Still famous for its beautiful beach and large, swimmable lagoon, Akumal is one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s oldest resort areas.
Meaning “land of turtles” in the ancient Mayan language, to this day, Akumal is still one of the favorite places for these marine animals to spawn. However, what makes this little resort town so continually charming and fascinating for tourists from around the world, is its culture.
Akumal’s culture is primarily inspired by its tranquil, coastal setting. And the things to do in Akumal, as a result, mostly focus on the ocean. The spectacular bay with clear waters and underground rivers makes for one of the most peaceful places in the Riviera Maya: one protected shallow bay with a secluded beach and a nearby reef.
To get a real feel for what this slower paced Mexican paradise is like, head over to Yal-ku Lagoon – an inlet from the ocean that contains a mixture of fresh and saltwater. The turquoise waters are home to tropical fish and manta rays, and makes for a nice day or afternoon of snorkeling.
If you want to take a break from another day at the beach, a visit to Aktun Chen Natural Park makes a great day trip that offers a different kind of adventure: a guided walk through a five million year old dry cave, the largest dry cave system in the Riviera Maya – a definitive step away from Tulum or Chichen Itza tours. Once inside, you will be able to view spectacular natural domes decorated with beautiful tall stalactites, bizarre columns, and pillars and translucent curtains that seem to glow in the soft blue light.
After your underground tour, spend some time above ground at the park’s crystalline waters of Aktun Chen’s cenote. Once a ground for ancient Mayan ceremonies. And a place considered religiously sacred.
White sands, a coral reef and warm waters rich in marine life await you in Akumal. With charm and peace in abundance, this tourist-friendly town is only an hour south of Cancun, but it seems light years away.