Spending Time In Akumal
The Bahia Principe Akumal. (Courtesy Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts.)
Akumal is a small town located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, but it packs a lot of fun stuff to do.
So in between resting your head at The Bahia Principe Hotel in Akumal – where you can also scuba dive, windsurf, canoe, and play golf, among other things – here are some things to do and places to see.
Cenote Santa Cruz: Some of the most beautiful parts of the world are below the surface, and Cenote Santa Cruz is no exception. Go below ground to see some of the most beautiful stalactite and stalagmite formations that you will ever see. They are more than 50 million years old. All the equipment is supplied for the excursion and you can take personal tours that can also include a gourmet dinner.
Akumal Beach: Akumal is one of the most popular beach destination in Mexico and is also a popular destination for snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles. That could be because Akumal in the Mayan language means “land of turtles.” Here you can lounge on the beach or take a tour where you will get up-close-and-personal with the turtles. There is a series of five bays which encompass “Las Bahias de Akumal” and all the bays are great for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, diving, beach combing and socializing. Central Akumal features a clean sandy beach while the North Akumal Beach stretches around Half Moon Bay, which is close to Yal-ku Lagoon, a freshwater river that runs out to the sea. Caution on Akumal beaches – do not trample any raised sand mounds because our turtle friends might have some nests underneath.
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Dolphin Discovery Tulum Akumal: If you love swimming with the turtles than you’ll enjoy discovering the dolphins at this environmental habitat. There are adventure tours and interaction possibilities with these amazing creatures.
Aktun-Chen Natural Park: Aktun-Chen is Mayan for cave (Aktun) and underground river (Chen). Founded in 1977, the Aktun-Chen Natural Park is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya. It is a 400-acre rainforest where you will find whitetail deer, spider monkeys and lowland paca. There are also ziplines and an underground river for the adventurer in you to enjoy.
Tulum: A trip to Akumal wouldn’t be complete without a side trip 15 miles away to the Mayan pyramid complex of Tulum. You can explore temples, columns and faded rescoes. You can also visit El Castillo, the Temple of the Frescoes, and the Temple of the Descending God. Chichén Itzá is another world-famous complex of Mayan ruins located close by to Akumal on Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Definitely worth the trip.
The Jungle Place: Kids of all ages will love this sanctuary for endangered spider monkeys located about 15 minutes away. Spider monkeys, who were victims of the illegal pet trade are taken care of here like they are one of the family.
Hekab Be Library: This small library in Akumal runs entirely on donations. Stop in on your vacation and donate some books for the locals to enjoy.
Xel-Ha Ecological Park: Xel-Ha means “where the water is born” in the Mayan language and you need to enjoy a day at this ecological park where you can either sit on the beach or snorkel in the lagoon. If you’re interested in learning more about the man behind the town, then head on over to the Pablo Bush Romero Memorial Park, named after the founder of Akumal, who was born in Mexico City and founded the town in 1958 primarily as a SCUBA diving base and community.
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