Akumal is the perfect place for snorkeling. I I love snorkeling. I like to admire the seabed in search of colored fish in an almost unreal silence. When you put your head in the water, all the noises become muffled and a strange tranquility pervades you. Although I feel comfortable, I have to be honest, without fins I never travel much from the shore and I often have a love / hate relationship with a mask and snorkel. Systematically they tarnish, but that's also part of the game.
Do snorkeling in Akumal in Mexico it was a sight, not so much in terms of the number of fish, but more because you can see the turtles. It is no coincidence that Akumal in the Mayan language means "land / place of turtles". A few meters from the shore they lead their marine life blissfully although hordes of boats stare at them curiously. It is absolutely one of the 15 things to do and see in the Yucatan Peninsula.
Also in Akumal I preferred to self-organize the excursion to see the turtles. Here's how to do it.
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Once you have parked and arrived on the main street that leads to the white Akumal beach, you will find several local people who will offer you the excursion in search of turtles. They tell you that they really know the places where tortoises are and that, if you don't see them, they will refund the money for the excursion. Prices hover about 500 pesos per person if I remember correctly. A huge amount for just one hour of snorkeling.
My advice is to absolutely leave them alone, in a few lines you will understand why.
So how do you see these beautiful creatures?
Simple! Rent the equipment to the diving center that you find on the beach. With 170 pesos (about 9 euros) they will give you a life jacket, mask and snorkel. You can keep all the equipment with you until 16.30 pm, the deadline for return.
So the "autonomous rental" is already at 1 to 0 on the organized tour.
Armed with snorkeling equipment you can start your search. You won't have to wait long before you see a turtle. They live peacefully a few meters from the shore and coexist with tourism which, of course, owes them respect.
È It is strictly forbidden to touch them for many reasons, first of all the fact of scaring them.
If you are unlucky and you can't see them in the first few minutes, the "trick" is to lift your head from the water and look around. Where you will see 4/5 people stopped snorkeling in one point, it means that there will be a turtle there.
Have respect towards the Akumal turtles, too many people do not allow them to return to the surface easily, so try to be as discreet as possible by taking pictures from a distance. In short, try not to bother them and make sure they don't feel oppressed. If you find there are too many around the turtle, move away.
The first attempt at research, however, I advise you to do it yourself, gives more satisfaction!
At this point you understand how the organized tour is too expensive, disrespectful towards the turtles and how useless the guarantee of "if we do not see the turtles we will return the amount spent" is useless. You will never get your money back since it will be practically impossible not to see a turtle.
Akumal bay is special not only for the fact that you can see these fantastic animals but also because it is present a beautiful coral reef a few meters from the shore. You can also easily reach it by swimming. Here you will find a greater number of colorful fish.
It is located between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, it takes 20 minutes by car from Tulum to reach it.
It sounds like a silly question, but it's not. Apart from the Mayan ruins where the parking is paid, in all other places of mine trip to Mexico I have never had to pay the "extinction", not even in Playa Delfines and Playa Paraiso. In Akumal, however, you will have to pay for it.
You have two options:
- Park in the car park on the left that you find before arriving at the El Pablito supermarket (fixed price until 18.00 pm, cheap)
- Arrive almost directly on the beach (not recommended, you would pay much more)