Yal-ku Lagoon
Yal-ku Lagoon
4
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
About
Snorkel with multicolored fish in the pristine waters of the Yal-ku Lagoon, located north of Tulum. You can view the bustling marine life from the surface, but we guarantee that the snorkeling experience is way more fun and relaxing. The water is shallow and life jackets are provided, so it’s a great adventure, even for families with kids. Don’t swim beyond the marker buoys, though, as the current farther out can be quite strong. The Akumal area is a sea turtle sanctuary, so scuba diving is also popular. – Tripadvisor
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Admission tickets
from $22.56
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  • rlmptl
    Lloydminster, Canada1,159 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Aquarium like snorkeling go when they open avoid the tour bus crowds
    we hired a taxi from Barcelo maya Riviera to take us here and wait for us about 2 hours as we had tried it once before a few years ago. It did not disappoint. Aquarium like snorkeling till the tour groups arrive around 11 to 1130. They open at 9 go then. 550 pesos for two without snorkel rental which i advise to bring your own including a wet suit and gloves as the corral can be close. many people stand on it which is not good. it is quite long and this year they roped off the way towards the ocean which i was glad to see as the last time we went to far the ocean currents made it very hard to get back. There is not alot to see further down the best is towards the entrance and there are private resorts along the way sharing the waterway. We are glad we went when the ocean was too stirred up at the resort for a few days
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written September 30, 2023
  • Alan E
    Brand Green, United Kingdom50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful cenote one to visit for sure
    So glad we tried this cenote. Set in lovely grounds, short walk to the lagoon. Once in you will be happy with the amount of fish and wildlife around. Snorkel heaven with a wide amount of varied and colourful fish making this lagoon their home. Easy for the less experienced swimmers as there are lots of rocks to stand on in shallower areas if you need to stop. Different currents arise from the mingling of sea and cenote water and you will feel differences in temperature between them as you swim. As others have said arrive early or late to experience at its best as it did get busy with tour groups whilst we were there as time went on. Best cenote we have found up to now. Would definitely recommend this one.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written November 13, 2023
  • Vicki B
    20 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great little spot. Not too busy
    Lovely little spot with some great snorkelling if you go when the tour groups aren't there and haven't stirred the water up a bit. There are two owners/entrances to the lagoon the original one and the xcaret one. They both lead to the same swimming area but the main differences are that the original one is slightly cheaper (300 pesos) and life jackets are not mandatory whilst the xcaret one is a bit more built up i.e loungers food and drink etc. they both have showers and toilets. I have included a map to the original one in my photos as I believe this is the better of the two personally just because of the life jacket situation (the water is more than salty enough for floating!) The water is very clear though gets a bit blurry when stirred up by many swimmers as the lagoon is a mixture of fresh and salt in water. The current is relatively strong so would not recommend it for weak swimmers particularly if you swim further up towards the sea (as the current is against you trying to swim back to the entrances into the water). The landscape is quite rocky out of the water (and sharp) so definitely need either water shoes or flip flops if you're having a bit of an explore off the path. The rocks inside the water are covered in seaweed/algae and are not sharp. The original entrance does not have much shade which isn't under the dense trees (so comes with mosquitos!) So if you want to spend a whole day here (which is definitely possible) bring an umbrella if you want some shade along with food and drink (not alcohol though). There are around 10 spaces to park there so may need to get there early to grab a spot (we hired a taxi for the day which was cheaper or similar to the tour prices which di not stay at the lagoon long).
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 24, 2023
  • dslholmes
    3 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    No rush go at your own pace
    For all ages and abilities. No waves and easy access. No coral but lots of friendly fish. $300 Mx per adult for entry fee for all day. Go to the entrance to the left for the best price and go early. Be respectful of the aquatic life and water, wear a shirt and leave the sunscreen in the car.
    Visited December 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written December 3, 2023
  • Darrel B
    94 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Snorkel at your own leisure
    Where the fresh water meets the ocean. Tranquil location to snorkel at your own leisure. There are two entrances I suggest the first entrance to the left as this end of the lagoon appears to have the biggest variety of fish to see. As other have mentioned tour groups to arrive and they use the other entrance.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 16, 2023
  • puravida919
    Amelia Island, Florida26 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing Snorkeling
    Not sure how this attraction isnt 5 stars. It was an absolute highlight of our trip to Mexico. If you love snorkeling for lots of tropical fish in clear warm water and diving through caves and under mangroves, you will love this spot! We went to the Blue and White outfit and equipment rentals while not the cheapest, worked well. We paid around 100 for a family of 4 with admission and most gear. TIPS: wear rashguard since no sunscreen allowed and you really do not need water shoes. Also. My older son rented no equipment, he just brought goggles( he’s a good swimmer)and he did fine. End the day at the restaurant La Buena Vida around the corner- amazing oceanfront spot with incredible views, great food, hammocks, a pool and more. Loved Akumal.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 17, 2024
  • BrentlyNeel
    Kingston, Canada75 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful Snorkelling Experience
    Such a beautful place. Our first cenote. Great snorkelling among some beautful fish. My advice would be to head to the left entrance. That side is run by local folks and seemed less crowded.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written February 3, 2024
  • samwise
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A beautiful place to snorkel away from the hustle and bustle of some of the crowded parks.
    We really enjoyed snorkeling here! There are so many beautiful fish to see in a small area. We had our own snorkeling gear, but they do rent gear as well. There are 2 spots to enter the lagoon. Following advice of another post, we entered at the “left entrance”. From what I have read, this is operated by locals, and the other entrance is operated by Xcaret. The local entrance is slightly cheaper, with more basic amenities. They have rental equipment, bathroom/shower amenities, and a couple small dock/stairs for entering the lagoon, basically everything you need, but nothing more. As soon as we entered the water, we were surrounded by all types of fish. We enjoyed our time exploring the area and admiring the fish. We found that most of the fish were closest to where we entered the water, so that’s where we ended up spending most of our time. We arrived later in the day and spent about 1.5 hours swimming. Some groups looked like they had spent several hours there and had brought snacks and towels to sunbath on the rocks. We arrived in our bathing suits, swam, then left. Next time, I’d plan for a longer day there.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 27, 2024
  • Heather B
    4 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful fish
    A visit to Yal-ku lagoon should certainly be on your list with any stop in Akumal. We rented a golf cart and drove up to the lagoon. An early arrival assured us individual one-on-one attention and a few laughs with the front desk staff (Jesus). We spent three and a half hours swimming the lagoon, guiding ourselves through it. Many tours came and went. I recommend taking a few minutes to catch your breath when they come near and allow the tours to pass through. Once the sediments settle again in just a few moments, you're back to swimming and seeing all the beautiful fish in the lagoon.
    Visited April 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written April 21, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles3,165 reviews
Excellent
1,710
Very good
846
Average
369
Poor
150
Terrible
90

Gnatty8
Houston, TX86 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022
I have been taking my kids to Akumal for 10 years now, and finally, after a half dozen visits without seeing Yal-ku, we decided to give it a shot. Was pretty underwhelmed, especially for the price, which did NOT include a life vest (extra $6) and which I would highly recommend if you have anyone who is not a strong swimmer, since there are long stretches of deep water. Water was cloudy, very crowded, and didn't see a single fish entire time we were there.
Written April 11, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RDR56003
Houston, TX34 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Family
My daughter and I visited Yal Ku Lagoon during our stay at Akumal Bay Beach and Welness Resort on a day that the winds were high and there was a lot of sargassum. We wanted a protected area to snorkel.

First, there are two areas in which you can enter the lagoon. for some reason, everyone tries to get you to go to the first one. Don’t. Go to the second one with the colorful sign.

Parking was free. The staff was very nice and helpful. Admission for two adults, a rental palapa and life vest rental came to $63 US. admission is $15, palapa rental is $20. RENT A PALAPA. They are a great place to relax in the shade and they have a semi-private entry area to the lagoon and a life guard right there. So, great if you have kids. Each one accommodates 6 people. You could easily spend the day there very happily.

There are three palapas. #1, which we rented was huge and had a private entry to the lagoon in a little protected corner. It had two hammocks and a neat wood table as well as a bench. We were able to leave our things safely there while we snorkeled. From the steps we saw fish that we didn’t see snorkeling out in the lagoon.

Palapa #3 does not have a private stair to the lagoon, but it has a beautiful view out over the water and a large table that would be great for a group. It is noisier than #3 because it is right next to where the groups enter the water. It’s a good one if you want to keep an eye on your kids but not be in the water with them all the time.

We didn’t see #2.

The little restaurant had surprisingly good food that was very reasonable and they bring it to your palapa. Don’t leave your crudités unattended or the iguanas will claim them!

Besides the fish, there were beautiful yellow birds in the trees and the place was nicely landscaped with statues and stone carvings. Honestly it was far more than I expected.

I would not go there with a group. Just go on your own. If you are coming from Akumal rent a golf cart and do the 10 minute drive. Spend the day hopping in and out of the water and relaxing on a hammock. It’s the best bargain I’ve found down here. Loved every minute we spent there.
Written June 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LoneRangerManitoba
Roblin, Canada124 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
We took a special trip from our resort Grand Sirenis thinking this would have been an above average snorkeling excursion. Sorry folks but not the case. We seen next to nothing for fish and we snorkeled the entire lagoon over a 3 hour period. The lagoon is very beautiful as well as the grounds and there is also a nice quaint restaurant on site. Honestly, we had better snorkeling at our resort. Our day was great as we took a colectivo to Akumal and walked to Yal-Ku, checked out some condos , did some shopping and took a colectivo back. It was $40 US for the two of us for the lagoon and 80 Mexican pesos round trip for the two of us.
Written March 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

sabineishere
California23 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2021
We arrived at Yal Ku around 2:30 pm and asked if they had any palapa. The lady at the counter said they only had one available, but it didn't have its own entry into the lagoon. We didn't mind and I said, ok, we'll take it. I asked how long they would be open and she said until 5:00 pm, but they would start asking people to leave at 4:30 pm so they could take showers and change. I asked if we could get a discount since we only had 2 hours then, but she said no. I shrugged, thinking, hopefully this is still worth the entrance fee, life jackets and palapa - almost $50 in total - so I paid and got our tickets.

This whole time, this little man also stood behind the counter, watching us. He looked grim and I wasn't sure what his role was. When we went to find our palapa, I realized that we needed directions. I walked back to the counter, and as soon as I asked for directions, the little man said something in Spanish to the lady who helped us and then we were told that all palapas were actually already taken and that it was too late for our entry. I was stunned and asked how can this be, why? The lady just kept saying sorry, and I believe she was. The little man kept shaking his head - I guess he just didn't like us? So we asked for our refund and they gave it to us. We were willing to pay $50 for 2 hours and apparently not all tourists are welcome, even though they provide the jobs they have. It was very confusing.

We ended up going to the other Yal Ku entrance were we were able to get in to swim. There were way too many people in this lagoon, mainly belonging to tours and it made this little lagoon way to packed for a relaxing and enjoyable experience. We were there on a Tuesday.

People like the little man shouldn't work at places like this. it felt very uncomfortable and sad for my children.
Written April 8, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bet543210
246 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2020 • Family
What a great place for families to learn to snorkel. We hired a driver for the day and came here early in the morning when only a few small groups were out. We brought our own gear and just paid for admission. We were so impressed with the clarity of the water, the variety of fish and the clean facilities. The lagoon was calm and clear and our young kids (5 & 7) were able to float and snorkel for almost 2 hours before getting cold. Would recommend, just come early as there were three vans dropping off tours as we were leaving.
Written December 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

divinewood56
Austin, TX30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Couples
We have been to Yal-ku twice and both times (July 2019 and March 2020) we had an excellent time. We have our own snorkel, mask & fins, do cost to enter was $20 person, including flotation device. Each time we saw a ton of fish, both large and small. We usually arrive late morning, do a snorkel, eat lunch and do another snorkel. So many fish! Food good in restaurant, but not many choices for non-red meat eaters. In the water, you do have to watch out for your groups, just swim another direction. Great spot - we will return.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter B
North Bergen, NJ2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2021
Just went here with my family of 5. We had rented a car so getting here was a breeze and way cheaper than doing a tour- like ridiculously. Just make sure you go all the way to the end. There's a bunch of annoying speed bumps (topes) but hey, that's Mexico. The entrance fee as of 1/3/21 was 329 pesos for adults and 241 pesos for kids. Life vests are mandatory and cost an extra 131 pesos unless you have your own. Do yourself a favor and bring your own goggles or snorkeling equipment - it's totally worth it. We got the best Palapa for an extra 461 pesos which came with table, chairs and 2 hammocks and our private entrance and exit to the lagoon. We spent the whole day, brought our own snacks and drinks and the whole thing for the 5 of us was around $125 USD. It's safe, fun, relaxing and you can spend the whole day there. They wrap up at 5:00 which was a little early but still was great. I haven't been to Xxl-Ha but I think this is a great primer for that all in one fest which is a helluva lot more expensive.
Written January 3, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Camille-Her
Pau, France17 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
There are 2 entrances for Yal Ku : the one where all the tourist buses go (more on the ocean side) in which the entrance fee is $300 MXN EACH, PLUS the mandatory life jacket rental for $115 MXN, a rip off;
The other one is signed as the "main entrance" (more at the end of the lagoon, south) where the admission is $280 MXN (if I remember correctly) and the life jacket is not mandatory.
Paying that much to bathe into mother nature is still a rip off, but a convenient alternative when it's windy on the ocean side. We saw loads of fish even if the visibility was not perfect. If you go, go for the south entrance they're way nicer and cheaper.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Matt L
Santa Clarita, CA18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
We visited Yal-ku lagoon on Nov 8th, 2020. We rented a car and drove there after we exited hwy 307 we drove toward Akumal bay and had all sorts of tour salesman trying to wave us down frantically to sell us tours. We drove past most of them but I stopped for one. He asked us where we were going and I told him Yal-ku lagoon. He said he would escorts us there. I realized that he likely gets a kick back for bringing tourists there. I told him I wanted to go to the entrance with the statues as I had heard on trip advisor that that was the better entrance. He seemed hesitant but agreed. We followed him through a neighborhood on a long road till the road ended in a tee with signs to the left for one entrance and to the right for the other. He escorted me to the left. I followed but saw no statues. I pulled a u-turn and headed to the other entrance on the right and found the statues. We parked our car. The people there were very friendly and helpful. It was beautiful. We rented a Palapa and five life jackets along with entrance for 3 adults and one child for about a $100.00. The lagoon and palapa was breath takingly beautiful. The Palapa was awesome and relaxing with a table, two chairs, and two hammocks. The lagoon was flowing strongly out to the ocean and it was hard to swim upstream. We found it best to swim upstream near the sides of the lagoon and then once at the top we chilled and floated down enjoying the fish which were plentiful. We saw lots of yellow and black striped fish, clear fish, and bright blue fish.
Written November 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

NHTravlr1
New Hampshire122 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
We visited knowing that a lot of tour groups also visit but it is still worth it. If you are with a group it may not be as fun because it seemed that a lot of groups had to stay close enough.

I saw so many fish, although don't expect to see any living coral. It's the fish and perhaps the rock formations that you will see. I went out into a "finger" part of the lagoon and was quite surprised to see a "huge" barracuda just chilling at the bottom looking at me- and a couple of boys that were also there. If I hadn't heard one say- "It's just sitting at the bottom looking at us!" in a shocked tone, I may not have really looked down. Yeah, seeing a barracuda around 7-9 feet long got me to high tail it out of there pretty quickly!!

I could have stayed longer just watching the fish but the guys were ready to go. I didn't want to hold them up. I would go back for sure. Look around and you may find some other critters too. We saw an Agouti on the walkway.
Written March 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Yal-ku Lagoon - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

Frequently Asked Questions about Yal-ku Lagoon

Yal-ku Lagoon admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $22.56, while a popular guided tour starts around $91.00 per person.

According to Tripadvisor travelers, these are the best ways to experience Yal-ku Lagoon:



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