One of the neatest opportunities we have had while living in Mexico has been going to Akumal Beach and swimming with the Sea Turtles.
Akumal is located between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, and getting here can be interesting. If you are driving there are 2 parking lots on the main street which cost $50 pesos per day to park at. There is also a parking lot closer to the beach right on the main road that charges an hourly rate definitely not worth it. The “Main Access” where all the locals try to make you go is through a building with bathrooms, showers and lockers. There is a charge of $100 pesos per person to gain access through here.
There is a better way. If you are driving immediately after the Oxxo turn right and tell the gate attendant that you are going to eat at the Lol-Ha restaurant. that leads you to a parking lot that is really close to the beach and all you have to do is eat something at the restaurant. Which if you are spending the day at the beach is kind of nice to get food.
The 1st time we went to Akumal we went through the main access. The 2nd time we learned better and parked in the Restaurant Lol-Ha parking lot. where we ordered 2 pizzas for the ride home. (the pizza was mediocre, and the price was a little high but it was to be expected from a beach restaurant. we didn’t try any of the other food but I assume there would be some really good food)
One of the most annoying things about Akumal is swimming… There are roped off areas where no one is allowed to swim, there are roped off areas where you are allowed to swim only with a guide who costs about $600 pesos per person, and there is a small area close to the beach that is not roped off where anyone can swim freely.
This is because a few years ago the Mexican Government turned the area into a nature reserve. this area basically blocks people from swimming out to the reef from inside the bay.
If you walk to the southern end of the bay you can swim out and around the nature reserve area. however this is not always necessary to see the turtles… Olivia, Grayson and Colette all saw the awesome Turtles and we had the opportunity to float around the turtles for almost an hour.
Other bits of information that we found important is that you do not have to purchase a snorkeling tour to swim with the turtles. Sometimes the salesmen can get very pushy, but just keep walking. There are lots of places on the beach where you can rent both life jackets and snorkeling gear if you don’t have your own the cost is $200 pesos for the day but you can sometimes talk the person down to $150 or $125. (it is always worth asking!)
anyways Watch the video, Plan your trip to Akumal and as always PEACE!!!
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