7 Amazing Things to Do in Akumal, Mexico
Akumal is a town in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, in a part known as the Riviera Maya. Once a sleepy little town, Akumal has grown in recent years. With multiple big resorts, an increase in population, and many tourists visiting every year, Akumal is one of the top destinations on the Yucatan peninsula. Located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Akumal is a beautiful place to spend some time.
Things to Do in Akumal
There are many things to do in Akumal, and it can be a bit overwhelming to decide how to spend your time while visiting. These are seven of our favorite things to do in Akumal, and we will add to the list surely next time we visit!
Aktun Chen Eco Park is one of my favorite places in the area. Located just outside Akumal, this natural park offers an opportunity to investigate a beautiful underground river, see the huge caves, and go ziplining. One of the newer eco parks in the Riviera Maya, Aktun Chen is clean, full of friendly staff, and offers different activities to keep you and your family busy all day. You can check out our post Aktun Chen Eco Park – All You Need to Know Before Visiting for our review of the park, as well as some coupons to save 15% when booking online!
2. Check out the Ruins
There are many different Mayan ruins in the area. One of the closest and most well-known is the tour of Tulum. Located about 35 km south of Akumal on the coast, Tulum is a beautiful place to visit. The ruins on the coast are sure to wow, and you can learn quite a bit about the Maya civilization. You can go by yourself, or you can take a guided tour. If you’re doing a tour of Tulum, we recommend going with Beach Tours Mexico. They have knowledgeable guides and always provide a safe and fun experienc that is family-friendly. You can also head farther south to the quiet and beautiful ruins of Muyil.
The beaches in Akumal are truly amazing. With soft Caribbean sand, beautiful snorkeling and diving, and relaxing weather, the beaches in and around the town offer a wonderful way to relax. You can check out beaches like Jade Beach, Soliman Bay, Tankah Bay, and many more. If you travel to Tulum, you will find even more beaches to explore. Whether you want to sit in the sand and do nothing, explore tide pools, or spend some time diving, the beaches in the area have it all. Make sure to pause during your stay and enjoy them! Learn about our other favorite beaches in Mexico, and take note that Akumal is on the list!
4. Snorkel with Turtles
The snorkeling in Akumal is simply fantastic. Akumal actually makes our list of The Best Snorkeling in Mexico, and for one simple reason: sea turtles. Snorkeling in Akumal means you are basically sure to see some turtles swimming around. The shape of the bay makes snorkeling in Akumal an absolute must. The name is actually believed to mean “land of turtles” in a Mayan dialect. You can take a tour or go with a guide, or you can rent the gear on the beach and head out for yourself. Just be mindful of the different zones and where you are permitted to snorkel in the various bays and waters.
Xel-Ha is another eco park like Aktun Chen. However, Xel-Ha is much bigger and has been around for decades. On a natural lagoon just south of Akumal, Xel-Ha offers a ton of activities. You can swim with dolphins, snorkel in beautiful clear lagoons, go zip-lining, jump off cliffs, and much more. I went to Xel-Ha the first time as a kid and have been back several times as an adult. Whatever age your group is, this is definitely something worth doing if you’re looking for fun things to do in Akumal. You can save money by buying tickets ahead of time on the Xel-Ha website.
6. Visit Cenotes
There are many cenotes in the Riviera Maya, and they all offer a unique and wonderful experience. One of our favorite is Cenote Azul. Visiting a cenote is a cheap thing to do in Akumal, and works for the entire family. These little holes of freshwater may be on land or underground, and give you a different way to swim and enjoy wildlife. Many of them ask you not to wear sunscreen as to not harm the local wildlife and to help preserve the cenote for others to enjoy. You can ask a local in Akumal or a tour guide to take you to nearby cenotes.
7. Akumal Monkey Sanctuary
The Akumal Monkey Sanctuary is just flat-out awesome. When we were looking for things to do in Akumal, we found the sanctuary and spent some time visiting. The Akumal Monkey Sanctuary helps keep safe different types of monkey, rehabilitate injured monkeys, and offers education opportunities for those interested in learning about these creatures. You can take a tour of their grounds, interact with the monkeys, and swim in a cenote. This is a pretty cool thing to do, and we recommend checking it out and supporting a good cause!
For other great places to visit in Mexico, check out our post 13 Best Places to Visit in Mexico this Year.
Looking for a place to stay in Mexico? Check out our list of the Best Hotels in Mexico!