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Akumal

We have been going to the area south of Playa del Carmen since 2004. On our first trip we discovered one of the perfect places to snorkel. Since then we also discovered we could stay right there and for the last three years we have skipped the all inclusive option and stayed at the Hotel Akumal Caribe. We’re right on the beach and almost next to the dive shop. When we made the change to the hotel from the all-inclusive resort  I was also fortunate to discover two dive instructors/dive masters,  Ivan and Natalie. Although affiliated with the Akumal Dive Center,  they work through direct contact. Diving in Akumal is very different  from diving with Dressel Divers in Cozumel. With Dressel, it is not  uncommon to have three groups of eight divers on the boat and  possibly three Dressel boats heading out to the dive site. Because  of Cozumel’s popularity, there may be ten to twenty other dive  operations. The reefs are crowded! In Akumal the story is different.  There are only two dive centres in Akumal and eight people on a  boat is a full boat. Diving with Ivan and Natalie very often means  diving with one or two fellow divers and not infrequently it means a  private dive. They both have an extraordinary ability to spot the full  range of creatures, from big to the ever so tiny. It’s really hard to  praise them adequately. If you want to dive in the area, as a  seasoned diver, an inexperienced diver or someone wanting to learn to dive, you can’t make a better choice than linking  up with them. The underwater sights are always amazing and always changing. Unfortunately, my flash problems continued. The unit  would work fine in the hotel room, but not underwater - somewhat counter-productive for an underwater flash. I did get  some pictures worth sharing and they can be seen here. The flash unit was returned to SeaLife and they’ve sent me a  new unit. Kudos to them!  We didn’t do a lot on this trip: I dove, Donna snorkelled, we both stretched  out on the beach and watched the waves and the people, and we ate and  drank with good friends. Tough life, eh? It was quite warm (hot) off the  beach and away from the breeze, so we kept our trips to the store for beer  short. We enjoyed very good food at Turtle Bay Café & Bakery, La Cueva del  Pescador, Tequillaville, Lol Ha beach bar and Lol Ha restaurant. (An  overview for the restaurants that don’t have their own websites can be seen  here.) Turtle Bay is wonderful for breakfast, dinner, baked treats, and now  offers Lucy’s Ice Cream. We had absolutely no complaint for anything we  had at these restaurants. On Sunday May 5th, Noel caught a barracuda. He  took it over to La Cueva and that was another great meal - much more fish  than we could all eat, so it was generously shared all around.  We were very sorry to leave. But it won’t be too long before we return to Mexico - Cozumel and Akumal.
Akumal