By Miguel Angel Cachoa Morali,
Scuba Cancun Manager and Dive Instructor
Located on the Caribbean side of the Yucatán Península, Cancún rises as the most spectacular place to enjoy beautiful turquoise waters and white sandy beaches.
Founded in 1970, Cancún began tourist projects in 1974, and since then it has grown to be a home away from home for many visitors from all over the world. Cancún and its surrounding areas are located on mangrove jungles: a strip of hotels between a beautiful lagoon and the Caribbean Sea.
The city offers a wide array of activities such as visits to Mayan archaeological sites, all types of water sports, crocodile farms and parks that visitors may enjoy; as well as aquariums, zoos, water parks, and even Cirque du Soleil. Malls with top shelf stores comparable to Beverly Hills are an added bonus; and soon, the area will be home to a DreamWorks thematic park. Cancún has grown to offer diverse kinds of leisure and accommodations from Hostels downtown to grand luxury hotels, from all-inclusive packages to European style.
Cancún also offers amazing scuba diving, with sites such as coral reefs that range from 30 to 58 feet deep as well as wrecks and deep dives at 75 feet deep. Other features include cenote diving and breathtaking edge of abyssal wall dives in Cozumel where coral grows down deep, and dive sites are from 45 feet to very deep abysmal walls. Caverns in the area are part of the longest fresh water cavern/cave system in the world and are accessible through several entry points known as cenotes. These cenotes were sacred to the Mayan Culture and represented entries to the underworld, in the present day they make for great tourist destinations.
Popular Dive Sites
The MUSA (Underwater Museum of Art) was created in 2010 to help coral reefs life develop on artificial statues made specifically for that purpose.
Admiral class US Navy wrecks used in World War II were sunk in 1999 and 2000 to offer deep dives in Cancún. Eagle rays visit from November to February, and offer a great spectacle for observers.
Manchones Reef System is a shallow coral reef great for dive courses, and is popular for both beginners and certified divers due to its big schools of fish. To the south, separate from the reef, divers can find the Cross of the Sea: a sculpture that measures 15 feet tall.
Chitales Reef is shallow and home to many green turtles that amaze divers every day.
Punta Negra, Grampin, El Túnel, and Herradura are locations where coral formations are so diverse, divers can find small microscopic life to black tip and nurse sharks.
Aristos, Iglesia, San Toribio, and Cuevas de Afuera are systems that provide a taste of coral caves, and are inhabited by several species and great schools of fish; as well as yellow sting rays, and green, spotted, and golden morays.
A thriving scuba diving industry has developed in Cancún, including the Scuba Cancún Dive Center, which was founded in 1980; since then it is a preferred company for many divers that visit every year. It offers all PADI continued education courses and shares all dives in the area. From beginners to hard core divers, Scuba Cancún has become a favorite.
Run by Thomas Hurtado, Scuba Cancún gets involved in several ecological projects every year, including beach cleanings, lion fish programs, and offering Dive Emergency Symposiums along with PADI and Divers Alert Network (DAN), as mentioned in this article.
Scuba Cancún is a PADI 5-Star Dive Center/Resort, and one of only five DAN Training Centers in Mexico: including several DAN emergency management providers, DAN instructors, and one of four DAN instructor trainers in the country. It has also been involved helping the community by offering pro bono DAN and rescue courses as well as scholarships for Dive Emergency Symposiums to local fire fighters, police department, Red Cross, civil protection, and marine park rangers. In 2014 and 2015 Scuba Cancún received the DAN Members Choice Award for having made outstanding contributions to dive safety. Scuba Cancún has also actively participated for several years in a project to study eagle rays.
Cancún’s best assets are its locals, who are a group of very hard-working people. Their graciousness and friendliness are some of the main reason Cancún is loved by so many.
On September 19 of this year, a deadly earthquake hit Mexico City. The earthquake caused the collapse of over 40 buildings and over 6,000 people was injured, including 228 deaths in Mexico City alone. The people of Cancún, a city that has experienced catastrophes in the past, sent help to aid the recover, including medicine, water, and food. Despite the earthquake Mexico City thrives and the people continue to foster a positive attitude.
Every day, direct flights to Cancún increase from worldwide locations; its airport has grown to meet this demand. According to the Visitors and Conventions Office, Cancún had 6.5 million visitors in 2015 while 2016 closed with a five percent increase – many of which were repeat guests who visited the city previously and were enticed by its friendly atmosphere and serene scenery so much so that they returned for another visit.
It is very sad that there are many misconceptions about México and Cancún, but one thing is for sure – it is beautiful and the people are very inviting. There is a vibrant culture and so much to experience and enjoy.
Come visit Cancún! It’s warm beaches and welcoming locals will not leave you disappointed!