Travel Destinations: Akumal, Mexico

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Akumal is one of the best kept secrets of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Located only a little over a hour’s drive from Cancun, it is a haven for adventure of all kinds. Once you visit Akumal, you will find yourself returning year after year to experience the culture and the unique attractions.

Although Akumal is only a small community, its white sandy beaches will give you the feeling of being in a much larger location. Swaying palms, surf and sun all add up to a vacation in paradise. There are three bays – Half Moon Bay, Greater Akumal Bay and Adventuras Akumal Bay – which offer exquisite scuba diving opportunities. This is also the location of the world’s largest underwater cave system  If you are more interested in swimming and snorkelling, then the clear waters of Yal-ku Lagoon will be just what you are looking for.

Accommodations abound in all-inclusive resorts, beach front condos, small beach cottages and bungalows, as well as studio efficiency apartments. Enjoy traditional cuisine, seafood delights or more international cuisine at the tables of the restaurants, all of which have an idyllic view of the ocean.

If you intend to vacation in Akumal during the months between April and October, you will be in for a treat with the turtles nesting on the beach. The name of the town comes from the Mayan language meaning “place of the turtles” and it is one of the main nesting locations along the Caribbean coast. They come onto the beaches only at night, but you do need to take one of the tours to see this sight as the sea turtles are an engendered species and these areas are protected. The beach of Xel-Ha is one of the most important of these beaches.

Every member of the family will enjoy spending the day ay Xel-Ha, a unique park that has something for everyone. Virtually every color in nature is represented in the sights of the birds and flowers and the 75 species of tropical fish in the waters. Plant a tree seedling in the Chacah Garden and learn the legend of two great warrior princes. Take a walk along the Mayan Wall to see one of many of the great accomplishments of the ancient Mayan civilization.  Visit the apiary to see a colony of stingless bees and see the more than 270 species of tropical plants in the plant nursery.

Relax and rejuvenate at X-pa with the latest in aromatherapy treatments and massage therapy. Wade in the waters of the Bay of Caprices, which is only a short walk from the jungle paths off the Floating Bridge. Spend some time on Hammock Island as you lounge in a hammock on the beach taking in the sight of the dolphins frolicking in the waters right before your eyes. Within this park there are many stores, cafes and boutiques offering you the chance to engage in shopping as part of your adventure.

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