Akumal Mexico at 62 miles from Cancun adorns the Mayan Riviera’s heart with a pristine main beach full of varied marine life making it the Mecca of snorkeling and diving. It is a small city between Tulum and Playa del Carmen, which is accessible from Cancun via a car drive or bus in an hour. I would recommend coming here with a rental car for exploring the town unless you are planning to stay here for some days. Alternatively, there are taxis also. I am telling you all this because many of the sights are outside Akumal Mexico, reachable in a 20 minute drive. But, if you are looking for a cheap transport, look for a 15-passenger colectivo off the main highway running between Playa del Carmen and Tulum for 20 pesos per person.
However, before going out of the town for sightseeing, do experience snorkeling and diving at the beach. Snorkeling is possible in one of the three ways: guided tour via any of the two dive shops for $40 USD per person, “unofficial” tour with the help of a friendly local who take you on his glass-bottomed boat for $20 per person with the necessary equipment for spotting famous sea turtles, corals, and fish, own planned tour by buying equipments as the coral reefs are not far and can be simply accessed by swimming along with a life preserver. The last option is for the daring ones. However, the bay is just five feet deep, but beware of the fatal “fire reef” that are signposted with buoys as well as red colored coral. And yes, avoid touching the corals as they are very fragile to die on human contact as well as wildlife like the turtles. Diving is famous here via the three dive shops of which the Akumal Dive Shop is famous. You can also become more adventurous to face the cenote/cave diving.
One of the most visited sights in the town is the Ecological Center that is nestled at one end of the bay where you can know more on the ecosystems and environment here. Out of Akumal Mexico, reachable in just 10 minutes is a big green sign of the Aktun-Chen Cave and Cavern system that is a magical sight accessible via the groomed dirt 3.2 km trail passing via the jungle. Along the way, the soft light will make you spot the wonderful stalagmites and stalactites and that in the last chamber, you will admire the crystal clear blue spring. So, what comes to your mind first? Photography, right? Great going! This is the guided tour of 60 minutes led by expert Mayan guides.
At 10 miles of Akumal Mexico, the Xel-Ha Ecological Park is must a visit. This is where you can enjoy in a big lagoon, snorkeling, natural aquarium, water sports, ruins, shopping, and restaurants. Ahead of the entrance is the Dos Ojos Caves where the subterranean river makes it great for snorkeling and cave diving amidst the fresh water. I suggest going for a guided tour starting from the road side edifice.
At 7 miles is the wonderful Xcacel beach where spring and summer attracts sea turtles for nesting. This is one more ideal place for swimming, playing, and snorkeling. Restrooms are there, but for a small fee. And yes, kindly do not stroll on the nests here.
Eating is good at Lol Ha Restaurant in Akumal Bay with good views, Turtle Bay Café, Cocina Economico, and Lucy’s Tacos. Shopping is virtually absent here. For accommodation, I would suggest Unahkin from $90 in front of a beach where May to September, several turtles nest.