5 Breath-Taking Bays in One Riviera Maya Location
Akumal really is the jewel of the coastline. Once a secret, Akumal has become a popular beach destination in the Riviera Maya. Located 100 km (62 miles) south of Cancún, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, this quaint beach town boasts some of the finest white sand beaches in the Riviera Maya with lots of natural palm tree shade.
The Name ‘Akumal’ Means The ‘Place of Turtles’
As our home base, we like to think that the beaches in Akumal are the poster children for the Caribbean. Long before the city of Akumal was populated large sea turtles chose its inviting shoreline as their home and nesting ground. The turtles knew from the beginning that the this tropical paradise with its sugary white beaches and beautiful bays was heaven. Writer, archaeologist and businessman Pablo Bush Romero confirmed that the Akumal beaches were heavenly, which encouraged the growth of this seaside town. Today, Akumal beaches are coveted by local residents and visitors. The population has changed, but the beaches have remained the glorious vision that turtles and Romero saw many moons ago. The Akumal Bays provide ample beach for everyone to share and does not leave anyone with a the feeling that the beaches are overcrowded. Visitors find the social areas of the beach to meet other visitors, while more private bathers seek out less social areas.
A wide stretch of Akumal’s gorgeous beaches encompasses “Las Bahias de Akumal” – a series of five bays starting to the south of Yal-Ku Lagoon with North Akumal Beach and ending at Aventuras Akumal to the south. All the bays are great for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, diving, beach combing and socializing.
Central Akumal – The Heart of Akumal Beaches
The Central Akumal beach features a clean white, sandy beach with beachside shops, restaurants, dive shops and homey beachfront accommodations. Lol Ha Restaurant and Beach Bar is a local favorite beachside hangout where you can watch local sports during the day and have a cool beachside dinner in the evening. Oh the glories of Akumal.
North Akumal Beach – Close to Yal-ku Lagoon
Still officially “Akumal”, the North Akumal Beach stretches around Half Moon Bay. The bay waters are calm as this stretch of the beach is protected by a reef break. Being close to Yal-ku Lagoon , a fresh water river that runs out to the sea, makes North Akumal Beach a colorful underwater world adventure. North Akumal has always been a hot destination spot for snorkelers and scuba divers searching for tropical fish, turtles and coral beds.
Jade Bay, South Akumal Beach and Akumal Aventuras
South of the main Akumal beach you’ll find several residential communities nestled along the shoreline of Jade Bay, South Akumal and Akumal Aventuras. All three bays feature beautiful beachfront villas and stylish condos built right on the warm shimmering sands of these Akumal beaches. Beach walkers love to walk the curve of the bay while admiring the various vacation villas that have this beach as their front yard.
Getting To and Discovering Akumal Beaches
Each beach in Akumal can be accessed through different entrances off the highway. To get to the Central Akumal beach take the Akumal exit sign on the highway, go through the arch and follow signs to Lol Ha Restaurant. If you are heading to North Akumal beaches, take the same main highway exit, but bear left at the arch and follow the winding road toward Yal-ku Lagoon. South Akumal’s entrance from the highway is separate from the main road into Akumal and has a large gate indicating the entrance into this more remote beach destination.
A Word to the Wise: Akumal Beaches
- Check out our beach webcam located in front of Lol Ha Restaurant on Akumal’s main beach.
- Foot protection is recommended in some areas
- Snorkeling and swimming are recommended in protected bay areas
- Do not trample any raised mounds of sand (they could be turtle nests)
- Have your snorkel gear handy so you can see Akumal turtles