About Akumal, Mexico

Akumal is for people who want to get away from the busy tourist resorts of Cancun and Cozumel and for those who want to see more of the real Mexican lifestyle of the Mayan Riviera.

Akumal, located very close to Playa del Carmen and Cozumel, is a small quaint resort on the tourist corridor between Cancun - Tulum of the Mexican Caribbean, also called The Maya Riviera. It is located 65 miles south of Cancun, 52 miles south of the airport, and 14 miles north of Tulum.

Akumal is a excellent destination for those interested in enjoying the Mexican Caribbean, located in the Yucatan Peninsula on the shores of the Caribbean Sea . Akumal is located near the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Xel-ha, Xcaret, Chichen-Itza and Coba.

There is a crescent shaped beach called Half Moon Bay that is perfect for basking the sun. Akumal Bay is where sea turtles come to lay their eggs in the summer months...the bay also offers excellent snorkeling along coral reefs in the crystal clear Caribbean waters. Biking is the prefered form of transportation and car rentals are available.

For the more adventures minded, take a trip into the jungle and explore the areas wildlife and fresh water cenote caves, which are part of the largest underground cavern systems. Fishing is excellent, you are among Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado, King Fish, Barracuda and others just offshore.

The temperature from September through April is about 80░F, and near 90░F during the remaining months. There is a continual sea breeze, and occasionally you will need a light sweater during the winter months.

Akumal: place of the turtles in the Mayan language, is where one travels to find quiet beaches, powdery sand, lush jungle, and friendly people. Tropical life abounds in our protected bays where the most experienced snorkeler will find fulfillment, and where the youngest rookie can discover the beauty of the underwater world. Your days can be as busy and varied as you choose, or as restful and unwinding. There are plenty of reefs, jungle, sacred Mayan sites all within easy reach of Akumal, and the natural setting almost guarantees unforgettable sunsets and moonlit nights.

Akumal is unspoiled in its natural beauty, providing all the comforts and services you will need on your vacation, and a true balance between tourism and the environmental conservation.

Founded over 35 years ago, it has remained true to protecting earth's great beauties, while also providing a quality vacation in this special setting. For this reason Akumal has remained essentially the same through-out the years and remains unchanged since the development of the Cancun Tulum Corridor. It's reserved for those who truly appreciate a destination that does not need to be drastically overwhelmed. Here you receive good tourism and we welcome the traveler who is looking for experience that will live on in the memory long after having left Akumal.

We invite you to Akuma, and after having you here one time we're sure an invitation to return will not be necessary.

Akumal Brief History...

Akumal means the place of the turtle, and used to be a seaport and trading center of the Maya. In 1513, a Spanish Galleon shipwrecked off the shore of Akumal . Seventeen of the sailors were washed up on the beach, where the Mayans captured them and made them slaves.

Fifteen died. The two survivors were Geronimo De Aguilar, who was a friar and warrior, and Gonzalo Guerrero. It was Guerroro who would have a lasting impact on the Akumal area culture.

Gonzalo Guerrero wound up marrying the Mayan princess Zazi and fathered the first mestizos so called white Indian. He went on to teach the Maya new war techniques they would later use in their fight against Spaniards.

The Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortes arrived in Cozumel and heard about the ship wreck and two survivors in Akumal. He sent emissaries to look for them. The search party located the two, and Geronimo de Aguilar was returned to Cortes' camp. Later, the rescued sailor would become the first translator and guide in the conquest of Mexico.

Gonzalo Guerrero adapted to his life with the Maya. As he told the emissaries he was no longer a Spaniard; he was Mayan. He stayed in Akumal with his wife and three children until he died in 1536. Today, a statue of Gonzalo Guerrero stands on the beach in the the Bay of Akumal.

A little more...

The fame that Cozumel and the Mexican Caribbean has for incredible dive spots first spread from Akumal in 1958 when a group of ex-WW II Mexican frogmen salvaged the Spanish galleon, Mantanceros, sunk against the Palancar Reef in 1741. They called their group CEDAM, the Club de Exploracíon y Deporte Acu ticos de Mexico. In 1968 they donated Xel-H and over 5,000 acres of their coconut-palmed land around Akumal as a national park. Before Cancun, Akumal (Mayan for 'Land of Turtles') was the only resort along the Quintana Roo coast. Since then the shoreline has been built up to a point where condos, villas and hotels line the formerly deserted half-moon bay beach. It's a fine place to stay if you're after the amenities of the Cancún hotel zone without the crowds. Not our style, but still a big dive spot.

Our pick is nearby Yal- Ku, a seldom-visited lagoon where canals of fish-filled emerald water provide wonderful snorkeling. It's an 800-meter (half- mile) stroll north of the road that loops Half Moon Bay in Akumal, or there's an unmarked road on the left (opposite Rancho San Miguel) before the resort at about the 98 Km marker. There's also a teeny tiny Maya building there.