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Old 07-19-2011   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
CEA (Centro Ecologico Akumal) is the name of the non-profit/volunteer group that does these talks (and many other great things) in the Akumal bays and beaches area.


Centro Ecológico Akumal | Ecology Center CEA | Quintana Roo | Mexico



Calling one of the volunteers 'greasy' is pretty darned insulting, IMO.

It's unfortunate that you felt strong armed into viewing the video. As beaches are public, I don't think they can force people to watch it, but I imagine they try to strongly encourage visitors after seeing so many do things they should not be doing when snorkeling. I guess we thought it was the least we could do to try to be as informed as possible about what not to do in the bay.
Why would they not identify themselves as being from the CEA???? He wasn't wearing a CEA shirt or hat and he didn't say BOO about being with the CEA! Did the guy you encountered introduce himself and let you know he was the with the CEA? I've made donations to the CEA. I respect the CEA. Had I known he was with the CEA I might have approached the conversation with a different frame of mind... or maybe not, he did lie to me and I probably wouldn't have believed anything he said after that.
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Old 07-19-2011   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rissask View Post
CEA (Centro Ecologico Akumal) is the name of the non-profit/volunteer group that does these talks (and many other great things) in the Akumal bays and beaches area.


Centro Ecológico Akumal | Ecology Center CEA | Quintana Roo | Mexico



Calling one of the volunteers 'greasy' is pretty darned insulting, IMO.

It's unfortunate that you felt strong armed into viewing the video. As beaches are public, I don't think they can force people to watch it, but I imagine they try to strongly encourage visitors after seeing so many do things they should not be doing when snorkeling. I guess we thought it was the least we could do to try to be as informed as possible about what not to do in the bay.
I don't care if you are a volunteer or paid worker, if you lie to me, I will call you greasy. And it seems like someone a little more in the know than you (Priya's post) refers to them as slightly greasy pirates and suggests avoiding them.

Also, I never said I got strong armed into watching the video, because I have never watched the video. I did not let the slightly greasy pirates suck me in.

I think it is great that there are people who are trying to educate others on how to properly respect the bay. But deceit is the 100% wrong way to go about it.
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Old 07-19-2011   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ptalwar View Post
I've been working as a dive instructor at The Akumal Dive Shop for over a year. We're the ones at the end of the beach, not the ones you will find in the middle of the beach if you hang a right (The Akumal Dive Center). We're also the ones who have the slightly greasy "pirates" as we call them that hang around outside of our shop. I watch them everyday aggressively approach tourists with "Hey how are you?" and "Going snorkeling...?" as the tourists grudgingly submit to talk.

Even though they take business away from us, The Akumal Dive Shop since forever has allowed the pirates to bring their customers into our shop to use our bathrooms and heated showers for a 10% commission of their tours. They are not Dive Shop employees.

As for the 10 minute video, I believe (but I am not sure) that it is in fact required by the Ecological Center of Akumal (CEA) that is right next door to us, although a lot of people including us sometimes don't show it. I imagine that they require it because there are too many snorkelers who swim vertically in the middle of the boat channel, kicking up sand, smothering and destroying the coral and the visibility for everyone. They are just trying to protect the reef and thus the turtles.

The best idea is to go directly into the Dive Shop before getting intercepted by the pirates. Or go past them and hang a right to the Dive Center, who I am sure have the same prices and quality of guides.

A collectivo from Playa to Akumal should cost you 25 pesos. The walk to the beach from there is about 15 minutes. When you get dropped off by the collectivo at the bridge, you can go around the corner into the pueblo and there is a taxi stand where there are taxis who will take you to the beach for another 25 pesos if you prefer.

There are 3 bays to snorkel in in Akumal. Akumal bay which is directly in front of The Akumal Dive Shop. This is where the turtles and some reef are. It's very protected and has a maximum of about 10 feet of depth. Half moom bay is rockier and not as clear, and does not have turtles. Then there is the Yal Ku lagoon ($10US entrance) which is mixed fresh and salt water with mangrove and some reef and fish. No turtles.

Hope this helps,
Priya


Yes. Thanks.

It sounds to me like some are confused? I know I am. lol

The 'greasy pirates' sound like coyotes, guys trying to sell snorkel tours on the beach.

Not the CEA people, who only want to educate and get people to watch the video. They were nothing but nice, to us, when they coralled us to watch the video. Great organization.

I treat the former like I treat timeshare sharks, brush them off with a no thanks, keep walking.

Last edited by Rissask; 07-19-2011 at 10:37 PM..
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Old 07-22-2011   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptalwar View Post
I've been working as a dive instructor at The Akumal Dive Shop for over a year. We're the ones at the end of the beach, not the ones you will find in the middle of the beach if you hang a right (The Akumal Dive Center). We're also the ones who have the slightly greasy "pirates" as we call them that hang around outside of our shop. I watch them everyday aggressively approach tourists with "Hey how are you?" and "Going snorkeling...?" as the tourists grudgingly submit to talk.

Even though they take business away from us, The Akumal Dive Shop since forever has allowed the pirates to bring their customers into our shop to use our bathrooms and heated showers for a 10% commission of their tours. They are not Dive Shop employees.

As for the 10 minute video, I believe (but I am not sure) that it is in fact required by the Ecological Center of Akumal (CEA) that is right next door to us, although a lot of people including us sometimes don't show it. I imagine that they require it because there are too many snorkelers who swim vertically in the middle of the boat channel, kicking up sand, smothering and destroying the coral and the visibility for everyone. They are just trying to protect the reef and thus the turtles.

The best idea is to go directly into the Dive Shop before getting intercepted by the pirates. Or go past them and hang a right to the Dive Center, who I am sure have the same prices and quality of guides.

A collectivo from Playa to Akumal should cost you 25 pesos. The walk to the beach from there is about 15 minutes. When you get dropped off by the collectivo at the bridge, you can go around the corner into the pueblo and there is a taxi stand where there are taxis who will take you to the beach for another 25 pesos if you prefer.

There are 3 bays to snorkel in in Akumal. Akumal bay which is directly in front of The Akumal Dive Shop. This is where the turtles and some reef are. It's very protected and has a maximum of about 10 feet of depth. Half moom bay is rockier and not as clear, and does not have turtles. Then there is the Yal Ku lagoon ($10US entrance) which is mixed fresh and salt water with mangrove and some reef and fish. No turtles.

Hope this helps,
Priya
Thank you for the informative reply.
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Old 07-24-2011   #20 (permalink)
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Go to CEA - Watch the video

Quote:
Originally Posted by January Guy View Post
Right when you arrive at the beach after the walk, you will be greeted by folks at one dive shop who will try to get you into their shop by saying you have to watch a mandatory video in order to go snorkeling. Walk past them and take a right when you hit the beach, and maybe 100 yards down is another dive shop. Awesome staff in that shop, very helpful and flexible, and no greasy sales tactics.
After spending most of a week staying in Akumal I wandered into the CEA and watched the short video there. I wish I would have seen it the first day and that everyone was required to watch it. I saw several people grab the turtles during my stay. The video not only tells you where to expect to see the turtles and other sealife, it tells you how to protect the bay, and most importantly explains the patterns of boat traffic in the bay. Granted, the hustlers are not someone you want or need to deal with, but the video at the CEA is both important and helpful. Take a few minutes to watch it before you snorkle and you'll enjoy yourself more than you would otherwise.
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Old 07-24-2011   #21 (permalink)
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Thanks to the recent poster and all who have provided input on this thread. It sounds like next time, I should definitely watch the video, but it is good to know that I can do so while avoiding the pirates.

JG
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Old 07-24-2011   #22 (permalink)
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It seems to me that maybe the dive shops themselves should have the videos on reef/turtle education available to view.
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Old 08-02-2011   #23 (permalink)
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Update

UPDATE-

A few days ago I showed up to work and the pirates' little palapa outside of the Dive Shop was gone. Apparently it wasn't allowed to be there and was taken away. They have now set up shop at a little shack/hut that is before the arch just when you are entering Akumal. It has signs for snorkeling tours, etc. and some fins hanging up. I believe some of them are still trolling the beach getting random people to sign up for tours as well.

Just thought I would update.

Priya
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Old 08-24-2011   #24 (permalink)
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I will be heading into akumal, Do I need an entire day? I think I will head into the dive shop then.
I also plan on going to Tulum. Can both be done on the same day?
Or should i split it up into 2 days?
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Old 08-24-2011   #25 (permalink)
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Definitely two days, especially if you are taking a Colectivo. I saw the video at the CEA building and it was tremendously informative about the turtles themselves as well as how to treat the reef and the turtles while visiting their home.

Akumal isn't necessarily a full day but a big part of the answer is how you plan to travel as that can be time consuming via public transit.
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Old 08-24-2011   #26 (permalink)
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Maybe mandatory should be replaced with very important video. Maybe as a tourist we jump to the conclusion that they are trying to solicit business instead of protecting the reef.
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Old 08-24-2011   #27 (permalink)
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unfortunately, I will be staying at the Real Caribe this time.

I will prolly rent a car for the my wife and 2 kids. Haven't decided yet...I also want to spend some time on 5th ave again, so the Taxi might get a bit expensive..

So I should expect to spend a day at tulum and a day in akumal?
Is a guide recommended for snorkeling? I though the reef with the turtles are VERY close from shore?

I might want to do a glass bottom boat tour tho...who can I trust?

Last edited by frostiex; 08-24-2011 at 03:58 PM..
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Old 08-24-2011   #28 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by frostiex View Post
unfortunately, I will be staying at the Real Caribe this time.

I will prolly rent a car for the my wife and 2 kids. Haven't decided yet...I also want to spend some time on 5th ave again, so the Taxi might get a bit expensive..

So I should expect to spend a day at tulum and a day in akumal?

Yes.

Is a guide recommended for snorkeling?

No.

I though the reef with the turtles are VERY close from shore?

About 50 - 75 yards.

I might want to do a glass bottom boat tour tho...who can I trust?


Skip it.
Don't worry, once you get there, it will all be self explanatory. Don't ever touch or try to chase the turtles.

Use biodegradeable sun block. The reefs will thank you.
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Old 08-24-2011   #29 (permalink)
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Thanks for the input!

I think we really only want to check out the ruins in tulum, so may be we will jsut do a quick tour there... we will get to tulum at about ~7:30 and then spend 2-3hours there at the ruins. Then head out to akumal and snorkel for the rest of the day, is this plan reasonable? what do u guys think...I love Playa, this is my 3rd time in 3 years to the area. We though this time we will try Cancun, hope I am not making a mistake. haha
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Old 08-24-2011   #30 (permalink)
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you can spend a day at the beach in tulum after the ruins
the beaches are fantastic
i recommend ziggy's beach

your plan is also workable
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