Is Akumal Worth Visiting (and Can I See Sea Turtles There)?

Akumal, a Yucatan Peninsula jewel that is making big waves to peace-loving travelers. Akumal is one of those smaller beach towns that have charms that rival big holiday meccas. This charming, peaceful small beach town is definitely one of Quintana Roo’s visit-worthy spots.
Is Akumal Worth Visiting
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With calmer waves, a small-town feel, and peaceful living, Akumal’s appeal also consists of peace-loving creatures, sea turtles, and rich marine life to boot. If you’re a nature-loving, quiet traveler, Akumal is the place to be on this side of Mexico.

Where in Mexico Is Akumal?

Another one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s many jewels, Akumal is a lovely slice of paradise south of Playa del Carmen and north of Tulum. This small beach town in the southeastern state of Quintana Roo, with its pristine clear blue waters, underground rivers keeps attracting tourists to its shores.

Yet another Quintana Roo pride, Akumal beach is known for its shallow protected bay, with a secluded beach and a nearby reef offshore. The shores of this beach town are frequented by turtles to spawn eggs.

What State Is Akumal Mexico in?

Set in the southeastern shores of the Southeastern state of Quintana Roo, Akumal is another one of the Yucatan Peninsula’s entry to Mexico’s must-visit beach towns. Akumal is in close proximity to its bigger neighbors like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun.

Nestled some 100 km or 62 miles south of Cancun, Akumal neighbors Tulum in the south, and Playa del Carmen to the north. This makes Akumal an ideal quick getaway from the crowds of any of these Quintana Roo jewels.

Is Akumal in Cancun?

Akumal is in its own right, a charming beach town that boasts clear waters and a warm, peaceful atmosphere compared to Cancun’s tourist mecca feel. Akumal is approximately 100 km or 62 miles south of the big city of Cancun.

Is Akumal Safe to Travel to for Tourists?

If you’re worried about crime, Akumal is one of those quaint beach towns that live up to its smaller, peaceful flavor compared to bigger tourist meccas like Cancun or Cabo. Akumal’s crime rate is very low, and hotels and resorts have security ensuring the safety of visitors.

However, it’s best to take precautions because petty crimes like pickpocketing and theft are prevalent in tourist cities and towns. The best advice is to be as careful as you would be back where you’re from.

What Does Akumal Mean in Mayan?

Akumal means “place of turtles” in Mayan. The town was named after the many turtles that come to its bays to spawn offsprings at certain times of the year, especially during the nesting season.

Where Can You See Turtles in Akumal?

Home to turtles and other Marine Animals, the best places to see and possibly swim with them are in the seagrass beds just off the shore, and the barrier reef across the Akumal Bay. These marine animals are probably one of Akumal’s most famous highlights, marine life this close to shore isn’t very common in Mexico.

When Can You See Sea Turtles in Akumal?

The best months to see and maybe even encounter turtles in Akumal are from May to November. These months are the nesting season and they tend to flock around the seagrass beds and the beaches around the town.

What Kind of Sea Turtles Are in Akumal?

With its rich marine life, Akumal bay hosts many marine animals including various species of sea turtles. The ones you’ll commonly see in Akumal are Green turtles, Loggerhead turtles, and Hawksbill turtles.

Can You Swim With Turtles in Akumal?

Back in the day, you can swim with turtles deliberately with no supervision, but these days you can only snorkel with them with a guide.

There are several tour companies available around Akumal, with packages offering different experiences. Many tour packages get you close to their homes in the seagrass beds and the barrier reef and swim or snorkel with them.

Where Can You Swim With Turtles in Akumal?

You can swim with turtles right off the shore by the seagrass beds, these are shallow waters that allow easy encounter with these marine animals. The great barrier reef at the edges of the Akumal Bay is also a great spot to encounter them underwater.

Where Is Akumal Beach Located?

Akumal Beach is 35 km or 21.7 miles south of Playa del Carmen and 27.5 km or 17 miles north of Tulum, along the Riviera Maya in the southeast of Quintana Roo. Akumal Beach isn’t a single stretch of beach, rather a collective of 5 pristine white sand beaches that rival the bigger players in Quintana Roo.

From the heart of Akumal Beach, Central Akumal beach is a stretch of clean white, sandy beach lined with shops, bars, and restaurants.

North Akumal beach has calmer waters, thanks to the protection of a reef break. With the Yak-Ku Lagoon flowing out to it, North Akumal enjoys an interesting blend of color in its waters.

The southern beaches, the Jade Bay, South Akumal, and Akumal Aventuras feature beautiful beachfront villas from its residential communities built by the beach.

How Do I Get to Akumal Beach?

The beaches of Akumal are only walkable from the town’s center as it’s a relatively small town. However, most of them can be accessed through entrances off the highway.

The Central Akumal Beach can be accessed through Lol Ha Restaurant, one of the establishments that dot Central Akumal Beach.

Entrances to North Akumal beach are through the winding road heading to Yal-Ku Lagoon. While South Akumal can be accessed through a gate indicating the entrance in a separate highway from the main road.

Do You Have to Pay to Go to Akumal Beach?

The beaches in Akumal are free of charge. Do not pay, if anyone asks you to. Beaches across Mexico are public beaches and are subject to public property.

Akumal Beach is known to have tourist traps, like asking for entrance fees and such, ignore them and walk away. It’s important to be well-informed before going.

Does Akumal Have Seaweed?

Akumal Bay doesn’t have seaweed issues like Cancun or Playa del Carmen used to have. However, there are certain times that you could encounter little seaweed.

This is due to the curvature of the bay and the reef nearby. South Akumal in particular often receives less seaweed than other beaches.

Are There Sharks in Akumal Bay?

The sharks that have been rarely spotted in Akumal Bay are mostly Nurse Sharks, a harmless bottom-feeding species, that can be intimidating because of their size. For the most part, there have been no shark attacks in Akumal.