness classes, bicycle rentals, or hiking trails on-site. 

If you’d like to go snorkeling, there are some decent views right off the beach, but frequent travelers recommend walking along the coast to Puerto Morelos; here, there are plenty of amazing deals and guides that will take you snorkeling at the off-shore reef.

6. Residences at the Fives

Another outstanding choice for a snorkeling resort in Riviera Maya is the Residences at the Fives. This four and half-star rated stay won’t break the bank but still provide an unforgettable experience.

The Fives is located right along the Yucatan Coast in Playa Del Carmen, with access to plenty of outdoor activities. Not only can you snorkel right off the coast, but you might also want to consider exploring the Ruins of Tulum, Playa del Carmen Archeological Sites, or swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean Sea.

(Explore more adventurous Snorkeling Resorts in the Caribbean)

The Residents at the Fives is also an excellent choice for families with free infant cribs and children’s clubs, as well as disabled tourists with their widely wheelchair-accessible amenities. 

7. Amansala Yoga & Wellness Resort

Amansala is a three-star eco-chic resort and retreat located near Tulum Beach. This resort landed on our list for many reasons. First, it’s a small scale resort with only 45 rooms, so you can rest assured that you’re receiving adequate attention from the resort staff and instructors.

Amansala is located right on the beach with one of the best cenotes, Grand Cenote, only a 15-minute drive away. 

Signing up for the Grand Cenote Snorkel Tour includes transportation, a guide, snorkel gear, and entrance fees. You can expect to enjoy up to three hours of gorgeous underwater scenery on this tour, and not having to worry about transportation or finding your own snorkel gear is a plus.

When you’re not in the water, you can enjoy many of Amansala’s on-site activities, including yoga, meditation, and fitness sessions at their Beach Body Camp.

8. Desire Riviera Maya Resort

Are you interested in a romantic couples getaway? Then don’t look any further than the four-star Desire Riviera Maya Resort, an all-inclusive stay located along the Puerto Morelos beachfront. 

There are plenty of accommodations and activities to keep you rooted at the hotel with your partner, like the nightclub, multiple restaurants and bars, steam room, sauna, and a full-service spa. Additionally, most of the areas at Desire have an optional clothing requirement, so if you’re uncomfortable with nudity, this is not the choice for you.

Kayaking and windsurfing are available on-site, and you’re welcome to snorkel off the beach coast if you prefer some independence. You can book a personal tour with a guide who will provide you with equipment and an unforgettable experience for a little more guidance.

This resort is fantastic for socializing, pushing your boundaries, and pocketing some new and unique experiences to bring back home once the fun is over.

9. Catalonia Royal Tulum

Our final pick on the list is the affordable three-star Catalonia Royal resort, an all-inclusive adults-only getaway.

They have plenty of on-site activities, but what sets Catalonia apart from the rest is the availability of on-site kayaking, scuba diving, and snorkeling. 

You’ll be pruned and exhausted by the end of the day and can unwind at the full-service spa, spa tub, or steam room. All of these activities and services are included with the resort’s package, so you won’t have to face any unexpected or expensive fees along the way. This package even includes alcohol, which is a significant expense on many Riviera Maya vacations.

(You might also be interested in exploring more Incredible Snorkeling Resorts in Mexico)

Best Snorkeling Resorts in Riviera Maya Wrap-Up

All-in-all, Riviera Maya has an astonishing list of snorkeling resorts to choose from for your upcoming or dream vacation. 

The Breathless Riviera Cancun Resort & Spa lands extraordinarily high on our list with various all-inclusive activities and accommodations. Another honorable mention is the Viceroy Riviera Maya, which allows your furry friend to tag along at an additional charge.

We hope that this roundup has helped to narrow down your search and raised your anticipation for some marvelous snorkeling trips.

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