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Mayan Riviera, Mexico – Family Fun and Freediving

January 1st 2011 we left snowy Toronto for a week on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. We stayed at the Akumal Beach Resort, South of Playa Del Carmen and spent most of the time at this waterfront resort located on Akumal Bay. ( Akumal = Place of the Turtles) Lots of opportunities to snorkel/freedive on the reef. Also just a short walk to the North is Half Moon Bay a great place for an afternoon snorkel. Both reefs are a little worse for hurricane wear but Akumal attracts a lot of tourists for the beach and reef tours. We were able to enhoy as a family the snorkelling and at the same time I got to practise some breath hold photography putting my digital point and shoot camera in a small camera drybag from MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op) here in Toronto.

We made two off resort trips the first was to the ruins at Coba and Tuluum, both were awesome.

Mid day we stopped at two Cenotes (underground caverns) for a refreshing swim and a little free diviving.

Our second trip was to the “Hidden Worlds” nature/adventure park just a short cab ride South of the resort. This featured jungle/cenotes tours, including the “sky cycle”, very novel and interesting. Also a number of unique zip lines through the canopy, and also two that splashed you down in the cenotes. The tour finished off with a guided snorkel into the depths of their cenotes which connects up with others in the extensive underground river system of the area.

We all had a great time, there is tons of good snorkelling, ruins and beach to keep any family busy for a week. The diving/snorkelling opportunities abound in this area and I needed to be careful to keep in mind that this was a family vacation and not a frediving adventure.