Discovering the Soliman Bay in Mexico – the Reef and Snorkeling
Soliman Bay is a classic Mexico tourist destination. A cluster of picturesque villas, cabanas and little bungalows butting right up to the sands, set in the arch of a little-visited yet paradisiacal beach. If white sands, relative privacy and a whole lot of sea and sun are what you had in mind for your Mexican holiday, secluded Soliman Bay could well be the place for you. But while the bay is a quiet place to stay on the surface, there’s a whole lot of action under the water and a plenty to do nearby.
Snorkeling and kayaking are immensely popular here. And when you see the amazing reef just off shore, you will see why. In fact, taking a little kayak ride out to the small but perfectly formed reef is the ideal break from your time soaking up the rays of the generous Mexico sun – not to mention the drinks which are in plentiful supply from the two small local restaurants, one smaller and one higher end, which make up the places to eat in the bay.
How to get to Soliman Bay, Mexico
Soliman Bay is located a little north of Tulum and immediately north of Tankah. There are several easy ways to get there:
If you’ve rented a car for your trip, you’ll probably find you’ll have the easiest time of getting to the bay.
If you’re coming from Tulum, simply head north until you see the sign for Hotel Jashita, then turn right. If you’re coming from Playa del Carmen, travel until you go past Ocasr and Lalo’s, then turn back on yourself when given the option and then turn right at the sign of Hotel Jashita as if you were coming from Tulum.
Take a taxi or collective bus (collectivo)
Expect your taxi driver to take the same route as if you were driving yourself as described above. If in a collectivo, request that you be dropped off at the Hotel Jashita turning if you are coming from Tulum. From Playa del Carmen, get dropped off at Oscar and Lalo’s. Then all you need to do is hop across Highway 307 to the entrance to Soliman Bay.
The reef and snorkeling in Soliman Bay
If you are one of those people who came to snorkel at Playa del Carmen and other internationally renowned diving sites in the local area, the Soliman Bay reef might not might make your list of the top diving locations.
After all, just down the road you have a huge number of truly jaw-dropping dive sites. From Cenote Manatee and Casa Cenote to all of those wondrous cenotes around Tulum, the vibrant reefs and the possibility of swimming with Bull sharks off the coast of Playa del Carmen at certain times of year.
And yet, the crystal-clear waters of Soliman Bay are a lively place. They are home to puffer fish, needle fish and flounders as well as squid, sea turtles and stingrays too. Snorkeling and swimming among awe-inspiring creatures such as these is the dream of many people who come to visit each year. In Soliman Bay you can do so almost privately. There is no need to share your experience with anyone who you didn’t take with you. You’ll be doing so amidst the anemones, brain coral and urchins which populate the relatively small yet stunning reef.
So why else is Soliman Bay so well regarded?
Many people visiting the bay comment that it’s like going back in time to an era before this area became known around the world. If Soliman Bay, Mexico is on the map, it’s on the very edge of the tourist area of it. The waters in the bay area are well protected by the fact that it is that an inlet. In much the same way, the mainly private nature of the bay protects you from the local tourist traffic.
Amongst the stunning natural beauty and gentle, relaxed attractions of the bay itself – local people and visitors also enjoy bird watching and hammock-based activities – you don’t have to go far to experience the other attractions of the Yucatan Peninsula. The many resort villas, bungalows and little houses of Soliman Bay are your perfect base if you are planning on visiting:
- The Mayan Ruins of Tulum and Coba (where you can actually climb the 130-foot tall ziggurat, a rarity amongst these ruins)
- Aktun Chen Nature Park
- Yal-Ku lagoon
- All of the cenotes of the Yucatan peninsula
A quiet getaway with local beauty – and all the best bits on your doorstep
That combination of being right on the edge of all the action yet with a quiet retreat available as your home base is one of the reasons why so many couples and families choose Soliman Bay as the place to stay when they visit Mexico. And hopefully why the bay will remain just the way it is for many years to come.