Situated in the heart of Mexico’s Riviera Maya, just 37 kilometers south of downtown Playa del Carmen and just one hour south of Cancun lies the idyllic Caribbean beach town of Akumal. It’s situated in a region that is easily one of the best places to visit and live in Mexico, thanks to the wide variety of beautiful beaches, amenities and services that are available.
The name “Akumal” means "Land of Tortoises" in Mayan and this location is still one of the favorite places for sea turtles to spawn. But what makes Akumal such a place of charm and fascination for visitors and expats from around the world is its spectacular bay of clear turquoise waters, along with the fresh waters of its caves and underground rivers. Akumal is also one of the most tranquil places in Mexico’s Riviera Maya because it is home to a shallow and sheltered bay with a quiet beach and the world’s second largest barrier reef located just offshore.
Also, more than 200 entrances to caves and underground rivers can be found in and around the town of Akumal, much to the delight of divers from around the world! You can also visit the Yalku cove, a spectacular and almost virgin place for snorkeling, where there are all kinds of beautiful fish and other marine life.
Akumal is also a popular place for sport fishing, windsurfing, kayaking, exploring cenotes, bike rides and walks through the lush tropical jungle. Or, if you prefer, just sitting and resting at home under the shade of their inclined palm trees. You can also visit an ecological center, which is situated directly on the beach in Akumal. The information center displays various aspects of environmental education and is free for all visitors.
The beach in this part of Mexico has comfortable accommodations, including renovated villas, vacation homes, luxury condos and cozy inns. There are two dive shops certified by PADI in Akumal that are, located a short distance from Las Casitas. Both offer snorkeling and diving equipment for rent (by the day or by the week). The town also has restaurants, a small supermarket and hotels, as well as modern Mexican style and Moorish buildings, those designed in the Bauhaus tradition and in the Mediterranean style. In all of Mexico, it’s hard to find luxury condos that are more beautiful than those that overlook the Caribbean Sea in the Riviera Maya.
TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR VISITING AKUMAL
1. In Akumal you should always carry cash, because credit cards are only accepted in some places.
2. Don’t forget your snorkel gear! While you’re in Akumal Bay there is much to see underwater.
3. Keep in mind that the nearest ATM network is in Bahia Principe, which 5 minutes south of Akumal by car.
4. Tourist information can be obtained through the Travel Services agency near the entrance to Akumal.
Want to know more about life in Akumal and Mexico’s Riviera Maya?