If you head down to Mexico you may pass by a small quaint village called Akumal without ever realizing that it is one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s best places to try snorkeling or scuba diving. It is just 65 miles from the resort town of Cancun. It is small yet secluded making it perfect for those that want to get away from the busy tourist beaches in Mexico. There are two different bays in Akumal where you can dive. Yalku Lagoon is also nearby and there more than two dozen reef sites to check out and white sandy beaches to soak up the Mexican sun.
You will have a lot of options when it comes to finding hotels in the region, remember Cancun and all the resorts are just over an hour away, but there are hotels in Akumal if you don’t want the hassle of commuting. There are lots of local restaurants that offer North American and European cuisine that you will be familiar with. There are nearby grocery stores to cook your own food along with some boutiques and gift shops to grab some local trinkets for the folks back home.
But most importantly there are some really dive shops, after all that is why you are here isn’t it. If you are here to snorkel, diving or just casting a line to catch some fish, all of that is available. You can bask in the warm Mexican sun, walk through town or head to the water to try your hand at snorkeling. For the first timer, there are plenty of guides to show you some of the best diving destinations in the area.
The climate in Akumal is perfect for diving from September to April the temperatures hover around 80F but the rest of the year you will hit the high 90’s. You can feel gentle breezes from the Caribbean and during the winter you might actually need to put on pants in the evenings.
Getting ready to dive
Most of the local dive shops will have your equipment all ready to go once you hit the dock. You can rent any and all equipment that you need and it really isn’t that expensive. You can get onto one of the nearby boats and the runs are generally 8 people or less along with a captain and a dive master. If there is a larger group one of the dive companies can make arrangements so that all of you get to dive. You should book well in advance and not just show up with a party of 20.
Most of the diving companies will take you out around the reefs in the surrounding areas, they are beautiful to see firsthand. You will find weak currents and warm waters, making it perfect for the novice diver. The waters are clear with visibility from 50-150 feet depending on what kind of weather you are having. Even during the winter all you’re going to need is a light wet suit.