Snorkeling in Akumal Bay

Sea Turtles, Coral Reef, Stingrays, Riviera Maya

Wondering what to do during your next trip to Riviera Maya? My wife and I while on vacation in Mexico discovered an exciting and affordable activity that can be enjoyed by everyone interested in snorkeling.  Swimming with the giant sea turtles in Riviera Maya Akumal Bay is an experience you will likely remember all your life. 

Akumal Bay is located between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum.  If your hotel is close to Playa Del Carmen, I would recommend you simply take the “colectivo” (public transportation in air conditioned white mini-van) to the Akumal Bay stop.  Simply tell the driver that you want to go swimming with the turtles and he will drop you off at the right place.   The cost is around 30 pesos (less than $3US).  From there you will have to take a short 10 minute walk to get to the beach.  

Ideally you should bring your own snorkeling equipment if you want to save money on equipment rental.  But everything is available for rent if you don’t want to bother with carrying your gear.  I recommend the swimming vest if you are not a strong swimmer and want to really have a relaxing experience with the entire family.

Now the fun starts.  As you will see the beach is beautiful with fine white sand and clear water, there is generally very limited waves as the bay is protected from strong winds which make snorkelling really enjoyable.  This activity is accessible to all levels of snorkelers and fun for the entire family.  Taking a guided tour is really not required since it is pretty obvious where you should go to see the turtles or the reef; just spot a group of snorkelers and head in that general direction, you will likely see turtles in that area.   There are a lot of giant sea turtles to observe, so don’t be put off if you are not alone.  There is ample space for everyone and we never felt crowded. 

Are we in a Disney movie?

Upclose and personal

You should be able to see several sea turtles feeding on the grass pretty close to the shore.  The water is shallow, less than 8 feet deep, so the visibility is very good even if you remain at the surface.  As the turtles come up to breathe you will have the opportunity to swim alongside these beautiful creatures.  You might get the impression that these giant turtles are coming straight out of a Disney movie, it is so unreal! If you go a little farther out you will get to the coral reef where you will see a large variety of colourful fish.   We also saw stingrays.   Bring an underwater camera since this is something you will want to brag about when you come back home.

If you go to Riviera Maya, don’t miss your chance to swim with giant sea turtles.   Akumal Bay is the place to go for a once-in-a-lifetime experience!