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Activities > Snorkel Costa Maya
Turtle - Photo by Mike Bales
Turtle Photo by guest Mike Bales taken while snorkeling with throw-away underwater camera
 
One of the most memorable activities people take with them when they leave us the Costa Maya is snorkeling off Punta Placer. All of the Costa Maya has wonderful snorkeling, but we think the snorkeling here is so fabulous it should be set aside as a national park and environmentally protected. Marcia goes out most afternoons and is happy to show guests of Mayan Beach Garden the best places to snorkel
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Boat Snorkel tours
(sponsored by Costa Maya Tours, local Costa Maya operators)

The variety of fish is unparalleled. It sometimes feels like you are swimming in a giant tropical fish bowl. I believe the fish pictured at the right are French Grunt, Haemulon flavolineatum, but are referred to locally as Yellow tail. They are very common and sometimes congregate in large schools.

(Fish you might see are listed at the bottom of this web page):

Yellow grunts
Photo taken by Heidi Hamm
variety of coral

For those more adventurous, Marcia takes tours out beyond the reef's breakers to reveal it's secrets. For experienced snorkelers and swimmers only - no standing on the coral to adjust your mask!!

Sargent majors with Elk horn coral

The coral off the Costa Maya is still healthy, alive and growing. In the shallow waters are some of the largest Elk horn coral with healthy ochre colored branches and Brain coral you will ever see.

(Coral you might see are listed at the bottom of this web page -- includes links to several photos):

Queen Parrot
I believe the species above is a Queen parrot fish.

large coral heads
Large coral heads with a vast variety of coral delight the snorkeler. The depth of the ocean floor ranges from two feet to about 15 feet deep, as in this picture. Marcia is already on her way to see a giant brain coral. It is not uncommon to see huge specimens 14-15 feet high.

Chubs and Yellow tails
Chubs and Bar Jacks, although I'm not sure about the ones with the yellow tails.

Sea creatures you will see snorkeling in and around Punta Placer NOTE: I am not an expert and am guessing the species. If you catch an error, please contact me:

Coral you will see in and around Punta Placer

Thin Finger Coral (Porites divaricata)
Finger Coral

Corky Sea Finger (Briareum asbestinum)
Corky Sea Finger

Black Sea Rods (Plexaura homomalia)
Black Sea Rods

Starlet Coral (Siderastrea siderea)
Starlet Coral

Sergeant Major ( Abudefduf saxatilis)
photo by Kevin Kutterer


Blue Finger coral, photo by Kevin Kutterer
Blue finger Coral

Brain Coral, photo by Kevin Kutterer
Brain Coral

Lane Snapper Lutjanus synagris (I think!)
photo by Kevin Kutterer
Snapper

Yellow Sting ray

Juvenile Damsel fish,photo by Kevin Kutterer



Trigger fish
Trigger Fish

Sea Urchin
Sea Urchin eating algea


French angel fish
French Angelfish

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updated 27-Sep-2012