About Akumal

Centrally located on the Riviera Maya, halfway between the cosmopolitan city of Playa del Carmen and the ancient charms of Tulum, lies the small beach community of Akumal. Akumal was first established in the late 1950s as a scuba diving community by the prominent Mexican businessman and diver Pablo Bush Romero. These days Akumal is a popular destination for those looking to fish, snorkel, scuba dive or relax and do nothing at all. With beautiful white sandy beaches, crystal clear water and a laid-back atmosphere of live and let live, it's no wonder that people return for a visit year after year.

Akumal means “The Place of the Turtle” in Mayan and lives up to its name. The community is dedicated to ecological and environmental conservation meaning it is a favorite spot for sea turtles to reside which can be seen while snorkeling in the main bay year round. Time a visit to Akumal between the end of April through October, which is the turtle's nesting season, and stay up late to see the turtles laying their eggs on the beach. In addition to the turtles there is a variety of fish and marine life to be seen in the bays of Akumal which include Half Moon Bay and Akumal Beach. Multiple snorkeling and scuba diving tour operators can be found around the bays and will be sure to show you the best of this underwater paradise. Or, for those who'd rather, the waters in the bays are usually calm enough for kayaking, paddle boarding or swimming.

At the far end of Akumal is another spectacular snorkeling spot called Yak ku lagoon. This inlet is fed by a fresh water cenote (limestone sinkholes that are prevalent in the Yucatan) and feeds into the ocean resulting in a fascinating mix of salt and fresh water. This mix of water makes for a unique environment which results in a diverse and exotic variety of fish, sea urchins, coral, starfish and so much more. The depth of Yal ku lagoon averages about six feet deep making it a great snorkeling spot for the whole family.

After all that snorkeling, scuba diving and swimming there are a variety of restaurants and cafes in Akumal to keep you replenished. Try Turtle Bay Cafe for one of their well-known breakfasts and tasty desserts, grab a pizza seaside at Lol Ha or stop by La Buena Vida and catch the sunset while enjoying a cerveza in the crow's nest. As an alternative to eating out, there are also several grocers in Akumal town for those wanting to cook up their catch of the day at home.

Finding Akumal is easy, take a bus, taxi or drive the main four-lane highway south from Cancun for about 100 kilometers and then follow the signs. West of the highway is the puebla, or town, where many local residents live and there are a few local shops and grocers. Take the exit heading east towards the water and follow the one road that leads you through an archway and straight into paradise.

What People Say

I passed 2 days in this little and cozy Akumal. And I'll never forget my trip to this town. Akumal beach impressed me the most, especially swimming and snorkeling with turtles. I were there just during their nesting season in June and there were a lot of them. Ecological community of Akumal cares a lot about preserving their population. If you want to help somehow you can participate in the walks along the coast side and observe the turtle nesting. You will donate $10 to the Ecological community of Akumal for such walk. But such walks are accessible only during the turtles nesting season. I also visited its admirable cenote Santa Cruz, swam in its pure water, jumped to the water from the rope swing and admired the sunlight shining through the hole in the cave. In Akumal town there are a lot of shops with handmade crafts and souvenirs. Some kinds of the craft you can find only in this area and nowhere else. Unfortunately I didn't managed to visit farmers market which take place every Saturday.

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