AKUMAL ATTRACTIONS

Coba Pyramid | 45 minutes west of Tulum

 

Coba (“waters stirred by the wind”), is one of the most important archaeological sites in the area. Built between two lakes during the Classic Period (600-900 A.D.), it was at one time a very large city, with nearly 50,000 inhabitants and an extension of over 80 square kilometers. The main pyramid, Nohuch Mul, “large hill”, is 42 meters tall (138 feet) and is the highest in the Yucatan peninsula. Climbing the 120 stairs to the top of the Grand Pyramid at Cobá is well worth the effort. Standing here one can see over the jungle canopy for miles, unexcavated temple mounds peeking above the trees. The pyramid known as the Iglesia (Church), is second in height and from its summit visitors have a spectacular view of lake Macanxoc.

Xel-Ha & Xcaret | 20 minutes north of Tulum

While driving to Tulum you will pass Xel-Ha, an eco park with lagoon snorkling and lots of other activities and Hidden Worlds which is world renowned for cave diving and snorkeling in the underground rivers of the Yucatan! Xcaret is 20 minutes to the north and is a park filled with Mayan ruins and native animals. You can swim with dolphins or just relax at one of there many restaurants.

Visit www.xcaret.com and www.xel-ha.com for additional information on discounts on entry fees and reservations.

Something fun for everyone

The shopping in Tulum is great and there are many wonderful and scenic restaurants on the beach. Fishing, snorkling, scuba diving, horseback riding, golf, spa experiences, jungle exploration, ATV tours, swimming with whale sharks… the list goes on and on. Let our experienced guest services staff know what you want to do and they will happily arrange it!

Playa Del Carmen | 30 minutes north of Tulum

Playa Del Carmen is 30 minutes to the north, with the irrestible 5th Avenue. Restaurants, beaches, shopping and night life make Playa a must see. The ferry to the island of Cozumel is just a few steps from 5th Ave. You can take the ferry to Cozumel, explore the island, and return later in the day. Cozumel, in addition to it’s world class reef diving has fine dining, shopping, clubs and great people watching, plus the charm of a historic Mayan and Mexican community.

Activities

There are endless choices of things to do besides resting and relaxing in the pool or under a palapa at Playa Caribe. If you are thinking of exploring some of the available activities, this is the place to begin your planning.

Snorkeling and Diving (fish identification)
Reef Guide 1

Dive Shops
Akumal Dive Adventures | Akumal Dive Center | Akumal Dive Shop | Dive with Natalie and Ivan | Dos Ojos

Cenotes
Information List of cenotes to visit 

Fishing
Fishing calendar

Fishing guides
Akumal Dive Center Akumal Dive Shop Cueva del Pescador

Golf

Ruins
Information | More information

Birding 

Adventure Parks and Eco-Parks 
Botanical Gardens of Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin | Rio Lagartos | Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve | Xcaret | Xel-Ha | Hidden Worlds Family Cenote Adventure Park | The Jungle Place | Aktun Chen Eco-park | Río Secreto | Selvática | Xaman Ha Aviary

Shopping

Restaurants
La Buena Vida La Lunita | Lol ha | Cueva del Pescador | Gynn’AK | Loncheria | Imelda’s Ecocina | Turtle Bay Cafe and Bakery | Lucy’s Ice Cream

Spa
Budha Gardens

For even more in-depth information on activities try Locogringo’s spotlights HERE>>.

Akumal Natural History

Akumal is a Maya word meaning place of the turtle.

Akumal’s most famous visitors are the turtles. The nesting season begins in May with the last hatchings at the end of October, but you will see turtles in the bays and lagoon all yearlong.

We would like to encourage our guests to enjoy the turtles without causing them any stress. Hopefully, we can answer your questions and pass on worthwhile information here.

How can I tell the difference between the Hawksbill and the Green turtles in the bays?  
What do turtles eat?
Is it OK to feed turtles?
Why do bright lights and camera flashes bother turtles?
What is a turtle release like?
What can we do to protect the marine environment? 
What is biodegradable sunscreen and why should we use it?

Please never touch a turtle or hover above it for long periods of time. And, of course, you never want to stand on or touch the coral. Always keep your fins up! Fins can really kick up sand that smothers the coral.

History

Castaways and Sunken Ships

Did you know that before 1970, when the Mexican government began developing an east coast tourist area to be able to compete with Acapulco and other cities in the west, the only access to Akumal was by boat?

Akumal, a quiet seaside town, is located in the youngest Mexican state of Quintana Roo (keen-TAH-nah ROH-oh). Akumal is perfectly located as your homebase for adventures exploring the interior and the Riviera Maya and/or for just relaxing on the beautiful beaches.

Akumal, which means “place of the turtle” in Mayan, was originally a seaport and trading center for the Maya.

A Spanish shipwreck off the shore of Akumal in 1511 had a great impact on the area. One of the two survivors, Gonzalo Guerrero became the father of the first Mestizos. See more here.

Another shipwreck, about 200 years later, brought about another interesting historical twist. A Spanish merchant ship, Nuestra Señora de Matanceros, sank in Akumal Bay after hitting the coral reef during a storm.

Pablo Bush Romero was one of a team of WWII Mexican divers that began salvaging the the Matanceros wreck in 1959. Pablo later brought thousands of acres of land in the area and founded the town of Akumal. For more links about Pablo Bush:

A 1960’s article on him!
Official story
Great video of salvaging the wreck

These two interesting men who altered the history of the area, Gonzolo Guerrero and Pablo Bush Romero, are honored by statues in Akumal.