They're both good, but they're two different experiences as far as the "getting there" is concerned. With Akumal, it's just a quick cab/colectivo ride, and you're there for the day. With Cozumel, it's more of an "excursion". Once you decide where on Coz you want to go, you take the ferry, then a cab or rental to your destination. More expensive for sure, and a longer day. But there's a lot to do on Cozumel, so you can make a whole day of it and see some of the island while you're there. Akumal is a nice place also, we try to go at least once on every trip. I think you'd be happy either way!
I have never been to Cozumel to snorkel but also would like to. I wonder if there is any shallower snorkeling close to the ferry or if you have to cab somewhere. Akumal is a great place to snorkel and as Sandinmypants says it is easy getting there and we to make a trip there everytime we go to that coast.
We've done both and Akumal beach is our favourite. Lots of great snorkeling, a wonderful beach to walk on, friendly people and some nice shops/ restaurants. We always just go from the resort for a morning or afternoon by colectivo or cab, We leave our clothes by a tree in front of the webcam and just head into the water. We bring our own snorkel gear so it's free. Just head straight out and you'll find wonderful sea turtles, fish, coral etc.
Cozumel means a ferry ride,$ then connecting with a boat to take you out.$$ We went to 3 reefs and I didn't like it as much as Akumal,,, plus got a jellyfish sting that was irritating for weeks after I got home.
I didn't care for Cozumel....we had looked forward to it for years and I guess it just wasn't what I expected (my own fault I am sure). We stayed in the number one rated resort and could not eat or drink without being covered in those flies that I found disgusting. The iron shore didn't thrill me either. Like I said, it was one time I obviously didn't do enough homework. I stick to lovely beaches and no black flies these days.
Take a taxi to Yal-ku Lagoon for snorkeling at 8:30-9 am. 10$ us entrance fee
After a couple of hours, walk 15 minutes up the road to La Beuna Vida for some beers / lunch. Then another 15 minute walk to Akumal for snorkeling with the turtles. Ice creme / fish tacos at Lucy's is a treat and then Lol-Ha after (happy hour is 5:30-6:30 pm)
Now thats a full day
Thanks for that Vancouversundog, we will we be doing that , sounds just like our type of day . Is it expensive to eat and drink in those places ? Can you reply in dollars as I haven't a clue on the pesos yet !!
Vancouver's idea is the way to go. LBV has lunch entrees around10 bucks (at least they did in 2009). Lucy's was very cheap. She just sold to the owners of Turtle Bay Cafe. There really aren't any expensive restaurants in Akumal. They are all inexpensive to moderate.
Cozumel is much better. Ive heard Dzul Ha next to Chakanab is the place to go, but I did mostly shore snorkeling near my hotel on the northern part of the island, and the 3 stop catamaran trip, but that was years ago - maybe 2002? We went to all shallow spots - they knew the best places to bring snorkelers. I remember Palancar shallows, Columbia shallows and 1 other spot.Edited: 06 April 2011, 05:13
Here is the menu for the Lol-Ha snack bar, unfortunately they do not have prices on there any longer. Most servings are pretty good sized:
La Buena Vida is also good for lunch with beautiful views of Half Moon Bay. For inexpensive, you can always try the Loncheria lunch counter next to the Super Chomak mini-mart. No alcohol and not beachfront but really great food at reasonable prices for Akumal.
Is Lol-Ha the resturant thats right on the beach just as you come onto akumal bay, where the toilets are around the back in a separate building with swing doors??