Snorkeling and Zip Lining at Garrafon Natural Reef Park

El Garrafon on Isla Mujeres Cancun

Island Paradise meets Family Fun Activities

El Garrafon Natural Reef Park awaits you and your family with open arms in what is simply one of the most beautiful natural parks. On our recent family vacation in Cancun, we were fortunate to find this private island paradise that is located on the southern tip of the island of Isla Mujeres. This island paradise offers families unique and thrilling adventures as well as places throughout the park to relax in style and it is definitely on our list of top things to do when in Cancun.

UltraMar Ferry

The UltraMar ferry that brought us to Isla Mujeres. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Our family took the UltraMar ferry from Playa Tortugas which is situated next to the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort and Spa, which is where we stayed while in Cancun. El Garrafon Natural Reef Park was about 20 minute ride from the main street in Isla Mujeres and was relatively easy to find. During our ferry ride over to the island, we arranged a golf cart rental for 500 pesos which was approximately $42 U.S. dollars. If you are planning on exploring the island, we highly recommend getting a golf cart for your transportation. UltraMar provided us with directions to the Gomar II golf cart rental office which was about a 5 minute walk from the boat dock. It was relatively close and easy to find.

After about a 20 minute golf cart drive along the main street on Isla Mujeres we arrived at El Garrafon. Upon our arrival the view was worthy of an “OMG” comment. It was simply beyond breathtaking and instantly brought us to a place of serenity and excitement, all at the same time.  This island paradise had more and more to offer as we explored the park with our daughter.

El Garrafon Natural Reef Park

The beautiful waters of Garrafon Park with the Zip Line tower in the middle of the water. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

Garrafon Natural Reef Park offers visitors clean lockers to store their belongings and also provide you with a key on a rope necklace that you can wear as you explore the the park. There are also a good amount of changing rooms and bathrooms so that you are able to change once you get there and you don’t have to worry about bringing a towel, as they provide those for you as well.

Zip Lining Over Tropical Waters

The first activity our family did at El Garrafon Natural Reef Park was the zip lines. I had been zip lining once before on Catalina island, but this was the first time for my husband and daughter. In fact, I was worried about her being able to zipline at all since she is 8 and 48″ tall, but she too was able to experience this activity as her harness was attached to that of an experienced zip line instructor.


Map IconSee Garrafon Natural Reef Park and all of our other family activity recommendations for Cancun on our Cancun Tourist Map with Points of Interest.


After suiting up with the harnesses we walked up two flights of stairs to the first zip line tower which was at the top of the park above the tropical landscape. With a quick instruction on what to do after you are strapped in, you lean back into a sitting position and then take off over the beautiful park. The second zip line went out over the beautiful coral reef waters to a tower in the middle of the water. The third and last line takes you from the water to the tower at the base of the water near the snorkeling. It was a combination of adrenaline and serenity at the same time. Our daughter loved the experience as well and felt safe with the instructor as they soared across the park.

Zip Lining at Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Here we are on the first of three zip lines. | Photos courtesy of Garrafon Park

Snorkeling the Beautiful Coral Reef Waters

After the zip lines and a little break on the beach, we headed over to the snorkeling activity area. As a novice snorkeler and non-swimmer, I was happy to see that no matter the level of a person’s swimming ability, all were required to use the life vest provided by the resort. The depth of the area in which we snorkeled was probably about 15-20 feet so it was not like we were in wide open ocean waters and there were no more than tiny waves from a passing boat, at worst. This is what makes this activity so family friendly.

Once we suited up with our snorkeling gear, we walked down the dock and down the stairs into the crystal clear blue waters of Garrafon. Since our daughter had a life vest on all she had to do was kick and paddle to be able to enjoy the waters with us. The snorkel area has buoys that help guide you along the outer part of the reef. As you swim along you will see various tropical fish along the reef and beyond. This was a very fun family activity that all of us enjoyed.

Other Activities at Garrafon Natural Reef Park

We were at the park for about half of the day, so we did not get a chance to experience all the park had to offer. One of the activities we saw but did not get to do was kayaking. Garrafon Natural Reef Park offers single or two-passenger kayaks that you can ride around in the turquoise waters below the zip lines and next to the snorkeling area. Another great water activity is swimming in the fresh water infinity swimming pool that overlooks the coral reef. My daughter and I had a chance to take a quick dip before leaving, and if we didn’t have to catch our ferry back to Cancun, we would have swam there for hours. Another plus for this pool was that the shallow depth was good for the younger kids.

Infinity Swimming Pool at Garrafon

The 100 foot infinity swimming pool has panoramic views of the coral reef and Cancun Bay. | Photo by FamilyVacationHub

With all of the activities that the park offers, you definitely need a place to relax. El Garrafon Natural Reef Park has plenty of nice relaxing locations for you to rejuvenate before taking on another activity. From hammocks, lounge chairs to chairs in a shallow pool, the park gives you plenty of choices and the view from each overlooks the beach and beautiful waters.

The amenities of this natural reef park offered us a day of fun, lifetime experiences and best of all, it allowed us to enjoy a little piece of paradise with our family. We hope you can experience a little bit of paradise too!

About Garrafon Natural Reef Park

The park is a gorgeous natural reef park overlooking the miraculous turquoise waters of the Mexican Caribbean and is located only 20 minutes by boat from Cancun.  When visiting Garrafon Natural Reef Park, expect to stay the entire day. You will enjoy activities such as snorkeling, zip lining, kayaking and swimming. This is a full service park that offers its guests towels, turnkey lockers and bathrooms, restaurants, bars and plenty of places to relax!

Garrafon Natural Reef Park Photo Gallery

Click any of the above images to visit our photo gallery and see all 15 Photos of El Garrafon Natural Reef Park.

Why We Recommend Garrafon Natural Reef Park For Families

  • Beautiful Scenery
  • Tropical Lanscape
  • Family Friendly Atmosphere
  • Gorgeous Waters
  • Plenty of Relaxing Areas
  • Zip Lining
  • Snorkeling
  • Infinity Pool
  • Kayaking
  • Nice Coral Reef

Visit El Garrafon Natural Reef Park’s website for more information about their park.


We were provided free entry into Garrafon Park for the purpose of reviewing it on our blog. Regardless, we would only recommend places, activities or services that we would use/visit personally and that we believe will be good for our readers.

About Laura Filipowicz

I am a mom, professional travel writer and founder of the ConnectHER Conference for Brands, Influencers, and Moms. My passions include working within the mom community, creating brand events, and creating mini-brand ambassadors within the community. My expertise lies in social media, editorial reviews and specialized product, program and customer service auditing. I enjoy traveling and exploring family friendly places to stay, eat and play!

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2 thoughts on “Snorkeling and Zip Lining at Garrafon Natural Reef Park

  1. Manasa

    Good read. Did you purchase the tickets to Garrafon park online? Do we have to pre- order or can we buy them at the park itself?

    All I want to do is spend half a day on the park. Zipline and Snorkel.

    I wish to take the ferry to Isla Mujeres, rent a golf cart spend the first half of the day touring around and second half at the garrafon park.

    Reply
    • Joe Filipowicz

      Manasa, Our family spent a half day at Garrafon Natural Reef Park and a half day driving around the island. I have to say that doing both on the same day didn’t give us as much time as we had wanted for either the island or Garrafon Park. There are a lot of fun things to do on the island that we couldn’t do even though we took the first ferry of the day to the island. If your schedule allows I would book Garrafon Park (a ferry ride between Cancun and Garrafon is included in your park admission) and stay for the whole day and then spend another day renting a golf cart and exploring the island. There are enough family activities for a whole day of fun doing either on separate days. As for booking the park, you can buy tickets at the park entrance but if you buy directly from their website, they offer a discount. We hope this helps and we know you will enjoy your time on the island.

      Reply

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