Akumal- Travelers Cheat Sheet

Home to fishermen, divers and expatriates from the USA and Canada, Akumal (meaning “place of the turtles”) is an Americanized beach resort area in Mexico’s Riviera Maya, known for its resplendent beach and large lagoon.One of the Yucatan Peninsula’s earliest resort areas, Akumal is basically a long chain of chic homes, condos, hotels and restaurants stretched across three bays. Not as advanced as other popular Mexican beach destinations like Cancun, Akumal offers a more laidback ambience, clear of loud parties and a clamorous nightlife.

Getting To Akumal

The nearest airport is the Cancun International Airport, which is roughly an hour’s drive north of Akumal. Hop into a taxi from Cancun and share your ride with other passengers if you wish to reduce your expense. Akumal is also an easy drive north from Tulum or south from Puerto Aventuras.

When to Go To Akumal

Summers in Akumal are hot and humid. From June to August, Akumal experiences torrential rains almost every day. That’s not so much a bad thing, as the rains leave nights cooler and more pleasant. Hurricane season begins in June and lasts until October.mid-December to Easter is the peak season to visit Akumal.

Activities In Akumal: Snorkeling, Scuba-Diving& Water Sports

Unlike some of the Riviera Mayas other beach destinations, the waters around Akumal are comparatively unpolluted and feature healthy coral reefs. Three major reef formations vary in depth from 25 to 140 feet. In addition to the brightly colored fish and corals, the reefs host turtles, eels and sharks. In sites like Half Moon Bay and Yal Ku Lagoon, snorkelers need only strap on a mask, snorkel and fins to find plenty of underwater adventure. The Yucatan also is noted for its cenotes. Divers can also explore fresh water cenotes and a 120-foot sunken ship just offshore.Besides snorkeling and diving, Akumal also offers several other water sports. Visitors can rent kayaks or boats, go fishing, rent a jet skior opt for parasailing from the beach to experience some fantastic aerial views of Akumal. Dive trips and deep-sea fishing excursions are offered by Akumal Dive Shop, situated right at the town’s entrance.

Attractions In & Around Akumal

Yal Ku Lagoon

In the northern part of Akumal Bay is the beautiful Yal Ku Lagoon, which is unmistakably the focal point of the region. This beautiful lagoon runs roughly 500m from its beginning to the sea andis home to brightly colored fish, sting rays and even turtles!The shallow, sheltered waters are alsoideal for snorkeling.

Actun Chen Natural Park

About two miles south of Akumal, the Actun Chen Natural Park houses a six-acre zoo featuring wildlife like white-tailed deer, snakes, agouti and parrots. Those looking out for some adventure can hike through an almost 1000-foot cave to seeunique stalactite and stalagmite formations and also a crystal clear cenote.

Xel-Ha Ecological Park

About a 10-minute drive from Akumal is the Xel-Ha Ecological Park where visitors can swim with dolphins or jump in and snorkel with the fish and other marine life.  Visitors can also enjoy activities like rope swings and cliff jumping.

Centro Ecologico Akumal

Situated on the east side of Akumal’s entrance, The Centro Ecológico Akumal has a few exhibits on reef and turtle ecology.


15 miles south of Akumal is the visually stunning tourist destination of Tulum, most noted for its namesake Mayan ruins.

Chichen Itza

A few hours away from Akumal is Chichen Itza – a UNESCO World Heritage Site and most famous for the Pyramid of Kukulcan or the El Castillo,which was declared as one of the New Seven Wonders Of The World in 2007.