SNORKELING & DIVING
Akumal is known for its fabulous Caribbean snorkeling and diving. Right off our shores is the 2nd longest reef system in the world, the Meso-American reef.
In Akumal, this reef comes very close to our shores, and makes very easy and fun diving and snorkeling.
As our reefs are protected, we do ask you to be kind and gentle to them.
There is of course snorkeling and diving further from Akumal, in areas, such as Cozumel, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum. But many times, these boats come to our little area; which is a further ride for them. SO why would you want to go there until you’ve explored all of here ?
Right off our beach is some of the best snorkeling in the entire area. In 2016, we were declared part of the newly defined marine protected area, and therefore in our bay there is NO fishing, motor sports including boats of any type. In summary, all that is allowed is swimming and snorkeling.
There are several distinct areas within Half Moon Bay, and in all takes several hours to cover the entire bay – making it a multiple day exploration.
Our bay is a breeding ground for many types of Caribbean fish as well as turtles. It is very much alive and it is constantly changing. There is always something new to see.
Most of Half Moon Bay is so shallow that it is best for snorkeling.
Yal Ku is a lagoon formed from where the fresh water from underground rivers, called cenotes, broke through the land and formed a channel to the Caribbean.
It is a wonderful place to snorkel and while it does not have coral gardens, it has many large Caribbean fishes and sea birds, including the brown pelican. It also has beautiful rock formations.
Yal-Ku is a 2 minute walk from our complex, La Sirena!
There are now 2 concessions that charge admission, the original at the end, which is larger and has more facilities and a newer one to the left, which has day cabins for rental. As the entrance fee is for the full day, we suggest to visit Yal-Ku go early, then as the tour buses arrive around 11, leave and then come back later in the afternoon.
Many people like to go multiple times during their stay. Not only is the snorkeling amazing; the gardens are also; as they are well planted and have many unique bronze statues. When entering Yal-Ku, you will be explained that you must use bio-degradable sun tan lotion, as regular is NOT allowed. There are facilities for changing, restrooms, lockers, even a small snackbar. Entry into the water is easy, but as the shores are very rocky, you do need shoes to walk around in. Also, there is a bit of current going out to the sea, and with Yal-Ku being quite a large area, if you want to explore the waters, then we recommend fins. Finally, as the waters are coming from the cenotes, underground, it will be cooler than the Caribbean. Guides are absolutely NOT necessary.
Akumal Bay, our sister bay to our south, the one that you drove past to arrive. Akumal Bay, very famous for its turtles has in the past few years been discovered and deluged by people/tours. In 2016 the entire Akumal area was declared a federal marine protected area and is monitored by PROFEPA a Mexican governmental agency. There are now various rules and guidelines in place to reduce the impact to the reefs, sea life and specifically to protect the turtles. There are periodic changes to the rules, based on the situation in the bays.
You CAN visit it on your own; you do NOT need a guide, but you MUST follow the rules and never approach, follow or touch the turtles. To support its maintenance there is now a small entrance fee (about 5$). The main entrance is to the left of Akumal Dive Shop, called Tsuuk. Bathrooms, showers and changing rooms are provided; lockers palapas and lounge chairs are additional cost. Mondays are typically a rest day for the turtles and snorkeling usually is off limits.
Diving in the Akumal area consists of 2 main types: diving the Meso American reef and cenote diving. There are greater than 15 dive sites – new ones being added periodically, that are a 2-20 minute boat ride from Akumal. All of these are outside of the bay, (unless training) due to the shallowness of them.
There are a 3 dive shops; 2 in Akumal Bay and 1 in Half Moon Bay. All require proven certification. All 3 are PADI certified and offer resort courses, multiple levels of instruction, as well as cenote and cave training and diving.
There are also a few professional diver masters whom we know, that offer private diving.
Avid divers ourselves, let us help you plan your diving !!