If you are thinking of going to see the turtles in Akumal Bay (great choice) or will be joining a guided tour to Akumal Bay for snorkeling, we are happy to announce that new sustainable actions have been put into place to protect this turtle haven. CEA and Sedatur have been working together over the past year to unveil new snorkeling protocols.
The turtles were here first and we are just observers. The magic of Akumal is the ability to walk from shore and snorkel out to sea to observe these beautiful creatures. Many snorkelers know that touching the turtles and coral is not on the list of things to do, but not all snorkelers are aware of the delicate environment out there. When snorkeling in the Caribbean, there are few protective measures that snorkelers will need be mindful of to protect both the turtles and the environment that they live in.
These new procedures are the following:
1. Snorkelers will receive a briefing from local guides on how to be a good snorkeler. This includes not touching the turtles or the coral. Biodegradable sunscreen is a request to protect the sea, plants, corals, fish and turtles.
2. There is a designated snorkel and swimming area in front of Lol Ha Restaurant on the beach. This area is the advised snorkeling and swimming area for Akumal visitors. If you are a condo renter or owner you will be able to snorkel in front of your condo, though it is recommended that people stay within the snorkel area. This area is protected from boat traffic making it safer for swimmers and snorkelers.
3. Guided tour groups will need to wear life jackets when snorkeling. This is for the safety of each individual when large groups of people are in the water.
4. Snorkelers will be educated by CEA as to the best way to snorkel and view the turtles. This is part of the local guide briefing and a great way to get visitors excited about Akumal’s best adventure – turtles.
We are divers so we continue to educate ourselves about the environment in the ocean, how our presence can effect this delicate ecosystem and do follow rules to ensure that our observation does not effect the sea. Everyone is not as aware as we are, and we get it. Bodies of water seem a distant part of the land. When you snorkel for the first time it is hard to beleive that your actions can churn up this very large part of our earth. And many just don’t know the effects of kicking up sand, standing on coral or petting turtles. We support CEA’s new education action plan and believe that people will get more out of their snorkeling adventure. Thanks CEA for looking after Akumal! We think this is full of ‘Awesomeness’!