Swimming with Sea Turtles for Free in Akumal, México!

by Stephanie Walsh · 32 comments

in Mexico, North America, Travels

Swimming with Green Sea Turtles, Akumal, Mexico

Finally! Something (almost) free to do in the Yucatán Peninsula and it’s amazing; swimming with sea turtles! The Yucatán Peninsula is super touristy so finding something to do for free is as likely as me not getting burned without my factor 60 sunscreen! So when we heard it was possible to not only do something cool for (almost) free, but that it was snorkeling with green sea turtles, we were very happy and excited!

When we say ‘almost free’…we mean that naturally we had to pay for transportation to Akumal from Tulum (30 pesos per person), and of course we also rented some snorkel gear from our hostel for 50 pesos per person for the day. Still a very low cost for such a great experience!

These adorable green sea turtles come to waters of México’s Carribbean coast, especially Akumal, a small beach town between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, during the months of May and October to lay their eggs in the sand and raise their cute babies.

Swimming with Sea Turtles Akumal Beach, Mexico

Akumal Beach, Mexico

Swimming With Sea Turtles!

After arriving in Akumal we impatiently put on our snorkel gear and waddled out to sea in our flippers, eager to get a glimpse of the amazing green sea turtles we had heard so much about. We swam about 50 meters out into water until we could no longer stand. After some time searching the grassy floor of the ocean, I suddenly spotted what looked like a big rock on the floor in the distance. As we got closer we were delighted to see our first sea turtle, casually grazing on the ocean floor below us. After a few minutes of underwater excitement, things got even better when he decided to take a quick swim to the surface for air. As he glided up, flapping his fat paddle like flippers, we followed his action and broke the surface of the water at the same time to see him grab a gulp of air and quickly dive down again. Adorable!

After our first sighting, we got even luckier throughout the day. We spotted an even bigger turtle that was so big she had permanent residents living on her back. We also spotted a scary barracuda fish, which remained completely still and thankfully didn’t take any interest in us, despite some people (ahem, Andres!) getting too close! We also saw a few sting rays and lots of small colorful fish but none of them could top the laid-back cool green sea turtles just going about their day, paying no attention to the crowd of excited snorkelers around them.

Swimming with Sea Turtles - Scary barracuda fish

Scary barracuda fish

Getting up close to these beautiful animals was one of the highlights of our trip around the Yucatán and Chiapas. I am now more in love with turtles than ever before and I want to squeeze their cute little round spotty heads!! We would love to witness a turtle giving birth to her eggs on the beach one day and the subsequent journey of the baby turtles to the sea. I have heard it is an unforgettable experience. We’ll just have to return to México some day to experience I guess! :D

Swimming with Sea Turtles Playa in Akumal, Mexico

Playa in Akumal, Mexico

Underwater Sea Turtle Photo Credit: puuikibeach

Barracuda Fish Photo Credit: JennyHuang


Would you like to go swimming with sea turtles?
How you ever found that one of your favourite experiences on a trip has also been one of the cheapest?

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