Akumal Bay
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
267 reviews
Excellent
159
Very good
61
Average
28
Poor
7
Terrible
12

ABBS
3 contributions
May 2022 • Couples
We had a great experience! We wanted to swim with sea turtles so we drove there and went snorkeling with a guide from the stand right after you drive through the arched entrance. Our guide Manny was awesome! We saw a lot of sea turtles, a giant sting ray, some baby sting rays, beautiful coral, beautiful fish, a star fish, and a conch shell. There are changing rooms there which is nice. There is a fee to enter the beach, but it’s not much because the beach is nice (not much seaweed on the beach during seaweed season). It was great seeing the sea life. It was probably my favorite snorkeling experience I’ve done. It’s nice it’s in a cove too so the waves aren’t too strong.
Written June 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SeekingSunBC
Vancouver, Canada492 contributions
Jan 2023
We walked along the beach after our snorkeling tour and were stopped numerous times by people telling us we couldn't snorkel there (we were just carrying one specialty mask between 5 of us). Its a beautiful beach but certainly not peaceful. Expect to pay for using the beach
Written January 19, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

B1714D
Belgrade, Serbia15,579 contributions
Dec 2020
Akumal Bay is a secluded bay on Riviera Maya between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
The whole bay is protected by a coral reef, so the sea here is calmer and is home to sea turtles.
There're many places along the bay you can find your free spot to enjoy.
For tips how to see the turtles hassle free and without scams please read my detailed Akumal beach review.
Written January 31, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

91nitarich
4 contributions
May 2021
My family and I came to the beach for a regular beach day after reviewing nice beaches on the internet. If you are looking for waves this beach area is not it. It is calm waters so waves do not come in this area. The beach is roped off. Once we arrived at the location we was approached by a "Resort guy" who said it would be $26 to swim with turtles and get chairs, umbrellas, towels, lockers for the price. Once we paid the guy he proceeded to take us snorkeling with the turtles as soon as we walked in. We couldn't find a spot on the beach first. We had to get undressed at the door and put snorkeling gear on. We explained to the guy we haven't been swimming since covid-19 started and would like practice but he proceeded to continue with the tour. He brought one ring buoy out when 3 of us saying we needed extra assistance and as we went out it was a couple water spouts on the water. I warned the tour guy and he looked at me like I was crazy and my family I went back to the shore. Once we went on shore we grabbed our things and tried to find a spot on the beach. Unfortunately, no one told us we had to stay within a certain area for what we paid for. It was only a a small square where we could sit. We did find a umbrella but when we asked for chairs it took a hour for someone to tell us there was no chairs available so we sat on the sand even though our money was suppose to provide chairs and towels. I would not pay nor visit this particular place again.
Written June 6, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kendra C
29 contributions
Mar 2021
I have been coming to Akumal since the early 1990's, and I've accommodated the development in Akumal Bay. However, after this last trip, I will not visit the bay area since it has been ruined by greed. The once peaceful bay, it now overcrowded by resorts and pan-handing people who are ignorant & rude to the people like our family.

On this last visit, our family who spent over $1K+ on scuba diving at ADS and $3K on accommodations were continuously hassled by the those folks at Akumal Bay.
Written March 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Guillaume M
1 contribution
Jul 2022 • Couples
We were at thé resort from july 28 to August 4. Service was impeccable, employées were all pleasant to talk with. Beach was beautiful. Shows at night could be other than bands. Cultural shows or thème nights would of been welcomed, but Nothing else then bands sadly. Food excellent.
Written August 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AliBug
Charlotte, NC1,452 contributions
Sep 2020
I'm so glad I read about this area before our trip. I didn't know it existed. What a lovely and quiet bay. We explored it one afternoon and decided to return for dinner later that week. There are a couple of cute aritsan shops in the zone and a few restaurants. And extremely picturesque.
Written November 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

mmaclel2
Burlington, Canada10 contributions
Jan 2017 • Couples
The only bad part is the aggressive, harassing, intimidating tour operators fraudulently misrepresenting themselves as government officials.

I was in Akumal January 8-15, 2017. My wife and I did encounter very aggressive people in the bay, and on the beach. They claimed that life jackets are mandatory and flippers not allowed. Having been in contact with the Ecological Centre before my trip, I knew this was false. They also claimed that they were federal government representatives. None of them had Federal Government ID. One such person, wearing a "Bay Patrol" t-shirt, was filming me the entire time with a GoPro camera. After a very long and frustrating confrontation with five such men, I left to consult with the nearby dive shop. They also claimed that life jackets were mandatory, and flippers prohibited. A lifeguard at our resort (Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness Resort) said that life jackets are not mandatory, and flippers are allowed. At our front desk however the excursions representative said that as of November 2016, life jackets were mandatory for snorkeling in the bay, and flippers were prohibited. The dive shop at our hotel also told us that life jackets are mandatory, and flippers prohibited. Fortunately, they also gave us life jackets for free of charge if we returned them within an hour, and if we wanted a 24 hour rental it was only $3 USD.

My wife and I both researched the alleged requirements during our trip. These are the facts of as January 15, 2017:
1) Tour operators are prohibited from taking more than 12 snorkelers into the Bay daily;

2) Anyone snorkeling with a tour operator in the Bay is required to wear a life jacket, and is not allowed to wear flippers;

3) There is no requirement for individual swimmers to wear life jackets in the Bay when snorkeling, regardless of where you snorkel in relation to the bouys (which apparently have been sabotaged and moved by tour operators in the recent past);

4) Representatives of the federal government must wear proper ID.
i) We did see representatives from PROFEPA (Procuraduria Federale de Proteccopn al Ambiente) on the beach, wearing shirts showing that they were from PROFEPA.
ii) The only other federal agencies with jurisdiction are CONANP (Comision Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas); and SEMARNAT (Secreteria de Medio Ambiente Y Recursos Naturales)

5) There are signs erected on the beach and at Akumal Bay under authority of the government agencies listing "Recommendations" for snorkelers. One such "recommendation" is that life jackets are mandatory. Tour operators will try to say that is proof that it is illegal to snorkel without a life jacket. That is false. The signs are just visual representations endorsing CONANP's Code of Ethics for Snorkeling in Akumal Bay.

6) As of January 15, 2017, no person has any authority to enforce a life jacket requirement or flipper prohibition against any individual swimmer in the Bay. There is enforcement possible for tour operators, but not individual swimmers in the Bay.

7) This is probably the most important. While it is not MANDATORY to wear a life jacket in the Bay, the government and its agencies have taken steps, including publishing the Code of Ethics, in an effort to preserve marine life in the Bay. In my communications with CEA, they were very clear that they endorse the CONANP Code of Ethics, and while there is no legal requirement to follow the recommendations regarding life jackets and flippers, they highly recommend it for the protection of marine life.

That is why after my initial confrontation with the very aggressive and clearly fraudulent individuals in the Bay, my wife and I relented and did wear a life jacket and no flippers while snorkeling in the bay. We saw lots of turtles and stingrays, and fish, and had a great time. It's unfortunate and a bit of a hassle, but if we're doing our part to help the marine life in the Bay, it's well worth it.

JUST DO NOT GIVE IN TO THE SCAM ARTISTS IN THE BAY! Bring your own life jackets and leave your flippers on the beach.

Also, note that in the waters directly south of the Bay, there is less, if any, presence of people to try to "enforce" the life jacket and flipper recommendations. My wife and I snorkeled freely in front of Secrets Akumal without life jackets and with flippers. There are fish and coral there, but we did not see turtles. Similarly, in front of our resort (Akumal Bay Beach and Wellness) we snorkeled without life jackets and with flippers. Again, lots of coral, some beautiful HUGE rainbow parrot fish, stingrays, tropical fish etc.
Written January 25, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lovethebeach2012
Calgary, Canada33 contributions
Feb 2014 • Couples
My husband and I went there to see the turtles. There is quite a few of them there. They hang around there to eat the sea grass. It was nice because they must be used to seeing all the humans and they are very relaxed. It was not too exciting. I would say average.
We saw a lot of people on excursions there. They huddle in large groups and all swim together. First of all, what a rip off. You are stuck with a bunch of people all bumping into one another. I would highly recommend just taking a taxi. It is free to go there on the beach. It is a public beach. You are on your own time and swim on your own. You do not need a tour guide to take you in the water!
The water is quite calm there because it is in a bay. Very easy swimming.
Written February 26, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jon C
Calgary, Canada129 contributions
Dec 2017 • Couples
My last visit was 7 or so years ago when the bay was relatively quiet and the beach not that developed. Now every inch is taken up by hotels or restaurants, bars and stores. The beach is crowded and you will be inundated with people trying to sell you something from the moment you get to the parking lot. If your coming to snorkel you can rent a locker for $7 USD at the Dive shop (go left when you get to the beach). You can then snorkel in front of the Hotels at the public beach. Everyone will tell you you need a life jacket to snorkel (you do not as long as you go in front of the hotels) the area to the left of the fishing boats is for snorkel tours only and require a tour guide and life jacket. You don’t need this. You will see turtles, barracuda, rays, fish, coral all off the public beach. Enjoy
Written December 26, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Akumal Bay - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Akumal Bay

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