If searching for a vacation destination with plenty of access to water sports, Playa del Carmen is the perfect place for you. Located on along the Mayan Riviera on the coast of the Caribbean Sea, the city is a popular place for tourists and offers plenty of vacation rentals available in addition to exciting activities to do.

While there’s plenty to explore within the city’s downtown area and its peripheral Mayan ruins, there is a lot of fun to be had in the water. Whether looking for ocean sports or more tranquil opportunities to engage in scuba or aquatic spelunking, Playa del Carmen offers aquatic activities for all kinds of participants from beginner to expert that every member of the family can enjoy.

Ocean Sports

Fittingly, as this is a beach town, a lot of traditional water sports can easily be found. Traditional beach activities like swimming, bodyboarding, wakeboarding, and surfing can easily be done in the lifeguard-protected waters. Enthusiasts of activities out on the water are also in luck, as one can easily rent kayaks, paddle boards and wave runners, sign up for jet-skiing or parasailing, and even participate in the latest craze of aqua jetpacking. Many local organizations are available to make reservations and rent upon your request the aquatic equipment, vehicles, and supplies needed for a day of fun on the water.


Cenotes are natural formations of aquiferous caves that emerged on the surface of the planet as a result of a meteor impact millions of years ago. Cenotes can be appreciated via land for their aesthetic value as they feature a series of spectacular stalagmites and stalactites and other geological formations to admire. However, one of the most enjoyable features of a cenote tour is getting in the water. Visitors can swim and snorkel in these underground pools, observing the little fish that naturally inhabit these aquatic caves.

Similarly, more adventurous water sport enthusiasts can choose to participate in an underwater cenote expedition with an experienced and guided tour guide. The cenote Dos Ojos offers underwater tours that take small groups of divers using scuba equipment through the subaquatic channels and caves linking one cenote to another. Remnants of prehistoric creatures in addition to ancient Mayan cave paintings have been found in this cenote.

Underwater spelunking might not be the best activity for claustrophobic or inexperienced snorkelers. However, recreational diving enthusiasts as well as experts will certainly feel a sense of adventure while exploring these caves.


Speaking of scuba, the coastline of the Mayan Riviera is replete with opportunities to snorkel and dive. Snorkeling and diving tours afford tourists with the chance to observe coral reefs and other marine life in their natural environment. What’s more, tours are available for tourists with any level of scuba expertise. Beginners can receive their first scuba lessons, and experienced divers can participate in more loosely-structured underwater explorations.

Playa del Carmen features a small coral reef just a short distance off the coast of the town center. In addition, many areas in the periphery of the town offer the opportunity to explore more expansive underwater ecosystems. Akumal Beach is especially intriguing for scuba enthusiasts who appreciate marine life. The beach received its name in the Mayan language for being a place known for local sea turtles to nest and spawn. As such, during the late spring and early summer months, divers can see thousands of baby sea turtles in their natural environment. Lastly, a short trip to Cozumel off the coast of the town center will offer opportunities for snorkelers to swim with both stingrays and trained dolphins.

There are plenty of unique opportunities for aquatic fun to be found in Playa del Carmen, ranging from casual to extreme water sports for people of all levels of experience. Whether seeking traditional ocean activities like swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding to scuba diving and aquatic ecotourism, tourists staying in vacation rentals are encouraged to get out in the water, enjoy themselves, and maybe even try something new.