10 Highest Rated Tulum Snorkeling Tours in 2023

woman going snorkeling on one of the best tulum snorkeling tours

Ready to Discover the best snorkeling Tulum has to offer?

You’ve come to the right place because I live in Mexico, not far from Tulum. I have visited Tulum many times, and even lived there for a while, so I know the town well.

In this article, I’m going to share all my insider info with you, so you pick the best Tulum snorkeling tour.

Tulum, and many other places in the Mexican Caribbean like Cozumel Island, Isla Mujeres, Puerto Morelos and Cancun, have some of the best snorkeling in the world!

They are located next to the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, one of the largest coral reefs in the world.

cenotes tours tulum mexico

🐠 Best Tulum Snorkeling Tour

Our pick is the Tulum, Snorkel, Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour because it’s the most complete tour, and one of the highest-rated.

When snorkeling in Tulum, you’ll see everything from tropical fish and large rays, to colorful corals and sea turtles in the crystal-clear water off the coast.

For snorkeling enthusiasts, Tulum is such an amazing place because it also has underground rivers you can snorkel in.

In this article, I’m going to highlight the Top 10 Tulum Snorkeling Tours, so you can pick the one that works best for you. Ready to discover them all?

Let’s get to it, starting with the Tulum, Snorkel, Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour, the most comprehensive tour available.

Top 3 Picks: Highest Rated Tulum Snorkeling Tours

#1 TOP PICK

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Tulum, Snorkel, Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour
✔️ Tickets
✔️ Swimming equipment

#2 PICK

Snorkeling Adventure Tour in Three Ecosystems
✔️ Environmental management charge
✔️ Professional guide

#3 PICK

Snorkeling the Hidden Cenotes in Tulum
✔️ Tickets to cenotes
✔️ Transportation

Please Note: Some tours aren’t suitable for pregnant women and those with limited mobility. When in doubt, contact a staff member from the tour company before booking any snorkel tours in Tulum.

Best Cenote Snorkeling Tulum Tours

1. Tulum, Snorkel, Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour

close up of a sea turtle | tulum snorkeling in mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.94 out of 5 Stars — With more than 1,000 positive reviews! | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4.5 hours

Why choose this tour? It includes everything, and is the best, most complete Tulum snorkeling tour of them all — with everything included and no pesky hidden costs.

The tour is led by Alejandro, a Tulum local who has a deep knowledge of the land and its Mayan history.

The Tulum, Snorkel, Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour includes:

  1. Snorkeling in the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (AKA Great Mayan Reef)
  2. Boat ride to the coral reef
  3. Cenote swim
  4. Guided tour of Tulum Ruins archeological site
  5. Private guide
  6. Authentic Mexican lunch (After snorkeling)
  7. Bottled water, soft drinks & snacks
  8. Snorkeling gear & life jackets
  9. Transportation (Hotel pick-up available in the Tulum hotel zone)

What past guests have said:

PERFECT way to sample the Tulum area and get a little taste of several things in a day… I would not hesitate to recommend Alejandro and his experience. We truly couldn’t imagine a better guide

—John (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

2. Snorkeling Adventure Tour in Three Ecosystems

people snorkeling in tulum mexico

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours

Why choose this tour? It’s the best way to see all the different types of snorkeling in Tulum — snorkeling in Tulum cenotes, snorkeling in Tulum Bay, and snorkeling in caves.

You’ll discover three different ecosystems, including Casa Cenote, one of the best snorkeling cenotes Tulum has.

The Snorkeling Adventure Tour in Three Ecosystems includes:

  • Boat ride to the reef
  • Cenote entrance fees
  • Lunch (After snorkeling)
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Snorkeling equipment & life jackets

What past guests have said:

Amazing private tour with Julio. He gave us some history about the Mayan ruins by Tulum beach before snorkeling to the reef where we saw a stingray, angel fish, starfish and bunch of other fish.

—Nicole G (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

3. Snorkeling the Hidden Cenotes in Tulum

Tulum snorkeling in cenotes

⭐️ RATING: 4.93 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4.5 hours

Why choose this tour? The Tulum cenotes can get very crowded. This tour takes you snorkeling in Tulum off the beaten path cenotes to avoid the crowds.

With a knowledgeable local as your guide, you’ll snorkel in the cenotes with no one else around, enjoying nature, peace and quiet. If you want to see hidden cenotes in Tulum, this is the tour for you.

The Tulum Hidden Snorkeling Cenotes Tour includes:

  • All cenote entrance fees
  • Private guide
  • Taco lunch at a local restaurant (After snorkeling)
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Snorkeling equipment & life jackets
  • Transportation (Hotel pick-up available)

What past guests have said:

Great tour! Our guide was very knowledgeable about the area and friendly. Highly recommend if you want a more personal tour and to avoid crowds!

—Zoe (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

4. Snorkeling and Underground Cenote Tour

tropical fish | tulum snorkeling in mexico
two people snorkeling in tulum mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.96 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7 hours

Why choose this tour? You get to experience the best of Tulum, both above ground and underground in a cave.

Start the day snorkeling in the Tulum bay to see tropical fish, manta rays and turtles, and end the day underground, exploring one of the best Tulum caves (AKA cave cenote).

The Snorkeling and Underground Cenote Tour includes:

  • Cenote entrance fees
  • Private guide
  • Lunch (After snorkeling)
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Snorkeling equipment & life jackets
  • Transportation (Hotel pick-up available)

What past guests have said:

This was wonderful. The guide was lovely and the cenote tour was not crowded at all which was a very special experience. I felt like we went off the main path. The pick up and drop offs made transportation so easy.

—Maria (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

5. Private Underground River Tour with Snorkeling

several people doing snorkeling in tulum, mexico

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 6 hours

Why choose this tour? This tour goes to the best place to snorkel in Tulum, Yal Ku Lagoon & Cenote, which is abundant with tropical fish, turtles, rays and more.

You’ll also explore a 1,970-foot-long cave cenote (600 m), and learn about the significance the cenotes have to the Mayans.

The Private Underground River Tour with Snorkeling Tour includes:

  • All entrance fees
  • Private guide
  • Lunch (Note: Vegetarian options available, but please give advance notice)
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Snorkeling equipment & life jackets
  • Transportation (Hotel pick-up included)

What past guests have said:

We had such a great time snorkeling Yal-Ku Lagoon and exploring the cenote. Our tour guide Pablo was super insightful and made us laugh throughout the tour. 

—Charne M. (see more reviews)

Reef Snorkeling Tulum Tours

6. Snorkel, Boat Ride & Cove in Tulum

two people doing snorkeling in tulum mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.96 out of 5 Stars — With more than 500 positive reviews! | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours

Why choose this tour? At two hours, you’ll have plenty of time to snorkel in Tulum, and still make it back to town early enough in the day to enjoy other things to do in Tulum.

Enjoy time snorkeling at the reefs, then boat to a hidden caleta (cove) that’s seaweed free and perfect for swimming.

The Tulum Snorkel, Boat Ride & Cove Tour includes:

  • Boat ride to the reef
  • Boat ride to the cove
  • Private guide
  • Bottled water
  • Snorkeling equipment & life jackets

What past guests have said:

Our snorkel tour was amazing. We saw sea turtles and many stingrays, along with tons or different kinds of fish. The tour guides were very fun, and made sure we were safe the whole time, and that we were having a good time.

—Suzanne (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

7. Snorkeling and Boat Ride, Tulum Archaeological Area

a turtle in the sea near some snorkelers | tulum snorkeling in mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.94 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hour

Why choose this tour? Don’t have much time to snorkel? Or, just don’t want to spend the whole day snorkeling?

This is a one hour tour, perfect for those who just want to boat out to the reefs and spend a bit of time snorkeling, then head back to explore Tulum city.

The Snorkeling and Boat Ride, Tulum Archaeological Area includes:

  • Boat trip to the reef
  • Professional tour guide
  • Snorkel gear & life jackets

What past guests have said:

This experience is great! I thought 1 hour would be too short but it was plenty of time. We saw so many turtles and stingrays. Unforgettable.

—Chandler (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

Tulum Snorkeling with Turtles

The best place to swim with turtles in Tulum is actually just north of Tulum, in Akumal Mexico.

The waters of Akumal Bay (AKA Turtle Bay) are actually the best place to swim with turtles in all Mexico, and at just 30 minutes from Tulum, you’ll love swimming with the turtles in Akumal.

🐢 Mexico Fun Facts

In the Mayan language, akumal means “place of the turtle” because the giant sea turtles live there year-round.

They feed on the seagrass at the bottom of Akumal Bay, and enjoy the warm, crystal clear water of the Caribbean Sea.

8. Private Cenote & Snorkeling Tour with Turtles

cenote in tulum | centoe taak bi ha

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 5 hours

Why choose this tour? While snorkeling in Tulum Mexico with the turtles is a once in a lifetime experience you’ll never forget, this tour goes beyond that!

You’ll also visit one of the most beautiful and best Tulum cenotes — Cenote Taak Bi Ha, a picturesque cave cenote in Riviera Maya.

The Private Cenote & Snorkeling Tour with Turtles Tour includes:

  • Cenote entrance fee
  • Private guide
  • Lunch (After snorkeling)
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Snorkeling equipment & life jackets
  • Transportation (Hotel pick-up available)

What past guests have said:

The best experience in Mexico! We traveled to Akumal to see the turtles (we saw so many and our snorkeling guide was great) and then we traveled to a cenote and had it all to ourselves!

—Bethan K. (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

9. Adventure Snorkeling in Akumal Bay

two people swimming near a sea turtle | snorkeling with turtles in akumal mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.91 out of 5 Stars —With more than 1,000 positive reviews! | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1.5 hours

Why choose this tour? If you have a rental car, or don’t mind arranging your own transportation to Akumal, you can save some money with this tour.

To not disturb the green turtle population, only a handful of companies have access to the best snorkeling in Akumal, but this tour does.

The Adventure Snorkeling in Akumal Bay Tour includes:

  • Entrance fees
  • Expert guide
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Life jackets

What past guests have said:

Magical experience! Sergio was very friendly and knowledgeable. It was an incredible experience to watch sea turtles and coral reefs at arm’s length. Highly recommend.

—Yool (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

10. Tortugas & Cenotes: Tulum Snorkel with Turtles Tour

two people swimming near a sea turtle | snorkeling with turtles in akumal mexico

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 5 hours

Why choose this tour? This tour includes a variety of places to swim and snorkel, including the best place to snorkel with the turtles in Akumal Beach. You’ll also enjoy some beach time, and a refreshing swim in a freshwater Yucatan cenote.

The Tortugas & Cenotes: Tulum Snorkel with Turtles Tour includes:

  • Cenote entrance fees
  • Professional guide
  • Lunch (After snorkeling)
  • Bottled water and snacks
  • Snorkeling equipment
  • Life vests
  • Transportation (Hotel pick-up available)
  • 🐢 Note: There is a small federal fee of $13USD you must pay in cash at the time of the tour. It is the Marine Life Conservation fee everyone pays to swim with the turtles in Akumal.

What past guests have said:

This tour is amazing because you see the best parts of Tulum all in one day: the lagoon, the beach and a cenote. This tour took us on the best snorkeling of my life — seeing stingrays, turtles, octopus, colorful fish.

—Ashley J. (see more reviews)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

Best Places to Go Snorkeling in Tulum

In Tulum, the best places accessible by land to go snorkeling are the cenotes.

There’s not any great snorkeling on Tulum Beaches you can get to on your own, as the best Tulum snorkeling spots are accessible only by boat. (Note: For the best Caribbean snorkeling beaches, you’ll want to head to Cozumel, USVI, Cuba and Belize.)

This article features the best tours for snorkeling Tulum Mexico has to offer, but you can also go on your own.

The best way to visit the cenotes in Tulum is with a rental car, as many are in the Yucatan Peninsula jungle, far from main roads and public transportation.

If you want a Tulum rental car, the best place to get one is actually Cancun Airport, which has a larger selection. Since you have to drive from Cancun to Tulum anyway, you might as well get the car in Cancun.

Check out this guide to Renting a Car in Cancun Mexico for more info.

Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

Best Tulum Mexico Snorkeling Cenotes

blue water in a cave | cenote dos ojos in tulum mexico
Dos Ojos Cenote Tulum Mexico — popular with swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers. (Photo: Canva, Best places to snorkel in Mexico)

Below, you will find a list of the 10 best Tulum cenote snorkeling locations. For a complete list of all the best cenotes in Tulum, and a FREE Tulum Cenotes Map to find them, head to 35 Best Tulum Cenotes in Mexico.

  1. Cenote Dos Ojos: Popular for swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving
  2. Cenotes Casa Tortuga (there are four cenotes here)
  3. Cenote Carwash (AKA Cenote Aktun Ha)
  4. Cenote Cristal (AKA Cenote Naharon)
  5. Cenote Yal-Ku Lagoon
  6. Cenote Taak Bi Ha
  7. Cenote Xunaan-Ha (Akumal Cenote)
  8. Casa Cenote (AKA Cenote Manatí or Cenote Tankah)
  9. Cenote Azul near Playa del Carmen
  10. Cenote Jardin Del Eden (AKA Cenote Ponderosa)
Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

How to Snorkel with Turtles in Akumal, Mexico

quintana roo travel: swimming with turtles in akumal, mexico, in akumal bay
Enjoy Tulum turtle snorkeling in nearby Akumal, Mexico, and join the green sea turtles in their natural habitat. (Photo: Canva, Turtle snorkeling Tulum Mexico)

The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef (AKA Great Mayan Reef) is located about 15 minutes by boat from the Tulum beaches.

There is great snorkeling at the reef, but there’s no guarantee you’ll see turtles, though tropical fish, rays and colorful coral are quite common.

If you want a guaranteed turtle swim in Tulum, you must go to Akumal. In the Maya language, akumal means “place of the turtle” because the sea turtles live in Akumal all year.

They feed on the seagrass at the bottom of Akumal Beach, and enjoy the warm Caribbean waters.

You can also sometimes see turtles, as well as dolphins, on a swimming tour in the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve. This million-acre nature preserve makes for a great day trip from Tulum, and is best accessed by boat on a tour, like this one.

Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

Where is Akumal, Mexico?

The small pueblo of Akumal is located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, but much closer to Tulum.

There are some great Akumal all-inclusive resorts, but the main draw for this Mexico beach town is the Akumal turtles swimming experience.

  • Akumal to Tulum distance: 17.5 miles (26 km)
  • Akumal to Tulum drive time: About 30 minutes in normal traffic
  • Akumal map: View Google Maps here

What’s the best time to see turtles in Akumal?

The Akumal turtle season is from about May to November, following the nesting season for marine turtles.

If you’re visiting during turtle season in Akumal, don’t pass up what will be an unforgettable experience to swim with wild turtles in their natural environment.

Best Tulum Snorkeling Tours

What to Pack for Tulum Snorkeling

Now that you know where to snorkel in Tulum Mexico, you’ll need to know what to bring when you go snorkeling — below you’ll find a list with recommendations.

When going with a Tulum snorkeling tour or Tulum whale sharks snorkeling tour, don’t forget to bring cash (pesos) to tip your guide.

🤿 Mask & Snorkel

Tulum snorkeling tours provide a mask and snorkel, but you might want your own for sanitary reasons.

For those who want to conserve luggage space, these small goggles and roll up snorkel make a great set, but this combo mask and snorkel is the best option for snorkeling.

👟 Water Shoes

One of the best Tulum cenote snorkeling travel tips is to bring water shoes! The cenotes are natural pools, most have slippery rocks, muddy ground, etc., and the shoes really come in handy.

You’ll also want them when snorkeling in Tulum or even just walking on the beautiful beaches.

📲 Waterproof Phone Holder

If you’re planning to take Instagram worthy Tulum snorkeling photos, an inexpensive waterproof phone holder that goes around your neck really comes in handy.

With these, you can take them in water and capture all the turtles and abundant marine life underwater.

💦 Waterproof Fanny Pack

The waterproof fanny pack is another great option. Not only are they cute, but it will also hold all your valuables, not just your phone.

Save your money on a cenote locker rentals, and keep all your belongings on you in this waterproof waist bag.

📸 Waterproof Camera

If you’ve been considering getting a GoPro Hero, snorkeling in Tulum Mexico is the perfect place to put it to good use!

You can get amazing shots of everything going on beneath the sea, and also the photogenic Tulum beaches and cenotes.

🧴 Reef Safe Sunscreen

Most cenotes don’t allow sunscreen of any kind, and many use a long sleeve bathing suit (AKA rash guard). When swimming at the reefs in the sea, always use reef safe sunscreen.

☀️ For a complete guide, check out Best Sunscreen for Mexico: Biodegradable & Reef Safe.

🧖‍♀️ Quick Dry Towel

This is one of the best things to throw in your suitcase when packing for Mexico.

It will come in handy when laying on the white sand Yucatan beaches in Tulum, and after swimming in the cenotes and reefs.

No matter where you’re snorkeling in Tulum, you’ll want a quick dry towel afterwards.

🔦 Waterproof Flashlight

Many Tulum snorkeling cenotes are located inside caves, and the interior is dark, even on sunny days.

Your tour operator will likely provide these, but if you need your own, pick up a waterproof flashlight before doing any Tulum cenotes snorkeling!

Final Thoughts: Best Snorkeling Tours in Tulum Mexico

When planning your Tulum itinerary, you’ll want to include an amazing Tulum snorkeling tour (or two). For my money, the Tulum, Snorkel, Reef, Turtles & Cenote Tour is your best option, as you can snorkel everywhere!

While there are so many Tulum things to do on land, don’t skip the Tulum reefs, lagoons and cenotes to enjoy everything going on underwater.

For more information on traveling to Tulum, check out this comprehensive Tulum Travel Guide.

While this list covered the best snorkeling in Tulum Mexico, there is one other place you need to know about.

For the best snorkeling near Tulum, don’t miss the MUSA Underwater Museum in Cancun — arguably the best place to snorkel in Riviera Maya.

The Cancun Underwater Museum (MUSA) has about 500 sculptures to see, and is popular for dive and snorkel trips.

MUSA is also one of the organizations leading the charge for conservation efforts of Mexico’s coral reefs. Learn more about MUSA here.

Tulum Travel Planning Guide

1. Should I buy Mexico travel insurance?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

2. Can you drink the water in Tulum?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling Mexico. (Read more)

3. Is it safe to rent a car in Tulum?

Yes — Renting a car in Mexico is one of the best ways to see the country! I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

4. Will my phone work in Tulum?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

5. What’s the best way to book my Tulum accommodations?

For Tulum hotels, Booking.com is the best site, but for hostels, use Hostel World. If you’re considering a Mexico Airbnb, don’t forget to also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb.

6. What do I pack for Tulum?

Head to the Ultimate Tulum Packing List to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

7. What’s the best site to buy Mexico flights?

For finding cheap Mexico flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

8. Do I need a visa for Mexico?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa or passport stamp upon arrival.