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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

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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Sian Ka’an

WHAT ?

Sian Ka’an is a biosphere reserve. It was established in 1986 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Part of the reserve is on land and part is in the Caribbean Sea, including a section of coral reef.

WHERE ?

Sian Ka’an is located in the municipality of Tulum. You can visit the reserve by booking a tour from Playa del Carmen or directly at Tulum town. Usually you leave Playa or Tulum in the morning, it takes around 2 hours to get there by 4×4, then you eat in a basic restaurant, and get on a boat to visit the reserve. Coming back they stopped at the same town so you can eat or buy typical stones, bracelets or collars.

HOW MUCH ?

The cost is around 120 us$ for the entire day, but there is cheaper offers (like if you go there by yourself, by car or by bike.)

Cozumel

WHAT ?

Cozumel is an island in the Caribbean Sea, 35 min from Playa del Carmen.

The name Cozumel means in Mayan : the island of swallows.

Most of visitors go there for scuba diving and snorkeling. On the island you can rent bike, rent golf cart or use taxis.

WHERE ?

To get to Cozumel you have to take the UltraMar Ferry (12 us$ one way), boats are leaving every hour from Playa del Carmen : See it on Google Maps.

HOW MUCH ?

The ferry is about 25 us$ round-trip.

In Cozumel you can rent golf cart ( up to 4 people, around 25 us$ / cart )

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.

Bacalar Lagoon

WHAT ?

Bacalar and his seven shades of blue lagoon is just a magic town, perfect to snorkeling, swim or dive. The meaning in Mayan of the name Bacalar is “surrounded by reeds”.

You can leave Playa del Carmen in the morning and come back at the end of the afternoon, or you can spend a night there to enjoy 2 full days there.

Bacalar is the perfect place for families or friends, as you have restaurants, kids playground, kayak renting, 1h30 boat trip to visit the lagoon and others magic places around, the San Felipe Fort and museum is just breathtaking ( 30min visit ), the Bacalar Rapids with his colors from green to turquoise, you should visit Bacalar before it get too touristy!

WHERE ?

Bacalar is located 4 hours south of Playa del Carmen.

To get there you can go by car or take the bus ADO ( 7 to 15 us$ depending on the departure hour ).

HOW MUCH ?

The round-trip with ADO is between 15 and 30 us$ depending on the departure time.