Whether you’re an experienced diver or you want to learn, Akumal in Mexico provides the perfect ecological setting to view amazing specimens of natural beauty underwater. Akumal is a tourist resort located 62 miles south of Cancun, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, with a tiny native population of 1,198.
The name “Akumal” means “place of the turtles” in Maya language. Surrounding bodies of water and beautiful, white sandy beaches provide the ideal setting for many sea turtles’ breeding grounds.
Akumal was established in 1958 mainly as a location for scuba divers to experience the many species and types of turtles which call the area “home”. Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay provide optimal opportunities to survey the land and underwater life during diving tours and expeditions.
For experienced divers, local dive shops offer a variety of different diving trips to the 30 reef sites which include shipwrecks and caverns and a breathtaking amount of marine life that you can view. The dive shop makes all the arrangements and you can lease a scuba tank and regulator, mask, flippers and anything else you want. You can book an all day diving trip or if you are more adventurous, you can visit the caves and caverns that make Akumal unique.
Dive shops also teach courses so you can get certified to dive in open sea. They teach all levels from resort course to advanced cave diving. These PADI Certified Instructors will guide you through the process of certification so you can enjoy exploring the wonders of the reef that awaits you in Akumal.
Cavern and cave diving is a popular activity for tourists. These caves are called “cenotes”, which means “sacred well” in Maya. Dive packages offer several locations and various depths of diving, group packages, equipment rental and instruction to fit varying diver needs.
One of the easy dive sites which is very popular is Cuevas de Tiburones. This site features rock overhangs which provide an optimum sleeping spot for nurse sharks. Las Redes offers an array of marine life, schools of fish, barracudas, stingrays, lobsters and sea turtles. Yal ku is a popular feeding site chock full of Elkhorn coral structures, tunnels and lobster.
Other popular shallow dives are found at Dick’s Reef and Motorcycle Reef. Motorcycle Reef is named so for the 15 year old motorcycle which is now covered with living coral and plankton that protects local ocean life.
Xaar Beach and Gonzalo’s Reef offer various kinds of feeding grounds for several different species of sea turtles for a once in a lifetime diving experience. Xaar features reef fingers reaching 30’ up from the ocean floor, as well as turtles, nurse sharks and stingrays. Gonzalo’s Reef is famous for its large and vivid reef fingers; visitors are usually guaranteed a view of Hawksbill, Green, or Loggerhead turtles which use the area for feeding and lounging.
Travelers from all over the globe come to explore the cenotes and caves of Akumal and this small village is truly a diver’s paradise.