Akumal, Mexico, is located approximately 1.5 hours south of Cancun. This small coastal town is a quiet place, known for their sea turtles. We have visited Akumal several times now, and stayed in the town for about 3 weeks total over our last couple of trips.

You can get around Akumal by doing a lot of walking, but you can also rent a car, which allows you more freedom to explore. We rented a car from Avant Car Rental in Cancun several times, and we had a blast road tripping through the Yucatan.

Swim with sea turtles!

Akumal is a great place to go swimming and is known for having sea turtles. You can go on a tour or visit one of the beaches, where you are likely to see sea turtles as well as other wonderful sea life. If you are visiting Akumal and not staying in a hotel on the beach, do some research when it comes to swimming with the turtles. You do not have to have a tour guide with you, but be aware of the roped off areas and where you can swim. There have been a few times we went that there were so many tours going on, and we also felt a little harassed by the tour guides, especially when they tell you that you are not allowed to go swimming without a guide.

We took this photo snorkeling in Akumal Bay.

Be respectful of the sea turtles and their habitat.  Wear reef-safe sunscreen and maintain distance from the sea turtles.  When you are on the beach, watch for sea turtle nests.  If you walk on the beach at night, use a red light, so as not to disturb the turtles.

We took this photo on the beach at Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort.

Enjoy the beaches

There are many beach areas in Akumal for swimming and enjoying other water sports. We stayed at Akumal Bay Beach & Wellness Resort, but there are other hotels you can stay at right on the beach. Most of these places have amenities such as kayaks or paddleboards, as well as plenty of spots to sit and enjoy the beach.

Yal-Ku Lagoon

Yal-Ku Lagoon is a great place to go for a leisurely snorkel and to check out the marine life. The lagoon is calm, without waves, and is a nice place to see things like fish.

Yal Ku Lagoon Akumal Mexico

There are not sea turtles in the lagoon, but there is plenty of other marine life, from a variety of fish to herons and iguanas basking in the sun.

Yal Ku Lagoon Akumal Mexico

A picture we took while snorkeling in the lagoon.

Murals & Art

There is so much artwork in Akumal, you can enjoy it throughout the town. We walked over the pedestrian bridge from the beach side of Akumal to Akumal Pueblo, viewing art all along the way. There are paid tours, but you can read about our self guided walk of Akumal art. Since we had our two kids with us, we enjoyed a more unstructured walk around the town, stopping for lunch and marquesitas.

Artwork mural on an underpass in Akumal, Mexico

Nature Tours

We took a 4-hour tour at Akumal Natura Rescue, and had a chance to see lots of wildlife, a cenote, and more. There are other tours in Akumal like the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary. Just outside of Akumal, there are plenty of additional tours, like Aktun Chen.

Visit a cenote

There are cenotes located right in Akumal, as well as nearby.  You can take a taxi to a local cenote, or rent a car and explore a little further. There are quite a few to choose from! Some cenotes we have been to include:

Cenotes Casa Tortuga, Tulum
Cenote Cristalino, Puerto Aventuras
Cenote Jaguar, Tulum
Cenote Wayak, Santa Cruz, Tulum
Cenote Zacil-Ha, Tulum

Mayan Ruins

There are several ruins that are not far from Akumal. Tulum is just over 30 miles away, and is a nice place to explore if you also want to check out Tulum.

Muyil is a little further, more like 45 minutes away. Further away, you’ll find larger ruins like Coba or Chichen-Itza.

Muyil Ruins Mexico

Check Out Other Towns

There are some cities you can check out. Closest, you’ll find Puerto Aventuras (a small town), and Tulum, a busy and popular place. Further out, you can check out towns like Valladolid or Izamal (the “Yellow City”).

Check out our other Mexico blog posts here.

Here are some nice places to visit around Akumal:
Akumal Art, Akumal Pueblo
Akumal Natura Reserve, Akumal
Cenotes Casa Tortuga, Tulum
Cenote Cristalino, Puerto Aventuras
Cenote Jaguar, Tulum
Cenote Wayak, Santa Cruz, Tulum
Cenote Zacil-Ha, Tulum

Muyil Ruins, Tulum
Yal Ku Lagoon, Akumal
Zazil Kin Beach, Tulum


About the Author: Marysa

Busy blogger and mom of two girls! We love traveling and the great outdoors, and are always looking for our next adventure! Feel free to contact me with questions: marysa@anationofmoms.com