Sandy beach
Hike-in Required
Snorkeling / SCUBA
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Akumal Bay is a beautifully surreal bright area with white sand and light turquoise waters that is extremely popular for snorkeling, owing to it being an area where visitors have the opportunity to snorkel and swim around turtles.

Clear waters wash gently against white sand, while picturesque palms hang over the beach and several resorts over benches and drinks for guests and those who would like to pay admission.

Owing to the clarity and scenic waters and tranquil beaches, Akumal Bay has gone through a progression of a nice publically accessible beach to a hotbed of controversial measures taken to deal with the situation of aggressive tour vendors and Mexico's public beaches vs. private access scenario.

While Mexican beaches are public and all are welcome to be there, access is not always guaranteed, and there is no open access point to the bay. What resulted are businesses who charged their own admission fees to cross through their property, while vendors aggressively approached visitors trying to sell snorkel tours, often with misleading information that the bay was off limits to those not entering on a tour.

What has resulted in an often-changing situation, where visitors are often left in the dark and subject to the whims of whatever official guidelines seem to be in place at any given moment.

Currently, the bay is part of the designated Tsuuk Akumal Parque Natural, with an offical ticket booth and entrance station in a plaza beside the Akumal Dive Shop (not to be confused with the Akumal Dive Center). Visitors pay an admission fee and have access to bathrooms, showers and lockers. They also get access to the bay. 

Once inside, there are strict areas where visitors are allowed. Swimmers and snorkelers can freely allowed to swim within the 50 meters nearest the shore in two areas, while snorkel tours are permitted on two loop routes that head further out into the bay.

The clear water is great for snorkeling, and there is a diverse amount of sea life in the rocks and reef near the shore. Turtles tend to gather further out, but have been known to swim closer to shore as well. They are used to people and just carry on their activities, however it is not permitted to touch them. Keep your eyes out for groups of excited swimmers, that tends to be a giveaway of where the turtles are at.

Tour providers are plentiful, and several will probably approach you before you even have a chance to enter the park. While it is not guaranteed that visitors will see turtles, even on tours, the guides know the best areas for having a chance to see them.

The bay is very popular and gets incredibly crowded, and swimmers will stir up the sand as the day goes on. It's best to arrive early to have the best water clarity.

Lifeguards and medics are present, however their are no snorkel equipment or life jacket rentals through the Park. 

It should also be stated that the situation tends to change often but this is current as of September 2019.

Parking is available in a narrow lot opposite the entrance station at an hourly rate, or for a day rate at several private lots just outside of the arch before entering the core area.

Tsuuk Akumal Parque Natural entrance station is open daily from 9am-5pm. Admission is MX$100 per person, children 5 years old and younger are free.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Day Use Parking

Open Year-round





Confusing map of restricted areas.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed


Flushing toilets
Family friendly
Big vistas
Snorkeling / SCUBA
Potable water


Nearby Lodging + Camping


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