Isla Mujeres Attractions Things to Do

Snorkeling on Isla Mujeres

Take it from us: There’s nothing like slipping into some swimfins and a snorkel mask and eyeballing Isla Mujeres’s underwater extravaganza.

Our island haven easily takes its place among the great snorkeling destinations in the Mexican Caribbean. For one thing, we’re perched along the spectacular Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System, often called the Great Mayan Reef, which is second only to Australia’s Great Barrier Reef in size. This is one of the natural treasures of the Western Hemisphere, and you’ve got front-row seats at Privilege Aluxes!

Snorkeling sites abound off the western coast of Isla Mujeres and in the island’s vicinity. Here we’ll just run down a few of the can’t-miss destinations to whet (wet?) your appetite!

Garrafon Natural Park

Over on the south end of the island, Garrafon Natural Park is an ocean lover’s paradise. The park’s sparkling azure waters shelter a lovely coral reef for snorkelers to explore. Ogle colorful reef fish on an independent foray, or take part in a guided snorkeling tour—suitable even for those who don’t know how to swim!

At Garrafon, you can mix up the snorkeling with kayaking, swimming with dolphins, ziplining, and all sorts of other activities.


Snorkelers can appreciate some of the famous sunken sculptures of the Museo Subaquático de Arte (MUSA), or Cancun Underwater Museum, in the Cancun-Isla Mujeres National Marine Park off the south coast. Human statues and other installations turning into living reefs: There aren’t many snorkeling spots in the world that quite compare!

Check out our recent blogpost on this astonishing submarine art museum for more details!

El Farito (The Lighthouse)

The shallow-water coral gardens around this landmark lighthouse rank among the most popular snorkeling playgrounds in Isla Mujeres. From glamorous angelfish to torpedo-shaped barracuda, there’s always a show going on at El Farito.

Isla Contoy

Isla Mujeres is a major jumping-off point for daytrips out to this fully protected isle to the north, renowned for its seabird and turtle rookeries. Its crystal-clear shallows also safeguard a lively showstopper of a reef, an exceptional place to snorkel!

Whale Sharks

Maybe the preeminent snorkeling experience on Isla Mujeres is swimming alongside the gargantuan whale sharks that congregate off the northeastern tip of the Yucatan every summer. This is one of the most significant gatherings of whale sharks in the world, and our island therefore ranks among the best places anywhere to get an up-close look at the planet’s heftiest fish, a docile (and beautiful) plankton-eater.

Snorkeling with a multi-ton shark in the glinting waters of the Yucatan Channel? Sheer magic!