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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.

Chichen Itza

WHAT ?

The Maya name Chichen Itza means : at the mouth of the well of the Itza (The Itza are Guatemalan people of Maya affiliation).

The impressive Chichen Itza archaeological site, chosen as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World, is without a doubt a must-see of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Clasico Tour is the perfect alternative to get to know this millennial Mayan city in a unique duet of nature and culture with the quality, safety and service our visitors are accustomed to.

While the rest of the world was immersed in the Middles Ages, the Maya built this majestic city, primary political center of the Mayan region. Its icon, “El Castillo“, a pyramid dedicated to the god Kukulcan, is a testimony of this important culture’s impressive mathematical and astronomical precision, which still baffles visitors today.

The 91 steps on each side of “El Castillo” and 1 on the altar add up 365 steps, the number of days in a year. The round structure of the Observatory is a surprising and unusual shape in Mayan architecture.

Chichen Itza was one of the largest Maya cities. The buildings of Chichen Itza are grouped in a series of architectonic sets, the three best known of these complexes are the Great North Platform (which includes the monuments of El Castillo, Temple of Warriors and the Great Ball Court), The Osario Group (which includes the pyramid of the same name as well as the Temple of Xtoloc) and the Central Group (which includes the Caracol, Las Monjas, and Akab Dzib).

It was one of this touristic site that you HAVE TO visit if you spend your holidays in the Riviera Maya!

WHERE ?

Chichen Itza is located 2,5 hours driving from Playa del Carmen, or you can choose to go with the bus ADO (4 hours to go, same to come back) or by Tours that will stop a few hours at Chichen Itza and then an hour in Valladoid (founded by Francisco de Montejo “The Nephew”, this colonial town is one of the oldest in Latin America. The beautiful face of colonial architecture, in its stately old mansions and plazas is also found the warmth of its people and captivating places worth to visit).

HOW MUCH ?

The ADO is around 30 us$ round-trip, but a lot of tours offers you to visit Chichen Itza, prices varies a lot from one to another (100 us$ & up).