Founded to protect the coral reefs in the Cancun area, the Isla Mujeres-Cancun-Punta Nizuc Marine Park is celebrating its thirteenth anniversary.

For most visitors, this chain of shallow water reefs in the bay between Isla Mujeres and Cancun Hotel Zone is where they first don a mask and flippers and take the plunge to start exploring the Mesoamerican Reef, the second longest in the world. Several of the local reefs such as Punta Nizuc are suitable for snorkeling, while others like Cuevones and El Tunel offer a different set of challenges and a wealth of marine life for divers. The reefs are so accessible that divers can literally board the boat at 10 a.m. in the morning for the trip out to a dive site and still be back in time for lunch after having done a two-tank dive!

Elkhorn coral predominates, with scattered brain corals and sponges and gardens of sea fans and algae, and the most common fish in the Cancun area are sergeant majors, grunts, pork fish, blue tangs, angel fish and snappers. Divers may also be lucky enough to spot sea turtles and moray eels.
There are similar marine reserves in Puerto Morelos, Cozumel and along the Riviera Maya coast and once you have explored one reef, you will want to see them all! If you are interested in booking a snorkeling or dive trip, contact Thomas More Travel at

Reef Rules
Help us to preserve the fragile coral reef ecosystem:
* Do not touch anything! Even the lightest touch can cause damage that will take the reef hundreds of years to recover from.
* Do not take shells, sea fans, coral, fish or any other creature living or dead from the reef.
* Keep your distance from the reef and avoid kicking or stirring up the sand. Sand can clog up the coral polyps and block life-giving sunlight.
* Use a t-shirt for sun protection instead of sun tan creams and oils which kill coral and marine life.