Paddle Boarding in Playa del Carmen
One morning, as I walked along the beach near my home, I was struck with awe at the sight of a paddle boarder as he glided over the calm sea, the sunrise his backdrop. That peaceful and picturesque moment lingered in my mind for the rest of the day. I knew I had to try it for myself! Three separate attempts to play swan on the water produced nothing but fails. Either the water was too rough, the water sport shop was closed for lunch or one of the boards was in disrepair. I began to wonder if my time would ever come try this popular Caribbean activity.
In the meantime, as I scrolled through images of friends on Facebook out boarding across the turquoise waters, my heart longed to have a paddling adventure of my own. As luck would have it, I ran into an old friend who had developed a passion for the sport herself. She had two boards and encouraged me to join her. It took hardly a half second of convincing before I was booking a private lesson with her. It was a classic beach scene from a movie as we pulled up to the bay in Puerto Aventuras, a community fifteen minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Her jeep coasted up to the path, boards strapped to the roof rack. The smooth-as-glass ocean drew me near as I scrambled to the shoreline lugging paddles and beach bags. The long-anticipated moment had finally arrived! It required every ounce of patience to wait to hear the necessary beginner’s instructions. My concentration seemed to be more focused on the question of whether I would be able to stand up and hold my balance on the teetering board.
At last, we placed our paddle boards in the pristine water and took a test drive around the scenic cove. She guided me through the quiet canal areas past a magnificent stretch of homes lining the waters’ edge. Turning back towards our starting point, we paddled facing the direction of the vast, greenish-blue seascape. Being out on the still water, under azure skies, gently rowing and taking it all in, I let out a deep sigh of satisfaction. The experience had definitely lived up to and surpassed all of my expectations. We spent an hour gliding, laughing, and practicing yoga poses atop our boards. The Mayan Riviera sun, as usual, was a constant companion on this glorious morning. I reluctantly left, but with a wide grin slapped across my face and resolved to join my friend again soon. These simple connections with nature are what fill my life with the purest sense of joy. These bonding moments with Mother Earth in all her glory are precisely what my husband and I had envisioned in our wildest dreams and what we were willing to risk our too comfortable and convenient lives for.
As a friend recently declared after her first exhilarating paddle boarding session, I can “Knock that off my bucket list!” Now on to the next! If you enjoy the outdoors and are planing a trip to “The Heart of the Mayan Riviera” in the future, I highly recommend that you add paddle boarding to your list of things to do. There are several companies offering lessons and board rentals speckled along the sublime Mayan Riviera coastline. In town, paddle boards are available to rent for approximately $25 USD per hour. If the open sea is a tad intimidating for you, there are tours which include rentals and transportation to calmer lagoon or cenote waters near Playa del Carmen. For more information, visit http://www.pdckiteboarding.com/SUP.html or http://www.supyogatulum.com.