snorkeling in akumal bay…

monday.  january 11.  2016

i’ve said before, we are renting a condo, and this residential area we are in is part of a larger resort, which is pretty cool.  we get to use some of those resort amenities for free…bikes, huge swimming pools, the beach, and also see the dolphin show.  we woke up today, the girls got their schooling done and their hour of reading done, and we headed across the highway to the other part of the resort to the dolphin show.  the show ended up being just fine…at least it was free, and the 15 minutes of watching the dolphins was entertaining enough…well, at least for our 7 year old.

we jumped back in our minivan, and headed to akumal playa, four minutes down the road.  it said rain showers today, so we didn’t have high expectations for anything, just thought we’d hang out at the beach for a bit.  we had no idea what to expect at akumal- people online have said you can swim with the turtles, but we weren’t sure what that meant.  we take the exit for akumal playa, and just down the road a bit, is a little hut building.  people in the hut were talking to us as we were driving by, and i wasn’t sure if i should just stop in the middle of the road, but i did…it’s mexico-anything goes, right?  he was offering us snorkel gear, lifejackets, flippers, and a private guide for $25/pp.  i told him there were six of us, and i asked if he could do any better than that.  he dropped to $20/pp-which ended up being the best $120 ever spent.  you never know what you’ll get with these guide deals or tours, but it turned out to be pretty amazing.  the most patient guide too, as our kids have never snorkeled before, and nadia and madison had quite the apprehensions going in.

snorkeling can be a bit tricky for a kid, switching your mind over to just breathing out of your mouth through a tube, so we totally understood their nervousness.  our guide had a round lifesaver for nadia to hang on to, and we got our gear on, put our flippers on our feet and walked backwards into the water, and dove in to crystal clear, warm water.   it was beautiful.  even though it was overcast, there wasn’t wind blowing today, so it was very calm.  we started snorkeling out, and were able to see magnificent turtles just a few feet below us.   the fish were beautiful.  we even saw a school of gorgeous fish swim by.  we saw two sting-rays, and a few more turtles…one that was huge and 93 years old.  it was the best nature trip we’ve had, and even better, we got to snorkel together as a family.   towards the end we were able to swim by a coral reef, which was spectacular.  we probably swam for an hour and a half we are guessing…so once again, it was a great deal.

we swam back to shore, de-geared, and said good bye to our guide.  we dumped our stuff on the beach, and walked 10 steps to the beautiful thatched roof restaurant, and ordered a few meals to share.  it was reasonably priced too.  for four meals, and a piece of chocolate cake, and the tip the waiter self-added(which the tip turned out to be $5.80), we paid $58 total for 6 of us.  pretty awesome.

we decide to lay out and play on the beach a bit more.  the sun even made it’s way out a few times.   jarom got his drone out, and was able to get some pretty awesome shots of the area.  you can see how this little cove is perfect for snorkeling.

we head home, and the girls want to jump into the pool for a bit at the tao residential area we are staying in, and alex heads to get some school done at the wellness center.  so we part ways.  we make it back home, shower, and were just in time to see the sunset.  it turned out to be a pretty productive day after all!

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