Is a Snorkel Guide Mandatory In Akumal?

Is a Snorkel Guide Mandatory In Akumal?

Is a Snorkel Guide Mandatory In Akumal?

Recently someone posted a question on TripAdvisor asking about what all is required to snorkel in Akumal Bay. Though this traveler has visited Akumal twice in the past he needs to know about the current snorkel situation there as he has heard that now it is compulsory to get a snorkel guide in Akumal Bay. Also, he will be carrying his own snorkeling equipment but has been told that there are guys on the beach checking wristbands that are given out to snorkelers from the dive shop. Does all this information hold true?

In response to this query, here is what some experienced travelers had to say about snorkel guide in Akumal

It is not necessary to hire a guide for your snorkeling adventure in the Akumal Bay. It could be that some pushy guides are spreading this information in order to sell their services. If you are not carrying your snorkeling gear with you, you can rent it in from the dive shop. Over the last few years Akumal has rapidly emerged as a popular snorkeling destination and has drawn visitors from all across the world. Unfortunately, some of these visitors disregard the natural environment of the area causing damage to the corals and turtles. In order to put an end to this situation and get more control over the area, the authorities adopted certain precautionary measures but those are hardly being enforced. Even today, you do not need a snorkel guide in Akumal Bay nor are the wristbands compulsory to snorkel in Akumal Bay.

Due to over-crowding and large scale snorkeling endangering the coral reef and turtles, certain restrictions were placed by CEA. Nevertheless, Akumal is still is the destination of choice for snorkeling for people from all over the world. appeals to all snorkelers to be more respectful of the nature’s bounty and treat it with the care it deserves. This way. Akumal Bay and its marine wildlife will be conserved for our future generations.

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Important News: Akumal Beach Access Restriction Questions Answered

Of late there has been a lot of heartburn over reported news of restrictions placed on the access to the Main Bay in Akumal. The earlier entrance has been closed and new path has been earmarked for people. CEA – CEA Centro Ecológico Akumal has sought to remove any confusion such steps have confused in the minds of the Akumal residents and Tourists alike.

Here is the message posted on


In an effort to clarify certain issues that are affecting Akumal and Centro Ecológico Akumal at this time, we submit the following information.

Akumal Bay is being destroyed from massive snorkel tourism, and related bad snorkeling and marine recreation practices (grabbing sea turtles, standing on coral, poaching sea turtle nests, illegal vendors, shoddy equipment, molesting visitors). Centro Ecológico Akumal (CEA), the hotels, and dive shops are working to revert this situation through better control of the beachfront properties and by implementing an integrated bay management program.

1. CEA owns the land on which its offices are located; from the middle of the road between Super Chomak / Hotel Club Akumal Caribe and El Pueblito in the south / east, and El Pueblito and the federal zone of the beach (east / west) and Taj-Kumal and the mangrove to the west / north.

2. CEA has owned this land since 1973, first in a bank trust as Club de Yates Akumal, and since 1993, as Centro Ukana I Akumal, A.C., better known as Centro Ecológico Akumal, and with direct title.

3. CEA land is not an official public access site of Akumal; the public entrance is further south.

4. In the past, CEA had no need to control its property as it does now. Today, we witness multitudes of tours (legal and illegal) commercially using CEA property to take tours to Akumal Bay; also there are robberies; drug sales; illegal merchants on the federal zone; violence; basic insecurity, due to lack of control of our property.

5. CEA cannot and is not “privatizing” Akumal beach; it is demanding that the government respect its constitutional rights as land owner and Mexican civil association. Several business interests are attempting to take over CEA land and they are being supported by certain municipal government representatives.

6. CEA is changing the location of access across its property to a more secure and controlled site, and IS NOT denying access to the local population. CEA will guarantees free access to Akumal and Chemuyil citizens and residents. CEA has the legal right to determine what businesses use its property and is asking for that right to be upheld.

7. CEA is working with the local hotels, dive shops and tour operators to update and implement a management plan for Akumal bay, with the help of federal authorities and within the federal legal framework for ecosystem and species protection. However, this plan cannot work if the uncontrolled number of commercial tours continues to enter the bay each day.

8. All properties and resident dive shops support and agree to work within the parameters of the integrated bay management program.