Akumal, Mexico – Day Trip Awesomeness

Akumal Beach, Mexico

Nestled between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, this little jewel (whose name means “place of the turtles” in Mayan) is just a short colectivo ride from either city. Overpower a small child, take their snorkel gear, and head to Akumal, Mexico – one of the best day trips we’ve taken thus far.

Palm Tree on Akumal Beach

Once you’ve acquired your snorkel gear, you can claim a shady spot under one of the many palm trees and get swimming with these magnificent endangered creatures. Although, since the water is not as clear as other parts of the Caribbean you need pay extra attention as to where you’re swimming or might ‘pull a Shaun’ and damn near collide with turtle while it’s munching on some grass. First a manatee, now a sea turtle? I seem to have some kind of magnetic connection with endangered species.

Sea Turtle, Akumal, Mexico

Should you be unable to overpower the children (kids are strong these days), there are multiple places for you to rent snorkel gear on the beach. There is no fee to swim with the turtles, just a lot of rules so they don’t close the beach to tourists (since there are so many accommodations near Riviera Maya), so you can still make this a very cheap excursion.

Lucy's Kitchen, Akumal, MexicoNo trip to Akumal should be completed without a trip to Lucy’s Kitchen. Here you can get reasonably priced fish or shrimp tacos that are the best I’ve ever had. Seriously effing good. Also be sure to try their homemade ice cream and your day will end on a heavenly note.

Hide your kids, or at least their snorkel gear, as spending at least one day in Akumal is a must.

(Picture below of the BEST FISH TACOS IN THE WORLD!)

Fish tacos from Lucy's Kitchen in Akumal

Battered, fried fish with mango salsa and a chipotle mayo.

19 Responses to “Akumal, Mexico – Day Trip Awesomeness”

  1. Randy July 8, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Damn! Those are some great looking fish tacos. I’m dying to get to a tropical destination like Akumal; I’ve never been anywhere like this. Though, I prefer stealing my snorkel gear from old ladies (I find it’s less perverse).

    • Shaun July 8, 2011 at 12:47 pm #

      @ Randy – Yeah, I can see your point… but old ladies tend to attack you with purses, umbrellas or bingo boards whereas kids just stand there and cry.

  2. Heather July 9, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Can you believe I’ve never had a fish taco?! The ones above *do* look like the best ones I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in a photo :-)

    You guys have increased me itch to snorkel again with all the snorkeling you’ve been doing! I don’t think I’ll have another chance this summer (alas) but I can’t wait to go again.

    • Shaun July 9, 2011 at 11:13 am #

      @ Heather – These tacos were so good that we made a 2nd stop in Akumal on our way back down through the peninsula. Although, starting with tacos like these will greatly skew your thoughts on what fish tacos should be. The first time Erica and I tried sushi was in Japan and it was made fresh by our host family (with veggies from their garden and everything). Now, our sushi expectations are rather difficult to satisfy.

  3. Dina July 9, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Man, those fish tacos look delicious indeed…

    • Shaun July 9, 2011 at 11:34 am #

      @ Dina – Erica and I were salivating when putting this post together, lol.

  4. Sofia - As We Travel July 10, 2011 at 9:10 am #

    I love mango salsa AND snorkeling, best combination! ;) Cool that you got to see turtles.

    • Shaun July 10, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

      @ Sofia – Yup! That is exactly why it is one of my favorite day trips! :D

  5. Evan July 10, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    Oh man. You’re giving me an itch to fly outta here.. and I’ve only been back in the states for a week!

    • Shaun July 11, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

      @ Evan – I’ve only been away for a few weeks (after multiple trips there) and I’m going through withdrawls too. D:

  6. Bryan July 11, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Another vote for the fish tacos!

    • Shaun July 11, 2011 at 11:01 pm #

      @ Brian – Oh, yes… *drool*

  7. Jessica July 11, 2011 at 6:09 pm #

    Stop posting yummy pictures of food unless your sending them to your niece to eat!!!

    Love you!

    • Shaun July 11, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      @ Jessica – Ok! Expect a soggy box in a couple weeks!

  8. Calvin Perfilio July 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Great post guys, I have been here in Mexico for four years and currently live in puerto vallarta. I have never been to Playa del carmen or tulum but your post definitely just put it on my Mexico bucket list. Thanks keep it up

    • Erica July 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

      I love Puerto Vallarta (but I do love Sayulita even better!). The Yucatan is a completely different beast for sure. I love both sides!

  9. Steph | DiscoveringIce.com September 9, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Free turtle snorkeling! Yay! Heading to Tulum today, gonna try do this day trip tomorrow! Finally something free in the Yucatan!

    • Erica September 16, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      How was it?! I’m glad we can highlight places like this so people can find info online. We heard through word of mouth – we can only hope everyone visits!

  10. Darreb October 25, 2012 at 12:20 pm #

    We love akumal: One of the best places to swim alongside turtles, check here for some photos: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.212674775501883.30087.167696939999667&type=3

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