Meeting turtles in Mexico!

Sue Kirkham on 11 October 2013
I was delighted to arrive at my hotel Grand Bahia Principe Tulum and settle in after a long journey. My hotel was one of three hotels which makes up the Riviera Maya Resort, the other two hotels being Coba and Akumal. I chose the resort as it offers a wealth of amenities and restaurants and guests can use the facilities of all three hotels while they are there.

Waking up the next day was a joy, greeted by blue skies, endless white sand beach and turquoise sea. The wonderful beach was backed by lush green jungle which stretched as far as the eye could see and I really felt I was somewhere really rather exotic! The weather at this time of year can be a little unsettled but I was very lucky enjoying temperatures in the mid 30's with the odd downpour which freshened things up!

One of the things I love about this area is the amazing wildlife and there was lots to see in and around the hotel itself. There were iguanas, beautiful birds and butterflies, pelicans, and racoon like creatures who were always on the hunt for a snack! My favourite had to be the giant sea turtles which lay their eggs on the beaches along this coastline every year between June and September. It is possible to go snorkelling with these wonderful creatures at Akumal Bay which was the next beach along from mine so I went along to have a go.

Akumal beach is picture postcard pretty and there are several operators along the beach who will take small parties out snorkelling with a guide to look for turtles and stingrays. I signed up and went out and was absolutely amazed that we saw 10 sea turtles, lazily munching on the sea grass on the seabed! What an experience to get so close to these lovely creatures, something I will never forget and a must do if you are in the area.

Another must see is Chichen Itza, one of Mexico’s great archaeological sites and one of the new Wonders of the World. I visited this site on an easy day trip from my hotel and it really is quite awe inspiring and well worth a visit. On the same trip we visited the colonial town of Valladolid and also one the caves. We were able to have a refreshing swim in the cenote, the water was crystal clear and very cold but the setting spectacular!

Another must see in this area and an easy half day trip are the ruins at Tulum. They occupy a cliff top location which is simply stunning. Don’t forget to take your swimsuit when you visit this site as they are right on the beach and it’s a perfect spot for a dip!

This area has lots more to offer and has something for everyone. This was my second visit to the Riviera Maya and I know it won’t be my last.