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VIM questions re: beach, excursions

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Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
VIM questions re: beach, excursions

Hi - Hubby and I are booked to go in 3 weeks. We have a few questions.

1. is it safe to walk on the beach? We like long walks and hope it's a beach we can walk for miles and not feel unsafe.

2. We're snorkellers and are planning a trip to Xel Ha. Are there excursions offered by VIM? Or should we rent a taxi to get there? (Not interested in Tulum) Are there snorkelling excursions we could book through the resort?

3. Swimming with turtles in Akumal sounds interesting - would that be offered as an excursion?

4. We've booked a basic room with no upgrade, which I understand will be blocks 3 - 4 or 5. Are any of these blocks close to the Golden Suites....where the quite pool is? Would sort of like the quiet pool.

5. Is getting a pool or beach chair in shade going to be impossible without a privilege package?


I think that's it....thanks for any info anyone can provide!

Destination Expert
for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
Level Contributor
34,871 posts
1. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

Can answer a few

1) Yes - safe everywhere - maybe don't wear that 10K diamond ring

2) Xel-Ha - a tourist trap - but if you must- take a taxi there

3) Akumal - a great do it your self place - goto the Akumal forum for my hints

Charlotte, nc
Level Contributor
202 posts
18 reviews
2. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

We loved loved loved xel-hal

long Island NY
Level Contributor
1,134 posts
53 reviews
3. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

If you really enjoy snorkel we have used Edventure 3 times ourselves plus we have had friends and our kids use them great day cenote,cave,turtle and lagoon all packed into one day with tranportation in a small group for about 100 bucks . We will be at VIM Jan9th cant wait.

Have heard but have no 1st hand experience that Xel Ha is kinda commercial and a tourist trap

Destination Expert
for Riviera Maya
Level Contributor
1,793 posts
6 reviews
4. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

VIM is a great resort for the price. You will love it.

Beach is nice and long and you will see loads of people walking it. There is usually a nice couple who have a vacation home there on the beach who walk their Rhodesian Ridgeback dogs every day. They are very friendly and the dogs love the attention.

We haven't done a tour in ages but we usually book it at the resort. There are several companies that offer tours to Xel hel, etc. There have been many good comments and reviews about edventure on the forum. We did one tour that took us to three different areas to snorkel, a cenote with a rope jump and ended with a barbecue chicken lunch. Very nice.

The resort is large but easy to get around. I found a resort map on the forum - can't remember who had it but if you ask, I'm sure someone can PM it to you. We originally booked a Golden Swim-up and they offered us a Diamond Suite that came with the Privilege Package as an upgrade when we arrived for 750.00. I really wanted to stay in the room so we took it. Don't regret it. The Privilege package was nice then only because the resort was at 90% capacity and it was hard to find a palapa with shade. They give you a choice of the beach or the pool. If the resort is at only 50-60% capacity then I wouldn't think you would have a problem finding a shady spot at either the pool or beach.

Have fun!

Michigan USA
Level Contributor
278 posts
2 reviews
5. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

I would do both on your own via the collectivos.

Xel-Ha is fun but more of a Disney type of atmosphere = lot's of people. If you take a group tour you are on their schedule and usually arrive when there are a lot of people, pay more money and waste a lot of time in travel picking up other tourists. If you take a collectivo you only pay a couple of bucks for transportation plus the entrance fee and you can go early before the crowds arrive and also leave when you are ready.

Akumal- Once again you can travel by collectivo and snorkel in the same areas as the paying tour groups for free- if you have your own equipment.

Oakville, Canada
Level Contributor
2,253 posts
34 reviews
6. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

We always enjoy Xel Ha. Yes, it's grown and there's lots more to do than when it first opened (and we were there in the early days and I will not torture you with old pricing) but we still like it. We go really early when it first opens, eat breakfast (which is quite good, lots of choice and Mexican dishes as well), walk around to the other side from where the restaurants are and snorkel, read, wander back over the floating bridge for food, to look at stuff and just have a great day.

Even in high season, we never found it anything but relaxing and fun but I think that's because we spend our time mostly on the other side. Most people seem to come on the half day tours and they aren't there for very long so they stay on the side where the restaurants are. It's a large place and a half day isn't worth the price of admission.

Level Contributor
1,071 posts
17 reviews
7. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

Walking the beach is fine we thought the sand heading north (To the left as you face the ocean) was better to walk on it was firm with less rocks.

As for beach and pool chairs people do get up early to get the best shade spots around the main pool and the unreserved palpas on the beach. On the beach the chairs around the bar usually go quick along with the palapas by the swimable section of beach. At the pool the spots accross from the first swim-up bar go quickly (This is where they do activities) and the unreserved section on the quiet side of the main pool between the bar and the path to the beach goes quickly You will find a chair don't worry.

What gets me mad is that the staff will reverve prime spots for priviliged package people that never get used Theres a name on the "Reserved for" sign but the spots never get used.

The good thing is they raised the price and changed privilidged package abit. No longer is the privilage package included with the upper level rooms its now an add-on if you want it. Just remember that its costing that couple an extra $840 per week for the privilaged package

Where your staying you will be right next to the golden section and the quiet pool the hard part is learning all the winding paths to get you to where you want to be.I wasn't impressed with the golden section pool it looks alot bigger in the pictures then it actually does in person some sections of the golden pool you could actually jump over.

If your going to do tours shop around the first day your there theres hundreds of tours at all different prices but you have to do this quickly the first day or 2.

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
25 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

If you are interested in snorkeling, you can book it a the towel hut at the main pool. They supply all the gear for snorkelling included in the cost.

The best part is that the boat picks you up at the VIM beach (no driving to another location). The boat drives out to the reef, you jump out, snorkel (they actually take you to two different spots on the reef), then drive you back to the VIM beach.

It is extremely convenient and it is great if snorkeling is all you are interested in (can't remember the cost). This is a separate company but it stationed in the towel hut. They also do scuba dives and scuba lessons.

Portland, OR
Level Contributor
312 posts
79 reviews
9. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

I will try to answer some of your questions as we see them.

1. Yes the beach is safe to walk. We did many times and found it very safe.

2. There might be tours from the resort to take you to Xel-Ha but I would take a taxi (as we did) and save you some money. Xel-Ha is touristy but still worth seeing. Don't get discouraged and skip it. Worth seeing but it is kinda touristy.

3. Don't know about swimming with the turtles in Akumal but we will know this spring as we are staying one week there and planning to snorkel. But from all reports it is a good place to snorkel and if not too windy of a day, Half Moon bay might be better (next door beach/bay).

4. Don't know where the buildings are located as we stayed in the Golden Suites. But I think I have a map of the resort somewhere and if interested let me know via PM and I will try to send it to you. But you are right on with the quiet pool (lazy river) as it is much better then the crowds and touristy large pool. The large pool looks great as it its large and has two swim up bars but for some reason the water was not as clear as the lazy river (small pools). I think it was because too many people and all that sun tan lotion floating in the water.

5. We never had a problem getting a shaded area either at the pool area or the beach, but then we are early risers. But seemed there was plenty of palapas on the beach to give shade. There were people that laid out towels etc to save a chair, but still found there was plenty, not so around the large pool. It was more difficult at the large pool to get shade.

Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
10. Re: VIM questions re: beach, excursions

Fantastic advice everyone! (What did people DO before Tripadvisor???)

Well, I think we'll take a taxi to Xel-ha - sounds easy! We do have our own snorkelling equipment so going to Akumal on our own would be easy, too! And we'll be sure to check out the trips offered by the company in the towel hut.

Would anyone have a rough idea how much a taxi would be to Xel-ha or to Akumal?

Wow the privilege pkg sounds pricey....we'll see how it goes but getting up early may be the solution!

Thanks a million!

Can't wait - we're counting the minutes!!