AKUMAL

It is the maximum representation of the Mexican Caribbean. An excellent place to spend fantastic days on beaches of soft white sand with an atmosphere of the small coastal town, shops and galleries, as well as arts and crafts throughout the area.

Akumal was the first coastal community to attract tourism, even before there were roads, the only way to get there being by boat from Cozumel. Akumal means "Place of the turtles" in the Mayan language. You can see a large number of these ancestral animals in the nights laying their eggs on the beaches during the season that goes from the end of April to October, or swimming in the bay during the day.

What once attracted attention and which today remains are the reefs near the coast, which generate a large underwater ecosystem, but above all is known to attract sea turtles during the nesting season, and can easily be observed during the day and night in the calm waters of Akumal.  Because of this is the Akumal Ecological Center (CEA), a non-profit association dedicated to marine environmental research, education and protection of sea turtles.

More than 200 entrances to underground caves, with depths of up to 150 meters, making it the preferred site for divers from all over the world. Here you can practice all kinds of water sports.

An adventurer and businessman named Pablo Bush Romero was the one who founded the city and, along with other pioneering divers, founded CEDAM, an internationally acclaimed society dedicated to community service and ecological preservation.

Akumal also houses the Akumal Ecological Center (CEA), dedicated to the study of the marine ecosystem, as well as to the protection and study of the biodiversity of the place, including, of course, sea turtles.

Akumal has the following natural attractions:

Caleta Yal-Kú (Yal-Kú lagoon)

An ideal place to dive or snorkel and enjoy the crystal clear water. The limestone rocks and marine vegetation make a perfect home for colourful tropical fish.

Yal-Kú is also a paradise for bird lovers, as it is home to a wide variety of tropical birds, including herons, cranes, pelicans, gulls and egrets.

There are ecological toilets, as well as snorkel gear and life jackets for rent.

Bahía de media luna (Half Moon Bay)

It is an arch of white sand and turquoise waters surrounded by villas, private properties, condominium developments, ocean view restaurants and a couple of small hotels.

One of its favourite meeting points is the Lol-Há Restaurant, which offers delicious seafood, tacos and Wi-Fi. There are sea turtles in the bay area and you can snorkel with the turtles throughout the year.

Bahía de Akumal (Akumal Bay)

What makes Akumal a unique and fascinating place for all its visitors, is its spectacular bay with transparent waters and the fresh waters of its caves and underground rivers. It is the original place of development of the area and home to several dive shops, seaside restaurants, swimming areas and the Akumal Beach Resort. It is home to a very close-knit community of expatriates who have been coming here for years and want to protect the community, flora and marine life. During the low season, there are more Mexican tourists and the bay has a very Caribbean local atmosphere. 

There are shops, art galleries and crafts on sale to take home a unique souvenir. The destination offers varied restaurants, bars and comfortable accommodation, from cosy inns and villas to modern condominiums and excellent hotels. To the south of Akumal, the Riviera Maya Golf Club is located.

Akumal South

The most private part of Akumal, full of condominiums and private properties.

Oasis Tulum and Bahia Principe complex are also located here (4 properties and more than 3,000 rooms). The Riviera Maya Golf Club is located across the road from Bahia Principe hotels.

XEL-HÁ

It is a charming and fascinating place. Xel-Ha is a natural aquarium where freshwater streams and underground rivers converge to create an incredible underwater ecosystem ready to be explored by marine ecology adventurers.

The park is formed by coves, canals and caves surrounded by jungle, cenotes and small Mayan archaeological sites. Among all the exceptional places to live with the underwater life in Riviera Maya, Xel-Há stands out from the rest.

In the calm waters free of waves, and with the right equipment, you can swim through the entire park enjoying the landscapes both underwater and land, to later get carried away on the floating rims between cliffs and jungle.

In addition to being an ecological park, it also acts as a protected area, since it is the habitat of diverse species of flora, fauna and marine life, which Xel-Há undertook to protect.

The entrance to the park includes lockers, showers, bathrooms, shops, six restaurants, a massage centre (extra cost) and friendly staff. For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.xelha.com

TANKAH

The beach of Tankah is located between Xel-Ha and Tulum. It is known for its fascinating cenote by the sea since it is one of the deepest in the region and it connects with the ocean, which allows diving and snorkelling to be different and spectacular.

It is an ideal destination to add to the list of places to visit in the Riviera Maya. The Dreams Tulum hotel is located at the southern end of this beach.

BEACHES

The white sand silky beaches of Akumal are protected by reefs on the high seas. This is a refuge for divers from all over the world who have come here for decades.

Xpu-há

Strip of white sand with calm and crystalline waters excellent for snorkeling and diving. Quiet community with hotels, restaurants and dive shops. In the north end, there is a lagoon.

Kantenah

It is a beautiful beach full of palm trees with a luxurious hotel.

Chemuyil

Bay surrounded by the jungle, has camping facilities and a restaurant. Ideal for snorkeling, swimming and fishing. Place chosen by the turtles. To the south you can visit a cenote of groundwater.

Xcacel

Long strip of white sand with delicate coral reefs. Excellent place to swim, snorkel, dive and fish. There is a sunken ship at the southern tip of the bay. Camping is allowed on this beach. To the south is a cenote where you can swim. This is where sea turtles come to spawn during the summer.

RESTAURANTS

Lol-Há

Breakfasts in front of Akumal Bay. Offers a wide selection of specialties at the open-air beach bar throughout the day; plus a more sophisticated dinner menu. Open from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

La Lunita

It is a small and exclusive restaurant by the sea dedicated to preserving the gastronomic traditions of Mexico. The menu is based on regional and seasonal natural products. It is one of the ideal places to enjoy the authentic taste of Mexican food accompanied by beautiful views. Open Monday to Saturday from 11:00 a.m. at 11:00 p.m.

La Buena Vida

The restaurant offers delicious dishes accompanied by good music. This place in the Bay of Akumal, is the perfect place to meet with family or friends. The floor is sandy, has palapas that provide shade, swings in the bar area, a fun and casual atmosphere with the opportunity to see a sunset from the rooftop lounge. There is also a pool, hammocks and the possibility of kayaking and snorkeling in the bay. The prices are moderate. Open Monday to Sunday from 11 in the morning to 11 at night, with happy hour from 5 to 7 pm. The road to Caleta Yal-Kú Lot 35 section F.

La Cueva del Pescador

The restaurant is located at the entrance of Akumal Bay and is a good place to enjoy seafood in a true Caribbean environment. The best of the place is the delicious ceviche and fresh fish of the day; if you go fishing take the fish and they will prepare it