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Snorkeling in Akumal, Mexico
Akumal Bay is known for its many species of sea turtles which use the area for breeding, feeding and rearing their young. This provides an optimal opportunity to view the turtles in their natural habitat, including the many varied species of fish and plant life.

Snorkeling and scuba diving are perhaps the favorite activities to pursue during a trip to Akumal, but snorkeling is a less physically demanding and technical option. With a short instruction course and a smart location choice, snorkeling is relatively easy for even first-time beginners.

One popular location for snorkeling in Akumal is the Yal-ku lagoon. This location is an extremely rare environment where fresh water mixes with salt water from the ocean. The combination of the two types of water is called a "halocline" effect.

Only very specific species can live and thrive in this halocline lagoon, and the mixture of salt and fresh water supplies creates an changed appearance of the water itself. Many species found in this area are not found anywhere else in the world, and have been shown on many travel channel specials in recent years.

Casa Cenote is a lagoon featuring mangroves and unusual fish displays. Interested snorkelers find the fossils in Cenote at Dosojos quite interesting for a day of exploration. Many of the fossils seen at Dosojos date back to original civilizations that once occupied the area.

Snorkel lessons are usually a good idea forfirst-timers prior to going to one of these sites. Although the activity is simple, some find that they are uneasy with the equipment or unsure how to best view the underwater life while safely using the snorkel.

A popular activity for locals and tourists alike is night snorkeling. Typically, a light is used in conjunction with traditional snorkeling equipment for this activity.

Many species which are not observed during daylight hours can be observed when snorkeling after sunset. This is usually because they are night-feeders or resting during the day.

The octopus is a perfect example of this phenomenon. Octopuses only come out to feed at after dark, and change color when a flashlight beam is focused on them. Virtually all of the life seen at night are safe for swimmers, so night snorkeling is a family-friendly activity also.

Plant life and some types of fish are also luminescent at night. This creates greenish lights glowing either continuously or flashing at night – quite a view for one who is only used to snorkeling during the day!
About the Author
M Gravlee is a retired newspaper publisher who spends several months a year traveling.
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