Today we drove to Puerto Aventuras, 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. It’s totally a different set. Few days back, we’ve been experiencing the lively Playa del Carmen and quiet Akumal. Puerto Aventuras is like Monaco minus the race track -it’s a deluxe marina community. This place is our kids’ favorite for two reasons: (1) the beach is magnificent, with a very nice swimming pool, and (2) Dolphin Discovery. Accompanying its title as a rather hi-end place, Puerto (as the local calls it) has a 9-hole golf course, tennis court, scuba diving, shopping malls and restaurants.
It’s rather tricky to find your way around Puerto. Easy to get lost in the middle of those private beach resorts, condos, houses, and/or apartments. We’re trying to find an entry way to a public beach and finally found one accidentally through a dive shop at Omni Puerto Aventuras Hotel. This hotel has a superb beach location on the north end of Puerto’s main beach. My 6 year old daughter learned to snorkel for the first time here. The water’s clear and calm, making it easy for her to adjust with the snorkel equiptment (though it was super cute to see her trying to walk on the beach with the flippers on both feet and goggles on her face). The shop attendant at Omni Puerto Aventuras Hotel’s dive shop was nice enough to let us use their smallest flippers for Davi. We brought the rest of the snorkel equiptment from home for the four of us.
Can’t remember how much we paid for the beach chairs but it was sure worth it. When we’re bored with the beach/sea, right behind us is a super nice swimming pool for the kids. Beach bar just around the corner and a shower/rest room is so close to the swimming pool. The kids just love going in and out to/from swimming pool and the beach. Dragging all those sand in to the pool even though the shower/restroom is not too far away.
The Dolphin Discovery is not too bad either. It’s free entrance, you can see all these cute sea animals in their tanks. Since it’s open air, you’d be able to watch them being trained or just swimming around showing off what they’re capable off. Took a movie clip of a pair of obnoxious sea lions (or was it seals?) ‘barking’ with my old Olympus C4040Z. Will try to upload it somehow.
If you have an extra hundred dollars laying around somewhere, then you’d be able to swim with the dolphins. Woo hoo… yeah, I know. Don’t get me wrong, I do like dolphins. And I do wish I could swim with one. But then, (a) I’m not a very good swimmer and dolphins are such a playfull and strong creature. I saw it with my four eyes (I wear glasses) how dangerous it was to see how dolphins ‘play’. They’d take you on and push you down to the bottom of the tank, hold you down under the water til your lungs feel like they’re going to explode, then jump up in the air so high before splash you back to the water; (b) I don’t have a 100 dollars.
Later on as I was enjoying my ice cream, I saw these group of people in the dolphin tank. A guy in a ‘Dolphin Discovery’ diver suit was coaching them to line up and get ready to be highfived by a dolphin. In another tank, people were ‘petting’ a dolphin and learn how to give some basic commands. This kind of shattered my imagination earlier of how cool it’d be to swim with a dolphin. If I were to pay a hundred dollars, I want it ‘private’ -just me, the trainer, and the dolphin.
To close the day, we went to La Floresta on highway 370 by Playa del Carmen. This place is well known for its shrimp and fish tacos. Oh my… the shrimp tacos were out of this world. A must try!