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If you plan to visit the Mayan Riviera, be sure to plan on spending an afternoon in Akumal. Akumal is around 60 miles from Cancun. If you want to try snorkeling you could go on a paid tour--or you could head to Akumal and plan your own adventure at a fraction of the cost. Akumal is a great place to snorkle or shop.
How to get here by
Akumal is easily accessible from Merida to Chetumal by simply walking to the road and hailing a colectivo. These white vans will pull over and pick up passengers whenever they have room. If one colectivo passes you by, another will quickly come along. For less than $2.00 US a colectivo will take you to your destination and drop you off at the side of the road. Head through the arches and explore all Akumal has to offer.
Wear your bathing suit under your short and tshirt and bring along your towel. You can bring your own snorkeling gear or rent it for a very reasonable rate at the Akumal Dive Shop. Akumal Bay is a public beach and one of the most beautiful in the area.
It has beautiful sandy beaches and is a snorkelers delight. You can swim amoung submerged cannons, see coral, eel, barracuda, and large turtles. For those who want a personal guide, look no further than the beach. Ask any of the local fishermen sitting on their boats to point out a guide. There are public lockers available for a small fee so you can lock up any valuables while you explore the bay.
Once you've had your fill of the beautiful bay, you can explore the local market Super Chomak and Minisuper El Pueblo (right across from each other at the main entrance to Akumal, before the arches). These are great places to buy some local products to take home. You'll find a good selection of products that the locals buy. Try some Mexican gum and candies, snacks, or pick up other local favorites. It's a fun to explore and see what's available. On Saturdays there is a farmers market. You'll find shops with handmade crafts and souvenirs. You'll see some examples of beautiful local craftmanship that you may not find anywhere else. Browse through the art galleries as well. You can get some great deals on original paintings and sculptures. Most shops are fixed price and don't barter. If there´s a price tag on it, it´s generally not bargainable.
Akumal (the place of the turtle, in Mayan) is well known for sea turtles nesting on its beaches. During sea turtle nesting season (May through October), these walks start at the CEA Center (Centro Ecologico de Akumal) at 9 PM, Monday through Friday. They start with a short and informative presentation. After that participants are taken to the beach for turtle sightings. The donation is $10 USD per person. Participants are recommended to wear sneakers or sturdy walking shoes (no sandals), and refrain from using mosquito repellent, perfume, or cologne. Participants are asked to bring a water bottle, and a bag to collect any trash they see on the beach.
Kitesurfing or Kiteboarding
Located just 3 minutes away of Akumal, there is a Beach Called Xpu Ha, right on front of the PEMEX gas station where there is a professional IKO Certified Kiteboarding School. this is a fun, professional and safe way to learn how to kitesurf or kiteboard. this place is perfect for beginners as well for advanced riders, due to the conditions of the bay. there are bathrooms available, a small restaurant, and also great hidden beach to discover.