There are several fabulous dive sites in Playa Del Carmen but there is a great deep reef to the South. Not a point on the map but a wide open area that is free from any hunting or fishing; a preserve and protected area for sea turtles to roam free without harassment. For the turtle lovers, Tortugas offers a wide range of species to include the Green, Loggerhead, and the Kemp’s Ripley; a rare and endangered turtle that makes its home on the reefs of Playa Del Carmen.
The day begins with a thirty minute boat ride to the South of Playa Del Carmen boat docks. The first dive of the morning is the shipwreck Momma Vina. This great dive is on an old shrimp boat that was purposely sunk in 1996. The years have been good to her and the strong current across the bow has had a dramatic effect on the hard and soft coral growth on the starboard side. Towards the end of the dive we often stay on the top of the ship and watch the Barracuda, Jacks, Permits hunt the thousands of small bait fish moving around in a silver well-orchestrated flash of silver. As we get low on air, we make our way to the surface and head to a private beach for our surface interval.
After about an hour on the surface, it’s time to head to the next dive site. Tortugas is not a point target in the middle of the ocean like the shipwreck, but a wide open area with the ocean bottom covered in massive hard and soft corals. The site is near the continental shelf so the fish tend to be much bigger than on the shallow reefs. It’s a deeper dive that ranges from 60 feet to 90 feet but the slope is gradual and the current is often strong. As we enter the water and descend, we get our perfect buoyancy in the horizontal position and ride the drift. The current ranges from 5 to 10 knots and it is not uncommon to travel several miles in a 45 minute dive; get your positioning, establish your buoyancy, and enjoy the ride.
As we pass along the dive site we start seeing the turtles lazily grazing on the corals and grasses. They have seen many divers throughout their long lives and don’t mind sitting still while we take a few photos. We always respect the environment and the sea life and give the turtle plenty of space to move around or leave if they wish. We are guests in their homes and as responsible divers; we respect the life within the seas.
There is always something to see in the ocean reefs off the coast of Playa Del Carmen and Diversity Diving is the perfect dive center for all of your diving needs. Whether it is diver education from beginner through advanced technical diving, Diversity Diving has it all.