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. 

Pack List

  • Biodegradable sunscreen
  • Snorkel
  • Mask
  • Towel
  • Drybag or something to keep your stuff in and with you while you swim
  • Pesos
  • GoPro or waterproof camera
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Activities Chillin, Photography, Swimming, Diving
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Adult Beverages
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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