Swim with Turtles in Tullum, Mexico

There’s many cool things to do in Mexico, other than drinking Margaritas and lounging on the beach. If you are heading down south and looking for adventure, skip Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Instead, park your booty in Tullum. Although still touristy in high season, Tullum has a relaxed vibe and maintains some authentic Mexican charm (unlike Cancun and Playa).

 Tullum is the closest town to Akumal beach, where you can swim with one of these cute critters for free!Image

Swimming with Turtles in Akumal
There are many, many turtles chilling out in Akumal beach and if you decide to go, it will take your breath away. During breeding season (April-May) the bigger turtles come to feed in the area and are simply enormous!

Akumal is a small beach, about 10 kilometers away from Tullum center. Get there early to avoid the crowd and swim within the designated zones (marked by bouys). It’s quite touristy, so save your dinero and hire snorkelling gear in town (shouldn’t cost you more that $70 pesos for the day).

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Getting There
Catch a collectivo bus (local bus) from out the front of the bus station. It will cost you $20 pesos each way and will give you a good opportunity to practice your spanish! When you get off at the bus stop, it’s a 5 minute walk down the road towards the beach. Otherwise,  you can catch a cab $100 pesos one way.

Things to Remember
It is rumoured that this area is to be turned into a marine park as it is a hot-spot for turtles during breeding season. This is bad news for thrifty travellers who don’t want to pay to swim with the marine life, but excellent news for the turtles and the locals. The large influx of tourists has meant that the environment is slowly suffering from the impact.

If you go, be friendly to our flippered buddies. When swimming, it is recommend that you keep a 2 metre distance from the turtles and don’t chase or touch them.

If you go to see them, keep the turtles happy and healthy, you will have an incredible time!

NB- $70 pesos = $7 U.S or $5 AUS

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Florianópolis, Brazil – Surf Travel

Florianópolis, Brazil – Travel to Surf, Surf to Travel.
Florianopolis (or Floripa, as the island is known by locals) is a must visit if you are planning to surf and travel around Brazil. Located in the South of Brazil, this beautiful island will take your breath away and surfer’s will be spoilt with over 40 pristine beaches to choose from. With waves, gorgeous scenery, soft white sand dunes and sparkling lagoons, Floripa is not to be missed.

Surf: Floripa has some of the most consistent surf spots in Brazil. It picks bigger swells coming from the South Atlantic and Antartica. The best surfing periods are from early March to late May, and late September from early November. Always take your wetsuits, even in summer as the currents are cold!

Photo by Bruno Matos

Places to surf: Most famous beaches in the area are Joaquina, Praia Mole, Praia Brava and Naufragados.

Beginners: Barra de Lagoa, it’s a beach break with a sandy bottom and breaks both right and left. Lot’s of fun. Best during the week at any tide, with an easterly swell and south facing wind (3ft).

Photo by Bruno Mato

Intermediates: Canasvieiras, Galheta, Ingeleses and Praia Mole. These breaks are all different, but all provide great waves, make sure you check the surf report before you pick!

Photo by Bruno Mato

Experienced: JoaquinaNaufragados and Caldeirao. These breaks are powerful, fast and demanding. However, if you paddle out you will be rewarded.

Photo by Bruno Mato

Travellers tip: Be friendly and beware of hostile locals (these guys deal with massive influxes of tourists to their home breaks). The guy to girl ratio is 9:1 and while you don’t need to worry about anti-girl sentiment, the guys may snake your waves. Prepare to challenge and call people off your waves, be assertive and you’ll get more waves.

Relax after a surf!

Places to stay: I stayed at Back Packers Share House Floripa, which was incredibly fun. Located on the beach front at Barra da Lagoa, the area is stunning. They rent free surfboards and are only a bus ride from popular surf beaches like Moçambique, Mole and Joaquina. Other great hostels include Floripa Surf Hostel (closer to breaks), Backpackers Sunset (incredible view, great facilities) and Submarino Hostel (more bang for your $$$).

Travellers Tip: Make sure you try the ice cold Acai with granola and banana at the beach hut on Barra da Lagoa. It’s healthy and delicious!

Other things to do: There are loads of other adventure sports to get involved in such as sand-boarding, diving and dune racing. Check at your hostel for more information. The nightlife in this area is also fantastic and you will find a good number of dance floors.

Enjoy the beautiful view.

Getting there: If you want to fly, Hercílio Luz International Airport is the closest to the city (12km). Catching a bus from there to Floripa is easy as it is a well known tourist destination. Alternately you may want to travel by bus from Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, many companies service this route and your closest bus station will offer tickets. For more information check out ‘how to travel to Florianopolis‘.

More Information:
Check the Surf Report and find more breaks.
When looking for places to stay in Brazil, don’t miss Hostel World.

Have a travel question?
Feel free to add your tips or ask any travel advice in the comments. Or you can email us your travel stories. 🙂

Photos by: Carmen Angerer and Bruno Matos. Bruno is a brazilian surf photographer who’s blog we loved. Check out his other photos!