On Monday I had to scrape the ice off my car and yesterday I pegged it through the rain and stuck my foot straight into a wet muddy puddle, so I’m thinking that winters pretty much here now. I love autumn and winter but I’m still not done with blogging about hot places just yet, so after digging around in my holiday files to find some unpublished photos I came across a few places we visited in Mexico, Akumal Beach being one of them.

On one of our last days in Riviera Maya we got a taxi up the road to Akumal Beach because we were told this this was basically turtle city, which isn’t really a surprise given that Akumal means “Place of the Turtle” in the Mayan language. It turns out they live around there because they like the shallow waters and sea grass. Turtles have a nice place to live, tourists get to see wild turtles. Win win.

Akumal Beach was honestly the most stunning place and had some of Mexico’s biggest and best hotels with direct access to it, though despite this it wasn’t busy unlike some of Cancun’s beaches. If you wanted to do a proper ‘turtle tour’ with the chance to see sting rays and loads of other weird and wonderful animals you did have to pay, but we didn’t bring enough money (classic tourists) so instead we shared a snorkel set and took it in turns to turtle hunt.

Darryl broke the rules a million times by crossing the no-go-zones and got a fair few Mexican insults hurled at him, but hey he got some amazing footage on his GoPro so it was worth it (insert video here). I’m too much of a wimp to break rules so instead I bobbed along the barrier chatting to a fourteen-year-old Mexican kid, trying to explain that living semi-near London isn’t really as ‘royal’ as he thought it sounded. I did see a turtle come up for air though and I got stuck in the middle of a circle of schooling fish which was both terrifying and fascinating. Wasn’t sure if I’d make it out alive at one stage.

Important lesson of the day: do not assume you can walk the journey that ‘only took ten minutes in a taxi’. It took ninety minutes in scorching heat with no protection from the sun, and only swimwear and flipflops to walk in. Oh and about a thousand turtle nests and jagged rocks to dodge. Nice views don’t get me wrong, but I think paying £2 for a taxi would have been a safer option. At least we found this Instagrammable sloping palm tree though right?

I’d definitely recommend visiting Akumal Beach if you’ve got a spare half a day to see some tropical creatures in their natural habitat, and the perfectly white sands and crystal clear ocean isn’t bad either. Even if you don’t pay for the tours like us, you can whack out a towel and enjoy a few hours in the sun for free. Just make sure you get there early to avoid the big Thomson tours rocking up and hogging the best spots.

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