Akumal is one of the best places for snorkeling and swimming with turtles in the Riviera Maya. In our Akumal Travel Guide, you will find things to do, hotels and transportation to this amazing destination.
Explore and Travel to Akumal – a hidden natural treasure, home of many turtles’ species.
DHS highly recommends you visit Akumal. Our Akumal Travel Guide for hotels, tours and things to do in Akumal, a magical small town on the Mexican Caribbean coast, will give you a general idea about this amazing destination. Akumal will offer you the once in a lifetime experience to swim with the famous Akumal turtles or, if you prefer, dive and snorkel around the world´s second-largest reef.
This quaint and picturesque town is located just 20 minutes away from Playa del Carmen and 10 minutes from Tulum. The Half Moon Bay of Akumal gives you the chance to see an abundance of marine life, schools of fish, barracudas, rays, lobsters and of course sea turtles in a free natural environment. This area is one of the best places for snorkeling in Riviera Maya Mexico.
Upon arrival in Akumal, you will be blown away by the color of the sea. A few steps further and you will see how calm and clear the water is and its charming sense of peace and tranquility. Now it’s just a question of choosing your palm tree to leave your things under, grab your snorkel and mask and head to the warm Caribbean Sea.
Akumal has its very own Turtle Protection Project in which they work very closely with the Tourism Board to raise awareness about the importance of protecting these amazing creatures and the eco-system.
Top 10 Activities in Akumal
Top activities in Akumal like swimming with turtles, snorkeling in Yal Ku Lagoon, discovering a cenote or simply relaxing in Akumal village. In Akumal, you will find many activities to carry out. Akumal is a small quaint town located just 30 minutes away from Playa del Carmen and 25 minutes from Tulum. Akumal is not just famous for marine turtles, but it also offers many more activities. You will be able to swim in the amazing Lagoon of Yal Ku, visit the Ecological center that works towards conserving our environment and watch the amazing sunrises that bless Akumal each morning.
SWIMMING WITH TURTLES
“An amazing and life-changing experience”
This is the most famous activity in Akumal. In total, 3 species of turtles visit Akumal to lay their eggs, including two types of Loggerhead Turtles and the Green Turtle. You will be able to swim alongside these amazing animals as they glide elegantly in the water as well as see other sea life, including manta rays, octopi and an abundance of fish.
- Cost: there exist several places in Akumal that offer hiring snorkel equipment. Prices are roughly 75 Mexican pesos (approx 5 USD) per piece of equipment from 9am-4pm. Mayan Explore recommends you this Snorkel with turtles tour in Akumal Bay.
YAL KU LAGOON
“A hidden gem just 5 minutes away from Akumal Half Moon Bay”
The Yal Ku Lagoon is a small inlet that has no waves, therefore swimming here is particularly easy. There exist a vast variety of fish, so don’t forget to bring your snorkel. However, if you don’t have one, you can rent it here. You will find a small shop selling cold drinks, snacks, and sunblock.
- Price: 9 USD for adults;4.50 USD for children.
- How to get there: getting to Yal Ku Lagoon is very easy. Upon arrival in Akumal, go through the large archway and follow the road to your left. Continue for 5 minutes and then you will see street signs to Yal Ku Lagoon.
AKTUN CHEN NATURE PARK
“Pure adrenaline, action & adventure”
Aktun Chen is a natural Eco-park located just 5 minutes away from Akumal. You will be able to walk through 5 million-year-old caves and caverns as well as ride the exhilarating zip-line through the lush Mayan jungle and end up plunging into an underground cenote. You will also see a variety of monkeys, deers, and birds in the 6-acre natural zoo.
- How to get there: Aktun Chen is roughly 5 minutes away from Akumal. Head south towards Tulum. As soon as you are on the main highway you will see street signs.
- Price: Adults 1,232 Mexican pesos (approx 100 USD); Children 737 Mexican pesos (approx 50 USD).
- What to do: the tour includes Cave Adventure; Cenote Adventure; Canopy Adventure, and Full Adventure.
CENOTE DOS OJOS
“Swim where the Hollywood movie “The Cave” was filmed”
An activity in Akumal for people who love exciting adventures, such as snorkeling and diving in natural caves with crystal clear waters. This is one of the deepest cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, 118 meters/396 feet deep. Divers from all around the world come here to explore the Mayan underworld. We recommend anyone visiting this area to snorkel here. Mayan Explore offers an amazing Certified Divers Cavern and Cenote- 2 Tanks Dive.
- How to get there: head towards Tulum on the Highway. You will then see street signs for Cenote Dos Ojos.
- Cost: basic entrance 100 Mexican pesos (approx 8 USD) per person.
- What to do: snorkeling; swimming; diving.
“A small quaint Caribbean town”
Akumal is a small picturesque town, and perfect for taking a stroll around it. There exist a variety of relaxing activities in Akumal such as: take coffee; have dinner in a small picturesque restaurant; take a beer in a bar as well as shop around in a few small shops to buy souvenirs. Some of our favorite restaurants include Turtle Bay Bakery, Lol Ha restaurant and La Buena Vida.
“Educational, interesting and a must for any visitor”
The Akumal Ecological Centre works on conserving the area of Akumal through research, training, and ecosystem management. These dedicated people organize many events to raise awareness around protecting our planet and its ecosystems.
- Opening Times: 9am – 6pm.
- Price: donation.
- What to do: guided tour to swim with turtles, with in-depth information about the Caribbean waters and reef life.
HALF MOON BAY
“A small piece of paradise at Half Moon Bay Akumal”
Half Moon Bay is an idyllic beach just north of Akumal Bay, here you can carry out some activities such as: swim with turtles, and relax under the swaying palm trees and stunning white sandy beaches. The beaches are some of the best in the world, attracting people from the all around the world to enjoy this little piece of heaven.
- How to get there: upon arriving in Akumal, go through the large arch, follow the road to your left, continue on this road for roughly 5 minutes and you will see a large half-moon shaped beach.
“The world’s largest natural aquarium”
Xel-Ha is one of the top activities to do near Akumal and in Riviera Maya. This All-Inclusive day is the ideal day out for the whole family. Enjoy some of the action-packed adventures or simply kick back on one of the hammocks with a cold beer and relax. Activities include bike tour; snorkeling; cliff of courage; cenotes; Mo´s Flight; Mayan caves; Path of Wind; Black Lagoon, and hammock island. There is so much to do here that one day just isn’t enough!
- Times: 8.30am – 7pm.
- Price per person: 116 USD (All-Inclusive package with transportation); Children under 12 58 USD.
- How to get there: head towards Tulum. Located just 20 minutes from Akumal.
Diving in Akumal is recognized as being one of the top diving sites in the world. Most of the diving sites are just a 10-minute ride from Akumal. To see a full list of diving tours in Akumal and Riviera Maya, please click here. Some of our favorites include:
- Motorcycle Reef: named after the real motorbike that lies on the seabed. This shallow dive site is at 50 feet under the sea and you will see many schools of fish and a large variety of coral.
- Gonzalo´s Reef: located just 4 minutes away from Akumal, very famous for deep swimming turtles and larger fish.
- Xaak Reef: this is a deep site, at around 90 feet. You will be able to see turtles, nurse sharks, and rays. This is a 2 tank dive trip. The perfect choice for diving fanatics.
“Snorkel in one of the most beautiful cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula”
Hidden Worlds is the ultimate activity for adrenaline junkies. Ride the world’s first rollercoaster zip-line called “Avatar”, and snorkel in caves and go down zip-lines. If you are looking to explore cenotes, then Hidden Worlds is the place to go! With its multi optional activities, Hidden Worlds will take your breath away.
- Times: tours last roughly 4 hours.
- Cost per person: prices range from 35 USD to 130 USD depending on the package.
- How to get there: head towards Tulum. Located just 20 minutes away from Akumal.