Snorkeling Around Akumal

Photo credit: © Aqua Excursions

When it comes to snorkeling the waters of the Yucatan Peninsula, Akumal is a town that consistently comes up as the top spot to participate in the sport.  In fact, most agree that you can't visit the area without planning some underwater exploration in these waters.  

Perhaps the best thing about snorkeling in Akumal is the variety.  Not only can you wade into the waters of your favorite beach and find plenty to see, but you can also head out to more distant waters to explore a reef, and also turn inland to snorkel a cenote.

Akumal Bay is great because you can often see and swim with sea turtles, though you should know that  Hurricane Wilma caused some amount of destruction to the reef here, but it is healing up nicely.  You can access the reef about 100 yards from shore and in about five feet of water, but make sure to watch out any time you see a red buoy.  These are set up to mark where the fire coral is located, and you never want to touch the fire coral.  Half Moon Bay Beach and Yal-Ku Lagoon are two other favored spots in the area that independent snorkelers can visit on their own.

If you're interested in exploring the cenotes, you'll find that most people have the best luck when they sign up for a snorkeling tour. The cenotes, which are fresh water sinkholes with unique structures like stalagmites, are located west of Akumal.  They can sometimes be hard to find, and if you haven't rented  a car a tour makes your transportation worries non-existent.  Some tours, which are hosted by local dive shops or tour companies that specialize in watersports, offer combination snorkeling tours where you can visit offshore reefs, spend some time on the beaches, and visit the cenotes all in one day.  What a great way to see the varied landscapes that Akumal has to offer. 

Snorkeling Sites

If you're ready to experience below the water's surface you might want to visit Half Moon Bay Beach. Though the beach is rocky, the snorkeling here can be good on days when the surf is calm. Water shoes are recommended as you explore the reef set in about two feet of water because there are sea urchins in addition to rocks. This snorkeling site is located in the eastern part of Akumal.

Motorcycle Reef is another snorkeling spot you might enjoy. For more than a decade a motorcycle has sat at the bottom of the sea here and now coral has grown over it and schools of fish, crabs, and rays make it their home.

A third site to consider is Tortuga Reef. Renowned because of the possibility of swimming with sea turtles, this site is popular among tour groups. You may have to swim out a ways, but it is worth the effort because in addition to turtle swimming around you, you'll also see schools of fish and sting rays.

Some details concerning 8 of the best locations to go snorkeling in this area are listed in the following chart.

Snorkeling Sites Near Akumal
Site Location
Yal-Ku Lagoon 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Akumal
Yal-Ku Lagoon 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Akumal
Yal-Ku Lagoon 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Akumal
Half Moon Bay Beach 0.7 mi. East-Northeast of Central Akumal
Dick's Reef 0.9 mi. East of Central Akumal
Morgan's Reef 0.8 mi. East of Central Akumal
Motorcycle Reef Central Akumal
Tortuga Reef Central Akumal

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the best snorkeling is accessed away from the shore.

If you'd like to combine some snorkeling with a boating adventure, you should consider Robinson Crusoe Tour. Be ready for an adventure, Robinson Crusoe will take you on a five hour expedition to a secluded beach where at you can explore or snorkel. Along the way you can fish off the boat, and your catch will be prepared while you are at the beach, ready for lunch time.

Be sure to look at the following table to learn more about the opportunity to take a boat ride that includes snorkeling.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Akumal
Name Type Phone Location
Robinson Crusoe Tour Boating and Day-Sailing Provider -- Central Akumal Mexico

Snorkeling Services

Aqua Excursions

If you're looking for a business offering snorkeling gear, excursions or similar services, you might want to contact Aqua Excursions. There are three different snorkeling excursions you can choose from. These include the Snorkel at the Bay Tour, which takes guests to Turtle Bay for 90 minutes of snorkeling, the Underwater Maya Snorkel Trip which takes you to a crystal clear cenote in addition to Turtle Bay on a half day excursion, and finally, the Snorkel on Cozumel trip which is a full day of snorkeling at the Cozumel reef. They are found in the northeastern part of Akumal.

Another place catering to snorkelers is Akumal Dive Shop. With this guide you can visit a variety of snorkel destinations in four different ecosystems. These are the ocean, a lagoon, the cenotes, and a coastal lagoon.

A third place to consider is Akumal Dive Center. This center takes their snorkelers out to Akumel Bay which is located just steps from their building. They're located in the central part of Akumal.

Look through this table for a summary of 7 companies that offer snorkeling related services.

Snorkeling Services In And Around Akumal
Name Phone Location
Akumal Dive Adventures (888) 425-8625 Central Akumal
Akumal Dive Center (984) 875-9025 Central Akumal
Akumal Dive Shop (984) 875-9030 Central Akumal
Aqua Excursions (984) 802-8323 3.4 mi. Northeast of Central Akumal
Bahia Divers (984) 116-4963 0.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Xpu Ha
Dos Ojos Snorkel Cave -- The Riviera Maya
Dressel Divers Puerto Aventuras (+34) 963 561 496 The vicinity of La Gloria

To learn more about snorkeling, including tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this detailed discussion of snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Snorkeling is just one of the many great ways to experience the waters of Akumal, but one that comes highly recommended from many sources.


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