Posted June 21, 2011 by Kay Walten in Guest Bloggers,Riviera Maya Activities
Nov 26 thru Dec 6, 2010
This was our 5th trip to Akumal Beach Resort since Dec 2008. Our flight from Denver to Cancun went well & we were happy to be on our way to ABR.
USA Transfers was waiting for us & as always, their service was impeccable! Our driver didn’t speak much English, but drove VERY carefully and didn’t go over the speed limit which was fine by us! There were Federal Police up & down 307 due to the Environment summit they were having… we made it to ABR without incident.
When we arrived at ABR, we got checked in and headed to our room. We wanted to get our toes in the sand and start breathing in the sea air! The room was spotless, as always and our A/C worked wonderfully! However, some items missing were info on meal times, toiletries and a container for water. Everyone has their own opinion on the new exterior paint colors. DH & I actually like the new colors. I can’t put my finger on it, but we like it & are glad they kept the rooms in bright, festive colors.
The food was great! We ate way too much as usual. We did not do the Mexican Ala Carte restaurant this time, instead we went to the Italian. It was OK, but the meals we’ve tried at the Mexican ala carte have been very good. It’s great to have Wilbert back making those fantastico cappuccinos again! We had shrimp tacos & ice cream at Lucy’s and breakfast with Lady Bugg at the Loncheria by the Chomak.
Had a great time hanging with the Loco Gringos and we got some new autographs on my cooler – Yay! We made quite a few memories this trip that involve people instead of fish! Lady Bugg, Soleil Soul, Wifey, Elle Tek, Beachy and VanIsland2 were all kind enough to let us hang out & participate in some of their “activities”. It was FANTASTIC getting to know everyone better. What fun!
The snorkeling was the best so far. Because the water was so calm, we got to swim to areas we hadn’t before to see some new areas of coral. The beach wasn’t crowded, but the snorkel groups were there en-mass! Lots and lots of large groups snorkeling and then hanging by the moon rise. We found ourselves timing our snorkels as the groups came in so it wouldn’t be so crowded when we went out. The lion fish tended to be in the formations in murky, thermal cline water closer in to shore. The scary thing is they are difficult to see when it’s murky, and when they ‘fluff up’ their spines, they float up. I thought we were gonna get it when we went floating over a formation and one started floating up toward us! There was less thermal cline than in April, which was nice. About Dec 1 the wind shifted from the North making the water in the early morning feet like ice, but it was so calm. We may be investing in wet suits yet. We saw a turtle every snorkel whether we tried or not. I saw so many eels I lost track of the number. We saw Goldentail Moray Eels, a Spotted Moray (about 3ft long) , a Chain Moray (about 3 ft) and a Sharptail Eel and a large porcupine fish. I saw a huge parrotfish lying on its side, seemingly dying, while a spidery looking creature with a black and white body and white legs was “working” on the parrotfish. When I turned to go back they were both gone. Perhaps the spidery thing was cleaning the parrot fish. I didn’t get a picture, but the image is burned into my brain!
For a dusk snorkel, we put an LED flashlight into a water tight bag for cameras. It worked pretty well, but not well enough to stay out after dark.
Unfortunately, my mask and snorkel were stolen off a beach chair. Lots of people were going back and forth around the moonrise, it appears someone just swiped it as they were walking by. It has my initials on the yellow snorkel AND fluorescent paint on the mask. If you ever see it when you’re down there get a pic for me! Ha!
One thing regarding currency – having pesos was WAY easier, however, you need to make sure you have your small denomination bills for tipping BEFORE you get to the resort Folks just don’t want to or don’t have the small bills to make change. So, next time we will either get small bills at the airport before we leave or from our bank when we get the pesos.
On our last day, Char (of vanisland2) kept singing “Hey hey hey good bye” to us till it was time to go. It was an uneventful trip to the airport. Our driver with USA transfers spoke great English and we had a wonderful time visiting with him on the way up. I have to say this was our best trip yet. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Akumal and snorkeling!
For more photos visit: Conifer Water Rat’s photo album. We want to thank her for being our guest blogger.
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""I was soooo delighted with the Loco Gringo services. Everything was trouble free and all my questions were always answered promptly. Thanks for a GREAT trouble free vacation!""
"Both in 2011 and this year we have booked our room through Locogringo.com. We searched and found a great rate at the resort we wanted, and then Locogringo met that price, and with their booking came their amazing customer service and the peace of mind that if we need anything while we are there we simply need to call. I always get a fast turnaround on any email I send them, and they work so hard to find us the best rates and the rooms we want. We hope to have a long relationship with them, and recommend their site to everyone we know."
--Tim A and Teri A, Salem, UT
"quick and informative replies from Bart ( thanks Bart) , easy booking procedure plus online management of your booking . I am highly impressed."
--Theressa - Middlesex U.K.,
"People who “live the area” will want to make sure you enjoy your vacation and come back again!"
"Loco Gringos is the VERY BEST booking site I have ever worked with. They respond to emails promptly, work hard to honor special requests, answer questions etc. They ALWAYS take great care of their customers and are conscientious and professional at all times. We have booked 8 trips with this company and NEVER hesitate to use them or recommend them when traveling to the Riviera Maya."
"It is like having a friend make your reservations for you .... we always feel comfortable knowing LG will be in charge of our arrangements because they know the area first hand, they live there ..... you ask a question and they answer it with good humor and great knowledge of what they speak. I will always recommend Loco Gringo in a heart beat!"
"What an amazing company Locogringo is. Every silly question I have.... they answer , If something comes up like a travel day change, adding more people, or whatever it might be... you get a response from a real person ... who seems to love what they do . That is hard to find these days and I really appreciate that."
"We usually need reservations for 2 to 4 people but for 2 years we needed reservations for 7 to 9 people, adults and kids and they have always done a flawless job in getting the resort we wanted and at the best price too!!"
"And their amazing website is one of the main reasons we started going regularly to the Riviera Maya and especially Akumal. No other place around the Caribbean has nearly as good a web presence as LG has given this area."
--Dan, St. Louis MO,
"Now is a great time to tell you how wonderful you and your staff are at making it so easy to find and book the best vacations, THANK YOU !"
--Joyce & Hugh,
"and for the past five years we have used Loco Gringo for every reservation, I'm sorry that we did not find them sooner.
I have been searching Loco Gringo for all these years and one thing I have not yet found ........... someone who is not fabulous to work with. Great people, great owners and a great way to run a business."
--K & DB, Outer Banks, NC,
"I would recommend Locogringo to everyone I know. It is such a great service that they provide from researching and booking the perfect place to stay to finding all the needs you could possibly want during your stay. Thanks Locogringo."
"When we use LG to book a trip we get immediate help with all of our questions in a very timely way by people who know what they are talking about and are extremely helpful, patient, knowledgeable, and congenial. They really get how to do customer service.
Once we book through LG we never have to worry about any of it again. We are always amazed at how smooth and trouble free our bookings through LG have been."
--K.B., Fort Worth, TX
"So here is a GREAT BIG TEXAS THANK YOU TO LOCO GRINGO for all the awesome, fantastic vacations in Paradise."
"I have booked most of my Mayan Riviera trips through Loco Gringo and can only say I wouldn't even consider using anyone else to handle my bookings for stays in that area.
Their booking process is simple, fast and friendly, and they will answer your questions and queries until you are completely satisfied that every single detail has been taken care of.
Who else would know the area better than folks who live and work right there? Try to get that level of expertise and knowledge with a booking agent who lives and works several hundred, or even thousands of miles away.
Not only that, but they are genuinely nice people as well, who really care for their customers and the community and area that they call home
Keep up the great work Loco Gringo!!"
"I will be bragging about your site to any and all who will listen. Our experience was phenomenal!!!"
"You always recommend amazing accommodations and we are always comfortable and feel safe. Your staff does a fantastic job at making our vacation each year a ” hassle free ” experience ! All we have to do is ” show up ” and the rest is already taken care of. We will continue in future to use LocoGringo and also continue as we have done already, to highly recommend your company to anyone we know that is planning a vacation."
--Nancy & Bill, Toronto, Canada
"I had contacted you before I left for my first trip to Mexico and all of your recommendations were spot on. I started in Playa Del Carmen and worked my way to Tulum. I had only expected to stay 2 nights there and instead wound up staying for a week-and that still was not nearly enough time. Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks! I will be checking in with you guys as I am tring to plan a trip to Holbox next. That place looks amazing!"
--Louis Skip Gonzalez, Unidos Magazine
"It's a great comfort to visit the Riviera Maya and know that Loco Gringo is there to help, if needed. "
--Bryan in IN,
"Thanks for everything you have done with Locogringo… the site is great and your staff has been nothing short of incredible when it comes to helping us plan our trips. Maybe we’ll run into you on one of your walks some day."
"She & her new Husband had a fantastic hassle free trip. This was their very first time to Mexico and her comment upon return was " Dad, 7 days is NOT enough time ! " Super job, LG."
--Bernie in Denver,
"...for your patience with me and making this process go soooo much smoother! I truly appreciate you and the staff at LocoGringo. Thanks again! I can't wait to be sitting on the beach!
Maggie in Colorado"
"We have been Booking our Riviera Maya vacations from Loco Gringo since 2005. Always Great communication, helpful tips and quick responses to our questions. They were especially helpful when Hurricane Wilma hit and put a stop to our Vacation plans. They made sure we knew about the weather situation and did all the work with re-booking our vacation in Paradise!"
"LocoGringo.com books total trip packages and I recommend LG to all my friends and even to strangers I hear talking about going to Mexico!!"
"All our Riviera Maya trips have been booked using LocoGringo. We love their service."
"Not sure if we will be returning next summer, but will definitely let you know if we are, as Loco Gringo is the ONLY way to go for us!"
--Lesley P., Texas
"We spent a lot of our time sitting on the second floor porch with our feet propped on the railing just staring at the water. Coming home was hard this year..Staying for two weeks still wasn't long enough."
"I just wanted to take a moment to say THANK YOU! The trip we booked through Loco Gringo was perfect! The price was exceptionally good and the service was second to none! If you’ve never booked with Loco Gringo before, we *highly* recommend them!"
"A company made up mostly of American Expats living in the Riviera Maya with a booking list of many hundreds of properties. Big enough to know each property intimately and small enough to know each customer personally. A level of service simply impossible for the giant companies to provide.
--Jim T., Colorado
"Go to the home page or check the forum."
"Loco Gringo has an AWESOME website with great info, it is lots of fun to visit, be sure to join their forums. The forums hold more information and trip reports than you can 'shake a stick at'!"
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