Akumal (place of turtles) is famous for its beautiful beach and large, swimmable lagoon, and does attract turtles, though in far fewer numbers than before due to the massive development that has encroached on nearly all of their nesting grounds. Akumal is an Americanized beach community which is home to divers, fishermen, and laid-back residents from the U.S. and Canada. It’s basically a long string of upscale homes and condos along three bays. Akumal Bay is the best base for visits, with a good selection of hotels and restaurants plus the best all-around beach for swimming and snorkeling. Half Moon Bay, just beyond, has decent snorkeling and more condos for rent, but the beach is narrow and rocky. For snorkeling, go to Laguna Yalku. For a detailed description of all the beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya, visit here. Akumal Vacations planning is simple, just read on and find everything you need for your Akumal beach vacation.
Akumal Weather – When to Visit
Summers are hot and humid in Akumal, and with the rainy season running from June to August, visitors should expect torrential rains almost every day at sometime. The rains do make the evenings cooler and more pleasant. Hurricane season runs from June thru October, further complicating summer weather. The best time to go, and busiest, is January thru March. Weather is at its best during this time. Prices for hotels will be the most expensive during these months, to purchase as far in advance as you can.
The name is Mayan for “the cave with cenotes inside,” and these amazing underground caverns—estimated to be about 5-million years old—are the area’s largest. You walk through the underground passages, past stalactites and stalagmites, until you reach the cenote with its various shades of deep green. There’s also an on-site canopy tour and one cenote where you can take a swim. For more information call 52-984-109-2061, or visit them on the web at Aktun-Chen.
In Laguna Yal-kú, you’ll find a series of small mangrove-edged lagoons that gradually reach the ocean. Laguna Yal-kú is an eco-park that’s home to schools of parrot fish in clear water with visibility to 160 feet in winter and spring. Snorkeling equipment can be rented in the parking lot; the site also has toilets, lockers, changing rooms, outdoor showers, and a snack bar. Sunscreen is not allowed, so bring a T-shirt to keep from getting burned.
Xel-Há is a natural aquarium made of coves, inlets, and lagoons cut from the limestone shoreline. There’s enough to impress novice snorkelers, though there seem to be fewer fish each year, and the mixture of fresh and salt water can cloud visibility. Low wooden bridges over the lagoons allow for leisurely walks around the park, and there are spots to rest, swim, cliff–jump, zip-line, or swing from ropes over the water. For more information call 52-984-875-6000, or visit them on the web at Xel-Há.
Akumal Bay is known for the sea turtles that swim in its waters, and is sheltered by an offshore reef. When you drag yourself away from the snorkeling, there are plenty of palm trees for shade, as well as a variety of waterfront shops, restaurants, and cafés.
Akumal Tours & Activities
Tulum Ruins and Snorkeling Tour
Checkout the Mayan archaeological site of Tulum with a certificated archaeological guide and learn about Mayan Culture. Afterwards, snorkel alongside marine life in their natural habitat and discover an under water world like no other. Lunch and hotel transport are included. Read more about Tulum Snorkeling Tour at Akumal Bay with Lunch
Cenote and Akumal Snorkel
Explore the fascinating underwater world of Turtle Bay on a leisurely snorkel tour in search 3 of the world’s 7 sea turtle species. Brightly colored tropical fish, spectacular coral, amazing rock formations, rays and unbelievable visibility makes this an unforgettable experience. Then journey deep into the subtropical rainforest of the Yucatan to relax, swim and snorkel in the crystal clear fresh waters of a massive “cenote”, and marvel at the thousands of spectacular stalagmites and stalactites that surround you at every turn. Read more about Cenote and Akumal Snorkel
Swimming in an area known for Turtles and Cenotes Tour
Swim in an area known for sea turtles, snorkel a coral reef, and explore a cenote on a 5-hour nature tour in the Riviera Maya. You’re guaranteed to see some of the wild, native sea turtles that thrive along the coast, or receive a full refund for the tour. This 5-hour turtles and cenote tour includes all equipment, snacks, and hotel pickup and drop-off in Cancun or the Riviera Maya. Read more about Swimming in an area known for Turtles and Cenotes Tour
Akumal Marine Turtle Tour
Swim and snorkel alongside marine turtles on this guided tour to Akumal Bay. Spot hundreds of colorful fish, mantas, and other marine life at the area’s coral reef. Plus, take a dip in a nearby cenote or choose to snorkel again in the underground waters. Learn more about these underwater caves and their historical significance from your guide. Read more about Akumal Marine Turtle Daily Tour
Early Access Tulum Ruins Private Tour with Turtle Experience and Cenote Swim
Combine ancient temples with a cenote and sea turtles on a full-day, private tour that includes an a la carte lunch at a local restaurant. An early morning departure means cooler temperatures and fewer crowds during your private tour of Tulum archeological site, which is followed by stops to snorkel in a cenote and swim with sea turtles. Read more about Early Access Tulum Ruins Private Tour with Turtle Experience and Cenote Swim
Best Akumal Restaurants
La Buena Vida $11 – 30
This popular beachside eatery serves some of the best fish tacos around! If you are one who likes the option of shade, La Buena Vida offers comfortable seating areas perfectly situated beneath towering palms. There are also ultra-comfy beanbag pillow beds and hammocks, ideal for sinking into for an afternoon siesta. Telephone: 52-984-875-9061 Web: La Buena Vida.
Turtle Bay Café & Bakery $11 – 30
For fresh baked goods (some of the best pies in the region), and a divine mix of local and international cuisine (from eggs benedicts to seafood stuffed chili rellenos,) Turtle Bay Café is a must when in Akumal. It has been around for a while, filling customers’ bellies with home baked goodness and delicious meals for nearly 20 years! Telephone: 52-984-875-9138 Web: Turtle Bay Café & Bakery.
Lol-Ha Restaurant & Snack Bar $11 – 30
Ocean views, a flavorful menu with generous portions and friendly staff. There is a vast selection of items on the menu including the popular nachos al pastor (a thinly shaved pork marinated with chiles and achiote, a very traditional regional spice.) They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, so you have the choice to sip coffee while watching the pelicans feast, have a cold corona with your nachos in the afternoon, or try a fried whole fish dish, caught fresh, while you enjoy the evening breeze off of the bay. Telephone: 52-984-875-9012 Web: Lol-Ha Restaurant & Snack Bar.
La Cueva del Pescador $11 – 30
This is where you’ll usually find a friendly crowd of residents gathering for cold beer and fresh seafood dishes. The fish tacos are great as is the cured ceviche seasoned with cilantro. The sand floors are a nice touch and add to the relaxed, Mexican-Caribbean atmosphere. For more information call 52-, or visit them on the web at La Cueva del Pescador. Telephone: 52-984-875-9002 Web: La Cueva del Pescador.
La Lunita $11 – 30
This Mexican Caribbean-style, beachfront restaurant serves an intriguing assortment of savory entrees from duck to jumbo prawns. Enjoy the ocean views over lunch or by moonlight in the open patio area on the sand. For a unique Mexican cocktail experience, try the Serrano margarita! Telephone: 52-984-875-9070 Web: La Lunita.
Best Akumal Nightlife
La Buena Vida
A popular beachside restaurant/bar with sand floors, swings, roaming musicians and a drink menu with gimmicky cocktail names such as “The Viagra”, which offers you “a stiff one”. Telephone: 52-984-875-9061 Web: La Buena Vida
Beached Bikini Bar & Grill
Swings around the small bar create a cozy space, so you are just as likely to come away with some new friends as a hangover. Neus will give you a warm welcome in her adorable Catalan accent. Good bar food. Real fruit in the blender drinks. Soon everyone is having one more and singing along to the 70s station. It’s like Cheers on the beach. Telephone: 52-998-845-4528 Web: Beached Bikini Bar & Grill.
They are located in the pueblo side of Akumal. Visitors can see the ‘authentic’ side of Mexico. They have a variety of great drinks. The food is great too! Telephone: 52-984-875-9022 Web: Tequilaville.
Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya
Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya All Inclusive-Adults Only features an outdoor pool and year-round outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. You can play tennis at the hotel. The hotel also provides free use of bicycles and car rental.
Villa Eva Luxury Akumal
Villa Eva Luxury Akumal has a hot tub and a private beach area. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. There is also a kitchen, fitted with a dishwasher, oven and microwave. A toaster, a refrigerator and stovetop are also featured, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle. Villa Eva Luxury Akumal also includes an outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar and restaurant. You can play tennis at the property, and car rental is available.
UNICO 20°N 87°W – Riviera Maya
Featuring free WiFi and a restaurant, UNICO 20°N 87°W – Riviera Maya offers accommodations in Akumal, just 18 miles from Playa del Carmen. The hotel has an outdoor pool and water sports facilities, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant. Free private parking is available on site. There is a 24-hour front desk, concierge services, a gift shop, and a shops at the property. You can play tennis at this hotel, and the area is popular for snorkeling.
Villa Morena Boutique Hotel Ecoliving
There is a playground and terrace, and guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Free WiFi is provided throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. The bed and breakfast also provides free use of bicycles.
Surrounded by exuberant vegetation, in the middle of one of the best golf courses in Mexico, Xio Akumal is located within the Tao Residential community. These lofts and penthouse are designed with Mexican details for the visitor to enjoy a comfortable experience of tranquility and harmony with the environment.