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Akumal News!

Actitivies for Kids in Akumal Mexico

August 5th, 2009

If you bring the kids to Akumal on vacation, there are many activities here which are great for the younger members of the family.  It’s important to keep the kids busy and interested in all of the exciting activities here in Akumal.

Aside from touring the local Mayan ruins, snorkeling is maybe the most interesting activity for all visitors to Akumal, and some of the places are especially perfect for the kids.  With a few safety measures, the kids can participate in this fun with little chance of injury or accident.

Well fitted life vests should be used by each child.  Many villas provide these life vests free of charge.  These will not only prevent deadly accidents in the water, but will help to cover their body and prevent sunburn in this area.  It should also be applied often to avoid serious skin damage from the hot Caribbean sun!

Yal-Ku Lagoon offers an optimum location for young snorkelers.  The calm waters of the area are free of choppy waters and multiple waves, allowing them to view the bright ocean life easily.  The bay in front of the houses in South Akumal also is perfect because of the reef blocking the waves.

A day at the beach is loved by everyone, and the kids can occupy themselves with the white sand all day long.  Buckets and shovels provide the chance to make sand castles while you relax and watch the kids play.  A sandy beach in front of your rental is a big plus.  Most rental villas also have a fresh water pool with a Jacuzzi for the family to enjoy.  Many also have kyacks for you to paddle.

Always discuss with the kids the importance of being aware of your surroundings before a day at the beach.  They should not walk on turtle nests or dig around in them for fear of destroying eggs buried beneath the sand.

The Jungle Place is a great place to take the animal-loving kids in the family.  It is a sanctuary for spider monkeys located four miles south of Akumal at the pubelo of Chemuyil.  Here, they can view many of the local wild animals which are caged or chained for safety.  They may also play with the monkeys and talk to the many colorful parrots located here.

Places like Xel Ha, Hidden Worlds, Dolphin Adventures and Actun Chen also offer excitement for everyone in the family, and are ideal for even the small kids.  Hike the jungle to cenotes, visit a cavern, ride the zip-line in the jungle, swim with the dolphins, tube on a river, jump from a cliff, or eat homemade ice cream available at many of the local eateries.  They are all within a ten minute drive of Akumal.

Depending whether your children are adventurous, interested in animals and nature, or simply enjoy to play in the water all day will help you to choose the best for them to engage in.  Discuss with your family about what they would prefer to see and do while in Akumal, and try to do at least one thing that even the kids want to experience.

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Take a Day Trip to Akumal and the Riviera Maya

July 5th, 2009

The Mexican Caribbean has long been a popular destination for tourists with Cozumel, Cancun and Playa de Carmen booming with tourism and nightlife. While many people enjoy the exciting pace of these popular destinations, they also enjoy paying a visit to the small, laid back town of Akumal, known for its quaint shops and restaurants, the best snorkeling and diving in the region, and its jungles and Mayan ruins that harkens back to the days when Akumal was a major trade route for this ancient civilization.

A day trip to Akumal is only 20 minutes away from Playa de Carmen and offers quieter beaches, unspoiled ecological sights and some of the best diving in the world. Day tours can be arranged from Cancun and other destinations in the region and is the perfect opportunity to escape the overcrowded beaches of the more bustling resort towns. You can explore the lush jungles and the ancient Mayan ruins of Tulum, which is conveniently located just 20 minutes away. Exploring the jungle and the Mayan ruins can give you a taste of the ancient civilization that once thrived here and see a part of Riviera Maya that you can’t see in Cancun or Playa de Carmen.

Akumal is a diver and snorkeler paradise and has the world’s second largest reef located just off its coast. Cancun does not offer much in the way of diving and snorkeling, but Akumal has many opportunities to explore shipwrecks, caves and the largest number of cenotes on the Yucatan peninsula. Cenotes are naturally occurring sinkholes that dot the landscape surrounding Akumal. The Mayans believed them to be sacred, and they still provide fresh water swimming, diving and snorkeling today. They have many underwater cave diving experiences that hardcore diving enthusiasts or even the novice diver are bound to find fascinating.

A day trip to Akumal offers travelers the opportunity to explore the turtle beaches, the natural habitat of several species of sea turtles who come from the sea in April to nest and leave with their hatchlings in November. Akumal is a town that prides itself of its ecological heritage and preservation of natural marine habitats. It’s the perfect day trip excursion for the ecotourist, with a large natural aquarium where you can observe marine life in their natural protected habitat.

The quaint town of Akumal offers shops and restaurants that are sure to please any traveler. With the beaches and bays within walking distance, you can buy Mayan crafts and dine on traditional Mayan cuisine. Spending a day exploring Akumal and its pristine beaches and beautiful jungles may lead the day tripper to consider Akumal as a destination for a longer stay in the future.

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The Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA)

June 5th, 2009

Akumal is home to beautiful beaches, resorts and some of the best diving in the world. It is also a place that takes great pride in their ecological achievement and their preservation of natural habitats for turtles and other marine wildlife. The Centro Ecologico Akumal is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to preserving and protecting the ecosystem of Akumal from unsustainable development. They offer educational programs and volunteer opportunities for students and eco travelers who want to observe marine wildlife in their natural habitats and help maintain the integrity of the natural surroundings.

Akumal is known as the place of the turtle, and its turtle beaches are the temporary home to sea turtles that come to nest. The Centro Ecologico Akumal protects the natural habitat of the sea turtle and the greater Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System. Tourists will see a variety of sea turtles nesting, and eating along the beaches. The turtle beaches stretch from Half Moon Bay, Akumal Bay to Jade Beach, and there are plenty of opportunities to observe these turtles in their natural habitat.

The Centro Ecologico Akumal offers turtle walks and tours, as well as volunteer opportunities to preserve recently redeveloped wetlands, preserving the mangroves and aiding researchers and scientists as they study the coral reefs and natural habitats of Akumal.

Turtle season refers to when the Green and Loggerhead turtles come to Akumal to lay their eggs and nest. The season runs from April when the turtles come to shore, to November when they and their hatchlings return to sea. The Centro Ecologico Akumal has a turtle protection program that tourists can get involved in and it is a true wonder of nature to witness the nesting and hatching of a whole new generation of sea turtles. Tourists and residents alike take pride in the ecological integrity that Akumal offers, and there is a lot of dedication to these gentle, lovable sea creatures who have chosen Akumal as their place to create new life.

The Centro Ecologico Akumal offers tourists a chance to participate in the betterment of the environment through its many educational and volunteer programs. If you are looking to take a vacation to make a difference, Akumal may just be the perfect ecotourism destination for you. You can be an active participant in maintaining and preserving the integrity of the sea turtle habitats, as well as explore the ecological wonders of this region of the Yucatan Peninsula.

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It’s Turtle Season in Akumal, Mexico

May 26th, 2009

We are in turtle nesting season and we are pleased to inform you that we have nests already in Playa Tortugas (Jade Beach), South Akumal and Half Moon Bay. As of May 19 we are happy to announce we have 12 nests.

While that’s good news about the nests, results are still pending on the cause of the baby turtles washing up sick and/or dying recently. We’ll report definitive information about this when we can.

You can always Adopt a Turtle Baby, Nest or Family for yourself, or as a gift, for any occasion. For example, May 23 is World Turtle Day. We thank all those who adopted for Mother’s Day gifts. Don’t forget Dad—Father’s Day is June 15! The U.S. tax-deductible donation includes a personalized Adoption Certificate, in whoever’s name you want, and turtle photo cards, all mailed from the States, so they don’t take very long to arrive. Proceeds help fund CEA’s turtle protection program.

What You Can Do Help us to protect them:

Change the lights facing the beach areas to amber or red-colored bulbs; otherwise modify their direction so they light the inside of the property. Lights disorient the turtles.

If, for some reason, you have to walk on the beach at night, use amber or red light on your flashlight, illuminating your path only.

Do not leave objects (beach chairs, floats, kayaks, etc.) on the beach as they may obstruct the path of turtles climbing up to lay their eggs.

Do not make excessive noise at night from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. during nesting season (May through October). Noise frightens the turtles.

If you see a turtle arriving, making a nest or laying their eggs, do not approach her, shine a light on her, or take pictures with a flash. Please notify CEA staff of your observations.

When you visit the beaches, please pick up the garbage even if it is not yours. Help us to keep the beaches clean.

Visit the CEA site for more information:

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Shopping Tips for Your Akumal Vacation

April 6th, 2009

For many people, shopping is on the list of things to do while on your Akumal vacation. Whether you plan to only purchase a few souvenirs for others back at home or you want to buy something new for yourself, here are a few shopping tips for Akumal, Mexico.

The first of many shopping tips for your Akumal vacation is to purchase all of your souvenirs from one of the many gift shops in the center of town. These shops include everything from souvenir t-shirts to hand-crafted jewelry. They also include the popular sarongs, which make great gifts and do not cost a lot, and original pieces of art. This folk art ranges in price, but can often be more on the expensive side.

If you plan to purchase alcohol on your trip, one of the best shopping tips for Akumal is not to search too hard for anything other than beer. “Cervesa” can be found anywhere throughout Mexico, but wine and other types of hard liquor may be harder to locate. Therefore, your shopping tip for alcohol in Akumal is also to try something new. Although beer may not be your favorite, you should embrace the local customs and have a few drinks with your meals during your stay.

Another one of the shopping tips in Akumal is to be careful of the groceries that you purchase in town, especially local fruits and vegetables. From convenience stores to pueblos to supermarkets, there are several places that you can buy the items that you need. If you cannot find the produce that you need in Akumal, feel free to travel a short distance to Playa del Carmen. However, no matter where you purchase your fruits or vegetables, you should always soak them in an anti-bacterial solution for approximately 15 minutes before you cook or eat them. This will help ensure that they are safe to eat and that you will enjoy the rest of your trip.

The last shopping tips in Akumal are related to clothing. Purchasing local clothing can be an exciting venture and help you feel at home in the Akumal area. There are several local shops from which you can choose and many high-end stores, like Sak’s 5th Avenue, if you want to travel to nearby Playa del Carmen. The items you purchase can be what you need while on vacation, just for fun, or to take back with you. Regardless, you should be able to get a good deal on any item that you buy.

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Akumal, Mexico – Diving and Snorkeling

April 2nd, 2009

When traveling to Akumal Mexico one nearly passes this small quiet village by without realizing that it is actually one of the Caribbean coast’s best locations for diving and snorkeling on the Yucatan Peninsula. Akumal is located a mere 65 miles to the south of the Cancun resort area and 50 miles from the Mexican airport. It may be small but it is the ideal vacation get away for families or divers who wish to escape the daily rush of Mexico’s often crowded beaches. Located in Akumal are two very tranquil bays as well as the Yalku Lagoon which is perfect for family swimming or snorkeling. The area boasts of 30 beautiful reef sites that are ideal for diving while the beautiful white sandy beaches invite one to enjoy the relaxing Mexican sun.

There is an abundance of accommodations in Akumal, five different restaurants which offer local and European Fare, several grocery stores, a few boutiques or gift shops plus an excellent Dive Shop. Most of these attractions are within a 15 minute walk of one and other. The best part of this small village is that should you be interested in snorkeling, diving, fishing or merely relaxing in the warm Mexican sun you will find you can walk to the various locations although buses and taxis are readily available should you desire them.

The temperatures in Akumal range around 80 degree during September to April and during the rest of the year you can expect 90 degree temperatures. The area receives a gentle sea breeze from the nearby Caribbean and during the winter season you may require a sweater in the evenings.

The local dive shop will setup your equipment and have it ready for your dive when you arrive at the dock. They have all the necessary diving equipment you will need at reasonable rental rates. You will be provided with an 80 cu. Ft aluminum tank which is filled to approximately 3000 psi. You will board one of the 28 foot open panga boats docked nearby. The dives are generally limited to eight people plus the dive master and the ships captain. Should you happen to be part of a larger group you can easily make special arrangements for all members to dive.

Most of the arranged dives are drift dives which take place over very stunning and colorful coral reefs. The typically currents are weak in this area and water temperature hover around 82 degree. The underwater visibility in the area can reach 50 feet up to 150 feet depending upon the weather. A light wet suit is recommended during the winter season.

If you are seeking a pristine location with clear water and an abundance of undersea life to view during your next dive adventure then Akumal Mexico is the place you just may be looking for.

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The Restaurants of Akumal, Mexico

March 9th, 2009

A Candid Review of Akumal’s Eateries

We take a look at all the places to eat in the town of Akumal, Mexico.  All are owned by locals who also operate them.  These are just our opinions… other people’s opinions may vary!

Lol-Ha on Akumal Bay Our favorite!  The Beach Bar has a large palapa style outside dining area surrounded by palms with a great ocean view and cool ocean breeze. The menu offers a wide selection of well prepared foods. For more elegant dining, the main dining area offers a beautiful indoor dining room and a full menu. Their breakfast is a delight. The staff are friendly and helpful.  Friday Happy Hour is a Local’s Favorite.  The Lol-Ha Pizzeria offers freshly baked pizzas.  Located on the right just inside the arch in central Akumal.

La Buena Vida, “The Good Life”  This restaurant has a gorgeous view of Half Moon Bay. The shrimp tacos are wonderful!  The beach bar has swings instead of bar stools.  A fun “night life” place that rocks from Happy Hour to closing everyday.  Wednesday is karaoke night.  Dining on the beach or upstairs in the dining room.  They have a gift shop across the street with some fun stuff for sale.  It’s located on the beach road in the north of Akumal.

Cueva de Pescador, “The Cave of the Fisherman”–Freshest fish in Akumal!  Pescador is a seafood restaurant offering local fresh seafood caught by their own boats daily.  Grouper, Red Snapper, Boquinete (a local favorite), Atun (Tuna) and Dorado (Mahi Mahi) are usually available depending on the season.It is owned by Carlos Danú, a professional fisherman in Akumal since 1982, who for a fee will take you fishing and cook your catch for dinner!  We have fished with Carlos several times.  Always fun and inexpensive compared to the States.  Book fishing trips at the resturant.  Located on the left in the center of Akumal.

Turtle Bay Bakery & Cafe. They bake their own breads, cakes, cookies and pastries daily. Come early for the best selection.  Their breakfast is a treat. Open for breakfast andlunch.  Dinner in the high season.  Located in the center of Akumal behind Cueva de Pescador.

La Lunita, an intimate beach cafe serves contemporary style Mexican cuisine. Indoor or beach seating.  La Lunita is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner during the winter. Dinner only summer and fall.  It’s located in Hacienda Las Tortugas condos on Half Moon Bay in north Akumal.

Que Onda! specializes in Italian cuisine and is personally attended by owners.. Enjoy fresh pastas made daily in house and a nice selection of Italian wines. Enjoy dining in a beautiful garden setting and with an illuminated pool. Que Onda is located in a tropical garden setting at the north end of Akumal near Yal-ku Lagoon.

Loncheria Akumalito is a small breakfast/lunch bar located next to Super Chomak Grocery.  It is inexpensive with simple, delicious meals.

Lucy’s Kitchen Shrimp Tacos and handmade gormet ice cream.  Located by the basketball courts on the left before you go through the arch.

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Local Attractions in Akumal, Mexico

February 8th, 2009

There are a number of local attractions in Akumal that make a vacation to Mexico perfect for anyone who enjoys the peace, beauty, and activities of the water. However, there are also several activities and attractions to enjoy away from the water too. The choice on how you spend each day is completely up to you.

When it comes to local attractions, the Akumal bay is one of the best. Providing clear, beautiful waters, you can take advantage of the time to go snorkeling and see just what is underneath the waters. Snorkeling can provide a fun family activity and is appropriate for younger kids and adults who are young at heart.

If you are not taking advantage of the snorkeling opportunities, you most likely are still swimming in the water. The bay provides a perfect place for you to swim, relax, and even play. Those who like to play can go kayaking or take catamaran rides. Kayaking can provide an enjoyable way to see local attractions of Akumal while still getting in a little water adventure and exercise.

For those who prefer to stay on the sand, the beaches are also among the top local attractions in Akumal. During your time on the white sandy beaches, you can either bask in the sun or open your eyes to the world of bird watching. The Peninsula’s bird population provides a wide variety of birds, although the best view can be seen around the time the sun is beginning to rise.

Many local attractions include tours for groups of people. Some of the most popular are deep sea fishing tours, jungle tours, and trips to the ruins. Each of these tours provides an experience that cannot be found on every vacation.

In addition to staying by the water, you can also travel into the center of Akumal to find out more about the friendly town. This town is perfect for families and is close enough to Playa del Carmen for younger people and couples to enjoy a little nightlife as well while on vacation.

No matter which of the local attractions in Akumal that you partake in during your stay in Mexico, you are sure to find one or more ways to fill each of your days. Whether you pick one day to relax on the beach and one day to play in the water, you will be left with incredible memories of all that you were able to do and see during your vacation.

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Day Trips to Akumal, Mexico

January 7th, 2009

There are a number of different ways to take day trips in Akumal, but there are top trips that rank among the best ways to spend a day during your vacation in Mexico.

The first of your day trips in Akumal is really a type more than a destination. Many people enjoy a day trip to one of the many ruins near Akumal, Mexico. The most popular is the Tulum Ruins, which are located on the beach in Tulum city. However, the Coba Ruins, located in the jungle, are not far from Tulum and make for a great addition to your trip.

Another one of the day trips in Akumal could be for a diving expedition. There are several dive shops and centers, like the Akumal Dive Shop, Akumal Dive Center, Hidden Worlds Cenotes Park, and Akumal Dive Adventures, which can help you choose among scuba diving, catamaran, and fishing trips, and snorkeling tours for your day. They also provide ocean and cenote diving, as well as scuba diving equipment rentals.

If marine life tops your list of interests, one of your day trips should be to the CEA Center, which stands for the Centro Ecologico Akumal, the Xel-Ha, or the Aktun Chen Ecopark. The Aktun Chen Ecopark provides a cavern tour and a small zoo while Xel-Ha is an all natural water park with several lagoons, turtles, dolphins, tropical birds, caves, and ruins. The Centro Ecologico Akumal Center is an ecological center that provides information on the protection of the sea turtles, as well as the protection of the reef.

For those who want a little education wrapped in with their explorations, the Cedam Museum is one of the best day trips in Akumal. Cedam Museum is the museum of underwater exploration. It is also the home to a number of historic artifacts. An Akumal guide can even give you a personal account of the history and culture of the Akumal people, including a trip into the jungle.

Which of the day trips you choose or if you choose to plan your own unique trip will provide a number of memories for everyone on the trip. Each day will be filled with wonder, excitements, and entertainment, though the levels of each will vary day to day. Before you know it, your vacation will be over and day trips around Akumal is just one way to ensure that you are able to do it all before you leave.

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What to Pack for Akumal, Mexico

November 6th, 2008

Knowing what to pack in Akumal, Mexico can prepare you for what to do, what to pack, and how to handle anything unexpected on your trip. These tips will help you have the safest, happiest vacation possible.

The first step in learning what to pack in Akumal is preparing for what you plan to do. Once you know what you plan to do, you can easily move on to figuring out what to pack for your trip. Even if you only have a broad idea, like that you want to take a few day trips, you want to spend time in the water, and that you want to try some interesting restaurants, you will know that you need to pack your beach gear, some good walking shoes, and a nice outfit for your dinner plans.

Now that you know what to pack for Akumal for all of your daily adventures, you can begin packing your clothing and accessories. Knowing your plans is extremely helpful so that you bring along the right items, especially if you are going on a family vacation and need to pack for several people. At the top of your list should be a hat, sunglasses, and waterproofs sunscreen for each member of your group.

Clothing for your trip should be light weight, like sundresses, shorts, and cotton shirts. Linen and khaki can also be much cooler than a pair of jeans either day or night. While you want to plan a number of clothing items that will keep you cool, you should bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings.

Part of your packing will include items that prove that you know that you will not always be able to anticipate what to expect in Akumal, Mexico. This list of items include a flashlight if you plan to be out at night, insect repellant in case you take a trip to the jungle, and a carry-on bag to keep your passport, cash, and other important documentation on you or with you at all times. Copies should also be made of all of this documentation in case something was to happen to them.

No matter where you go on vacation, knowledge is power. This includes what you need to expect in Akumal. Although it may turn out that you are over prepared, that is far better than not being prepared nearly enough for whatever situations may arise.

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