The diving in Mahahual is two-fold.
First, short-term divers can access several barrier reef sites just offshore of this small village.
These are easy reef dives.
Second and much more famous, #Mahahual is the main jumping off point for #Banco #Chinchorro which is home to some of the best diving in the Northern Hemisphere. This #Biosphere Reserve hosts easy drifts, colorful reefs and intriguing shipwrecks. All these sites feature excellent visibility and warm waters, but some are more difficult than others.
Advanced divers can head for the eastern side of the atoll where heavy surf makes diving difficult or, as is the case of several wrecks in the area, impossible. Intermediate and novice divers should stick to the west side of the atoll where the reefs are #protected from open #ocean currents.
Operators in Mahahual use speedboats to travel the 30 minutes to an hour it takes to reach Banco Chinchorro from the mainland. They also use boats to access the reef sites closer to shore.
#WHEN TO GO
Diving from Mahahual is possible during every month. For the best visibility, book between May-Nov. For the more pelagic species, book from Dec-Apr.
DECEMBER TO APRIL
There is no bad time to dive from Mahahual. In fact, the water temperatures remain constant year-round and cool only slightly during the winter months.
December to April is considered the best time to visit #Mexico and therefore is the most popular time to dive in Mahahual. If you enjoy a good balance between topside temperatures and a better variety of pelagic species, the winter months are the best time to dive Banco Chinchorro. Because the winter months constitute high season, you should make sure to book as early as possible in order to secure the best rate.
On average, water temperatures vary between 78 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC) in Banco Chinchorro.
MAY TO NOVEMBER
Simply keep an eye on the forecast during the summer and early fall. These seasons do see the occasional hurricane. When there isn’t a hurricane, the weather during the summer is hot and humid with the occasional rain shower.
As an added bonus, the summer months are low season throughout Mexico. At this time, you’ll find the best deals on diving and accommodation. If you enjoy uncrowded, Caribbean #dive sites, May and September is the best time to dive from Mahahual.
WHERE TO DIVE
Visitors arriving by cruise ship for a limited amount of time should dive at the reefs near shore. Those with more time, should head to Banco Chinchorro.
SNORKELING IN MAHAHUAL
#Snorkeling in Mahahual is full of opportunity. Those not wishing to venture far should check out the shallow reefs from shore. Otherwise, snorkeling Banco Chinchorro is nearly as good as diving on the atoll. You’ll be treated to wonderful reefs and plentiful colorful fish to follow. In fact, many of the atoll’s wrecks are better snorkeled than dived due to their shallow depths. Check out the site wreck site called 40 Cannons for the best snorkeling in the area.
BEST DIVE SITES IN MAHAHUAL
Many of the dive sites off shore from Mahahual are easy to dive and accessible to all visitors to the village. These sites include colorful reefs such as Escalones, Flamenco and Rio Bermejo. Dive sites in Banco Chinchorro can be separated into two different geographical areas. On the east side of the atoll, you’ll find most of the shipwrecks. For the same reasons as these boats sank, diving here is difficult. The surges and shallow depths make many of these sites impossible. The few remaining and approachable sites, including 40 Cannons, may only legally be snorkeled. On the west side of the #atoll, there are several dive sites for all levels of scuba diver. Easy reef dives include Kai Ha and Aquarium I and II. For a safe and simple drift dive, head to Punta Isabela, Dos Primos or Punta Gonzalez.