The best restaurants in Akumal, Mexico. Plus great beach bars.

The Best Restaurants in Akumal, Mexico

Akumal, Mexico is a beach town known as the place of sea turtles. This is because the bay is home to a large population of endangered green sea turtles who lay eggs on the beach from May to August. These eggs then hatch in the fall.

Because of this, the town works very hard to protect these turtles. During nesting season, volunteers patrol the beach at night to protect any females laying eggs to make sure they don’t get scared off as well as marking and protecting the nests. Properties along the beach also use yellow lighting at night, to avoid disorienting the turtles during nesting season.

Here are the best restaurants in Akumal, plus some great beach bars to enjoy after swimming with the turtles.

Table of Contents

The Best Breakfast in Akumal

Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery

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Turtle Bay Cafe has the best breakfast in Akumal, Mexico
Turtle Bay Cafe

Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery has the best breakfast in Akumal. Sure, there are limited options in the area, but this hidden gem would simply be less hidden in a more populated area. Although the fresh sticky buns are certainly a star of the show here, the eggs benedict and breakfast burrito provided a great substance to start the day. 

The bread, sticky buns, muffins, and other baked goods are all made fresh in house each morning. You can even buy full loaves of bread to go. And if you have a sweet tooth, they have great desserts and home-made ice cream.

Akumal's Best Restaurants & Beach Bars

Jungle Fish Beach Club

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Jungle Fish Beach Club is one of the best beach bars and restaurants in Akumal.

Jungle Fish Beach Club has a pool, a great view, and good cocktails. Need I say more? They even hosted an art exhibit by some local artists who own an art gallery and run a Canvas & Cocktails night. Find them here at

Beached Bikini Bar

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Beached Bikini is one of the best beach bars in Akumal
Beached Bikini Bar

It’s well established that I love a bar on the beach. Beached Bikini bar isn’t fancy, but it’s a good place to grab a drink and helped by its small size, it’s a good place to make new friends.

You can even rent an apartment right above the bar if you’d like. Plus, they maintain a hatchery to protect the endangered sea turtles so every peso you spend here also helps a good cause.


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Lol-Ha Restaurant, Akumal

Lol-Ha is the largest and most established restaurant on the beach. It’s a good spot for all three meals, happy hour, or just a drink after you swim with the turtles. It’s part of the Hotel Akumal Caribe, so you might wander thru some of the resort to get there. 

La Buena Vida

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La Buena Vida, Akumal
La Buena Vida

Although it’s a little further from the center of activity, La Buena Vida might be the most popular beach club in the area. It sits to the north, along Half Moon Bay. It has a festive atmosphere with live music and even a couple crow’s nests that have great views from higher up.

Restaurants in the Town Side

As with most beach towns in Quintana Roo, the tourists, expats, foreigners, etc occupy most of the housing near the beach.

The locals tend to live away from the beach and across the highway in the town. Though sometimes temporary and permanent residents as well as the more budget travelers will also live in these areas. What this all means is that generally the towns will have more taquerias, local cuisine, and much cheaper prices. Akumal is no different.

Here are some of the local spots worth trying.

Gilly's Tequilaville

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Gillys Tequilaville is one of the best bars in Akumal.
Gillys Tequilaville, Akumal

Gilly’s Tequilaville is probably the most popular restaurant with foreign residents on this side. The menu contains seafood, some Mexican items, and sandwiches.

I highly recommend the wings with Mexican pepper sauce. They have some heat.

El Taco Maya

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Taco Maya is one of the best restaurants on the town side of Akumal. It has great tacos and breakfast.
El Taco Maya

El Taco Maya is great spot for breakfast and lunch. The breakfast menu has various egg dishes and quesadillas while the lunch menu is mostly tacos and burritos.

Taqueria La Palapa

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Taqueria La Palapa has great tacos and tortas and is the best spot for carnitas.
Taqueria La Palapa

Taqueria La Palapa is the place to come for authentic tacos and tortas. I especially the carnitas, which is simmered in a large pot right in the front.

A Jungle Restaurant & Resort

Natura Glamping

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Akumal Natura Glamping Hotel
Akumal Natura Glamping

The beach area is lined with communities of condos and small hotels. There are also some larger resorts to the north and south of town (Bahia Principe, Secrets, Grand Sirenes, etc). But for a truly unique experience, cross the highway to the west and stay in town at Akumal Natura Glamping. It’s located on the western edge of the town, just into the jungle. It’s designed for people that want to be closer to nature and there’s even two cenotes on the property.

The rooms are yurts, and I found them to be very clean and nice. The outdoor showers don’t have heated water, but the staff delivers hot water each morning.

Attached to the main lobby is their Namaste Jungle Restaurant, or you have the option of booking a specially made private dinner for you and your partner.

Things to Do in Akumal

Swim With Turtles

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Swimming with turtles in Akumal is one of the most enchanting experiences you can have while visiting the Riviera Maya in Mexico. As I mentioned above, Akumal means “Place of the Turtles” in the Mayan language and lives up to its name as a sanctuary for these majestic marine creatures. The area is particularly famous for its clear, calm waters that are home to a large population of sea turtles, offering visitors a unique opportunity to observe them up close in their natural habitat. There are several dive shops that you can rent masks and snorkels from or take a group tour.

Visit the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary

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Located near the Glamping Resort in the far back of town, the Akumal Monkey Sanctuary is dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of various species of animals, with a special focus on monkeys. It serves as a haven for animals that have been rescued from illegal trafficking, poor living conditions, or those that have been surrendered by their owners who can no longer care for them.

Visitors to the sanctuary have the opportunity to learn about the different species housed there, including their behavior, diet, and the conservation challenges they face in the wild. The sanctuary offers guided tours that not only educate visitors on the importance of conservation and the impact of human activities on wildlife but also allow for close-up interactions with some of the animals under controlled and respectful conditions. This hands-on experience aims to raise awareness and foster a deeper appreciation for wildlife and their natural habitats.

Visit the Tulum Ruins

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Visiting the Tulum ruins from Akumal is a popular activity for travelers in the Riviera Maya, offering a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Mayan civilization. The ruins are about a 20 minute drive south from Akumal, and accessible by taxi or Colectivo, which are the shared vans that run along the main highway (307) and are a cost-effective way to get around.

The Tulum ruins represent one of the last cities built and inhabited by the Mayans. Its spectacular coastal setting atop a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea makes it uniquely picturesque among Mayan archaeological sites. The sun can get very strong and there is very little shade, so make sure to take sunscreen and a hat if you have one.

If you want to spend a full day in Tulum, then you can find beach clubs in the hotel zone, free public beach access north of that area, or also the town not to far from the ruins with a lot of great restaurants.