Thursday, April 30, 2009

Some thoughts and recommendations on Akumal vacations

From my wilderness blog, scroll down to the bottom half of the month of April'09:

If you are adventure-minded, you may want to try to find Laguna Legartos, in the bush, on the land side of the beach road. The map enclosed in this (unpublished) post should help you find the start of the trail: The trail starts next to a lamp post and a couple of larger trees, quite hard to see, but well worth it to get off the beaten track. Birding here is quite amazing, there are colorful tropical fish just below the surface of the lagoon and it is really off the beaten track. Coming from Akumal Village, this is more or less 100 yards past the little police post along the road.

I don't recall names of restaurants, but anything in the area just to the left of the gate when driving in was quite good. We did not like the Lol Ha beach restaurant part of Hotel Akumal as much, because it is large and more oriented to serve the tourist masses. Their food is not bad though and you can sit there having a pina colada or a negra modelo while your kids are playing in the water. That's also the location of the beach cam:

The little breakfast/lunch counter outside of the gate, nearest to the big parking lot is cheap and good!

The bay outside of Lol Ha Restaurant is great for snorkeling: swim out from there, past the fishing boats and look for the reef below: tons of fish. And where it's sandy, with sea grass, you'll likely see some turtles!

I would not recommend trying to walk from Akumal to Yal-Ku Laguna to snorkel, too far in the heat, with swim gear and everything.

Gran Cenote outside of Tulum was very cool, you can swim into the cave (see write up on my blog, link above). If you have (or want to invest in) a waterproof flashlight, you get to point your beam into black nothingness. And you can use it for some night snorkeling and see fish in the dark!

We also liked Cenote Manatee, again, written up in blog. Very cool snorkeling where the water comes up from cave in ocean, just steps from the beach. Nice restaurant, too.

At the entry of Tulum, there is a large super market, you may want to do a grocery run there early on to avoid paying premium at the small ones in Akumal.

Ruins at Tulum. Get an early start for either one, to avoid heat and tourist hordes. That means at entrance at 9:00 AM. Pay the extra buck for the trolley at Tulum, there is nothing to see along the stretch between where you pay to get in and the archeological site proper.You can swim on the beach at the Tulum ruins, but I don't think they have showers. Personally, I do not like walking around salt-encrusted but some people don't seem to mind.

Ruins at Coba, about 2 hrs drive from Akumal. Rent bikes (cheap!) at Coba, the site is very spread out. Climb up to the top of some of the pyramids. If you go to Coba, splurge for a good meal and a dip in a gorgeous pool (you get to use it if you eat there. good to wash off the dust after visiting the ruins) at the local Club Med. It's not a big resort, just a small out-lier they use for tours from their main locations, very luxurious.

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