Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Akumal Beach, Riviera Maya Mexico: is it Worth a Visit?

After booking my second vacation down to Mexico, we decided to stay in Riviera Maya, away from Cancun and the hustle and bustle of jam packed resorts. Riviera Maya seemed more low key, more pushed aside, more virgin and untouched as far as their beaches go.

We chose right, Riviera Maya is simply spectacular. Once we had chosen our resort, we needed to then figure out what we would do once we were in. After searching endlessly to choose which activities we would be doing while we were in Riviera Maya, we all agreed on Akumal Beach, which was literally just a few minutes down the road from the Barcelo Maya.

A taxi ride to the beach came to around $15.00, split amongst 4 people it was no big deal.

In order to get to the beach with the shortest walking distance, ask to be dropped off in front of the Lol Ha restaurant. If you don't you will have to walk a short distance, not a big issue, but when it is 109 degrees out, with no wind, even a short walk feels like forever when you are lugging around your beach gear.

The Beach:
Stunning to say the least.

The sands are pure white, and soft, palm trees line the shoreline for you to get some shade. Chairs are available for rent, but when we were present, we couldn't find anyone to pay in order to actually rent one. It was really not that big of a deal though considering the fact that you could just lay out a towel and sun bathe that way.

However do not come to this beach to just sit on your rump, this beach offered some of the best snorkeling right off shore than any other beach we visited in Riviera Maya. In fact, we loved Akumal Beach so much, we literally returned the following day.

The Reef:
Upon entering the water with your snorkel gear, you will find that a lot of the water features turtle grass, thus the reason this beach is the number one spot to view turtles right in the water, in depths less than 5 feet. Lazing around this area will guarantee you spot them, not just a few either, there are a lot of them here, ranging in sizes as large as dining room tables, to smaller ones. Regardless of the size though, seeing these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat is simply an experience of a lifetime.
Now rest assured, turtles are not the only sea creatures you will find here, and hogwash to those who said this place does not have good snorkeling. In order to find the good stuff you have to travel out a ways, but nothing too far that a beginner snorkeler couldn't handle.

Towards the right you can find the masses of reefs that seem like an endless colorful and glory filled adventure under water. Do not touch anything though, and move slowly, because even fanning up your fins near a reef can destroy it.

You will find fans, sponges, an abundance of fish, large and small sting rays, and tons of other gorgeous sights just waiting to be seen.

At the very far right you have some decent snorkeling as well towards the cliffs that feature the Akumal Villa's. You cannot enter this resort as it is private; however we poked around and definitely will be staying here on our next visit due to the gorgeous beach it lies on, and the quaint size of it.

There are a few restaurants that are waterfront and feature outdoor seating. Lol Ha unfortunately is not open for lunch, which I couldn't understand why, considering it gets a bit busy at this time. A restaurant next to it is open however, and they had some of the best fajitas we had in Mexico.

You can pack up and bring your own lunch of course, but if you want some really delicious Mexican dishes definitely go ahead and eat at one of the restaurants on the beach.

If you came to the beach without any snorkel gear, you can always rent them from the dive shop located on site of the beach. In the dive shop you can also book tours, or rent out a locker to keep your personal belongings.

Akumal Beach is hands down, one of the best beaches we had seen in Mexico thus far, and we have visited twice. If snorkeling is your main objective, than you will not be disappointed here, as it features the best off shore snorkeling we have found to date. Turtles, sting rays, small barracuda, and large great barracuda roam about amongst the vast array of other colorful fish in Akumal Bay. If you are in Mexico, don't miss this beautiful beach.

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