Akumal Bay snorkeling tour groups are once again allowed to enter the water to swim with the turtles under the following conditions:
- maximum of 12 tourists p/each tour provider (wasn’t that the rule before the tour group ban which wasn’t obeyed?)
- each tour group entering the water can only have a maximum of six people at one time for 65 minutes
- tour groups are only allowed to swim in specific areas (I imagine they are the same roped-off/buoyed areas already in place)
- tour groups can only be in the water between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- all tourists/those entering the water must wear biodegradable sunscreen
- all snorkelers must stay a minimum of 10 feet away from turtles at all times
- there is a maximum observation time of five minutes if you are close to any turtle
- no touching, feeding, or harassing the turtles at any time
- no removal of coral or other aquatic specimens
- life vests are required (I’m assuming there is still a “no fins” requirement but I will double check)
- turtle tours are cancelled for Mondays
The five-minute maximum observation time should be interesting to see enforced, otherwise the rules are to be expected given the current limitations. I wonder if the snorkeling groups will again come in from elsewhere in larger groups as they did last time? What do you think of these rules?