Snorkeling with Geofish
Posted by Tony & Cheri on July 22, 2007
We have been pretty busy at the hotel lately. When high season ended on the first of May, we expected things at the hotel to slow down. That hasn’t happened. Luckily for us (in some ways), the Luna Blue Hotel & Garden continues to be as popular as ever. Playa del Carmen has now become a year round resort destination. In addition to Americans and Canadians, we now have many visitors from Europe, central and south America and Mexico coming here for their summer vacations.
When we do get some times to ourselves, we try to spend it near, on or under the water. Lately, we have really been enjoying different snorkeling trips. Playa del Carmen is near the center of the largest continuous coral reef in the western hemisphere. Recently we decided to try a new snorkel tour conducted by Geofish Dive Shop.
Truthfully, we’ve never been big fans of snorkeling tours conducted by dive shops. In our experience, such tours tend to go into deep water in the straights between Playa del Carmen and Cozumel where the current is pretty strong. We have always preferred snorkeling in calmer waters offshore. However, the owners of Geofish assured us that we would love the location where they snorkel. They turned out to be right.
The snorkel tours started on the beach at the foot of Calle 8, where their boat is tied up, just down the street from the dive shop. There is no minimum number of people required for the snorkel tour. As it turned out, we were the only two people taking the tour that day, so we had the boat to ourselves. Captain Marco and his assistant helped us into the boat and then off we went into the Caribbean. They headed north along the shore, finally coming to a stop at an area of the reef that is very sheltered and calm. It’s called MoChe Bajo. With an average depth of 2 meters, the reef actually breaks the surface in several places.
The captain anchored the boat and we went with the guide over the side. For the next hour or so, he led us through the coral reef, pointing out some amazing sites. The reef is very active with multiple types of brightly colored coral throughout. There is an abundance of sea life in large schools of fish. We were particularly taken with the beautiful schools of Blue Tang fish. It seemed hundreds of them would huddle together in an area of the coral and then, as a group, swim away at our approach, looking like a long blue ribbon flowing through the ocean. We also saw Parrotfish, Stoplight fish, various Angel fish and even small squid swimming through the water.
The water was crystal clear and the reef large enough that even though there were other snorkel tours around, we never ran into any of them. Our guide was patient and slow. We’ve experienced tours where the guide rushes ahbead to find something of interest. He then waves for you to hurry to him. When you finally catch up, exhausted, whatever it was that he was pointing at is usually gone. With the Geofish tour, we all moved together at our pace. Much better.
We think this is certainly the best snorkel tour we’ve been on in this area, and this reef provided some of the best snorkeling experiences we’ve had. For us it was the perfect way to spend a couple of hours on a sunny afternoon.