Akumal comes from the Mayan word aak=turtle, so it means place of turtles. Mexico has the largest number of sea turtles species in the world. Akumal is only 35 kilometers south of Playa (20 miles), and you can get there in 40 minutes by “colectivo” (round trip only around 5 usd). Once you get off the van, a short walk will take you to the beach. You can either join a snorkeling tour (around 25 usd to rent the snorkeling gear, life vest, and follow the guide into the water) or try to find the turtles on your own…… you can be very lucky and spot one after a few minutes or it may take a bit longer (a group of snorkelers in the water most likely means turtles are there!). Once you find a turtle, it´s fun to watch her. Turtles frequently have to swim up to the surface for air, and you can just follow them, without coming too close or touching them.
The ocean floor is covered with sea grass, the turtles´ favorite food, just watch them as they graze. The extra effort of looking for the turtles instead of just letting your guide do that is highly rewarding. Once you find them, you will just want to swim alongside these beautiful and peaceful creatures and you will probably end up spending two hours in the water, before finally getting out feeling relaxed and content!
“A quien madruga Dios le ayuda” is a very common Mexican saying, which literally translates as “God helps those who get up early”, and is the equivalent of “early bird catches the worm”. In this case, it could be “early bird gets to see turtles”. The best is to go very early, when you can have all the turtles for yourself
later during the day, there are lots of snorkelers for the same number of turtles……. Well worth the effort of getting out of bed early……
11 AM.... A bit more crowded, still beautiful!!!!!!!!