I saw my first turtle in the wild ever here in Playa del Carmen when my base leader sent me snorkeling during work. Not a bad job, eh? I was so amazed by what you can see nearby from the shore. Bali and Egypt gave me some colorful snorkeling experiences but that can never beat a cute turtle. I just looooove turtles!
One day I decided to visit Akumal, which is famous for its turtles chilling there. We initially wanted to go to the Yal-Ku lagoon near Akumal and then go to the turtle beach to meet with the cuties. There was a slight failure in the planning since the plan to visit Akumal was rather impulsive in the first place. We did not know that you can access Yal-Ku only by walking there from Akumal. The bus did not stop at the lagoon and there is no entrance from the highway. Plus to enter the lagoon it will cost you like 30 dollars. So never mind let’s just stick with Akumal beach.
Walking down to the beach, we met a bunch of sellers trying to sell us tours to see the turtles or lifejackets and snorkel gears. Namely, the turtle area is now bordered because mass tourism destroys the poor turtles and they get stressed and damaged. Now you can only snorkel on the shore. There are guards to watch that you won’t go to the turtle area unless you have bought the snorkel tour. A two-minute boat ride takes a private group to the turtle hub to snorkel for a juicy price. We did not expect to spend that much money so we just decided to go and enjoy the beach and see if we can see something using my friends own snorkel.
The beach is gorgeous. I can’t even begin to describe the feeling of content I have from these gorgeous sceneries. Life is so beautiful when you have the calming sea, white sand and palm trees around you.
We took turns to go snorkeling. She went first and while I was keeping an eye on our bags I already saw a stingray just there at the shore. I could not wait to go in already. When she came back she told me the good news that she saw turtles and tons of fishes.
My turn! My turn! I went in and started snorkeling in the allowed area. The reef was pretty high. At times I felt like I’m gonna scratch myself. There were many, many fishes in between. Mostly small and curious ones. I kept swimming and swimming but saw no turtle. Some of the fishes loved my camera and kept modeling for me so I stopped my turtle search and hung out with them for a while.
Still no turtles, I gave up and went for lunch instead. Before heading back home, I thought to give it another try. I followed the line of the allowed area until I was kind of alone, away from the other tourists. Then my rebel mode turned on and I decided to be a big bastard and break the rules. I went to the forbidden area to snorkel and find my turtles. And I did! I found two big and beautiful turtles and then I got caught and had to head back.
Soooo happy I saw them but don’t be a badass like me and break the rules. You can still have the luck to see them in the allowed area too. I completely support that the area is closed now so the poor turtles would not have to deal with all the humans.
Extremely happy with my day, we headed back home. Can’t wait to go scuba diving to see even more!