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.
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.
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.
No 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!)