Snorkeling with the Turtles in Akumal is a precious activity in this little Riviera Maya town. For as long as we can remember, and we have been living in Akumal for over 20 years now, snorkeling with the turtles is distinct to Akumal. Sure you can snorkel off the shore in Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen or Tulum, but there is no guarantee that you will see a turtle. Akumal’s shoreline is perfect for turtle sightings and people come specifically to Akumal to see the turtles.
In the past few years this activity has become extremely popular. In past decades people staying in Akumal would snorkel in small groups to see the turtles day in and day out. Some visitors came to from other cities and villages to also participate in this fun adventure. But word has spread worldwide and the shores of Akumal are busy with snorkelers all day long, every day, all year round. The amount of people has become an issue not only for the town but also for the turtles.
When any city becomes overwhelmed by visitors, whether it be Akumal, Venice or Paris, the locals that live there generally live elsewhere. In the case of Akumal, the local residents are the turtles. If the town continues to let so many people snorkel with the turtles they will leave. They will get fed up with the crowds in the water, they will find it difficult to live in such conditions. They will be challenged to eat, to sleep, to be, to live. When this happens, they will leave.
Why There Are New Rules for Snorkeling With the Turtles in Akumal
The new rules are designed to protect the turtles and conserve their living areas. Overcrowding the sea and waters where the turtles live will make their home unlivable. Changing the rules to protect and conserve is the best way to continue the privilege to snorkel with the turtles.
The New Rules for Snorkeling with the Turtles are as follows:
1. Guides will take six visitors only at a time to snorkel with the turtles. This is the same rule used on Whale Shark snorkel tours. These limits lets the guide be in control of the tour. Small groups allow the guide teach people how to best snorkel in the water, enables the guide to observe visitors and make sure no one touches the turtles, provides a service that is safe in case a snorkeler has challenges in the water, and limits the amount of people in the water at one time.
2. There are now designated areas to see the turtles. Buoys and ropes have been places to limit the areas people can snorkel. This provides the turtles with more free space to live, eat, and be, a critical part of their quality of life and existence. You will still see turtles in this area. But the turtles will have some space of their own away from visitors when they want to be by themselves. We all need that right?
Visitors can sign up for a tour on the main beach in Akumal just inside the arches at the entrance. When you are done, we encourage you to continue into the town and visit Yal Ku Lagoon, another great off the shore spot for snorkeling where you will see tropical fish. Yal Ku Lagoon is a special marine spot in Akumal where fresh water from the cenotes mixes with salt water from the sea. Like Casa Cenote, Yal Ku Lagoon is an estuary where fresh water meets salt water. The opportunity to observe marine life is perfect, and the water remains calm all the time. There is little effect in this enclosed area when the sea if a bit rougher than normal on days when the south wind comes in.
Have any questions about the new rules for snorkeling with the turtles in Akumal? Let us know and we are happy to help. Akumal is one of our homes on the coast so we are up to date on whats happening in this little town.