Akumal – The Best Destination For Snorkeling

The popular travelling website Tripadvisor was flooded with enquiries about which is the best place to go for snorkeling, is it Akumal or Cozumel. Read on to find out which destination you should consider visiting.

In Mexico, there are many spots where one of the major attractions is to go for snorkeling. One of them is Puerto Morelos. It is the easiest and while all snorkel experiences change with conditions, Puerto Morelos is quite same. There is so much to see and one can go out by boat which is cheap. The reef in Puerto Morelos is shallow and you can be closer to nature.  Then there is Cozumel famous for diving. But Akumal is famous for turtles when compared to Puerto Morelos and Cozumel.

The little beach town of Akumal attracts tourists who love snorkeling with endangered green sea turtles. Interestingly, you don’t need to rent a boat or even a guide to go snorkeling with the turtles like in the case of Puerto Morelos. Turtles are a short swim away. The ocean floor at Akumal is covered with sea grass, one of the turtles’ favorite foods. The turtles hang out there for hours in the bay, casually munching on the grass. Aside from turtles, there isn’t much other marine life in the shallow waters of Akumal Bay.

You can reach Akumal for a wonderful experience from Playa del Carmen by collectivo. Collectivos are small, so if you have a lot of luggage, you may want to take a bus or taxi. The collective from Playa del Carmen will usually drop you off by the pedestrian overpass on the highway. Cross over the overpass and keep following the road and you’ll be on the beach. If the collectivo drops you off in Akumal town, you will have to just follow the road back across the highway. Another option for getting to Akumal from Playa is to take a bus. The ADO buses do not stop in Akumal, so you’ll need to take a second class Mayab bus.

After reaching Akumal, you can rent snorkels, fins and masks right in the bay. You’ll need to bring your own towels, ID and a deposit. The dive sites also rent lockers.

So, get your snorkeling gears and dive in to enjoy the clear waters with turtles. (3253)

Travelling to Tulum from Chetumal

At a popular travel website, Tripadvisor, a query came regarding a possible journey from Chetumal to Tulum in a rented car.

Chetumal is situated on the western side of Chetumal Bay, near the mouth of the Río Hondo. Chetumal is an important port for the region and operates as Mexico’s main trading gateway with the neighboring country of Belize. While Tulum holds the honour of being the most picturesque archaeological site in the Riviera Maya and the only one to have been built overlooking the ocean. Both are very different in nature but shouldn’t be missed.

A visit here offers spectacular views of the Riviera Maya beaches, Caribbean Sea and surrounding coastal region. Tulum was an ancient Mayan fortress city that rose to power toward the end of the Classic period. The most iconic of its structures, the Castillo, is perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the clear turquoise blue waters of the Caribbean. The cliff-top Castillo, with its beachfront location and lush green landscape, is the image most often associated with the Mayan Riviera.

You can walk around the expansive walkway which extends till the ruins and then come down the stairs directly to the beach where you can swim and sunbathe. The best way to experience Tulum is to combine a tour of the ruins with some beach time.

From Chetumal one can take the bus of the Ado brand. The Chetumal to Tulum buses are frequent in case of second class ride. Don’t worry they are pretty nice to travel. The only thing that bothers is that they stop more often. Rental car choices are very limited in Chetumal because it isn´t really a tourist town. The rentals you do find will be expensive.

So don’t put a whole in your pocket to travel from Chetumal to Tulum, just avail any of the bus rides that are available. (3551)

Travel Akumal Bay And Tulum In One Day

jesse-metcalfe-cara-santana-tulum

Tripadvisor – the popular travel website got flooded with queries regarding Tulum and Akumal Bay. Can they be covered in a single day or not. Read on to know more…

Want to visit both of these amazing places in one day? It’s not you alone who wants to do that, there are many tourists who are thinking the same. First starting off with Akumal and do snorkelling and see some turtles in the morning as the later in the day the more likely choppy water. Spend until mid day and go to Tulum. You know what, it’s absolutely doable and depends on how much time you wish to devote to Tulum. You should be able to catch a collectivo heading to Tulum from Akumal. Just be aware that if you are planning on traveling only by collectivo, there will be quite a bit of walking involved from the highway. You get off on the highway and you are right there where they sell the tickets to their little “train” for super cheap and its a few minutes ride to the entrance. But be aware because by the time you may reach Tulum, it will be hot.

Otherwise you can try the other way round. Take the colectivo to the ruins first in the morning before it gets too hot and it is right off the highway and later go to Akumal for snorkelling and lunch. Now to figure out the best option and transportation and if you don’t want to spend all your money on Taxi’s which seems to be easy to do there, get a collective to take you around. You can also check prices with one of the private transfer companies – likely less as Canada Transfers, AGI Transfers and USA Transfers. In the Akumal area, many great places to go and eat.

So, plan accordingly and pack some essentials and get ready to explore the serene blue water and Mayan ruins together. (2877)

Cancun – Most Popular International Destination

Come this winter, Cancun will see an influx of foreign tourist as stated by American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). According to bookings by members of ASTA, Cancun is the most popular international destination for the 2014-2015 winter season.

24 percent of respondents to ASTA’s 2014 Hot Spots for Winter Survey chose Cancun as their favourite destination to visit during winters. During summers its only 5 percent. Some of the other popular destinations for winter are Rome (16%), London (11%), Paris (9%), Sydney (3%), Barcelona (3%), Montego Bay (3%), Riviera Maya (3%), Punta Cana (2%) and Cape Town (1%). The top 10 international destination cities in the winter survey are the same as the summer top 10 with the exception of Sydney and Cape Town replacing Amsterdam and Madrid. Mexico, led by Cancun, topped with a 24 percent share. Rounding out the top five country/region destinations for winter travel are Italy (18%), the Caribbean (12%), France (7%) and United Kingdom (6%). Survey data was collected through the 2014 ASTA Research Family from July through August 2014. This survey has a 95 percent rate confidence with an error rate +/-5 percent.

Cancun is easily accessible from the U.S., has a plethora of all-inclusive resorts, a warm climate and beautiful beaches and that’s why it emerged as the clear winter vacation destination desired by our member’s clients explained Zane Kerby, ASTA President and CEO. If you have any doubts regarding your dream destination, you can find a travel agent on the ‘Find a Travel Agent’ directory on TravelSense.org. Here the tourists can search for a travel agent who specializes in the destinations that they dream of visiting.

So, where are you heading to this winter? (2452)

Travel Akumal Bay And Tulum In One Day

jesse-metcalfe-cara-santana-tulum

Tripadvisor – the popular travel website got flooded with queries regarding Tulum and Akumal Bay. Can they be covered in a single day or not. Read on to know more…

Want to visit both of these amazing places in one day? It’s not you alone who wants to do that, there are many tourists who are thinking the same. First starting off with Akumal and do snorkelling and see some turtles in the morning as the later in the day the more likely choppy water. Spend until mid day and go to Tulum. You know what, it’s absolutely doable and depends on how much time you wish to devote to Tulum. You should be able to catch a collectivo heading to Tulum from Akumal. Just be aware that if you are planning on traveling only by collectivo, there will be quite a bit of walking involved from the highway. You get off on the highway and you are right there where they sell the tickets to their little “train” for super cheap and its a few minutes ride to the entrance. But be aware because by the time you may reach Tulum, it will be hot.

Otherwise you can try the other way round. Take the colectivo to the ruins first in the morning before it gets too hot and it is right off the highway and later go to Akumal for snorkelling and lunch. Now to figure out the best option and transportation and if you don’t want to spend all your money on Taxi’s which seems to be easy to do there, get a collective to take you around. You can also check prices with one of the private transfer companies – likely less as Canada Transfers, AGI Transfers and USA Transfers. In the Akumal area, many great places to go and eat.

So, plan accordingly and pack some essentials and get ready to explore the serene blue water and Mayan ruins together. (2186)

Snorkeling At Turtle Bay

Popular travel website Tripadvisor got a query about snorkeling at the Turtle Bay of Akumal Yucatan Peninsula and how to reach. Read on to find out what people had to say and it may answer your doubts too –

To reach Turtle Bay you can either hire a taxi or hop on a collectivo. Taxi will take you right to the beach. collectivo will drop you off on the highway and from there, take the pedestrian overpass to cross the highway and then walk in. You can rent the dive in gear for the surrounding shops and the pricing too is affordable. The snorkel tours start by 10 am, so make sure to reach there early. Ignore the people called piratas who will try and tell you it is the law that you must have a guide. But that is not true, you will only require the guide if it’s an organized tour.  Act like you know what you are doing and get far from them and start snorkeling peacefully.

Snorkeling at the Turtle Bay is one thing where you need to keep your patience and concentrate, so any crowd will disturb you. You will find lots of over enthusiastic fellow snorkelers who will bump and run into you. Find a lone spot and concentrate for 5 minutes, your eyes will become accustomed, and you will be able to see turtles. Best things come to you in the ocean, when you just let them, don’t race around chasing what you think you are going to miss.

Turtles begin laying eggs in late May until September (at darkness – bring a red flashlight which will not disturb them). It takes 55-60 days to hatch (late July to early November). You can also swim around them. Turtles in Akumal Bay live there year around and eat turtle grass. If you want to see turtle hatchings you will have to coordinate with CEA. Sometimes if a nest hatches during the day, the CEA volunteers collect the turtles and then release them later around dusk, so it is harder for their predators to see them.

Get your snorkeling gears and to head to Turtle Bay with your family. (2108)

How To Reach Tulum

Tripadvisor – the popular travel website gets flooded with queries for Tulum and one of them being how to reach Tulum from Grand Palladium. Read on to know more…

When at Palladium, there many options which you can explore. Mainly there is Tulum, the historical town and then there is Akumal, the perfect beach and snorkeling getaway. If you and your little ones love their history, they would definitely fall in love with the ruins of Tulum. You can hire a cab from outside the Palladium. If you book a cab from inside the resort, you will not be able to bargain your way to Tulum. You will find the ruins by the highway about 1 km further into town, and the main beach area is 2 km from town with 5 miles of pristine beaches, small hotels and restaurants and beach bars to sooth your nerves. It is quite a fun if you go for the collectivo, but there is a bit of a walk from where the collectivo drops you off. You have to talk the bridge back over the highway and then walk down the street into the town.

On the other hand, you may find Tulum to be very hot and boring if not into history and archaeology. Then head towards Akumal Bay in a colectivo or taxi. It’s a very nice place where the kids can enjoy.  Akumal has beach, restaurants, shopping in a close area and far lesser hot than Tulum. You can also hire a golf cart tour to Half Moon Bay or Yal-Ku Lagoon. A cab ride from the resort to Akumal should cost you $10. But you will have to bargain a lot but it’s worth it as it is basically the same cost as the collectivo but less walking.

Also read: Day trip to Akumal

Whichever destination you choose to explore from Palladium, make sure to have loads of fun even if you feel tired after walking. Hold hands and start on an interesting journey. (2392)

Come and Relax In Akumal

Akumal Snorkeling

Photo compliments of photographer Micheal Hall

Interested to get a glimpse of local people and culture or just relax and forget all your worries, Akumal might be the place you want to visit. Hop over in any taxi or just for the thrill go on a hop-on hop-off bus that’s very inexpensive named colectivo to reach Akumal. It is just over an hour’s drive from the resort city of Cancun, Mexico, and about a half-hour from Playa del Carmen. Cancun is best known for its beautiful beaches and fruity drinks.

Most of the tourists head for Cancun due to its lavish luxurious options. But as Akumal is strategically located about twenty-minutes from the famous Mayan ruins of Tulum you cannot give the place a miss. The spectacular Mayan ruins of Coba are about an hour-and-a-half away. Along the way, you’ll find stops for beautiful cenotes – a Mexican version of an underground swimming hole – in which to take a dip. In fact, there are three wonderful ones right near Coba.

Located on the Caribbean Sea, Akumal Bay is breathtakingly beautiful, with lots to do. Depending on where you stay, you’ll find different activities to suit your taste. Stay in a resort on the main bay if you are fond of luxurious larger hotels, jet-ski rental, beach-bars, parasailing and more. Stay at a place on North Akumal Bay and you’ll experience a more serene experience, quite opposite. On North Akumal Bay you’ll have a choice of staying at small, boutique-like properties, as well as renting condos and rental homes. Even you can find fabulous restaurants with delicious food where the flooring is the actual sandy beach.

Akumal means “place of the turtles” in the Mayan language. The beaches to the north and south are endangered Green Sea Turtle habitat. The Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA), local NGO, educates residents and visitors about habitat preservation. Yal Ku Lagoon, to the north is a haven for snorkelling; an area where fresh water percolating through ground limestone meets salt water and creates nutrient-rich habitat for marine life. Just a short swim out and you’ll have one of the best views in the area; colourful fish and beautiful sea turtles!

Be it food, surroundings or the people, Akumal has it all just to enjoy and relax. Let yourself loose to soak up the feeling. (1866)

Funky and Wacky Tulum

Funky and Wacky Tulum

Funky and Wacky Tulum

Tulum is a three-mile stretch of sand on the Mexican coast, two hours south of Cancun. Once known as the preserve of backpackers and yoga enthusiasts, it now attracts a more chic crowd and bohemian film stars. You can wander along the beach nibbling on local food, waxing surfboards and clicking photographs of one another and the coast. At Tulum you will get a vibe of Goa meeting Jamaica with a few ancient ruins thrown in to up the funky quotient. Tulum’s great vibes got published with Dailymail. Come, let’s chill at Tulum.

Tulum is a much laid back place and is disconnected from the mainland power supply, so no need to pack anything more than a phone charger. Even the food’s not bad, either. If you want to taste authentic Mexican, try the small stalls down the coast. Whopping garlic butter lobsters and octopus with pea puree is staple here; all accompanied by shots of tequila’s younger cousin – mescal.

At Tulum, you can stay in boutique hotels or try the Grand Velas north of Tulum on the Riviera Maya. As you approach Grand Velas, it looks like a Roman fort. An array of suites is placed across a large area of jungle right up to the sea. The area is so vast that the hotel runs its own safari car in order to explore the jungle, where you’ll find multiple birdlife to utter enjoyment.

When at Tulum, take a drive inland towards the hidden city of Vallodolid, a colonial outpost of Spanish arcades and spas. Here, the Yucatan peninsula was home to the Mayan civilisation, a society highly advanced in art, trade, and temple-building. You can also visit the Coqui Coqui perfumery, near the city centre. It was originally an ancient townhouse where the Franciscan monks who colonised the Yucatan in the 16th century and concocted herbal remedies and perfumes. Coqui Coqui perfumery was set up by Nicolas Malleville and his wife Francesca Bonato.

When visiting Coqui Coqui, you can put up at its sister establishment about an hour away in Coba. The hotel overlooks a crocodile-laden lagoon. Coba was once home to 100,000 people and you can find many old structures uncovered, but 6,500 more are thought to be below the surface. We have made several efforts to entertain ourselves but visiting Coba is a unique experience in itself. See for yourself, how nature has created structures for its own entertainment. Cenotes, or sinkholes, are formed from the collapse of limestone bedrock to create wondrous cave lakes. Once you reach the end of the cave, a deep pool will welcome you for a chilling experience. You can also dive in and feel the icy water charging all your sensation right from head to toe. It’s an electric grand finale to a thrilling Mexican adventure at Tulum.

Visit Tulum to be a part of ancient Mayan ruins, gulp multiple shots of mescal, and refresh in the surrounding at Cenotes. Mexico’s Tulum coast is an out and out stylish, funky and wonderfully wacky destination.

Pic: http://instagram.com/p/r_-1QjuCp4/ (2286)

Is There A Fee For Swimming With Turtles In Akumal?

swimming with turtles in Akumal

Recently someone posted a query on TripAdvisor asking about the latest snorkeling requirements in Akumal for turtle watching. Is there a fee for swimming with turtles in Akumal? If yes, how much is it and whom does it need to be paid to?

In response to this query, here is what some experienced travelers had to say:

Akumal is a public beach and hence there is no fee for swimming with turtles in Akumal. But you need to be wary of some aggressive beach vendors who will desperately try to sell you a tour. This can be slightly intimidating for all those people who are visiting Akumal for the first time. It is best to avoid these vendors by just walking south along the beach, saying ‘no, thank you’. Also, it is not compulsory to hire a guide. You can just head to the dive shop, rent in your snorkeling gear, life jackets and lockers and get going to see loads of turtles, fish, sting rays, and the beautiful coral reef! There are signs on the beach stating ‘ lifejackets must be worn’. Though wearing one is not compulsory, it is always advisable to have a life jacket on in case you are not an experienced snorkeler. Also, there are no rules as to where you can get in and how far you can swim. There is a lifeguard on duty who will politely encourage you to stay within a reasonable distance.

Photo: lovingtours.com (3233)