Akumal Bay is known for it's turtles and tremendouos reef, which also stretches into Half Moon Bay, less than a mile north.
This guy I tried to photograph for three days.
They are really shy and hide under rocks.
Today, he liked me!
I can't put my finger on what I love about Half Moon Bay so much. could it be the water?
The fact the people are always smiling? There aren't many cranky tourists?
there are so many turtles?
I don't know, but I love these views!
Awsome Mayan ruins hanging on the cliff overlooking the sea! Go early before the tour bus groups...bring water,camera and footware thats comfortable. Its hot so maybe a swim suit and towel...avoid the tourist-type stuff for sale...better prices elsewhere.
In 1511, a Spanish galleon shipwrecked off the shore of Akumal. Seventeen of the sailors survived in a lifeboat but the coast was treacherous and inhabited by cannibals. Fifteen died in from exposure, hunger, slavery, or were sacrificed by natives. The two remaining survivors, Jeronimo de Aguilar (a cleric/friar) and Gonzalo Guerrero (a seaman from Palos) managed to escape into the interior where they encountered a more friendly tribe.
Six years later, in 1517, emissaries were sent by Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes from Cozumel to look for survivors of the wreck.
Jeronimo de Aguilar returned to the Spaniards and helped in the conquest of Mexico using his new Mayan language skills.
The other survivor, Gonzalo Guerrero, remained behind having already married a Mayan cacique (princess) named Ixpilotzama, a relative of Nachan Can, the Lord of Chetumal. They had three children together, the first "mestizos" (half-European and half-Amerindian, from the Latin "to mix") of Mexico. Guerrero became a Nacom, a lord of the Serpent order. He declared himself Mayan--he spoke Mayan, tattooed his body and his face, wore earrings, became a worshipper of Mayan gods, and helped the people with warfare against the Spaniards. He died in 1536, killed while fighting on the side of the natives against the Spaniards.
Some historians believe this account of Guerrero to be largely fictional, a story concocted by de Aguilar to make himself appear more loyal to Spain and his religion.
Plaque incription reads: "Gonzalo de Guerrero, of Palos de Noguera, Spain, seaman, who in 1511 shipwrecked near this beach, married the Mayan Princess Xzamil and thus founded the first Euro-American family."
You cannot beat this price. 10 dollars for a one hour snorkel trip that will take you out to the reef.
the bonus is your guide who will jump in the water with you and point out the most spectacular things!
Akumal is a turtle breeding ground, and if they are around, he will get you to them.
No tocar! don't touch!
We also saw a giant ball of fish herded by a barracuda, eels and so much more.
ONE day I'm going to have my underwater photos developed.
At the main beach in Akumal, put on your fins and walk out about 50 feet and you will start to see some amazing things underwater. Like canons! The "developer" of akumal mounted a couple of canons from a ship wreck on the sea wall, and even sank a few for your viewing pleasure. This beach has it all. A great restaurant, (LOL HA) a great beach and great snorkeling!
Xel-Ha is Mexico's largest natural aquarium.
This large national park is full of fresh water lagoons, rivers, cenotes(sink holes), and sea inlets.
It is a great place for those who enjoy snorkeling.
It gets very crowded after the tour buses arrive so plan to come early.
Within walking distance of Akumal, is this secluded lagoon called Yalku.
This is just a small pond. A current of fresh water flows into it and it is full of bright colored fish.
On our last visit there it had been discovered and was much more crowded than on our first visit.
Maybe this is because of all the villas that are springing up nearby.
The lagoon is a great place to snorkel, especially for beginners. Lots of colourful tropical fish. Equipment can be rented on site, and there is a small admission fee. Best to go early in the morning as this is a popular spot. As suntan lotion is not allowed in the water (except biodegradable, available at the dive shop), it is advisable to wear a t-shirt.
While most people who want to see the ancient Mayan ruins flock to Chichen-Itza, or ruins in Tulum (another must see), not as many are familiar with (or are willing to drive 2 hours through the jungle) to visit Coba.
In 1891, the Austrian archaeologist Teobert Maler, after hearing of an ancient city lost in the jungle, came to Coba and began its first excavation.
The city remained undisturbed for another 35 years until 1926, when the Carnegie Institute financed two expeditions headed by Eric Thompson and Harry Pollock.
In the 1970´s the Mexican government through the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History) financed more excavations at Coba. In spite of all this work, only a few of structures in Coba have been excavated and restored. Also, Coba boasts of having the tallest Mayan structure in the Yucatan Peninsula.
When I arrived, a small man of Mayan descent (most Mayans are pretty short) approached and asked me if I wanted a guided tour of the ruins for US$20. I handed over the money and was very glad I did. I highly recommend a guided tour it if you can find someone hoest and straightforward.
He pointed out many things I would have missed if I walked around alone - stopping along the way to point out an perfectly straight elevated road covered by overgrowth, that in actuality, was part of the famous Mayan highway system. He also showed me where sacrifices were made, and I even tasted some local fruits that grew wild in the jungle.
Coba is not a major tourist attraction and is extremely different that Chichen-itza. I liked it even more than Chichen-Itza or Tulum (probably because of my guided tour).
Anyways, if you are adventurous and like exploring - Coba is a great day trip from Akumal. The round-trip drive, tour,of the ruins, and lunch took about 5-6 hours.
Even in shallow water there is a lot to see.
the further out you go, the bigger the fish.
but sometimes just little ways out, you get a little fish with a lot of personality!
took this photo for the beach and nests.
Had no idea I was photographing the start of Tropical Storm Cindy!
Right now it is turtle season in Akumal! Half moon bay is dotted with turtle nests which have been marked, mainly by an org called CEA. There were at least a dozen on our walk along the beach