Are you looking for things to do in Akumal, Mexico?
Akumal is a small town on the beach just north of Tulum, located in the region of Quintana Roo in Mexico.
If you didn’t already know, the name Akumal interestingly derives from the Mayan language, in which it means “place of the turtles”.
Akumal, Mexico: Travel Guide
Once in Akumal, you can easily get around by bike or using the colectivos which are cheap. How is your Spanish going by the way?
Spanish is not necessary, but in this region, a little Spanish conversation goes a long way in gaining respect from the locals.
Things to do in Akumal
You will find that the town of Akumal itself is quite small, so you can easily walk around, down to the beach, etc.
Below we will look at some of the best things to do and see here.
Half Moon Bay
This beach is a great place to spot turtles! Due to the number of people coming, though, you’ll need to go a bit further to find them.
You can easily rent snorkel equipment cheap if you haven’t brought any. The area along the beach is quite built-up, so there is a range of nice restaurants and beach sidebars to choose to cool-off.
Whilst the area seems more like a tourist trap, sometimes it’s nice to treat yourself and is still relatively cheap to do so!
If you have already been to Tulum you’ll know this area is infamous for cenotes, which are like large, open caves with a pool of turquoise water sitting at the bottom.
The closest to Akumal is Cenote Media Luna (The half-moon cenote).
Another great option is Dos Ojos Cenote (The cenote of two eyes), where after a walk through the jungle you can explore two slightly different cenotes and see tropical fish down in the caves.
Like the others here, if you are a diver then you can get on a tour and do some deep cave diving.
A cave filled with beautiful rock formations and dry caves, allowing deeper exploration on foot that is impossible in cenotes as you’d need to dive in.
As well as going on a tour deep into the caves, you can also opt to zip-line across, where they have four different lines which are all over 25ft above the ground. See this cenote safety guide if you’re unsure.
There are also small sections you can swim in, however, I found the water very cold so good luck with that!
Whilst a more popular visit and very tourist-orientated, if in the region then it would be silly to miss some of the most important artifacts of ancient Mayan history.
You can opt to visit Chichén Itzá, a bit further out which features those grand pyramids that have the snake-effect during the equinox, or Tulúm Ruins which are beach-side and a lot closer to Akumal.
This guide that I wrote on Chichen Itza vs Tulum ruins should help you to make an informed decision.
As well as Half Moon Bay, you can also visit Akumal Beach, where you have a better chance of spotting turtles as well as other tropical fish and marine wildlife.
Outside of Akumal, there are lots of beaches that can easily be accessed by taking the colectivo and spending a day there. Some of these include Puerto Aventuras, Xpu-Ha, and Playacar.
You can also head off the nearby Cozumel, where the beaches on the north side (a short taxi-ferry ride) are some of the best in the region, and also some of the less visited.
Akumal: Travel Tips
Below is a list of travel tips for Akumal that you can benefit from. I will update this list sometime in the near future.
Things to carry during your travel to Akumal:
- Carry enough cash for small purchases
- A beach backpack or equivalent
- Sun Screen (this one made by raw elements is great! )
- Bug spray
- Water shoes
- Sun hat or head protection
I’ve added travel water shoes for those who plan on spending time in the water. They provide protection for your feet against cuts etc;
Not only for foot protection but to be aware of where you tread.
Consider, sand mountains + other neat creations in or out of the water…
These could quite easily be a turtle’s nest or the home of some other creature, so don’t embarrass yourself and be mindful of this.
A small list of other tips for Akumal I have are:
- Avoid touching the coral or marine life
- Carry a space set of clothes for after the beach
- Be conscious if the change in weather at anytime (especially September)
Depending on your travel plans and if you want to visit a more lively and upbeat location that isn’t Cancun, Playa makes a great spring-board to be able to get to other regions in Mexico.
Where to Stay in Akumal
Being in such a powerful location (as I like to call these types of places), for me, being located within the dense jungle foliage is like a dream come true. Hence why I recommend the Jungle Hotel.
- Jungle-based location
- Breathtaking views
- Delicious food on offer
With its close proximity to beaches and restaurants, Akumal Jungle Hotel offers a great option for those wishing to escape the town.
I suggest you take a look at this list of hostels for more places to stay in Akumal if you have a set of preferences in mind for hotels.
Getting From Cancun to Akumal
Getting to Akumal from Playa del Carmen or Cancun is relatively easy! Just get to the nearest Ado bus station and head to Tulum.
The buses leave regularly; you can either purchase your ticket on-line or at the station.
If paying by credit card I recommend you buy your ticket online to avoid disappointment. The journey takes around 2 hours. See this guide for more tips on using the buses in Mexico on your travels.
Travel Insurance for Mexico
I always recommend backpackers and travelers (no matter who you are) use World Nomads Insurance for fully comprehensive cover.
If you are due to travel soon, you can get a Get A Free Quote by clicking the link or the image above and filling out your details – that way you’ll get instant cover from the exact date that you choose.
On many occasions World Nomads has provided me with reliable insurance cover for travel in Latin America and the rest of the world.
Akumal Beach Guide: Best Time to Visit
Another important part of planning your trip is knowing what to expect weather-wise.
Temperatures in Akumal are fairly consistent throughout the year, with an average of between 85°F to 90°F during the day, and never really dipping below 70°F at night.
Although, if you want hotter temperatures then you should head around the summer months, where the averages tend to rise to around 93°F.
If rainfall is a concern, then heading between the months of February and April will give you the best chance of a rain-free trip.
However, I will state that even if it does rain on your trip, these showers typically last a few hours, and are a much-needed cool-off from the hotter temperatures.
Another important point to mention is the tropical storm season.
Due to its close proximity to the Caribbean Sea, Akumal and many other destinations in the Riviera Maya get a season of more wild weather, typically between the months of June and September.
During these months the temperatures will be a lot hotter! The rain is a lot more unpredictable and can almost appear out of nowhere.
The only thing guaranteed during this time is rainier days. Depending on your plans and the fact it is fairly hot, I don’t believe this alone should be a deal-breaker.
Things to do in Akumal
There we have it for this guide on Akumal.
As well as exploring the town and what you can do here, we have looked at some of the cool experiences that you can find here such as visiting a cenote and swimming with turtles.
I have also given my recommendations for making the most out of your trip as well as the best time to visit for great weather.
Why not see the plethora of other things to do in Riviera Maya whilst you’re here?
I hope you found this guide useful and start looking more into the region as a whole, as there is so much to experience here.
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