While in PDC over the holidays, hubby and I really enjoyed the day we spent on the Aquatic Expedition by Emelio. Emilio himself was driving our van and kept us entertained on the drive to Akumal -- quizzes with lollipops for the correct answer.
Once in Akumal, we snorkeled in Akumal lagoon. It was pretty windy so we stayed toward the back of the lagoon. Pepe and Oscar were in the water with us (a total of 12 people -- six from a second van). Pepe led the way and Oscar did the demonstrations -- in one cave entrance and out another. Some on the tour chose to follow him. (Not me!!!) We didn't see any turtles but didn't really expect to as we had been told turtle "season" ends in November.
We loaded up in our vans -- now with Pepe driving ours -- and headed north to the second snorkeling site. We drove down a very bumpy dirt road (Pepe calls it a "Mexican massage") to get to our site -- the first cenote. This one was open, like a swimming hole with really tall rock walls around it. (Yes, there are stairs for those who don't want to jump in.) Really nice.
After this, we went to a roadside location for lunch. It was decent (chicken, tortillas, beans, spaghetti). The food was brought in and served in a small pavilion. People could sit at tables under or around the pavilion. I opted for the latter as I wanted to sit in the sun.
The drive to the third site -- a cenote, this one in a cave -- was down a really long, bumpy road. (Sit toward the front of the van if you have a choice; otherwise, kick back and enjoy your second "Mexican massage.") Once at the location, we walked up to a large hole in the ground and decended down stairs into a cave. (Hubby couldn't believe I went down the stairs, let alone into the cave!!!) There are lights in the main cavern and Pepe and Oscar carry underwater flashlights as they lead the group. There are stalagtites and stalagmites, some of the former low enough that you have to be careful when you lift your head out of the water. I have never done anything like it.
What made this tour as good as it was is the people. Emilio (who left after the first stop), Pepe and Oscar are very pleasant and wonderful hosts. There are also two photographers with the tour -- Chucho and I can't remember the second guy's name. I kind of avoided them early in the tour, figuring I didn't want to have to deal with the hard sell at the end. What they offered were CDs of all the photos they took of you throughout the day for $30. The photo quality was excellent and we did not hesitate to get the CD.