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Akumal and Yal Ku Lagoon in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Having visited Akumal (meaning place of the turtles in Mayan) a few times through the years, we were shocked by the crowds on the beach and in the waters when we arrived.  Obviously, local tour companies have added this location to their itineraries.  Known for the fine, white-sand beach and clear waters, the area is a favorite for turtles laying their eggs, and we have never visited without seeing at least a few of the turtles gliding gracefully through the waters or munching on the seagrass beds.

The public water area is enclosed within rope and buoys, but due to the number of people visiting, we opted to join a guide with 2 other couples to swim into an area further offshore that is only available if you are escorted.  Recent storms caused the waters to be cloudier than normal, but we were only in the water a few minutes before spotting our first green sea turtle, accompanied by a couple of remoras.  This symbiotic relationship benefits the turtles by removing parasites, and the remoras get transportation and a free meal.  Unfortunately, coral in the area seemed to show signs of damage and stress that were not evident on our last trip here four years ago. 

A few miles north of the public beach area, there is a natural inlet at Yal Ku Lagoon.  For $14 pp,  you can snorkel in the
quiet, clear waters for the day, and for an additional $20 you can rent a thatched roofed hut, and hang out with a bit more comfort, with changing rooms, showers, restrooms and a snack bar on site to cover all your basic needs.  Because of the calm waters, this is a perfect spot for beginning snorkelers, and life jackets (as well as other equipment) are available for rental, if needed.  Surrounded with beautiful gardens and statues, this is a wonderful way to spend a few hours.  With only a handful of other snorkelers around during our visit, it was almost like being in our own personal lagoon.
Banded Guitarfish seen at Akumal

Enjoying a Mexican lunch break in Akumal
Statues at Yal Ku


One of many cannons from shipwrecks, located north of Akumal public beach
n the Maya language, Akumal means "place of the turtles" and it is still one of their favorite places for laying their eggs. However what makes Akumal such a charming and fascinating destination for tourists from around the world is its spectacular protected bay area of transparent waters and the sweet water currents that flow through its caves and subterranean rivers. Akumal's silky white sand beaches are protected by off-shore reefs. This is a haven for divers from around the world who have been coming here for decades. - See more at: http://www.rivieramaya.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=2&id=2&Itemid=12#sthash.gJmwYt6G.dpuf

In the Maya language, Akumal means "place of the turtles" and it is still one of their favorite places for laying their eggs. However what makes Akumal such a charming and fascinating destination for tourists from around the world is its spectacular protected bay area of transparent waters and the sweet water currents that flow through its caves and subterranean rivers. Akumal's silky white sand beaches are protected by off-shore reefs. This is a haven for divers from around the world who have been coming here for decades. - See more at: http://www.rivieramaya.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=2&id=2&Itemid=12#sthash.XBrXIqSm.dpuf

In the Maya language, Akumal means "place of the turtles" and it is still one of their favorite places for laying their eggs. However what makes Akumal such a charming and fascinating destination for tourists from around the world is its spectacular protected bay area of transparent waters and the sweet water currents that flow through its caves and subterranean rivers. Akumal's silky white sand beaches are protected by off-shore reefs. This is a haven for divers from around the world who have been coming here for decades. - See more at: http://www.rivieramaya.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=2&id=2&Itemid=12#sthash.XBrXIqSm.dpuf

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