Hi Linda, I am heading to Tulum/Akumal later this year, have been hearing mixed reviews about the 'restricted areas' in Akumal and the need to pay nowadays, compared to the past. Your post was the most recent I have read, that's terrible new that you have to pay for everything down to the bathrooms!
Is this the case for the entire Akumal beach? If we were to drive up there from Tulum for the day, would there not be a single place to get in the water without being reprimanded or need to pay? Do you know or were yall able to find a better spot where you could see the turtles and other fauna?
Thanks for adding to the Akumal post by the way! Gathering all of this useful information before going is going to save us a lot of time and worry ;)
Hi. You can go to Akumal bay without paying. You can swim in some areas without paying, but if you want to go to restricted areas in sea and swim with turtles you have to pay for guide. I heard that a bit further from this area is free beach where you can swimm and snorkel, but not sure if there will be also turtles. :)
Happy to help, the turtles are in Akumal bay to eat sea grass that grows there. I don't know of anywhere else to see them without a tour now. Otherwise you are free to swim anywhere but they do charge for bathroom use at Akumal . You have to pay but I can recommend XeL-ha for a fun day of family snorkeling and tubing down the river and the beach at Tulum is beautiful ! Enjoy
You can also walk about 20 minute to half moon pay and snorkeling there is free. Or walk 30 minutes to the lagoon where you pay $20 to access a beautiful area for snorkeling. If you’re spending the day it’s worth the hike. Lots of nice places to eat along the way
There is still plenty of public beach access and the restaurants are great so access bathrooms is no problem. There is also plenty of free snorkeling however the likelihood of seeing turtles is way down. My friend and I had a great time snorkeling during the day at no charge. Saw lots of coral and fish including rays. It’s definitely worth a day trip. Bring your own gear if you have it or rent for a reasonable fee. The collectiva bus is great. I wouldn’t rent a car to get to and from Akumal from playa del carma
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