Place of the Turtles
Akumal is a small beach-front tourist resort community 100 km (62 mi) south of Cancún, between the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is located in Tulum Municipality in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. The 2010 census showed a population of 1,310 inhabitants. Akumal means "place of the turtles" in the Mayan language. The town was officially founded in 1958 as a community for scuba divers by Pablo Bush Romero--a Mexican businessman, diver, writer, historian, and archaeologist. Pablo Bush's family (the Bush/Wolfe family) still owns a large portion of Akumal. The diving group CEDAM originally came here to dive the Spanish shipwreck of the Matanceros whose remains still lie off the coast to this day. Akumal is also home to the ecological center CEA
HOW TO GET HERE
Akumal is located about 1 hour south of Cancun, between the towns of Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, and it’s about 10mins South of Puerto Aventuras. Head along the 307 Highway which is the north/south highway from Cancun to Chetumal until you see signs for “Akumal” or “Akumal Playa” The entrance to "Akumal Playa" is well marked by overhead highway signs and you will see it on your left just after a large overhead pedestrian bridge and local traffic fly over bridge. The median will not allow you to turn there. Just before the bridges slow down, stay in the left lane, and follow the RETORNO sign to Akumal Playa which points you to your left. This will let you cross over to the north bound lane of the highway. Stop and wait for traffic to clear and U-turn left now heading north on 307. You will take a right into the community of “Akumal Playa” immediately before the local traffic flyover bridge. If you pass under the bridges again you have gone too far. The road towards Akumal merges with the local traffic road shortly after the highway turn off. Please yield to the local traffic at the yield sign, and take care when merging. Once you have entered Akumal continue down the road towards the arch which marks the entrance to the village.
By Bus or Colectivo:
Get on the bus at Playa del Carmen or Tulum, and ask them to drop you off at Akumal. The bus will drop you off at the highway entrance to the village. Just walk down the road towards the beach (takes about 5mins) and you’ll be there!