Snorkelling in Puerto Morelos in Mexico

Puerto Morelos Snorkeling - image of a spotted stingray

Puerto Morelos is a typical Mexican fishing village in Quintana Roo that has lots going for it, including The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which lies just offshore. This section of the reef was declared a protected National Marine Park in 1998. As a result, it’s less visited, healthier and more spectacular than the reef near Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Tulum. Although snorkelling in Tulum is also certainly worth doing.

We learnt about the reef and snorkelling in Puerto Morelos soon after arriving in the village. It was instantly added to our list of things to do. After all, there was no way we could live for six weeks in Puerto Morelos, one of the best Mexican beach towns and miss out on that.

At first, we hoped to snorkel in Puerto Morelos from the shore independently but it seemed it was prohibited due to the reef’s protected status. The only way to snorkel the reef was with an accredited guide and always wearing a life jacket or snorkel vest. There are agencies in town and independent guides on the beach to choose from for your Puerto Morelos snorkel experience.

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Reef Snorkel in Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos Snorkeling - image of a spotted stingray

We were kindly invited to take a Classic Reef Snorkel tour in Puerto Morelos with Wet Set Diving Adventures. It’s the longest-standing, most popular and highly-rated dive and snorkel tour company in Puerto Morelos. The tour company was set up in 1997 just before the reef became protected and was the first-ever PADI dive shop in the village.

All the Wet Set Diving Adventure team are trained and certified in diving, snorkelling and the appropriate safety precautions; they are also educated in low-impact tourism. Wet Set is an ethical, eco-friendly tour operator that strives to have as little environmental impact as possible.

Below we share our experience with Wet Set Diving Adventures, which I’m sure will convince you they’re a great choice for snorkelling in Puerto Morelos.

Meeting the Snorkelling Guides and Getting Kitted Up

Wet Set Diving Adventures in Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Puerto Morelos snorkel and dive tours with Wet Set start at their shop which is located on a side street just two minutes from the beach. The tours have a prompt start so we arrived a few minutes early to meet our two guides and the rest of the small group on the tour – eight of us.

After completing a short disclaimer form, we were given a bottle of water and kitted out with fins, a life jacket, a mask and a snorkel. We were also asked to rinse off any insect repellent and sunscreen as it can be very damaging to the reef.

However, as you don’t want to get sunburnt, it’s a good idea to use biodegradable sunscreen if you’re snorkelling on a hot, sunny day. Wearing sunscreen whenever you’re out in the sun is one of the top tips for travelling in Mexico – the sun is very strong!

If you’d prefer to come armed with your own snorkel gear, then My Favourite Escapes has some great advice on how to choose your own snorkel gear and Dive In recommends best snorkel fins.

Puerto Morelos History and Snorkel Briefing

Once we had our snorkel gear and our bags were safely stashed in the dive shop we walked down to the beach, where a motorboat was waiting. It was called Jaguar 2 and had a jaguar print, waiting on board were our two captains. The boat bobbed about on the sparkling turquoise sea with a flock of seagulls perched atop the awning. Not far offshore, we could see the waves breaking over the reef! Eager to get started we paddled to the boat and clambered on board as the seagulls flapped noisily away.

One of our English-speaking guides told us some history about Puerto Morelos, the reef and the chicle (chewing gum) trade. This was peppered with jokes and ‘pop quizzes’ which kept us laughing and entertained. He gave us a safety briefing and instructions on how to use a mask, snorkel and fins. He also explained how to snorkel responsibly by not touching anything and avoiding damaging the reef with our fins.

We’ve snorkelled many times before but this overview was great for the first-timers and inexperienced snorkellers in our group and put them at ease. It was by far the best briefing we’ve ever had on a snorkel tour. Generally, you’re just told to follow your guide and that’s it.

Puerto Morelos Snorkel Time

Shoal of fish on snorkelling tour near Puerto Morelos

We’d arrived at our first Puerto Morelos snorkel site by the time the briefing and instructions were finished. It only took about ten minutes max but remember the reef is very close to the shore. It’s probably swimmable for good swimmers if it wasn’t banned in the rules and regulations of the protected reef.

We had around 90 minutes of snorkel time split equally across two sites – Radio Pirata and Labyrinth. We spotted an eagle ray, barracuda, grouper, angelfish, a big lobster and a huge array of other different-sized fish in a kaleidoscope of colours.

Sea fern on Puerto Morelos snorkelling tour

Of course, I shouldn’t forget to mention the fantastic array of beautiful, healthy coral, anemones, ferns and urchins. Our guides knew all the good spots to take us and accompanied the group at all times, pointing out the best sealife to make sure we didn’t miss anything. 

Spotted Eagle Ray on Puerto Morelos snorkelling tour

Our favourite sighting has to be the spotted eagle ray which we saw “flying” gracefully past us early on at the first site. I wasn’t so keen on the vicious-looking barracudas which made me nervous. They like sparkly things so luckily I’d removed my jewellery beforehand. We’d hoped to see a turtle as there are often sightings in the area but that day we were unlucky. We did spot one a couple of weeks later swimming near seagrass just offshore.

Our favourite site of our Puerto Morelos Snorkelling day was Labyrinth, it was so much fun exploring and navigating the network of channels between the coral. We found it a little challenging due to a slight current, but nothing we couldn’t handle and our guides were there ready to help if needed.

Back on the boat after the first site, we were given another bottle of water and a granola bar. We thought this a nice touch and a welcome energy boost ready for the second site.

Back at the Wet Set Puerto Morelos Snorkel Shop

The inside of the Wet Set Puerto Morelos snorkel shop

After the second dive, we headed back to the Puerto Morelos snorkel and dive shop to rinse the gear off in fresh water. We also had the opportunity to take a shower and dry off with the big, clean beach towels that Wet Set provided. We then enjoyed some fresh fruit and water whilst we hung around for a while chatting about our snorkel trip.

Before we left Andy and I had a quick look around the small shop as I needed a new mask and snorkel to replace mine that had broken months ago. There was a good selection and ‘Carly’, who was working in the shop was helpful. Eventually, a few weeks later I returned to buy their ‘house’ mask and snorkel. They were the same type we’d had on the tour and cost $35 USD (£24.90) for both which was good value. I’ve used it many times since and it’s the best snorkel equipment I’ve tried.

Cost of Snorkelling in Puerto Morelos

The price of snorkelling in Puerto Morelos with Wet Set Diving Adventures depends on which one you do. There are five different tours which you can view the details of on their website. They range in price from $35 USD (£25 GBP) for the Classic Snorkel Tour we did, up to $199 (£142 GBP) for the Whale Shark Snorkelling Tour (July/ August only). We also recommend tipping your guides as they are great.

The tours aren’t the cheapest you’ll find in Puerto Morelos, but they’re still very reasonable. In our opinion, the fantastic tour and customer service you receive are well worth the extra few dollars.

If you’re staying somewhere other than Puerto Morelos and don’t have your transport, there are other Puerto Morelos snorkelling tours you could book, such as the one below that includes transport and lunch.

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Where to Stay in Puerto Morelos

Puerto Morelos has a great selection of hotels, hostels and guesthouses to choose from, which are mostly found on the port side of the village. This is probably the best location to be in if you are just visiting Puerto Morelos for a short time, and there is something to suit all budgets and travel styles.


However, if you plan to stay in Puerto Morelos for any length of time, we can highly recommend renting a holiday home in La Colonia, the non-touristy side of the highway, away from the beach. There are rooms, apartments, houses and villas available

Staying in La Colonia gives you a much better chance to immerse yourself in Mexican culture as this is where most of the locals live. As we stayed in Puerto Morelos for five weeks we stayed in a lovely Vrbo on the non-touristy La Colonia side of the village.


The friendly, knowledgeable guides, history and information, safety briefing, high-quality equipment and wonderful snorkelling made it one of our favourite experiences in Puerto Morelos.

Note: After our tour, Wet Set told us that it is possible to snorkel from the beach, one of the best beaches in the Mayan Riviera. Whilst this is worth doing if you have time (it’s where we saw the turtle), we’d recommend doing a reef tour first where the snorkelling is even better.

Have you been snorkelling in Puerto Morelos on the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef or somewhere else nearby? How was your experience and what did you see?

Planning Your Trip to Puerto Morelos?

Planning your trip to Puerto Morelos in Mexico? Here are some of our recommended useful resources to help you have the best time possible.

TRAVEL INSURANCE IS AN IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION! World Nomads offers cover for travellers in over 100 countries and True Traveller is a great option if you’re from the UK or EU.

SafetyWing is another solution, particularly for digital nomads and long-term travellers.

● Use Wise (formerly Transferwise) for sending or receiving money internationally. It’s cheap, easy and transparent.

● Find amazing flight deals on Skyscanner and Kayak.

● Compare rental car prices on

Book other ground transportation with 12Go and  Bookaway.

● Compare charter yacht hire prices on Click&Boat.

● usually have the best hotel prices.

● Our go-to for self-catering accommodation is Vrbo.

● Discover fantastic trips and activities with Viator and GetYourGuide.

● Check out Bookmundi, G Adventures, and  Intrepid Travel for group holidays and tours.

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Partnership Disclosure: Wet Set Diving Adventures provided us with a complimentary Classic Reef Snorkel Tour. This did not influence my post in any way and as always I’ve provided a balanced and honest review. Read more in our full Partnership Disclosure.

Tanya Korteling

Tanya is the founder and head content creator for Can Travel Will Travel. She combines freelance SEO, CRO, Data and Marketing consultancy with exploring the world. Passionate about adventure, nature, wildlife and food, she incorporates these in her travels as much as possible. She also loves immersing herself in new cultures. She's visited hundreds of destinations in 50+ countries and lived in 4 countries. Tanya worked as a Data Planning Manager and Digital Marketing Strategist before leaving the UK in 2016 with her husband Andy, to travel, live and work abroad indefinitely. Together they share their experiences and useful information to inspire and encourage others to do the same.

This Post Has 7 Comments


    This is so amazing i loved your post and thanks you already make it for us…

  2. Abby

    I haven’t been snorkeling in ages. Puerto Morelos looks perfect! You’re right! The spotted eagle ray looks almost “pretty”. As long as it didn’t sting. 😉

    1. TanyaKorteling

      It was a great snorkel experience, loved it 😀

  3. Hazel

    What an incredible day trip, thanks for sharing it, it absolutely looks worth taking a trip onto the Reef rather than snorkelling off the beach! I loved your photo of the spotted eagle ray, what an amazing shot.

    1. TanyaKorteling

      Thank you – yes it was a great trip. The beach snorkelling was good too, but the reef was excellent!

  4. lisannevanbeurden

    Love this post! Looks like a great snorkelling tour!

    1. TanyaKorteling

      Thank you – yes it was def one of our favourites 🙂

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