Snorkeling in Mexico – Akumal or Cozumel?

By Joan – (Pennsylvania)
I’m considering a snorkeling trip to Mexico in Akumal or Cozumel. Which is better? What is the biggest difference in these areas? I know they are close in location and Akumal has sea turtles. Any other differences? Is one better than the other?

I’m planning our vacation for this summer (2011) and am looking for a great destination where I can snorkel right off the beach and leave my husband enjoying an all inclusive resort. Any ideas?

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Anonymous – May 16, 2011 – Akumal

I’m a huge fan of Akumal… probably my favorite place on Earth. I’ve been told repeatedly that Cozumel is for diving, that the currents and deep reef prevent good snorkeling. Akumal is amazing, in a cove that keeps the currents manageable, right off of the beach, in front of Lo Ha Beach Club.

Of course, there are the turtles, but all kinds of other marine life such as rays, squid, and if you’re lucky you can see Barry (a barracuda that lives in a feeder ball!). You don’t even really need a guide.

If you want to be in an area that’s different and a little more relaxing, up the road in Akumal is Yal-Ku Lagoon, a mix of fresh and salt water with an incredible array of tropical fish. And feel free to remind the tourists in the bay not to touch the turtles… it can be kinda frustrating to see the beautiful turtles being petted and stuff, but I do feel like I’m doing some good when I educate them.

I hope you have a fabulous time! I adore and dream of Akumal, and we’re heading back in July. Have the time of your life!

Anonymous – May 16, 2011 – Akumal

Cozumel is a wonderful place to visit, and if you are staying near Playa Del Carmen you should consider a day trip. But I must confess that after having snorkeled both, Akumal and the nearby Half Moon Bay and Yal-Ku Lagoon win. If you go to Akumal avoid the roped swimming area, and go to the right, in front of the Akumal Bay Beach Club Hotel. You will need to swim out to reach the coral. Along the way you will pass over turtle grass, where you might see a stingray or turtle.

The first time we went to Cozumel a guide took us to a section of Dzul Ha that was absolutely stunning… but that area is now roped off far into the water to protect the coral. The second time we were there the underwater landscape was plainer but we saw plenty of fish.

Joan – May 19, 2011 – Thank You

Thank you for the information.

Kim – Jan 20, 2012 – Akumal It Is

Thanks for all the comments and information regarding the snorkeling Akumal or Cozumel. I’ve been searching for a couple of weeks now… determining whether or not we should take a day trip to Cozumel from Akumal. We’ve spent the last two trips in Akumal and plan on heading back at the end of February.

I agree the snorkeling in Akumal is fabulous. Turtle, rays, squid, fish galore and I saw my first lobster there. I would recommend this area to anyone. Beginners or experienced snorkelers will enjoy the underwater show. After all the reading I’ve done, I think I’ll stick to Akumal.

Joan – Jan 20, 2012 – Akumal Was Great

Akumal was a very nice. If anyone is looking for a good snorkeling spot – that’s the place I’d recommend. We stayed at a small resort (Akumal Beach Resort), nothing fancy, but the beach and the snorkeling were remarkable. I wanted to see the sea turtles but never knew they got so big. I’m planning next year’s vacation for the same place. I am thinking about going out to snorkel with the whale sharks this time.

Sur – Jul 27, 2018 – Snorkeling Akumal

Akumal was fantastic for snorkeling. I brought my own equipment with me on my trip. I went snorkeling every day. I stayed at Akumal Beach Resort, not fancy, but ocean view rooms. I loved it… saw turtles, stingrays, barracudas, sea urchins, and lots of fish among the coral. I wore sun protection clothes instead of sunscreen while snorkeling so as not to damage reefs or pollute them.

Nicole & Galen – Jun 15, 2020 – More Updated Info About Snorkeling Akumal and Cozumel

There are more updated comments about changes to the snorkeling at Akumal Bay on this Maya Riviera page and this Eastern Yucutan page.

This very detailed 2018 Cozumel snorkeling trip report will help you find good snorkeling snorkeling spots there.

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