Akumal, Riviera Maya, Mexico

In Mayan, Akumal means "Place of the Turtle" and you are likely to see one of these spectacular marine creatures while snorkeling in the Akumal area. Akumal is home to six crystal clear bays: Yal-Ku Lagoon, Half Moon Bay, Akumal Bay, South Akumal, Aventuras Akumal and Jade Bay. Esperanza is located right in the middle of them all, just across the road from Akumal Bay.

Akumal Bay is unique. Its glistening white sand never burns your feet. Its calm, translucent water changes color throughout the day, from aqua marine to turquoise to deep, royal blue. Far away from the high rise resorts, this is a perfect spot for children to play safely while you relax under a palm tree. Directly offshore is the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second longest in the world and one of the premier scuba diving destinations.

For those interested in archeology, a number of Mayan ruins are close by. Tulum, one of the most popular, is located just south of Akumal. And for nature lovers, verdant jungles, full of fresh water cenotes and exotic flora and fauna, surround us. Located in the heart of the Mayan Riviera, Akumal is easily accessible to many popular destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Valladolid, Coba and the Sian Kaan biosphere. There is literally something for everyone to do or, if you prefer, it's the perfect setting to do nothing.

Akumal - Special Points of Interest

Akumal Bay - the center of Akumal rings this beautiful bay. Tranquil waters make it particularly safe for swimming and snorkeling. At certain times of year, sea turtles come to feed on the grasses at the bottom of the bay. At other times, they build their nests on shore. Lol Ha Restaurant and Beach Bar front the bay and are great places for dinner, a light snack or happy hour festivities.

Akumal Centro - across the road from the bay, and literally steps from Esperanza, are the shops and restaurants of Akumal. Here you can buy Mayan handcrafts, charter a fishing boat, schedule a dive trip, rent a car and enjoy authentic Mexican and Mayan cuisine. If you're interested in the ecology of the Yucatan, drop into Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA).

Half Moon Bay - just up the road from Akumal Bay. Here the reef is very close to shore so it's a great place to snorkel. A must stop is La Buena Vida, a lively bar and restaurant on the south end of the bay. Sit in a bar-side swing and enjoy a Margarita or a cold cerveza.

Yal-Ku Lagoon - at the north end of Akumal, approximately a mile and a half from Akumal Bay, there is a natural lagoon. This is a terrific spot to snorkel as numerous species of multi-colored fish abound. A local treasure, the lagoon is now dotted with interesting Mayan sculptures.