Curving south along the Caribbean coast from Cancun, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is full of sun, sand and sea. It’s also wildly popular, so not always possible to find a little corner to yourself. If you yearn to vacation on the beach in the Riviera Maya, but want to avoid the crowds, head to Akumal and the Hotel Akumal Caribe, where you’ll have everything you need.
The Mayan name of the small town means “place of turtles,” after the numerous green and loggerhead turtles that make their nests on the beach. This spot on the Riviera Maya is nothing like the other towns on the coast. It’s got a certain laid-back factor that the others, with crowded streets and beaches, lack. There are still plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and activities to keep you busy, however.
The hotel’s variety of accommodations includes a beachfront hotel, garden bungalows, condos and villas. All hotel rooms have a balcony and some even have kitchenettes. I stayed in a bungalow, and with nobody above me to stomp around, I felt like I had my own little house, just steps from the beach. The condos and villas have additional space for families or friends traveling together. All units have air conditioning and are decorated comfortably. Rates start at $159 (for the bungalows), and vary depending on type of room and time of year.
For those who can’t completely unplug when they travel, the hotel has Internet access in the different rooms. Some access is by Ethernet cable, and other rooms have Wi-Fi. Additionally, Continental breakfast for two is included in room rates.
Hotel Akumal Caribe is perched on the beach, just steps from the Akumal Dive Center. It’s a handy place for those who want to take a dive class or snorkel tour, and it’s convenient to just walk out of your room and over to the dive center. I finished my open water certification here, and loved being able to run a few steps to my bungalow to shower and change after my dives.
Even if you’re not diving or snorkeling, there’s plenty to do, centered on the beach, of course. The hotel’s restaurants and bar offer not only tasty options for every meal, but also fantastic views of the bay and even some amazing sunsets. I mixed up my meals, eating breakfast at Lol-Ha Restaurant and dinner at the Palapa Snack Bar. Both have Wi-Fi for guests, so I was able to meet plenty of writing deadlines while seated comfortably at the bar.
One of my favorite things about this hotel was the friendly staff. After only a day, waiters and bartenders began remembering my favorite things and offering suggestions based on what I’d ordered previously. It’s one of the quickest routes to feeling at home when you’re traveling, and I definitely felt at home here.
Article and photos by Jill K. Robinson of Danger Jill Robinson.
I was a guest of the Hotel Akumal Caribe and the Riviera Maya Destination Marketing Office during my stay in Akumal.