Akumal / Yal-Ku Lagoon / Aktun Chen

WHAT ?

Akumal Beach
Akumal in the Mayan language means “Place of the Turtle ».
If you snorkel here, you just might see turtles swimming, but please don’t touch it, that’s prohibited by law. You’ll definitely see coral and beautiful fish in the clear, sparkling waters.
Akumal is famous as a destination for snorkeling, where visitors can swim with endangered green sea turtles, who visit the shallow bay to feed on sea grass.
The popularity of snorkeling has put environmental pressure on the fragile habitat.

Akumal is a coastal resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, on the Yucatán Peninsula. Akumal Beach has white sands, a coral reef and warm waters rich in marine life, including turtles.

Yal-ku Lagoon
Yal-ku Lagoon is a popular shallow snorkeling lagoon with fresh & saltwater, it teems with colorful tropical fish, plus stingrays and barracudas.

Aktun Chen
Aktun Chen Parque Natural is known for its caves, cenotes (freshwater pools) and underground river.
Scenic rainforest park with an underground river for swimming, a zipline & cave exploration.

WHERE ?

Akumal is a small beach-front tourist resort community in Mexico, 100 km south of Cancun, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is located in the Tulum Municipality in the state of Quintana Roo, and is part of the Riviera Maya.

Akumal Beach
You can get there from Playa del Carmen by collectivos ($2 each way), they will stop you on the highway and from there you have to walk to the beach (about 10min walking).
You can also get there by car or by taxi (around $20 each way).

Yal-ku Lagoon
Yal-ku Lagoon can be accessed from Akumal beach by taxi ($4 each way) or by car. It is about 10min driving or 40min walking from Akumal beach.
Open 9.00am-5.00pm
No Feeding Fish No Sunscreen Allowed

Aktun Chen
Aktun Chen is 4km south of Akumal, and 16km before Tulum, the entrance is close to the Hotel Bahia Principe and Dolphinaris
Open 9.00am-5.30pm(winter)7.00pm(summer)

HOW MUCH ?

Akumal Beach
You can search for turtles by yourself if you have the equipment to snorkel, or you can go on a tour provided by one of the two great dive shops in town. It is $40 USD per person.
The other option will be to go on an unofficial tour. If you stand on the beach, a local may approach you and offer to take you snorkeling on his glass-bottomed boat. It is usually $20 USD per person and includes snorkeling equipment.

Yal-ku Lagoon
Entrance fee :
Adults $14
Youth $10
Snorkel + Mask $5
Flippers $5
Life Jacket $5
Lockers $3

Aktun Chen
Cave : Adults $26 Youth $14
Zipline : Adults & Youth $38
Cenote : Adults & Youth $21

Cenote Ik Kil

WHAT ?

In the Ik Kil Cenote, you will be able to dive into the refreshing beauty of the crystal clear Ik Kil sinkhole.

The cenote is open to the sky with the water level about 26 meters below ground level. There is a carved stairway down to a swimming platform. The cenote is about 60 meters in diameter and about 40 meters deep.

There are vines which reach from the opening all the way down to the water along with small waterfalls. There are black catfish which swim in the cenote. Cenote Ik Kil is sacred to the Mayans and they used this cenote for both relaxation and ritual services.

The cenote is part of a larger complex of a restaurant, store, changing rooms, and cottages for rent. There is also a Mayan ruin on the site.

It is open to the public for swimming and is often included in bus tours.

WHERE ?

Ik Kil is a well known cenote outside Pisté in the Tinúm Municipality, Yucatán, Mexico. It is located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula and is part of the Ik Kil Archeological Park near Chichen Itza.

Punto Venado

WHAT ?

Punto Venado is a place where you can relax, have fun, and enjoy an excellent meal and drinks in a spectacular atmosphere with incredible colors, surrounded by an exhuberant topical garden and our un-touched beach, all elements that make Blue Venado Beach Club a natural paradise in the mexican Caribbean.

Enjoy the eco-chic BeachClub Restaurant located in the incredible beaches of Punta Venado in the Mayan Riviera.
Blue Venado Restaurant BeachClub is the perfect place to enjoy a private stay with different services like an extensive restaurant with Mediterranean cuisine, excellent worldwide service and much more.

WHERE ?

Punto Venado is located only 8 Km away from Playa Del Carmen, inside Punta Venado Eco Park, which is a place in the Mayan Riviera that keeps the natural beauty of the Caribbean’s nature untouched, with an incredible variety of flora and fauna and endless white beach.

To get there you can grab a cab (around 10 us$ one way, 1 to 4 people) or a collectivo (bus stop in front of the Centro Maya, around 2us$ each one way).

HOW MUCH ?

Have relax in the fantastic blue venado beach club. Stay at the beach club with buffet and open bar from 10 am to 4 pm with entrance to the park for 60 us$.

They also offers more like activities like ATV (70 us$ & +), Horseback Riding (60 us$ & +), Snorkel (70 us$ & +), Jet-Ski (75 us$ & +), Cenote (70 us$ & +) & All In Tours (160 us$).

Packing List for Riviera Maya

  • Beach :

All you need is sunscreen High SPF & sunglasses !

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  • Cenotes :

You will need natural sunscreen to preserve the fresh transparent water !

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  • Underwater / Boat :

You will need a GoPro, a waterproof case for your smartphone and your passport !

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Tulum

WHAT ?

Tulum is located on the Caribbean coast of the state, 45min driving from Playa del Carmen. Tulum town is near the site of the archaeological ruins of Tulum. The archaeological site can be accessed from the entrance of Tulum or from the beach.

Tulum was the first Mayan city discovered by the Spanish conquerors in the 16th Century and the only walled Mayan city known to exist on the seashore. Renowned for its millenary frescos and unique buildings, this mysterious city was a major port-of-call along the Mayan maritime trade routes.

You will love Tulum for his archaeological ruins, amazing cenotes, his magical town or beautiful eco-chic hotels along the beach!

In Tulum town you can find grocery stores, boutiques, bicycle rentals, gyms, tour operators, banks, ATMs, internet cafes, and various other commercial stores.

The Hotel zone, 2 kms from Tulum town, is the Tulum part along the beach. Most of hotels there are cabañas built in the traditional Maya style with thatched palm roofs though there are some more high end hotels as well. There are many new restaurants, particularly on the jungle side of the road, some of which have received significant praise in the international press. There are also a few beach clubs and public beaches. Inexpensive cabañas with hammocks are still available, but are rare. Most accommodations remain rustic as electricity in the “hotel zone” is either non-existent or is generated on site.

WHERE ?

Tulum is 45 minutes driving from Playa del Carmen.

You can drive there, or take a collectivo (2us$) that will bring you to Tulum town. From there you can enjoy the beautiful town of Tulum, or take a taxi to get to the Hotel Zone (on the beach side) (5us$).

HOW MUCH ?

The ruins is around 8 us$ per entrance. The collectivo is around 5 us$ round-trip. The taxi fom Tulum town to the beach (hotel zone) is around 10 us$ round-trip.

Kantun Chi

WHAT ?

Kantun Chi is an Eco Park of Caves and Cenotes in the heart of the Riviera Maya.

Kantun Chi in Maya means : Yellow stone mouth.

If your planning a trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, you are likely wanting to enjoy this area’s amazing crystal blue oceans and fresh water cenotes.  Mexico works very hard to protect their cenotes as these naturally occurring freshwater wells are the area’s only major source of fresh water.

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When tourists swim in them with lotions and sunscreens, the chemicals in these products inevitably enter the local population’s drinking water supply.  Even sunscreens that advertise themselves as “sweat proof” inevitably sweat from your skin and into whatever water you are swimming in.

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WHERE ?

Kantun Chi is 15 min driving from Playa del Carmen.

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HOW MUCH ?

A little bit expansive (starting at 20us$), plan at least 2 hours for the 4 cenotes pack, 3 hours for the 5 cenotes pack.