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Why This Stunning Beach Town South Of Cancun Is Trending This Winter 

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The Mexican Caribbean and Yucatan Peninsula truly have no shortage of incredible beach locations. 

Like something out of a postcard, each popular tourist destination has a plethora of white, sandy coastlines and crystal blue waters that honestly could make you never want to leave. 

Wooden boat in Akumal Bay. Paradise beach Akumal on the Caribbean coast of the Gulf of Mexico.

One stunning beach town that is currently a cut above the rest is Akumal, which is continuing to see its hotels full to the brim with very happy visitors. 

A Little Bit Of History 

Akumal was originally settled by the Mayan people as a fishing and trading settlement. 

Its name translates comes from the Mayan language, meaning “place of the turtle”, as hoards of turtles return to its beaches each year to lay their eggs. 

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One of the earliest records of Akumal comes from 1511, when a Spanish ship wrecked on its shores, and the sailors onboard were captured by the Mayan people.

Though unharmed, many of the sailors died, leaving only two behind, who later were accepted by the Mayan people and became part of the community. 

Akumal Today

Now, Akumal has transformed into a tourist hotspot, and offers a much more laid back vibe than somewhere like Cancun or Playa Del Carmen. 

@lisa_ventures it’s right next to the Monkey Sanctuary in Akumal #mexico #tulumvibes #tulummexico #akumalmexico ♬ Golden Hour: Piano Version – Andy Morris

A perfect destination for water lovers and adventurers, Akumal is home to several diving centers, perfect for diving and snorkeling, and still has a bay dedicated to swimming with the majestic giant turtles that have been returning there for hundreds of years. 

Why Is It So Popular? 

Something different 

A world away from its close neighbors of Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, Akumal is absent of huge, high-rise hotel complexes that many tourists would rather go without. 

Aerial view of Akumal, with boats, resorts, and jungle in the background

Here, you can fully immerse yourself in rest and rejuvenation, where everything feels laid back and not in the least bit stressful. 

Waste your days away on the stunning beaches of Akumal, lazily explore and sightsee at your own pace, and then top it off with more than above-average food at a number of brilliant restaurants and eateries.

It is a winning combination that brings Maya culture and a slice of paradise together for a truly magical vacation. 

Endless Fun 

As mentioned above, Akumal is a perfect destination for water lovers and sun seekers, offering them an array of fun that won’t leave them feeling bored any time soon. 

Along with its protected bays, which are host to the most popular attraction of swimming with sea turtles, there is so much more to do. 

a green sea turtle in akumal with swimmes

Everything from fishing trips to snorkeling in and around the coral reefs, as well as diving into the Yal-Ku Lagoon and cenotes, the possibilities are endless.

Along with all of these fun activities is a focus on sustainability. 

With strict rules regarding sea turtles and coral reefs, the island is not facing the effects of tourism in the way that other destinations are in the Mexican Caribbean, which is certainly another draw. 

Akumal fully embraces eco-tourism, and the success of that can be felt when vacationing here. 

How To Get To Akumal 

It couldn’t be easier. 

Most people fly into Cancun International Airport, which offers direct flights from the U.S. 

Once you arrive in Cancun, you will have to make an hour and a half journey to the stunning island via taxi, private hire, or bus service. 

However, Tulum International Airport is about to welcome international flights in March, making it easier to reach Akumal, with an approximate 45 minute journey. 

exterior of Tulum International Airport

If you are already in the Mexican Caribbean and want to travel to Akumal for a couple of days as a side vacation, there are a number of ways to easily reach the destination. 

The most recommended way is by shuttle, which costs $134 USD between 3 passengers. 

For those with 4 to 6 passengers, the trip will cost around $160 USD. 

Certainly, between couples and groups, a shuttle transfer is the answer and works out reasonably priced. 

There is also the option for car rentals, which you can organize at Cancun or Tulum Airport, giving you the freedom to reach Akumal at your own pace and sightsee along the way, stopping at the many cenotes and historical sites that the area is home to!

an empty beach in akumal with palm trees and blue water

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