Swim with Sea Turtles in Akumal

Added by Ryan Charbonneau

Swimming with sea turtles in Mexico. This was one of the coolest things I've done and definitely recommended.

Just 25km north of Tulum and 39km south of Playa del Carmen lies Akumal Bay. Despite its proximity to the big vacation destinations and massive resorts, Akumal remains relatively quiet. There are several ways to get there, the easiest being by rental car which are insanely cheap in Mexico. Parking is 70 pesos if that's the route you choose. The second, and possibly the best option is by collectivo. Collectivos are a form of public trans down here in Mexico and depending on length of ride, cost about 20-30 pesos. They run from Cancun to Playa every ten minutes and from Tulum to Playa with the same time schedule. You just ask to be dropped at Akumal and then go right back where they dropped you when you're done to get home. 

The beach itself is easy to find but beware of the hustlers! The bay IS protected but the beach IS a public beach. Do NOT pay to go to the beach! Swimming/snorkeling in the bay IS allowed with your own gear and you are NOT required to wear a PFD. If you're not a strong swimmer, they are more than happy to rent you one, same goes for any gear you may need. You don't have to have a guide, but as a guide myself, be respectful and give them space. They are working, probably for tips. There ARE rules and regs for swimming with these beautiful guys, for good reason, and they are clearly written on big signs all over the beach. Have respect for these rules. Just know what is required and what is not and don't get scammed. The rest is magical! The ocean side restaurant has good eats for normal beach side prices. 

Read More


Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great Snorkeling Spot!

Akumal Bay is a wonderful place for snorkeling, and you will likely see a sea turtle. Bring your own snorkel equipment, or you can rent it on the beach. As the adventure says, there will likely be many companies and guides trying to sell you a tour, and telling you that you can only see turtles with a tour. Just tell them that you are going to the beach, and keep walking. There are regulations, and you can only go certain places without a guide. However, we were able to see a turtle and lots of fish in reefs in the area that you are allowed to go without a guide.

Nearby Adventures

  • Snorkel in Yal Ku Lagoon

    Charts display the numerous species of fish which may be seen in the lagoon, and the area's rocky underwater canyonlike terrain mixed with mangrove roots providing shelter for the fish offer an interesting landscape to snorkel through. There are t...

  • Swim in Cenote Jaguar

    The cenote lies at surface level, with cool blue waters surrounded by mangroves and jungle. There are three different jumping platforms, ranging from 2 meters to 6 in height. Otherwise, a wooden deck lets swimmers and snorkelers enter and exit the...

  • Explore Xel-Ha Archaeological Site

    The site (also spelled Xelha or Xelhá) lies 18km north of central Tulum, and sits on the opposite side of the highway from the commercial outdoor adventure park that shares its name. There are three main groupings of structures inside the site. Th...

  • Swim Cenote Tajma-Ha

    This cenote is popular with divers, owing to its access to a complex underground cave system reaching a depth of about 15 meters, entering into multiple rooms. While popular amongst divers, swimmers will likely find no one else on the water's surf...