Water Sports in Mexico

Water Sports

Mexico is the perfect location for water sports enthusiasts

With over 10,000 km of coastline, Mexico offers a bounty of water sports and activities. Scuba-diving and snorkeling, sailing, surfing, fishing, water-skiing and white-water rafting are all available amid some of the world’s most benevolent climates.

Most of the country’s beach resorts also offer simpler water-related activities, such as boat rides, swimming with dolphins or just bobbing across the waves on an inflatable banana pulled along by a speed boat.

SCUBA Diving & Snorkeling

Mexico’s Caribbean coast, with its clear turqoise waters, is particularly popular for snorkeling and SCUBA diving, although these activities aren’t limited to those resorts.

The Pacific coast and the Sea of Cortez (also called the Gulf of California, between the Baja peninsula and the Mexican mainland) also have many excellent spots for viewing close up the country’s large variety of marine life.

Most places offer adventures for divers ranging from beginners (who receive instruction from experienced instructors) to certified divers. The international diving organization PADI has a list of recognized dive schools. Mexico’s equivalent is the Federación Mexicana de Actividades Sub-Acuáticas.

Top locations for SCUBA Diving in Mexico

Banderas Bay, where Puerto Vallarta is located, boasts a number of popular SCUBA diving and snorkeling spots, such as the Marietas Islands and Las Caletas, among others. Divers have the chance to see dolphins, turtles and whales, depending on the time of year. Snorkeling with sea lions is available at Las Caletas.

The island of Cozumel and the nearby mainland resort Playa del Carmen are also popular diving and snorkeling sites, with a great variety of colorful underwater life around the reefs. For experienced divers, there is the chance to explore the fresh water cenotes, or underground wells.

On the Baja peninsula are also a number of popular spots for diving, from the tip of the peninsula where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez at Cabo San Lucas, as well as further up the coast at La Paz.

Surfing in Mexico

Decent surfing beaches can be found along Mexico’s vast Pacific coast, from Baja California all the way down to Chiapas, which borders Guatemala.

Experienced surfers will drive miles—some several hundred miles—to get to their favorite surfing spots, where quality waves and uncrowded beaches are highly valued. But there are usually good surfing or boogie boarding places not too far from the main tourist resorts.

Top locations for surfing in Mexico

Favorite places for surfung in Mexico include Los Cabos (Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos), Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Acapulco, Puerto Escondido, the bays of Huatulco

Kayaking & Rafting in Mexico


Mexico has fine sites for salt water and fresh water kayaking, as well as for white-water rafting. Among sea locations where kayaking is available are La Paz, Cabo San Lucas, Acapulco, Huatulco and Cancun.

White Water Rafting

The heart of white-water rafting, however, is to be found in the state of Veracruz, where a number of rivers flow down from the moutains toward the coast. One is the Rio Antigua and the other the Rio Pescados. The rivers are navigable all year round, with rafting trips leaving from the town of Jalcomulco, near the state capital Xalapa. You can also go rafting in the southern state of Chiapas, along the Lacantum river running through the Lacandona jungle.

Sports Fishing in Mexico

Mexico is one of the world’s most popular locations for taking part in sports fishing. For complete information about fishing in Mexico, see the Sports Fishing Guide on Mexperience.

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