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12 Things to KNOW Before Going Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen

12 Things to KNOW Before Going Scuba Diving in Playa del Carmen

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Perched on the shores of the beautiful Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen is one of my all-time favorite spots to scuba dive in Mexico! From the pristine white-sand beaches to the hidden treasures you’ll find beneath the waves, you really have to see it to believe it.

In fact, visiting this vibrant coastal town is actually one of my favorite things to do in Mexico. While the amazing scuba diving has to be the biggest draw for me, the town is also full of incredible scenery, history, and some really mouthwatering food too! So, it’s safe to say you won’t be short of things to do in Playa del Carmen, whether you’re staying for a few days or even longer.

No matter whether you’re a seasoned diver or just starting out, Playa del Carmen caters to all different levels of experience. That being said, we thought it would be useful to share some of our own experience scuba diving here. We’ve done dozens of dives in Mexico between the two of us and want you to have the best time possible exploring the crystal-clear water for yourself.

Don’t have time to read the full article? If you’re looking for a notable experience to add to your scuba stories, you’ve come to the right place. This small-group scuba diving tour will take you to Cenote Kukulkan where you’ll have two dives, learn about Mayan culture, and end with a delicious meal.

1. About scuba diving in Playa del Carmen

Bailey swims past some corals while scuba Diving in Playa del carmen
The corals are so beautiful!
Two fish on the ocean floor while scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Don’t forget about the tropical fish though!

One of my favorite parts about scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, and in this area of Mexico in fact, is just how nice the water temperature is. It ranges from 24-29°C (75-84°F) throughout the year, so no matter what time you’re visiting, you never have to worry about dropping into chilly water!

If you’re new to scuba diving or just looking to take your skills to the next level, Playa del Carmen is also a great place to get certified. There are a few local operators who offer official PADI certification like this 3-day course, and if it’s your first time learning, when you finish you’ll be qualified to dive up to 60 feet (18 meters) anywhere in the world!

There are loads of fantastic spots and reefs to dive in right on the shoreline of Playa del Carmen, like Moc-Che Shallow and Barracuda Reef (more on these later!). What’s more, the nearby island of Cozumel is just offshore and is also famous for its stunning beaches and vibrant coral reefs – the snorkeling in Cozumel is incredible. It’s no wonder that visiting Cozumel is one of the best day trips from Playa del Carmen! So, it’s safe to say that when visiting Playa del Carmen for scuba diving you’re really spoiled for choice.

2. Why do I love scuba diving in Playa del Carmen?

Bailey and Daniel scuba diving with beautiful coral and fish around in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Just casually exploring the bottom of the ocean!

Where do I even begin?

One of the biggest draws for me when coming to Playa del Carmen is the incredible marine life that fills the reefs. As soon as you dive under the waves, you’ll see schools of tropical fish, rays, and if you’re really lucky, even get to swim with whale sharks!

Of course, the coral reefs of Playa del Carmen really are the stars of the show. They’re so full of color that they’re just breathtaking, from the huge brain corals to the table coral forming some seriously wacky and fun shapes. It really makes it so that every time I come back to visit, it feels like I’m visiting for the first time all over again!

The cenotes are another huge draw for those visiting Playa del Carmen, which can’t be missed when you’re scuba diving in Mexico. These are beautiful underground chambers and caves which are so much fun to explore – whether you’ve never visited one before or you’ve visited 100!

Some of the best cenotes are around Tulum and Playa del Carmen, so I’d highly recommend visiting at least one while you’re here. Some of the best places to go scuba diving in Tulum are actually cenotes.

3. When is the best time to go scuba diving in Playa del Carmen?

Bailey scuba diving in Playa Del Carmen
Who doesn’t love diving in Mexico?
Daniel at the catalina islands scuba diving off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Most people are shocked at how many fish they see!

While you can go scuba diving in Playa del Carmen all year round, the best time is during the dry season, which lasts from November to April. At this time, visibility reaches up to a whopping 100 feet (30 meters)! To avoid the crowds, I’d suggest planning your trip in either November, February, or March, as it’s much quieter outside the festive season.

If you’re an adrenaline junkie like us and want to try something really neat, then visiting between November and March coincides nicely with bull shark season! Diving alongside these amazing animals makes for such an unforgettable experience and will definitely be a story to tell back home.

That being said, I wouldn’t leave visiting during the rainy season entirely off the table, as not only are the waters less crowded, but May to September is also whale shark season, which has to be one of my all-time favorite scuba diving experiences!

When it comes to timing your dives, I’d recommend planning them for the morning if possible, as mornings generally have less wind and milder currents, which means much better visibility. Plus, afternoon rains are common during the rainy season, so by starting earlier you give yourself a much better chance of avoiding these.

4. What can you see when scuba diving in Playa del Carmen? 

Interesting fish swims through the water while scuba diving in Mexico
There is so much to see!

When you go scuba diving in Mexico for the first time, you’ll soon find out that there’s a lot of truth behind the words “there’s a whole new world down there!”

If you’ve ever seen the film Finding Nemo, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say just how colorful and full of life a healthy reef can be, with fan corals, brain corals, and elkhorn corals around every corner! Then, of course, there’s all the marine life that calls these reefs home.

Among all of the vivid fish you can find here, some of my personal favorites are the striking angelfish, as well as the parrotfish with their distinctive beak-like jaws. Did you know that parrotfish actually eat coral polyps, which helps to clean the coral and keep them healthy?

Playa del Carmen is also renowned for its sea turtle population, so there’s a high chance you’ll see some magnificent green turtles and loggerhead turtles during your dives here! If you’re visiting between May and September, you may even spot a whale shark, which can grow up to 40 feet (12 meters) long and has to be one of the most spectacular creatures I’ve ever seen in person.

Related Read: One of the best places to swim with turtles is Akumal Beach, which is only about 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen!

5. What are the best dive spots in Playa del Carmen? 

Bailey and Daniel look under a rock for fish while diving the Mahahual Reef in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Reef diving is our favorite!

Barracuda Reef

Located just off the coastline of Playa del Carmen is the gorgeous Scorpion Reef, which is actually split up into a few smaller reefs, including the local favorite, Barracuda Reef. Close by the legendary wreck of the “Mama Viña“, this reef extends down to around 36 to 46 feet (12 to 14 meters).

The current does like to push you along the reef here, so keep an eye out for this as you go. When Dan and I last visited, we were treated to sights of giant morays, lobsters, and even (funnily enough) barracudas!

Moc-Che Shallow

Another reef you’ll probably hear about while you’re in Playa del Carmen is Moc-Che Reef, which is a shallow house reef that’s popular among beginners. It starts at a depth of around 23 to 30 feet (7 to 9 meters) and builds up to a height of around 10 feet (3 meters) from the surface. Turtles also love to stop by Moc-Che, so keep an eye out for them while you’re here!

Bull shark diving

The reefs off Playa del Carmen are actually some of the best areas to see bull sharks in Mexico! Between November and March, the sharks migrate to the warm and shallow waters, so if you’re fully certified with an advanced diving certification, you can check them out for yourself too.

The best way to have an enjoyable and safe time doing so is by joining an organized tour like this bull shark diving experience, where the instructors will be right alongside you every step of the way.

Paradise Reef (Cozumel)

Just a 45-minute boat ride from Playa del Carmen, you’ll find the gorgeous island of Cozumel, which is actually one of Mexico’s largest islands! There are tons of fun things to do in Cozumel, although the island is arguably most famous for its nearby reefs, like Paradise Reef in the National Marine Park.

I’d recommend coming to spend a whole day here (or more if you feel like it!), which will give you plenty of time to get to know the island and, of course, give scuba diving in Cozumel a try. This discover scuba diving in Cozumel Paradise Reef experience is perfect for beginners, where you and a small group of up to 10 people can explore the reef to your heart’s content!

Tickets for this experience cost $145 USD per person, which also includes all the equipment you need as well as bottled water and snacks. With flawless 5-star reviews, don’t forget to check your dates and book your spot on the tour here.

Diving in a cenote in Tulum
Diving in Cenote Dos Ojos!

Cenote diving

Some of the most enchanting places I’ve ever dived in have been cenotes right here in this area of Mexico. These caves and caverns are such unique areas to explore, full of captivating rock structures and underwater passages.

Some of my favorite nearby cenotes for diving include Jardin del Eden, Tajma ha, Maravilla, Zapote, and the Dos Ojos cenotes. This full-day cenote diving experience will have you exploring Barbie Line and the Batcave (move over Batman!), which are the two cenotes that make up Dos Ojos Park.

For just $165 USD, you’ll be joined by world-class diving instructors who will make sure you have an absolute blast every step of the way. You can book your spot on the tour here.

6. Is scuba diving in Playa del Carmen safe?

Tons of tropical fish swim in the ocean while scuba diving off the coast of Playa del Carmen, Mexico
It’s very safe, especially on the shallow dives!

In short, absolutely!

On our travels, Dan and I have done our fair share of scuba diving (over 150 dives between the two of us!), with some experiences turning out to be a lot better than others. You can bet that we know the difference between scuba diving operators that genuinely care about the safety of their customers and those who are a lot more off-handed with it.

Honestly, I was so impressed by every single scuba diving experience I had not just here in Playa del Carmen, but in Cancun as well as other local diving hotspots! It’s become pretty clear to me that scuba diving here really is a way of life, and these schools take your safety extremely seriously.

The dive schools in Playa del Carmen are among some of the best I’ve ever tried, with every single one of them following all the recommended safety procedures. Not once did I feel like I was left in the dark or not looked after while out on a dive.

7. What is a Discovery Dive in Playa del Carmen? 

Diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
We personally don’t do discovery dives.
A lion Fish in the ocean while diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
But they are great for beginners!

If you’ve read this far, there’s a good chance that you’re interested in trying out scuba diving for yourself! If you’ve never been scuba diving before, I totally get that it can be a bit tricky knowing where to even begin – which is where discovery dives come in.

These dives are designed specifically for beginners, giving you a chance to try out scuba diving for yourself and see if you take to it. A full certification course might seem a little expensive, especially if you’re new to scuba diving and don’t know exactly what goes into it.

This is why whenever my friends or family are curious about diving, I suggest that the first thing they do is try out a discovery dive. A single dive is more affordable than a full course and gives you the chance to familiarize yourself with the essential skills you’ll need to get started. All the while, you’ll have a trained instructor with you to help you feel comfortable and confident.

Of course, I can’t think of anywhere better to try out scuba diving for the first time than in Playa del Carmen. Even at shallower depths, you can still get up close and personal with the colorful coral reefs and get to see a ton of marine life too. If you try out scuba diving here, I’m sure you’ll be hooked in no time!

This full-day discover scuba diving experience is perfect if it’s your very first time trying it out. Over the course of 8 hours, you’ll get to visit two different diving sites in the nearby reefs, while having an instructor with you at all times.

With classroom, pool, and open water parts to this tour, I love that you can go entirely at your own pace. The instructors are incredibly patient, which is just what you need when trying out something new for the first time. Meeting up at the dive center by the beach, I’m sure this experience will be one of your most treasured memories from your trip!

You can book this tour for $169 USD per person, which includes all equipment and your professional instructor. If you’d like, you can also opt for the photo package, so you can get some neat shots to show to the folks back home! With a maximum of 8 participants per group, this tour can sell out quickly, so don’t forget to book your slot in advance here.

8. What are the best scuba diving tours in Playa del Carmen?

Sting Ray at MUSA in Mexico
A sting ray!

2-Tank Morning or Afternoon Dive

For certified divers who can’t wait to explore Playa del Carmen’s underwater world, this flexible 4-hour diving experience is definitely worth a look. I really like that there’s the option to choose between diving in the morning or in the afternoon, as this makes it much easier to fit around a packed schedule.

Both options include two dives at two different locations and depths along with a 40-minute break on the boat while you travel between sites. The morning dives are recommended for more experienced divers as the locations will be on the deeper side. The afternoon dives are geared toward certified divers who haven’t been scuba diving in a while and will stay in shallower depths.

The guides here are also super friendly and knowledgeable about the area, so make sure to ask them tons of questions when you’re out of the water! This tour costs $99 USD per person for the morning dives or $109 USD for the afternoon along with a $25 USD equipment rental fee and can be booked online here.

Scuba Diving in Cenote Kukulkan

The cenotes are truly iconic in Mexico, and the Kukulkan cenote is one of the best in the area! This 7-hour scuba diving tour to Cenote Kukulkan is the perfect introduction to cenote diving, which is actually a whole new subculture of scuba diving. In fact, as every cenote is unique in its own way, visiting these spots can get pretty addictive.

This experience costs $165 USD per person, including all of the gear you’ll need, as well as a meal after the dives. You’ll just need to have cash on hand for the cenote entrance fees of around $250 MXN or $15 USD. It’s also limited to just four people, so grab a couple of friends, and don’t forget to secure your spot online here.

Bailey swims past a huge school of fish on a scuba diving trip from Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Scuba diving tours in Mexico are very affordable!

Reef and Cenote 2-Day Scuba Diving

If you’ve already caught the cenote bug, or simply want to enjoy some of the best scuba diving locations Playa del Carmen has to offer, then this 2-day diving experience will be perfect for you! Across four dives over two days, you’ll get to visit two Rivera Maya reefs, as well as the Dos Ojos cenote, which is another beautiful area that’s full of mystery and cool spots to explore.

This tour is also super flexible (which I love!), as the second day doesn’t have to be right after the first. So, if you’re staying in town for a few days, then you can spread out this tour around your schedule. You can grab tickets for this tour for $322 USD per person when you book online here.

Bull shark diving experience

Ok, hear me out! While hearing “bull shark” may sound a bit intimidating, these amazing creatures are a real treat to see up close (and it’s totally possible to do so safely). Capped at nine participants per tour, this bull shark diving tour gives you a rare glimpse into one of the world’s most misunderstood species.

My personal tips? Get the picture package! There’s nothing that’ll make your friends and family go “Wow!” more than seeing some great pics of you hanging out with sharks. This tour starts at $169 USD, and you can also rent gear from them for an additional $25 USD per person. There are limited dates available for this tour, so make sure to book your spot in advance.

Related Read: Seeing whale sharks around Cancun is also a bucket list-worthy experience! This small-group whale shark tour takes you snorkeling with these gentle giants!

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

9. Can you learn to scuba dive in Playa del Carmen?

A school of fish while scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Learning to dive is easy in Mexico!
A huge coral while diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
You won’t regret learning to dive!

Absolutely! In fact, Playa del Carmen would be one of my top choices in Mexico to learn to scuba dive, as there are a ton of excellent dive schools and highly experienced instructors here. With the reefs naturally sheltered from the heavy ocean currents, it’s also a very area safe to learn in and get your first few dives. Plus, learning in a gorgeous location like this makes the whole experience so much more rewarding.

When it comes to getting certified (feeling excited yet?!), PADI is the most widely recognized and respected certification in the diving community. Here in Playa del Carmen, you can complete your open-water course in as little as three days, giving you all the skills and knowledge you need that will stick with you for life.

Once you’re fully certified, there’s nothing stopping you from diving up to 18 meters (59 feet) anywhere in the world! Getting scuba certified opened up so many amazing experiences for us, it really is worth the short time investment to get it.

My top recommendation would be this 3-day PADI open-water course that takes place right in Playa del Carmen. All lessons take place in the mornings, which gives you plenty of time to still get out and explore in the afternoons and evenings, so there’s no sitting around in a classroom all day! The course includes two cenote dives alongside the two pool dives and two open-water dives, which is a unique experience that’s hard to find outside of Mexico.

The course itself costs just $490 USD per person if you’re booking for two people, which is honestly pretty great value considering hotel pickup from Playa del Carmen is included on each day, as well as equipment and underwater videos. If you’re booking for a larger group, the price drops even more! You can check out dates and book your spot on this PADI course online.

10. Is scuba diving in Playa del Carmen suitable for children?

Scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico (2)
Yes!

Scuba diving can be such a magical experience for children, with the fish and coral almost as colorful as their young imaginations! In fact, I think introducing kids to the wonders of the ocean from an early age can help them to be much more interested and passionate about the underwater world and even conservation as they grow up.

That being said, scuba diving is probably not suitable for very young kids who are under 10 years old. While the minimum age for scuba diving in Mexico is 10 years old, different organizations may increase this as per their own policies, and it’s also really important that kids are confident enough swimmers that they can easily enjoy the experience.

The minimum age for full certification is 15, so if you have a teen or preteen with you who can’t wait to get certified, then this can be a fantastic place to get it! For kids between 10 and 11, they can get a junior certification to dive up to 12 meters (39 feet), while those aged 12 to 14 can get a junior certification of up to 18 meters (59 feet), equivalent to the depth permitted for certified adults!

So, if your little ones are excited about getting out there and trying diving for themselves, Playa del Carmen can be a great place for them to do it.

11. Scuba diving vs snorkeling in Playa del Carmen

A turtle swims past snorkelers at Akumal Beach in Mexico
Snorkeling at Akumal is well worth it!

While snorkeling in Mexico is a super fun (and generally more affordable) activity, I’d personally recommend scuba diving.

When you go snorkeling in Playa del Carmen, you’re naturally restricted to just the surface level, which makes you feel more like an observer than actually IN this amazing underwater world. On the other hand, I find it so easy to get immersed when scuba diving, the sense of weightlessness might feel a bit strange at first, but after a while, it becomes pretty addicting!

You can also actually see a lot of areas that are hidden from the surface view when you go scuba diving. Playa del Carmen (and Mexico) is really famous for its reefs, which have loads of cracks, crevices, and caves that can only be seen from a side-on view.

Of course, one big factor to consider is physical fitness, as you generally need to be pretty fit to go scuba diving, while snorkeling isn’t quite as demanding. If you’re traveling with young kids who aren’t super strong swimmers yet, then snorkeling can also be a great introduction before trying out scuba diving.

As I mentioned earlier, snorkeling is also often more affordable than scuba diving, so that’s another thing to consider when deciding between the two. However, you might be surprised by just how inexpensive scuba diving here can actually be!

If a combo tour of different fun activities is more your thing, then this full-day experience is for you! It’s the perfect blend of history, nature watching, and culture, as you visit ancient ruins, try some snorkeling, and even get to go exploring through the jungle. With tickets at $109 USD per person, this tour is a blast, and is great if you’re staying in Playa del Carmen for a short time.

Ultimately, whether you decide on snorkeling or scuba diving (or both!) really comes down to your individual preferences and abilities. However, if you’re interested in scuba diving but feel a little intimidated by it, I’d say to give it a try! There are many wonderful introductory courses like this half-day scuba diving experience, which is perfect for finding your fins.

12. Is scuba diving in Playa del Carmen worth it?

School of tropical fish while scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Yes!

When it comes to the best places in the world to scuba dive, you really have your pick with some of the best dive sites in the world here in Mexico. That being said, Playa del Carmen is in an ideal location between Cancun and Tulum. So not only do you have great scuba diving sites on your doorstep, but you can also rent a car in Mexico and more amazing sites are just a short drive away!

If you’re new to scuba diving, where you have your first experience really makes all the difference and the crystal-clear water here in Playa del Carmen is ideal for scuba diving. In short, scuba diving in Playa del Carmen is so, so worth it!

Related Read: Feeling hungry after all that scuba diving? Sate that appetite with the best restaurants in Playa del Carmen!

Other Activities to do While You’re in Playa del Carmen

Bailey poses for a photo on 5th avenue in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
5th Avenue is the famous walking (and shopping!) street!
El Castillo, Chichen Itza
Take a road trip to the incredible Chichen Itza!

Going scuba diving in Playa del Carmen is just the start of what this vibrant town has to offer. In fact, there are so many fun activities in Playa del Carmen, that it can be a little overwhelming! Here are a few more of my favorite things to do here which I think you’ll love:

  • Swim alongside whale sharks – Did you know that whale sharks aren’t actually sharks? In fact, they’re the largest fish in the world, and you can even swim with whale sharks in Playa del Carmen! You will need to head a little way offshore before you can though, which is why I recommend this full-day whale shark tour, which includes all transportation and lunch!
  • Go shopping – Fifth Avenue is a super popular pedestrian street full of shops, boutiques, and markets. If you’re looking for souvenirs or fancy treating yourself to a new holiday get-up, this is the place to be. The Playa del Carmen Flea Market is my top pick for budget gifts and handicrafts, and Quinta Alegría Shopping Mall is your one-stop-shop for international brands.

Where to Stay in Playa del Carmen

Bailey relaxes at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico near Playa del Carmen
Me relaxing at just one of the resorts I have stayed in Playa del Carmen!

There are a TON of great places to stay in Playa del Carmen, so it can be a bit difficult knowing where to even begin! The hotels here cater to all kinds of budgets, age-ranges, and more, so to help give you a good overview, I’ve included some of my favorites below:

Che Playa Hostel and Bar – $

Visiting Playa del Carmen doesn’t have to be super expensive! In fact, for those traveling on a budget, I’d highly recommend Che Playa Hostel and Bar, which is an adult-only hostel and one of the best in town!

It’s really well-located right in the heart of Playa del Carmen and even has its own rooftop pool and bar. While it’s nothing crazy, this gives it a really chilled-out social atmosphere, and the clean facilities and helpful staff make the whole stay a blast.

Rates here are some of the best you’ll find in town, with a bed in a dorm starting from as low as $37 USD per night. You can check out the rates for yourself over on Hostelworld or Booking.com.

Soho Playa Hotel – $$

Whenever I’m visiting on a moderate budget and don’t fancy staying in a resort, my personal pick is the Soho Playa Hotel, which I’ve visited a couple of times now and is a real gem! It’s just a stone’s throw away from the beach, has its own pool, and all rates include free breakfast. Perfect for filling up before a day out scuba diving.

The rooms here are also super modern and are really clean – a one-night stay here starts at $94 USD per night and can be booked online here.

The Palm at Playa – $$

The Palm at Playa is a lot like the Soho Playa Hotel – it’s in a similar price range, but I’d say it’s a little bit more on the luxury end. It’s also located right near the beach and has its own on-site restaurant, which blends local flavors with a European twist – I really recommend the amazing fish tacos!

The rooftop palm garden is the perfect retreat when it’s super hot out, take it from me that this feels like a luxury hotel without the price tag. Rooms here start at $116 USD per night and for the best price, it’s best to book online in advance.

El Taj Oceanfront and Beachside Condo Hotel – $$$

If budget isn’t an issue for you, then the luxury world of hotels at Playa del Carmen is at your fingertips! When it comes to enjoying out-of-this-world hospitality and comfort, El Taj Oceanfront and Beachside Condo Hotel really can’t be topped. With its very own infinity pool and elegant suites, every corner of this hotel is Instagram-worthy!

El Taj’s ASI restaurant serves delicious gourmet food that dazzles the taste buds, and if you’re feeling ultra-relaxed in your room, you can request the chef to come to your suite and prepare your meals there! While I haven’t personally been here, you can bet that this is on my bucket list.

A one night’s stay at El Taj starts at $185 USD, which I think is actually pretty good value considering all the luxuries that come with it! To snag the best rooms, I’d suggest checking your dates and booking your stay online here.

Related Read: If you’re considering staying in the nearby city of Cancun, don’t forget to check out our scuba diving in Cancun which is an incredible experience too.

Renting a Car in Mexico

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie while driving around Mexico
A rental car means freedom to go to the beach whenever you want!

Undoubtedly, one of the best ways to get around Mexico is in a rental car. 

I struggled to get around by bus and taxi for the longest time. But after renting a car in Cancun in 2023, I never looked back. It allowed me to explore the country without worrying about tours or taxis. It was why I fell in love with Mexico and eventually decided to live here periodically. 

I refuse to use local services whenever I rent a car in Mexico. The truth is they sometimes can’t be trusted or come with hidden fees (or costly insurance that doesn’t make sense.) There are even rental car scams! So instead, I use Discover Cars, the company most experienced travelers or ex-pats in Mexico recommend. 

The rates on Discover Cars are cheap, too, with the average rental costing around $25 USD per day. Full coverage insurance can be added for an extra $10 USD a day too. 

Driving in Mexico also only requires a driver’s license using the Roman alphabet. If yours uses another like Japan and China, you simply need an international driving permit. 

Insurance is required, but if you book with Discover Cars and get the full coverage, that’s all you need! Oh, and being over 18 is required, and if you’re over 25, your rental will be much cheaper! 

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey scuba diving in Playa del Carmen, Mexico
Thanks for reading!

Playa del Carmen is one of my all-time favorite resort towns in Mexico, and the scuba diving here really is second to none! If you’ve never tried diving before, Playa del Carmen is a great place to get your feet wet and if you’re a pro diver, you’ll still find dive sites that will make you say “wow!”

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this blog and are excited for your scuba adventure! Make sure to check out our other Mexico blogs and feel free to leave any questions in the comments below. While you’re here, these are three more blogs I’ve written that I think you’ll find super useful!

12 Things to KNOW Before Booking a Catamaran Cruise in Playa del Carmen

12 BEST Tours in Tulum, Mexico

Is Mexico Safe? Safety Info about Traveling in Mexico

12 Things you NEED to Know about the Day of the Dead in Mexico