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Riviera Maya, best snorkeling suggestions?

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Jan 3rd, 2007, 01:26 PM
  #1
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Riviera Maya, best snorkeling suggestions?

We are planning a trip to the Riviera Maya in the next few months and are considering staying in Playa del Carmen.
Can you recommend a hotel that has excellent off the beach snorkeling?
Also, I thought Xcaret had excellent snorkling...but lately I've read bad, bad reviews of it...any thoughts?
We are travelling with a 5 and 8 year old and we have NEVER been to Mexico. Tips on hotels, day trips AND snorkeling spots would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Val
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Go to Akumal or Cozumel. Xcaret is fake Disney snorkeling. For 5 and 8 year olds it is good though. Akumal might be a bit rough for kids.
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 02:52 PM
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RBCal,

Not sure why you say Akumal might be too rough? We have been there 6 times and the reef is very close to shore there, unlike Tulum and the water is usually very calm when we have been (May). Watch out for the boats though, best place to snorkel is right in front of the beach bar Lol-ha.
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:16 PM
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We snorkelled in somewhere near Akumal, in some brackish water that was very calm and fun. It was realitively inexpensive. It might have been in Yakul(sp?). Xel Ha is another place. Also try http://www.alltournative.com/day-exp...n-zip-line.php or other tours

The only place to stay in Playa is Gran Porto Real. Great beach and location. Avoid the AI and eat at the many restaurants, esp the Monkey Cave if it is still there.
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 03:58 PM
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Yal Ku in Akumal is what I was thinking about being a bit too rough for kids. The snorkeling is excellent but the depth of the lagoon is variable. It can go from a few feet deep to 20 feet deep quickly.
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Oct 14th, 2008, 02:09 PM
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Oh, I would definitely recommend Yal Ku, down the road from Akumal, esp. if you have youngsters. It is so protected that there is really no current or waves, very easy to snorkel and a gorgeous setting, with a sculpture garden all around. More current at Akumal Beach or Halfmoon Bay. Sea turtles are easy to find at Akumal Beach, though Also, we are staying at Grand Palladium resort, per recommendations and advice on tripadvisor and palladiumaddict.net...they have a saltwater pool that opens on two spots, allowing in fish, that you can snorkel in easily for youngsters, and a long beach with white sand or else a coral section with snorkeling off the beach.
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Oct 16th, 2008, 09:41 PM
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Puerto Morelos is another great spot for snorkeling. It's especially good just South of Hotel Ojo de Agua. There's an underground river that empties into the sea, lots of fish and coral. We've seen, turtles, eagle rays and gorgeous fish. The actual reef in Puerto Morelos is a National Park so you have to go with a guide when you go all the way out to it.
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Oct 17th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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The Barcelo has some good snorkeling right from their beach as does the Akumal Beach REsort.
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Oct 17th, 2008, 02:57 PM
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For a completely different snorkeling experience, you could try snorkeling in the cenotes (underground caves). We went with Hidden Worlds and had a blast. There are no fish to speak of but you will see fantastic cave formations and there is just something cool about being in an underground river.
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Oct 19th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Debiky,
We will be in Playa in Dec. and are interested in snorkeling in Puerto Morelos. Did youjust go to the pier and hire a guide? Where in PM should we go for the guide. We will need to rent the snorkeling equipment.
Thanks.
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Oct 19th, 2008, 03:49 PM
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Debiky,
Oops...I noticed that you once before answered a question of mine.
Thanks. I'd appreciate any info you could supply.
Thanks.
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Oct 20th, 2008, 09:30 AM
  #12
kja
 
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I also had good experiences snorkeling at Puerto Morelos and with the Hidden Worlds tour. In Puerto Morelos, you can just show up at a kiosk near the waterfront, I think it was at the northeast corner of the main square. You don't need to rent equipment separately - the guides will have what you need. Hope that helps!

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Oct 23rd, 2008, 03:30 AM
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I second the Barcelo Maya resorts in Riviera Maya. They have excellent off beach snorkeling with a reef extremely close to shore. We have stayed there twice with 3 young kids who loved the snorkeling!!! We took day trip to Akumal and only one of my 3 kids dared go out as far as the reef was & we had snorkeling vests. It was a little choppy though. I think there is closer snorkeling to shore at Akumal Beach Resort though. We wanted to go to Yal Ku lagoon in Akumal but didn't make it. Had heard great things about snorkeling there.
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Oct 23rd, 2008, 03:32 AM
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Oh, meant to add link to Unofficial Barcelo Maya board with tons of pictures, trip reports, info etc.

http://www.unofficial-barcelo-maya.com/site/
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Oct 25th, 2008, 09:20 AM
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Snorkeling in Puerto Morelos:

When we go out to the reef we always use Brett at Dive in Puerto Morelos. His shop is on Av. Rojo Gomez about one block North of the square. Brett has equipment. I've heard you can also hire a guide and get equipment at the pier, but I don't know the specifics.

If we're going out for just an hour or so on our own, we start at Villas Playasol, go out about a hundred yards and float South just past the radio tower. There are lots of coral heads and fish. There's also an under ground river entrance. It's kind of hard to spot but looks like a dark hole. The water there looks almost oily where the fresh water is mixing with the salt water.

Have a GREAT trip!
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