There are many amazing things to do in Akumal, such as swimming with turtles, playing with dolphins, admiring multicolored fish, tasting the delicious traditional cuisine. Here are the top seven outdoor activities to see and do in Akumal, Quintana Roo.
Swim With Turtles
The great attraction of Playa Akumal in the Riviera Maya is to swim near the turtle species that inhabit the bay’s waters. This is possible just by snorkeling near the beach, which these beautiful and peaceful creatures approach in their movements by the sea, looking for the aquatic vegetables with which they feed. In a dive that will cost you nothing if you bring your snorkeling equipment, it is possible to observe several turtles at a time. You can also rent snorkel equipment on the beach.
Admire the Yal-kú Lagoon
It’s one of the best-kept treasures of the Riviera Maya, a splendid hideaway that has managed to stay out of mass tourism in the Mexican Caribbean. It’s located in Akumal, with entry through the street Acceso Etapa H, at the entrance of an underground river, so its waters are brackish due to the mixture of the fresh current with the saltwater. The tranquility and separation of the waters from the sea allow small fish to grow without being prematurely devoured by predators. When they reach a specific size, they swim into the open sea, their ultimate habitat.
Explore Spectacular Cenotes in Mayamar
The Mayans considered cenotes the gateway to the underworld, a mysterious underground universe ruled by deities. In the beautiful cenotes of the Mayamar EcoRanch, you can feel the spirit of the underworld of the Mayan culture. At the same time, you swim in ancient and incredibly crystalline waters, surrounded by green foliage, birds, and the most authentic sounds of nature. The caves and cenotes of the Mayamar EcoRanch allow for total disconnection and intimate contact with nature. This place preserves its natural essence, unlike other ecotourism parks of the Riviera Maya that resemble spa resorts due to their intensive commercialization.
Escape to the Media Luna Bay
Less than 10 minutes from downtown Akumal is the Media Luna or Crescent Bay, a coral bottom cove where you can snorkel. The coral bank covers almost the entire bottom, so if you are going to enter the sea, you must wear beach shoes, even if you just want to take a dip. It’s not a tourist-packed bay, so it’s great for people who prefer to avoid crowds and love tranquility. It has a public entrance and other private ones through the tourist establishments located on the beachside. Snorkelers swimming the reef can admire turtles and different marine life, while people who prefer to stay on the sand enjoy the sun and the colorful and romantic sunsets.
Swim With Dolphins at Dolphin Discovery
You cannot miss a visit to this dolphinarium that belongs to one of the most important entertainment and preservation organizations in the world in the field of marine mammals. In the Dolphin Discovery of Akumal, you can have different swimming experiences with dolphins, between 40 and 60 minutes long. Perfect for the whole family, it provides the opportunity to swim and play with a lovely dolphin. This experience teaches about the anatomy of dolphins, their social habits, and other surprising facts about these fascinating animals, provided by the specialists who oversee their care.
See the Crocodiles in Uxuxubi
Uxuxubi is one of those places in the Mexican Caribbean that remain just as natural and wild before the development of Cancun and the Riviera Maya. In the Mayan language, Uxuxubi means “the one who whistles.” Currently, Uxuxubi is occupied by a community that supports themselves from ecotourism and the organic harvest of vegetables, mainly pitaya (species similar to dragon fruit) and melon. To go to Uxuxubi, you have to get to Akumal and then through a jungle stretch. The place is a sanctuary of the Mexican crocodile (Morelet’s crocodile), a reptile with a wide snout that can reach almost 10 feet in length in adulthood, which is at risk of extinction due to the environmental deterioration of its habitats and illegal hunting for its skin.
Have fun at Kantun-Chi Ecopark
Kantun-Chi is an ecological park nestled in the heart of the Riviera Maya, 14 km north of Akumal, where the main attractions are its cenotes and grottoes and its rich flora and fauna. The eco-park has several cenotes; four are available for swimming and diving: Kantun Chi, Sas ka leen Ha, Uch Ben Ha, and Zacil Ha. The first is a semi-open cenote, ideal for a refreshing swim surrounded by tropical flora.
Sas ka leen Ha is the largest, and its Mayan name is “transparent water.” Uch Ben Ha is a beautiful body of water in the open sky, with a colorful aquatic fauna that you can admire snorkeling. Zacil Ha means “clear water” in the Mayan language, and the openings in the limestone let in sunlight to appreciate its beautiful natural formations.
Akumal is a beach town from the municipality of Tulum, in the central coastal part of the state of Quintana Roo. It’s located 17 miles north of Tulum on Federal Highway 307. Next time you travel to the Riviera Maya, make sure to visit this magical destination in your itinerary.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com