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Why Travelers Are Flocking To This Incredible Destination North Of Tulum

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Akumal is a picturesque town that has gained popularity among travelers thanks to its tropical scenery and abundant marine wildlife.

A sea turtle in Akumal with divers

Situated around half an hour north of Tulum, Akumal is considered a must-see destination for Riviera Maya travelers.

Here’s why this Caribbean hotspot is so popular and how you can visit:

Akumal Gains Popularity Over Tulum’s Sargassum-Filled Beaches

Home to an array of ecotourism activities as well as a wealth of cultural attractions, Akumal is one of the most versatile destinations in the Mexican Caribbean.

Its name can be translated as ‘place of the turtles’, pointing to its abundance of marine wildlife.

Green Sea Turtle Swimming in Akumal, Mexico.

Aside from offering some of the best nature experiences in Quintana Roo, Akumal is full of local culture, and travelers can even find amazing hidden Mayan ruins that are far less touristy than those of Tulum.

Considered by many to be a hidden gem of the Mexican Caribbean, Akumal is a great choice for a quick day trip from Tulum, Cancun, or Playa del Carmem.

Travelers can also easily spend several days enjoying Akumal’s top-rated nature and cultural attractions, most of which are less crowded than other Quintana Roo hotspots.

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Aerial view of a beach in Akumal with blue water

Akumal Is Home To Top Nature Attractions

Travelers looking to escape sargassum-filled beaches this year can visit the famous Yal-Kú lagoon. This secluded freshwater cenote boasts crystal-clear waters and is the perfect spot for swimming with colorful fish.

Situated just 2 miles from Akumal Beach and around half an hour from Tulum, Yal-Kú’s convenient location makes it one of the best destinations for a relaxing day trip.

Tickets can be purchased online for just $20 per person, and admission includes free parking, Wi-Fi, and dressing rooms.

Gran Cenote in the Riviera Maya Near Cancun, Mexico

Upon arrival, travelers can spend a couple of hours soaking in the shallow waters, relaxing in one of the many hammocks found along the massive cenote. 

Travelers looking for a more adventurous experience can book one of several sea turtle swimming tours. Viator’s top-rated turtle tour will set you back just $44 per person.

The all-inclusive experience is perfect for beginners as the water depth never exceeds 2 meters. 

A clean and beautiful beach in Akumal during sunset

Of course, Akumal is also full of white-sand beaches that are ideal for soaking up the Caribbean sun.

Some of the top-rated options include Playa Akumal and Bahía de la Media Luna. Note that most beaches are private, and travelers will need to purchase admission to access them.

The Perfect Family-Friendly Destination 

Akumal is ideal for families thanks to the many outdoor adventures it offers travelers. The Akumal Monkey Sanctuary is one of the most adorable and educational experiences in the Riviera Maya.

Aside from native monkey species, travelers can find parrots, turtles, flamingos, and a range of exotic wildlife that will delight animal lovers.

Visitors can also opt for the Akumal Natura Rescue natural reserve, which houses 23 different species of animals, and admission includes access to two cenotes. 

@tequilatofu #akumalmonkeysanctuary #playadelcarmen #traveltiktok #movingtomexicowithkids ♬ Say So (Instrumental Version) [Originally Performed by Doja Cat] – Elliot Van Coup

Akumal Is Full Of Authentic Culture

If you’re looking to escape the crowds, then Uxuxubi is definitely worth a visit. This remote sanctuary is located around 11 kilometers from downtown Akumal and is run by a local community. 

The locals that inhabit the area are known for their expertise in beekeeping and honey making, in addition to a range of other arts and crafts. 

Travelers can also discover beautiful trails, swim in the stunning Balam cenote and visit one of the largest crocodile sanctuaries in the region—entrance to the massive eco-park costs just $8 per person. 

Sunrise at Akumal beach, paradise bay at Riviera Maya, caribbean coast of Mexico

Visitors wishing for a cultural experience closer to the downtown area can enjoy several beautiful restaurants that offer local delicacies.

La Buena Vida is one of the best top-rated options thanks to its seaside location, beautiful terrace with hammocks, and authentic decoration. 

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Wednesday 19th of April 2023

This is a true gram and tulum is becoming so much more of a beautiful town with the new national park and love how they are keeping it green and building infrastructure