Underseascapes The Turtles

The Turtles of Akumal Bay
By Steve Dramstad AKA Xcalak Steve

One of the biggest attractions on the Riviera Maya is the turtles. Being able to swim and snorkel in close proximity to these animals is an incredible experience. Green Turtles live and feed year round in Akumal Bay. We want to remind everyone it is illegal to bother or harass these magnificent sea creatures.

How do you make the most of your turtle encounter? Here are a few rules and tips about turtles.

Turtle Doníts:
1) Never touch the turtles! While some may allow you to get that close NEVER touch them. Touching them will be seen as an attack against them and they will take off. It will make it much more difficult to approach them again.

2) Never chase them! If a turtle you are approaching starts to move away, let them go. Trust me, you will not be able to catch them. They are much faster then we are. If you chase them they are gone. If you donít chase them they tend to circle around and you will probably see them again.

3) Donít get directly above them. Turtles breathe air just like we do. Donít block them from getting to the surface. If there is a group of you, donít surround him. Always leave them an easy way to get away from you.

Turtle Doís

1) Swim slowly, smoothly and quietly. Swim at an angle to them not straight at them.

2) When you find a turtle that does not move away from you, just quietly float and watch from a distance.

3) If the turtle seems uncomfortable with you there, slowly back away. If it stops eating and raises itself up it is uncomfortable. If it stays on the bottom eating then you are not bothering it.