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In the heart of the Riviera Maya, Akumal boasts twelve shallow and deep coral dives just seven minutes from shore, ideal for any level of diver.

Highlights

Turtle Migration at Akumal Bay

Green, Hawksbill and Loggerhead Turtles arrive to Akumal during the summer months every year in order to lay eggs on the protected, white sand beaches.

The Biodiversity of Xaak

To the north of Akumal lies the reef of Xaak, home to rays, nurse sharks and turtles. This makes an excellent excursion with a stop in Yal Ku Lagoon.

Diving in Akumal

Quick facts

With 12 dive sites, Akumal in Mexico’s Riviera Maya is known for its location at the top of the Belize Barrier Reef. These dive sites offer a huge variety of dive sites and environments from coral reefs to short tunnels. The water is warm and visibility is generally excellent. Almost all sites are protected from heavy current. However, some sites may be deeper than an Open Water certificate allows, making Akumal a great dive location for beginners and advanced divers alike.

Operators in Akumal use speedboats to deliver divers to the offshore reefs. Almost all of the dive sites are within 7 minutes of shore. Keep in mind, a 16% tax is levied on all diving activities in Mexico.

When to go

Diving in Akumal is possible up to 300 days each year. For uncrowded dive sites and great cenote conditions, book your holiday between May and November.

December to April

There is no bad time to dive the Caribbean. In fact, the water temperatures remain constant year-round and cool only slightly during the winter months, meaning it’s possible to dive approximately 300 days each year.

December to April is considered the best time to visit Mexico and therefore is the most popular time to dive in the Caribbean. Because the winter months constitute high season, you should make sure to book as early as possible in order to secure the best rate.

On average, water temperatures vary between 78 and 82ºF (25 and 28ºC) in Akumal.

May to November

The best time for cenote diving is between May and September. These months bring the best light to the caves and result in the better photographs.

Also note that diving in the Caribbean is possible year-round. Simply keep an eye on the forecast during the summer and early fall. These seasons do see the occasional hurricane. When there isn’t a hurricane, the weather during the summer is hot and humid with the occasional rain shower.

From May to September, green and loggerhead turtles arrive to lay their eggs on the area’s beaches.

As an added bonus, the summer months are low season throughout Mexico. At this time, you’ll find the best deals on diving and accommodation. If you enjoy uncrowded, Caribbean dive sites, travel to Mexico between May and September.

Rain and temperature

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Water temperature

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Where to dive

Beginners should try out reef dives closer to shore such as Las Redes and Dick’s Reef. Those who can dive deeper will enjoy Xaak and Trigger Fish.

    Snorkeling in Akumal

    There are plentiful options for snorkelers in Akumal. Half Moon Bay and Akumal Bay offer perfect conditions for turtle spotting. Further from shore, the coral reefs feature excellent visibility and plenty to see. You can even book tours for night snorkeling and cenote snorkeling through dive operators in this Riviera Maya location.
    There are a total of 12 dive sites in the Akumal area. These can be divided into shallow dives and deep dives more suitable to advanced divers. On the shallow side, Las Redes, Motorcycle Reef, Dick’s Reef and Yal-Ku all lie at 60 feet (18 meters) or less and feature soft coral reefs with plenty of marine life. For divers with more than an Open Water certification, Tzimin-Ha, Xaak, Gonzalo’s Reef and Trigger Fish are deeper reef dives. Most of these dives sites are punctuated by brilliant coral patches made visible through crystal clear visibility. Don’t forget about diving in the cenotes either. One of the best for diving, Dos Ojos Caverns, is just around the corner and doesn’t require a special certification to dive.

    What to see

    With so many fish species, pelagic species and macro life, your log books will be full of interesting creatures after your time in Akumal.

    The healthy Riviera Mayan reefs of Akumal play host to a variety of tropical species. Vigilant divers may spot lobsters, groupers, stingrays, sergeant majors as well as hundreds of colorful fish. Nurse sharks relax among the tunnels and caverns and barracuda stalk their prey in and out of the colorful corals.

    Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill turtles are frequently seen in the area. They arrive each summer to lay their eggs.

    Grouper and large jaw fish live among the giant sponges while stingrays grace the sandy bottom.

    Calendar

    For better readability of the table, pass into the landscape mode.

    Most likely sightingsPossible sightings

    Location

    Akumal is a small resort town located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum in the Riviera Maya.

    This southern Mexican town was previously a coconut plantation. In 1958, it was purchased by Pablo Bush Romero who established Akumal as a community solely for the use of scuba divers. Today it holds a population of approximately 1300 people, but still maintains a focus on scuba diving.

    Akumal’s strategic position in the southern section of the Yucatan Peninsula means this peaceful paradise has all the necessary amenities for tourism yet lacks the crowds of Cancun.

    Other attractions

    Scuba diving is the main attraction in Akumal, but there are many other worthwhile things to discover. The most incredible things to see in the region are the ancient Mayan temples that dot the landscape. There are sites aplenty, but two of the most famous are Chichen Itza and Tulum. Aside from the temples, going on a jungle trek or two is sure to get your adrenaline pumping as is ziplining through nearby caverns! To round out your stay in this peaceful town, be sure to schedule a few hours of rest and relaxation on the gorgeous white sand beaches.

    Getting there

    To reach Akumal, fly into Cancun International Airport. Rent a car, reserve a private transfer or take a bus one hour south to this holiday destination. Once you’re settled into your hotel, use your rental car, local taxis or the power of foot to move from place to place.

    UTC-05:00

    Time zone

    MXN

    Currency

    +52

    Calling code

    127 V

    Electric volt

    A, 

    B

    Plug type

    CUN

    Main airport