Been To Akumal? Now Try These 5 Snorkeling Spots In Mexico

Akumal Snorkeling

Photo compliments of photographer Micheal Hall

5 Great, Must-See Snorkeling Destinations In Mexico (Other than Akumal) – Dive on in!

From green sea turtles to moray eels, anemones to manta rays, the waters off Mexico’s vast shoreline offer its visitors more than enough terrific snorkeling sites. Akumal is of course the best place to snorkel but you have few more choices in Mexico.

The best part about snorkeling is that it does not involve any specialized training or pricey equipment. With some basic swimming skills, you are qualified to begin your underwater adventure in one of these excellent Snorkeling Spots in Mexico:

Snorkeling In Cozumel, Mexico

The island of Cozumel is one of Mexico’s superior snorkeling destinations. Cozumel is globally renowned for its high-quality diving, and on many of its shallower dive sites, snorkelers can see plenty of corals and sea life from the surface because of its crystal-clear waters with a 100-foot visibility! 200 yards from west-central Cozumel, Paradise Reef is brimming with sea life, along with spotted moray eels and seahorses. The colorful corals of this 20-40 feet deep reef are intersected by sandy channels and surrounded by eelgrass. A good way to access it is on a boat snorkeling trip. The Cardona Reef, with a depth of 25-40 feet and mild currents, also makes for a superb snorkeling site. Adorned with big coral heads and interjected by rock and coral overhangs, this reef is a haven for snapper, glasseye and cardinal fish. Another popular snorkeling site in Cozumel is Dzul Ha, which is 10-15 feet deep. The area is inhabited by lots of lobsters and crabs, along with camouflaged sand rays, flounder, and parrot fish.

Snorkeling In Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Located eight miles off the coast from Cancun, the island of Isla Mujeres offers snorkelers a rainbow of Caribbean sea life and corals, as well as an occasional lucky chance to see some of the largest fish in the sea. The reefs off Isla Mujeres are packed with a diversity of marine life, such as moray eels, schools of blue tang, angelfish, crabs, snapper and amberjack. In Isla Mujeres, visitors can also snorkel with the whale sharks. Between June and September each year, whale sharks and manta rays migrate into the waters off Isla Mujeres. These colossal sea creatures come to the area to feed on plankton and fish eggs, and hence are calm and safe to snorkel with. Built opposite the prime tract of the island’s coral reef, the Garrafon Reef Park is the centre for shore snorkeling in Isla Mujeres. Visitors can also opt for snorkeling boat tours to visit sites that are difficult to reach from the shore, such as Los Manchones and El Farito. Another snorkeling attraction in Isla Mujeres is the Underwater Museum of Art. Note Of Warning: The bull shark is also sometimes spotted in the waters of Isla Mujeres. This aggressive creature is a known to be a man-eater, so snorkelers should move out of the water if they see an 8- to 10-foot long shark with a blunt snout.

Snorkeling In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

A resort town on Mexico’s Pacific Coast in the Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta’s beaches and offshore islands feature the clear waters and marine life that make for some exciting snorkeling sites. Shore snorkeling sites are accessible to independent snorkelers and do not require joining a tour. Majahuitas is a covered cove with a beach, which can be accessed by land. But some of the best snorkeling sites in Puerto Vallarta can be found around the islands in the Bay of Banderas, as the reefs here are overflowing with marine life such as puffer fish, damsels, noisy parrotfish, plus lobsters and octopi hiding in the corners, holes and gaps which are lined by corals. Snorkelers will also see soaring eagle rays and mysterious sea turtles and might even have a close encounter with dolphins. The lucky ones may even be able to spot a humpback whale. Playa El Anclote, on the north end of the Bay of Banderas, is a popular snorkeling beach.

Snorkeling In Manzanillo, Mexico

Situated along the Pacific Ocean, Manzanillo is a port city in the Mexican state of Colima. Most of the distinguished scuba diving locations that Manzanillo is noted for also make excellent places to snorkel. From healthy hard-coral reefs and warm water marine life in the sheltered waters of Santiago Bay, to alluring wild creatures making merry in the warm water of Elephant Rock, Manzanillo always has something exciting to offer to even the most experienced snorkelers. Tourists throng to the three primary beach zones of the area – Playa Salagua, Playa Azul and Playa las Brisas. The beaches on the nearest bay alongside to downtown Manzanillo also have ideal conditions for snorkeling.

Snorkeling In Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico is regarded as the snorkeling, scuba diving and sport-fishing capital of the world. The neighboring waters of the Sea of Cortez have plenty to offer, including, underwater canyons, the only living coral reef in western North America, a submerged ship, and an array of marine life like sharks, swordfish, manta rays and around 350 other sea creatures. Bahia Santa Maria, located in a horseshoe-shaped cove, is quite a popular snorkeling site. Santa Maria Bay, a natural marine park, is also a superb site and snorkelers will be able to see the famous Los Cabos Arch, Lover’s Beach and the various rock formations. The open-style catamarans render a solid and unruffled sailing experience on the Bay of San Lucas.

Best way to Snorkel: Buy or Rent? | Akumal Real Estate

Best way to Snorkel: Buy or Rent? Akumal real estate

Best way to Snorkel: Buy or Rent? Akumal real estate

Many people who come to snorkel in Akumal real estate have this question on if it’s better to buy own snorkeling equipment or just rent it.  One such question was posed on Tripadvisor. One traveler will be going to Playa del Carmen and surrounding areas like Cozumel. He will be snorkeling with his family. He has snorkeled many times with guided tours who used to provide snorkeling gear. But now he wants to snorkel on his own. He poses a query whether he would be better off buying the equipment or renting it.

Members advised him to buy his own gear or at least buy a mask as the rented masks can be very ill-fitting. Many members also advised to buy a dry snorkel and rent fins. Snorkel vest and fins can also be bought but it’s not essential.

Personalized equipment will ensure that a great snorkeling experience is not ruined by leaky masks.  Hygiene is also a factor as the rented snorkel and other stuff may not have been sanitized properly.

Tulum Real Estate, 12 Indisputable Reasons to Visit Tulum, Mexico

Mexico’s rich history and culture along with its pristine beaches and incredible natural surroundings make it the ideal destination for the perfect family vacation. Mexico has some of the world’s best beaches, including Tulum – voted one of the “Top 10 Best Beaches by BeachesWorld.com

Positioned on the shores of the Caribbean, about a 90-minute drive south of Cancun, Tulum offers an exquisite blend of natural beauty, art and history.

Tulum is most renowned for its Mayan ruins but it also has pearly white beaches, turquoise water, crystal-clear cenotes, adventure activities and plenty of jungle to explore.

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The visually spectacular mix of limestone Mayan temples and the white sand Caribbean beaches make Tulum one of the most interesting destinations on the Mayan Riviera.

With so much to see and do in Tulum, there’s no scope for boredom. We’ve put together 12 great reasons to explore this exotic town:

1. Mayan Ruins – The Tulum Mayan ruins are extraordinary for their location, perched on the top of cliffs directly overlooking the Caribbean Sea. The ruins are spread over a small area approximately 1,600 feet in length along the cliff edge.

These ruins provide a glimpse into everyday life during the late post-classic period in Mexico. Tulum” means “wall” in Maya and a wall still surrounds three sides of the ancient city. The wall and the Caribbean Sea on the fourth side provided protection from enemies

More than 60 buildings remain in Tulum, including several temples. The Temple of the Frescoes is extensively decorated by statues, carvings, paintings and colorful frescoes depicting Mayan motifs. The Temple of the Diving God is the largest structure at Tulum. Other important temples include the Temple of the Initial Series, the Temple of the God of the Wind.  The Castillo, also called ‘The Lighthouse’, is the tallest building in the city and overlooks the sea.

Coba Ruins Tulum

Coba Ruins Tulum

Roughly 26 miles from Tulum, is Coba, an archaeological zone covered by jungles. Coba was an important city of about 60,000 people and exhibits architectural designs from the Classic period. Its attraction to tourists lies in its jungle location surrounded by five lakes. Coba’s closeness to water gave the city its name, “water stirred by wind.” The 42-metre high Nohoch Mul Pyramid in Coba is the tallest on the Yucatán peninsula with 120 steps to its peak. The view from atop this pyramid is breathtaking.

2. Beaches – Probably the most popular reason for visiting Tulum is the beaches. The creamy coral sand and clear turquoise waters spell nothing short of paradise. The beach stretches about six miles, starting at the Tulum ruins and ending at Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Zazil Kin and La Vita e Bella are the two beaches nearest to the ruins. The sand on these beaches is the finest you will ever see. Also, the beaches are not too crowded. They get more and more secluded as you move southwards, contrary to the crowded neighbors of Tulum in the north.

3. Location – Tulum’s proximity to multiple tourist centers is one of the major reasons for Tulum being such a favorite holiday destination. Tulum is situated due south of the Riviera Maya, the beach resort region of the Yucatan coast. Cancun is the most distant resort city from Tulum at 80 miles. Playa del Carmen is only 30 miles north, and Akumal a mere 10 miles away. The island of Cozumel, described by Scuba Diving magazine as “one of the most accessible and affordable dive destinations in North America“, is roughly 15 miles to the northeast.

4. Cenotes – Cenotes make delightful swimming holes and represent the culmination of several rivers flowing through underwater caves. Some of the best cenotes of the region are located just south of Tulum, along the road to the Mayan ruins of Coba. They vary from simple pond-like structures to more elaborate caves with water running through, and most of these are open to the public (often for a small fee) for swimming, snorkelling and diving etc.

Cenotes Akumal

The Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, Casa Cenote and Cenote Escondido deserve special mention. Cenotes and their surrounding jungle areas are also great places to see wildlife, especially bats and birds.

5. Diving & Snorkeling – For the water babies, Tulum has lots to offer. Diving fanatics will find plenty of guides ready to take them on excursions to the coral reef (the second-largest barrier reef in the world) or deep into the cenotes: The Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, Casa Cenote and Cenote Escondido offer both snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities

There’s the Yal-Kú Lagoon near Akumal, which is about a half-hour drive north of Tulum; the warm, clear waters are home to innumerous fish, both, big and small, with snorkeling opportunities for all skill levels.

The crystal-clear waters of the sea attract snorkelers and sea kayakers, and the easygoing atmosphere on the beach is a refreshing break from the crowded towns in the north. Few dive shops in the heart of Tulum provide certification classes and fun dives in the coral reefs just off the coastline.

6. Wildlife – Tulum and its surroundings offer enough unique wildlife-viewing opportunities to keep children captivated. With species from lizards, frogs and crabs to iguanas, crocodiles and numerous types of birds, your cameras just wont stop clicking!

7. Delphinus Ecopark – The Delphinus Xel-Ha Ecopark is located inside an open-sea aquarium known as Xel-Ha. The Ecopark is just 8 miles from the Tulum ruins and features a program in which kids and adults can pet, hug and swim with the dolphins in a safe environment under the supervision and instruction of a qualified trainer. In the “Foot Push” activity at Delphinus, dolphins push your feet as you stand, making you feel as if you are gliding or walking on water.

8. Sian Kaan Biosphere Preserve – A Unesco World Heritage Site, Sian Kaan Biosphere Preserve is just a 15 minute drive from Tulum.

This 1.3 million-acre preserve is home to more than 100 mammal species and more than 300 species of birds as well as 23 different archaeological sites. Local fisherman, will make you tour the waterways, the mangrove-surrounded lagoons and the offshore coral reef systems on local fishing boats and you can view dolphins, sea-turtles, starfish, nurse sharks, spiny lobsters, crocodiles, pelicans, cormorants and the peculiar pink spoonbills. The reserve is also a significant nesting ground for two different species of sea turtles, which are often seen on the powdered sugar beaches.

9. Perfect Weather – Over the last few years, Tulum has been observing fantastic weather. The sun is shining, humidity is lower, the evenings are cooler and the days are just perfect for staying on the beach, outdoor activities and exploring this enchanting town.

10. Accommodations for every budget – The long stretch of pristine coastline south of the Tulum ruins now has an array of both, luxurious accommodations as well as the economically priced ones. You can find a wide variety of accommodations in Tulums like resorts, boutique hotels, bungalows, villas, beach cabanas etc. There’s something to suit every kind of budget.

11. Food – When it comes to food, there is no place on the planet where you can find such diversity. And the food is great! Every single restaurant is different. The menus are inspired by local ingredients and ancient practices. It is sometimes referred to as a mini-New York, of course with better prices! This explains why all the big food magazines are checking this town out.

12. People – Tulum is very well maintained and the people here are very warm and friendly. No matter what you do, where you go, or who you meet, people are helpful, nice, gracious and just want you to have a great time.

With the gorgeous scenery, intriguing history, stunning beaches and exciting activities, Tulum is the perfect place to relax, unwind and disconnect from your daily routine.

Video: Snorkeling in Akumal

Akumal is a paradise for snorkeling lovers. Wide range of aquatic life and pristine waters make it one of the best snorkeling destination in the world.

Here is a fascinating video of Akumal snorkel.

Maximize the fun on the Akumal beach with kids

A holiday with family can be great fun and help create memories that last a lifetime. Kids surely love the water, sand and sun but some caution needs to be maintained to ensure seamless vacation experience. As the name Akumal means land of turtles, these wonders of nature draw large crowds. Kids are fascinated by them but few rules need to be followed to ensure safety to both turtles and kids.

A guide can be very useful in such situations. Not only will they impart information regarding the region but also guide through the best spots. Also they will ensure the safety of the family. It is also advised to bring one’s own snorkel equipment and life jackets for the kids. This is to ensure proper fit and hygiene which can maximize the comfort level.

Families should be proper equipped with life jackets and snorkeling kits. Dive centers on the beach offer renting of equipment and also provide with a guide. They have boats to take visitors to the bay from where they can snorkel. The waters in the bay area remain calm most of the time hence making it easier to swim. The Ecological Center is a great centre to visit and learn about snorkeling in the bay with the turtles. They screen videos making the learning process fun and informative.

Are there any secluded quiet beaches in Akumal?

Akumal or “place of the turtles” in the Mayan language is a small beach-front tourist resort community in Mexico. Tourists flock to this region to snorkel with turtles and relax on the serene beaches. The growing popularity of the region has been attracting crowd for quite some time now.

For those who want private and secluded options, there are still many options. The long stretch of pristine coastline line with palm trees makes way for beautiful spots to lounge in. the beaches get crowded during the holiday season however the southern part of the region remains empty comparatively.

Visitors can venture in Xcacel which lies ten minutes south of the Akumal bay and Xpu Ha located ten minutes away towards north for diving in cenotes. The region has such hidden natural marvels which can be easily accessed for quality fun time. As the heart of the town is more popular among tourists therefore it is bound to be the center of the attraction with huge inflow. Therefore treading on such offbeat tracks leads to nature in its most glorious form.

Restaurants near Vista del Mar Condos, Akumal?

Vista del Mar is situated on Half Moon Bay between the town center of Akumal and the excellent snorkeling destination Yal-ku Lagoon. It is located one hour south of Cancun in Riviera Maya region.

One member on tripadvisor asked if there are any restaurants in Vista del Mar. The member intended to book a rental condo in Vista del Mar and wondered if Playa del carmen or Puerto Morelos are much  better options considering they have more restaurants.  She was interested in yoga, snorkeling, eating and beach. Clubbing was not her style so perhaps that’s why she chose Akumal.

There are many restaurants in Akumal like Gynn Ak,  La Buena Vida which serve excellent fare. Many other eating joints can be found in the Arch of Akumal. A sumptuous breakfast can be had in  turtle bay cafe.

The joints are a little walk away. If you want to venture after dark then flashlights are advisable.

Vista del Mar has a swimming pool, Akumal Dive Adventures, La Buena Vida Restaurant and Bar, The Corner Store, wireless internet, and bike, snorkel gear, and kayak rentals.

So it looks that the member will have no problem enjoying her holidays in Akumal.