A SMART WAY TO TRAVEL
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Akumal is a small beachfront tourist resort located in the Mexican Caribbean 62 miles south of Cancun between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is the perfect place to visit for the day and experience a different side of the Riviera Maya. It was officially founded in 1958 as a community for scuba divers. It doesn’t seem to have changed much since then. Akumal means “place of the turtles” in the Mayan language. This name suits this tranquil town perfectly.
If you snorkel out off of Akumal Beach about 200 yards into Akumal Bay, you can watch sea turtles snacking on sea grass. If you visit during nesting season, late April to October, you will find the turtles laying eggs on the beaches at night. From June to November, hatching season, you may spot baby turtles instinctively make their way back to the sea.
Yal-Ku, a natural lagoon located about 10 minutes from downtown is a must-see. There is a cover charge of 110 pesos (less than 10 U.S. Dollars) and the lagoon is worth every penny. Go snorkeling (they have equipment for rent) or just swim in the cool waters of the natural limestone lagoon. The waters are calm even when the sea is rough. The lagoon is spring fed by underground rivers and this fresh water mixes with salt water from the ocean. After you’ve cooled off in the lagoon, there are showers and restrooms close to the entrance. There is also a rustic snack stand. Don’t miss the paths that wind around the edge of the lagoon where traditional and contemporary sculptures rest in the lush green jungle vegetation. The setting is peaceful, picturesque and relaxed.
Before you head back to your hotel or resort, take a stroll around downtown. Be careful though, you might miss it or wonder if you actually are downtown, as it consists only of a supermarket, a few restaurants, and a couple of shops that sell Mexican handicrafts. Look for the small stand that sells homemade ice cream.
An afternoon in Akumal will leave you feeling relaxed yet exhilarated about all the little discoveries you made on this unforgettable day.
Check out some other pictures of Akumal:
About the Author
Kristin Busse is currently a travel writer but has worked in many different industries. She lives in Cancun, Mexico and plans to use her diverse experiences to write about the Yucatan Peninsula from her unique perspective. Follow Kristin on Twitter.