Akumal, what to do in this little corner of the Riviera Maya
Akumal, the land of the turtles, awaits you to get involved in the biodiversity of the Mexican Caribbean
A small taste of what the Riviera Maya can offer you in natural beauty, marine fauna and calm waters
120 kilometers from Cancun and only 30 minutes from Playa del Carmen is a spectacular and quiet bay with a length of 5 kilometers called Akumal. Its transparent waters make it easy to watch turtles, schools, manta rays and other aquatic creatures that inhabit these waters.
The respect of flora, fauna and especially to the turtles, is part of the culture in Akumal, they inhabited these beaches and waters thousands of years ago so they have habits recognized by all the locals, in the months of April and May the hatch and in the months of July and August the beaches are covered with small footprints of the young, whose instinct directs them in a furtive race towards the warm waters of the Mexican Caribbean. Although this alone would be a great reason to visit this place, there is much more to see and do.
Five unmissable things to do in Akumal
- Swimming and snorkelling in any of its bays
“Media Luna”, “Bahía de la Tortuga”, “Akumal Sur” and “Bahía príncipe”, are four places where you will find quiet beaches to tan your skin and swim in a large pool of turquoise blue water. If you want to venture out to sea for the observation of turtles, it is very important to be accompanied by an authorized guide who will give you precise instructions on how to observe the turtles.
- Adopt a turtle at the Ecological Center Akumal, CEA
Approximately 1.6 kilometers north of Akumal you can fin this place dedicated to the protection and research of the Akumal Coast and marine ecosystems and biodiversity. Two of the most important purposes of the CEA is education and dissemination, so in this place you can find detailed information about local coral communities and other environmental education topics of the place, you can even adopt a nest of turtles, a single one of them or a whole family, with your donation you will receive a symbolic certificate of adoption that will help to continue monitoring the beaches, guarding and protecting this majestic creature in danger of extinction.
- Snorkelling in the “Yal-kú” lagoon
The transparency of these waters is hypnotic, here the sea and the lagoon join in a delicate balance, being a safe and quiet place to relax, enjoy the landscape and observe birds. But if you have the right equipment, you will see yourself swimming in the company of a large variety of multicolored fish. In this place you can spend the whole day as it has restaurant service, rental equipment to snorkel and lockers.
- Swimming and exploring the “Aktun Chen” and “Santa Cruz” cenotes
“Aktún Chen” is more than a magnificent natural and crystalline pool, because in reality it is a park in which you can perform various activities such as exploring caves, riding the zip-line, explore underground rivers and observe the flora and fauna of the place.In Cenote Santa Cruz, you can also find the opportunity to explore underground caves and rivers, admire the capricious shapes of stalactites and stalagmites of the cenote caverns, and hire group or private tours and with food included, if you prefer.
- Visiting Uxuxubi, one of the secrets of the mayan riviera.
11 kilometers from the town of Akumal there is a dirt road that goes into the exotic Mayan jungle, until it reaches the community of Uxuxubi, where the people live by planting organic foods such as “Pitaya”, a local fruit with a sweet flavor, the production of melipona bee honey and ecotourism in the natural sanctuary of moreleti crocodiles, where you can observe it in its natural hábitat, or immerse yourself in a secure reinforced steel cage to observe them even more closely. The place also allows you to admire jungle fauna such as spider monkeys, turkeys, toucans and even felines such as the “Tigrillo”.
- Take into consideration the cost of food. Most of these places are considered protected areas so even paying the cost of admission you can not enter with food nor alcoholic beverages.
- The preservation of ecosystems is important. It is necessary to use biodegradable sunscreens, creams, repellents and blockers.
- Take your own snorkeling equipment. Although there is a possibility to rent them, they can be out of stock.
- Take your submersible camera. It is worth investing in a good submersible camera or video camera, this place is as beautiful on the surface as it is below.
- Equip yourself to swim for hours. Light clothing, microfiber towels, submersible waist packs and water shoes are great allies.
- Try the delicious local food. The restaurants make it possible to taste the local food and find gourmet dishes at a good price, do not forget to try Akumal beer, proudly from Quintana Roo.
- Take cash. Not all establishments accept bank cards.
- Ask for the guided tour for the sighting of turtles, fish schools and manta rays
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