Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Riviera Maya Recap...Under the Sea

Ok, we're almost done. After such a long day at XPLOR on Wednesday, we reserved Thursday for a chill-out day.

We had plans for snorkeling on Friday so we snorkeled a bit off of our beach. The water was very calm & super clear & we didn't really go out far enough to see anything amazing, but we saw lots of fish & several neat coral formations. The main goal was for Hubby to get the hang of snorkeling since he'd never done it before. He caught on fairly quick after a few suggestions.

You can wear yourself out snorkeling so after quite awhile in the water we were ready to relax. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in the shade, reading our books. We also took a walk down the beach near a deserted resort. It had been severely damaged by a hurricane & it appears that the owner just abandoned the property instead of making the repairs. It's too bad really, because the location seemed great...minus the rocky beach--but this made for some great photos!

Thursday night we took advantage of the free hotel shuttle into Playa Del Carmen. We were ready for a nice dinner out & asked for recommendations from the guest services representative. She recommended La Parilla. We hopped off the shuttle bus & when we came upon a restaurant by that name we sat down & had an amazing dinner. It wasn't until much much later when we realized that the 5th avenue area of PDC was HUGE that there were actually several restaurants named La Parilla. We're almost positive we didn't eat at the one she meant, but we had a great dinner anyway.

I hadn't been to PDC in about 15 years. At that time, PDC was simply a fishing village that also housed the huge ferry dock for rides to Cozumel. Oh how things have changed! Street performers, Mexican souvenir shops, & just an overall crazy atmosphere! It was quite the experience!

Hubby & I couldn't resist...I think we gave this guy $1 for each photo! Much cheaper than the photos our hotel was selling with the same basic character!

Friday we grabbed a taxi from our hotel & headed out for a day of snorkeling. We were in search of sea turtles & headed to 2 separate locations.

Yal-ku was more of a lagoon type location & honestly I was less than impressed with the snorkeling. The water was very murky & while we saw some fish & neat rock formations, it was certainly not all that exciting. And needless to say, no turtles where in sight. I did manage to capture a few good pics...

Love this one with the single fish in between the cracks in the rock! Yup, that's me...a professional photographer!

The colors of fish in the Caribbean are stunning!

These fish were everywhere in huge schools...I couldn't believe how close they would get to us.
After Yal-ku we headed to our original destination of Akumal. They had a nice beach & we had been told this was definitely where to see some turtles...
Welcome to Akumal...

The view from our table at lunch...I just love all the open-air, beach front restaurants. You just don't get views like this in Southwest Missouri!

We headed out snorkeling & the experience was already better. The water was so much clearer & I could actually tell if a fish was swimming towards me!

These needle-nosed fish swam right at the top of the water & were so neat!

I have no idea what this fish is, but how cool is he?

We saw some fish & lots of grassy areas & then it happened....my goal of the day! Our first turtle!!! They are so incredible to observe & just amazing creatures. We hung out & just watched him eat for awhile.

I will admit...we got out a little far from the shore on this little snorkeling adventure & I was definitely ready to be back on shore. But hubby wanted to look for a few more turtles since we had only seen one. Well, low & behold there were 2 more, just swimming through the water. I think they were probably turtle kids as they were much smaller than the others. After we saw these two, I looked to the left & there were 2 more much bigger turtles just hanging out on the ocean floor.

Notice the algae eaters on the one on the right...I don't really think the turtle was thrilled about them being there!

Love this shot of the turtle heading to the surface...
We had a great time but were EXHAUSTED!!! If you've never snorkeled before, it can be really hard work & you don't really recognize it until you stop. We headed back to the resort for some time at the pool...we'd both had about enough salt water for the day!
Next up...our last day...just another day at the beach, but not really!


Alissa said...

That all looks so fun. I want to jump right into that water. Love the recaps.

Callie Nicole said...

Oh, how fun! I love the underwater pictures. I really wish I had brought an underwater camera on our trip! Live and learn I guess.