Posted September 30, 2006 by Kay Walten in Vacation tips,Watersports
Part of your Caribbean vacation will be hanging out in the Caribbean Sea off the shores of our beautiful beaches. The crystal clear water is begging that you put on your snorkel gear and see what lies under the sea. There are also a variety of lagoons and cenotes to test out your snorkel skills.
In Akumal there is Yal-Ku lagoon, a brackish body of water fed by freshwater underground rivers. Yal ku also has an inlet from the Caribbean. As of this writing the entrance fee to snorkel in Yal ku is 50 pesos. Yal ku is a nice place to snorkel in calm water. Be aware that because there is an increased amount of freshwater in the mix the water is not as buoyant as seawater, and it is a little cooler. Some parking and bathrooms are on site. Most rental homes and condominiums in North Akumal are within walking distance to Yal-Ku lagoon. From the center of town it’s about 1.5 miles (3km) to the lagoon.
There is also snorkeling off the main beach in Akumal Bay and in Half Moon Bay. Sea turtles are frequently seen in both Half Moon bay and Akumal bay. Wear something on your feet for entry into Half Moon bay. Akumal bay’s main beach has pure sand entries where you can walk barefoot out into the water. Dive facilities on Akumal bay and Half Moon bay rent snorkel equipment.
Xel-ha lagoon is 10 minutes south of Akumal. Xel-Ha is not to be missed! Xel ha is the largest lagoon on the Riviera Maya coast and has a long history of use by the Maya. Full tourism facilities can be found in Xel ha including: several restaurants, refreshments, bathrooms, changing rooms and much more. Nature paths lead to the various natural areas, the beach and other points of interest.
Elsewhere along the coast there’s snorkeling in most of the protected bays fronting various beach side communities and resorts. Jade Bay, Akumal Sur, Soliman Bay and Tankah Bay are examples, but keep in mind there are no lifeguards and rip currents can be expected by the channel cuts in the reef, especially on windy days with higher surf conditions.
The Caribbean is a safe and fun place to snorkel no matter what level of snorkeler you are. To ensure a fun and safe snorkel trip read our safety tips below:
Snorkeling is one Caribbean activity almost everyone can enjoy. It doesn’t take much equipment or training to snorkel safely, but there are some things you need to know to avoid problems.
After you have mastered swimming and feel confident and relaxed in the ocean you could try snorkeling. First you need to buy a mask that fits. Just about all dive shops sell masks, snorkels and fins. Always seek the help of a dive store professional but remember, it’s up to you to decide if the equipment fits and is comfortable. Fins are easy to rent and we recommend this.
To check a mask’s fit, pull the strap and your hair out of the way and bring the mask to your face. The mask’s rubber skirt should touch your face all the way around without having to press it into place. When you breathe in the mask should easily stick to your face by suction alone. Low volume masks are best for snorkeling.
Fins come in two styles: strap back and foot pocket. Strap back fins are used with neoprene booties and foot pocket fins slip right on your bare feet. Make sure fins aren’t too tight or too loose. Snorkels come with or without purge valves. Purge valves are near the mouth piece and allow water to drain out making the snorkel easier to clear. Most high quality snorkeling equipment is made of thermal plastic, silicone rubber, high impact plastic and stainless steel. Usually the “good stuff” is more expensive because it’s built to last. Ultra-violet sun rays and ocean saltwater will degrade cheap gear much faster.
It is also possible to go on a snorkeling boat tour to some of the best shallow reefs nearby. These are usually outside the confines of any bay and typically have better coral, fish and water clarity. For the new snorkeler, we highly recommend that you take a boat tour as the reef is farther out than you think!
Snorkelers who breath-hold and dive down should use the one-up, one-down buddy system. One dives down while the other watches from the surface. Even a very good breath-holder can pass out on the their way back to the surface. It’s rare but possible. The snorkeler on the surface is supposed to be ready to lend assistance.
Riviera Maya Activities (218)
Mexican Art (61)
Community Organizations (27)
Mexican Culture (178)
Mexico Destinations (129)
Family vacations (98)
Guest Bloggers (20)
Riviera Maya Photos (304)
Riviera Maya events (80)
Riviera Maya Services (62)
Sustainable Tourism (113)
Vacation tips (59)
Destination Weddings (32)
Costa Maya (14)
Loco Adventures (43)
Mayan Ruins (40)
Riviera Maya Destinations (251)
Community Announcements (20)
Mexican Recipes (36)
Riviera Maya Restaurants (74)
Mindful Traveler (49)
Yucatan Activities (47)
Riviera Maya Vacation Tips (153)
Mexico Vacation Tips (163)
Restaurant Reviews (8)
Interview with a Local (15)
Travel Tips (3)
Hyper Local Info (5)
City Information (1)
"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,
"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!"
"I will be bragging about your site to any and all who will listen. Our experience was phenomenal!!!"
"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!"
"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
"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,
"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."
"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 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 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!""
"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
"So here is a GREAT BIG TEXAS THANK YOU TO LOCO GRINGO for all the awesome, fantastic vacations in Paradise."
"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!"
"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
"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
"...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"
"All our Riviera Maya trips have been booked using LocoGringo. We love their service."
"It's a great comfort to visit the Riviera Maya and know that Loco Gringo is there to help, if needed. "
--Bryan in IN,
"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.,
"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,
"Go to the home page or check the forum."
"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."
"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
"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!!"
"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!!"
"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
"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'!"
"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,
"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!!"
"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."
* Denotes A Required Field
How much are you thinking about spending?