Akumal is a small beach town between Tulum and Playa del Carmen. Akumal is known for the large number of green turtles feeding on the grass close to shore. You can go snorkeling from the beach to get an up close look at the turtles.
I would recommend coming early, before 9 A.M., as it will be busy with tour groups coming from Cancun and Playa del Carmen. Because there are more people in the sea, the water will be more murkily because of the many feet trample.
The beach is beautiful with white sand and waving palms. You can find restaurants all along the beach.
My husband Timo, entered the sea for snorkeling. I stayed with the bags at the beach. I was so impatience! I wanted to see turtles! Finally, I saw Timo swimming back. He saw one turtle up close to the beach and he saw some stingrays too.
I quickly put on my mask and entered the sea. Soon I saw a turtle. Wow! So close and so huge! The water was a bit murkily because of the loose sand on the bottom. After I swam a little with this lovely creature, I soon saw a stingray too. It was on the bottom and it was big!
I tried to follow a turtle, but it swam really fast. So I just let it go. Another shade appeared, it was a huge turtle again and I could watch him eating.
While I returned to the beach I saw 2 turtles eating, close to each other. Completely satisfied I headed back to the beach. I saw 6 turtles, from which I could observe 4 of them for a while.
In Thailand and Malaysia I had seen a glimpse of turtles, but this was a unique experience! The turtles were calm, eating and I could take a good look.
By car you can reach Akumal beach by taking the exit Akumal Playa. Soon you'll see a parking lot on your right hand. The parking fee is 50 pesos for the whole day. If you intent to stay only 1-2 hours follow the road a little further, about 200 meters after the white gate, on your left hand, you can find a parking lot paid by the hour. This cost 20 pesos per hour.
After you parked the car, you can walk towards the beach. Just follow the road straight, trough the white gate and on to the beach. You will be approached by guys who will try to sell you a tour for about 40 dollars. They claim you need it and it is prohibited to swim on your own. It's not! Or they tell you have to swim with a life vest. Also, NOT true!
Read it here and here. Only if you feel more confident swimming with a life vest, you can rent a vest at one of the many shops. The same for snorkeling gear. You can buy or rent one at one of the many shops.
At the entrance of the beach there are some guys explaining the rules about snorkeling with turtles. This means you keep your distance, not diving to the bottom, because that interrupt their eating, don't touch, just be respectful and stay between the buoys.
When I was looking into accommodation I was first focused on Tulum, but I couldn't find something I liked.
In Akumal I found Maya Eco village, which seemed almost a jungle paradise, jet still close to the beach. This seemed perfect for us! The owners Stephanie and Sergio greeted us with a big smile. Our bungalow was huge and it had a big bed. We could use the common kitchen, so it also self serving. The big fridge in the room keeps the drinks cool. And big fans on the ceiling are giving a breeze.
The Mexican/Italian couple just opened one year ago and they build and designed the place by themselves. The garden is full of young fruit plants and flowers so it is going to be more lush and green in the future.
Thumbs up for this bed and breakfast! I hope we will be back in the future!