The Captain stepped over our lifeless hungover bodies as he slowly lifted the anchor and threw it overboard, bringing the catamaran to a slow stop after a twenty minute ride that departed from Akumal Beach. It was here, we were told, where we would find the endangered green sea turtles we were seeking.
It was the beautiful blend of four foot waves, thirty foot deep cloudy waters and zero instructions, which created quite possibly, the shittiest snorkeling circumstances I have ever witnessed. It was here, where my friends and I swallowed water through our snorkels, grew frustrated, and never saw a single green sea turtle.
THESE CLASSIC TOURIST TRAPS ARE NOTHING NEW. LOCALIZED BUSINESS’ TARGETING FOREIGNERS WITH THE PROMISE OF EXPERIENCING EXOTIC WILDLIFE THROUGH THERE SERVICES. WITHOUT RESEARCH IT’S HARD TO ARGUE WITH THEM, THEY ARE THE LOCALS AND THEY ARE THE EXPERTS.
We returned to Akumal Beach, with no first hand encounters of the creatures that graced the posters and signs of the sales centre. It was here, where I jumped overboard, and found the green sea turtle I had been seeking. The rest of my friends rode back to shore on a dingy as I embraced the moment I had been waiting for. Just fifty feet from the pristine beach, where oblivious tourists sipped piña coladas in the sun, swam handfuls of majestic turtles. There chilled out personas and care-free attitude towards sharing there waters with mankind was fascinating. They carelessly swim up, down and around you, paying zero attention to your existence and only taking brief moments to rise to the surface for a breath of fresh air. “This”, I thought, “is a good way to spend my time.”
If you ever find your self in Akumal, Mexico (100 km south of Cancün) then skip all the bullshit tourist operations in town. Walk right out on the populated beach, step foot in the ocean, and swim with the turtles that populate this area. My experience wasn’t a coincidence, after speaking with a few locals I was informed the turtles are often found in this location, and you don’t need a catamaran cruise to view them.
The name Akumal, after all, translates from the Mayan language as the “place of turtles”.