Akumal, Mexico is a beach town known as the place of sea turtles.
I spent a week finding the best beach bars, beach clubs, and restaurants in Akumal to enjoy after swimming with the turtles. I even went glamping for a night.
Turtle Bay Bakery & 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.
Jungle Fish Beach Club
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 https://www.facebook.com/canvasandcocktailsMx
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.
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
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.
As with most beach towns in Quintana Roo, the locals tend to live across the highway in town, away from the beach. Often foreigners who have become temporary or permanent residents will also live in these areas. This is where Gilly’s Tequilaville is located, so it doesn’t rely on tourists.
I highly recommend the wings with Mexican pepper sauce. They have some heat.
Other Places in town: I loved my breakfast at El Taco Maya and the carnitas torta at Taqueria de Palapa.
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.