Scuba Diving off Isla Mujeres
Isla Mujeres is a surprisingly good scuba diving location which is one easy ferry-ride from Cancún Mexico.
Isla Mujeres Diving Experiences
Although it doesn’t offer some of the more sensational wall or deep diving experiences of places like Cozumel, Isla Mujeres offers some fun and interesting options for scuba divers of all levels. The waters are very shallow, which means much more light for observing the sea life, and makes for better underwater photography. The coral and undersea life was a bit stressed out over the last few years but seems to be bouncing back. Currents are relatively mild apart from at the island’s southern tip.
The Underwater Museum attraction is great fun. Created in 2009, the MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte) collection of underwater sculptures created by Jason deCaires offer an easy shallow dive with many poignant and quirky statues looming at you as they are gradually transformed, or claimed, by the underwater world.
Of course there are always options for more advanced excursions. We did a two-tank night dive on Manchones last night with Scuba Garrido and saw an enormous number of sea turtles up close and personal – at least fifteen of them quietly paddling around us in the shallow waters between Cancún and Isla Mujeres. That was very cool.
The video below was taken with a GoPro Hero 4 and some post-processing in GoPro Studio.
My wife also went on an amazing bull shark dive day-trip near Playa del Carmen organized by some Isla Mujeres dive masters – here are some photos she took of the sharks and remoras. She used a Lumix camera with some Photoshop post-processing.
Diving Experience and Safety
Generally speaking the dive sites near the island require lower technical proficiency than in other locations. This can be a mixed blessing.
It often means trips are shared with lots of people who have little or no experience. While that’s a good way for people to learn this wonderful sport, it can also mean frustrating waits while gear is procured and fitted and introductory or refresher lessons are taught, and it could mean some dives are cut short when someone’s air runs out early. More scuba divers in the water means more pressure on the sea life. It also puts pressure on the scuba shops to staff up with more dive masters to handle larger groups. Some of the dive masters are just passing through the area and are therefore not very knowledgeable about the dive spots. More inexperienced divers and larger groups in the water also means a higher risk of diving accidents.
The best advice (as always) is to be very clear about what kind of diving you want to do, ask lots of questions about the dive master’s experience, the shop’s safety record and diving standards, and keep an eye out for signs of potential trouble or frustration before you go into the water.
So, if you’re new to the sport of scuba diving, looking for relaxing place dive sites, or are already planning on visiting Isla Mujeres, you should definitely consider exploring underwater as well.