I live in the city of Cancun. Not in the hotel zone, with its manicured lawns and aqua blue water, in downtown Cancun. It is hot and fast-paced, so when I seek some tranquility, I escape the city. One of my favourite places is Akumal (the place of the turtles) which is more than an hour south of Cancun, between Playa del Carmen and Tulum. Although it is also a tourist destination, it is nothing like Cancun.
Akumal is a very small town. In fact, it almost isn’t even a town at all. “Downtown” consists of a supermarket, which is in fact not super (in size) at all and a few restaurants and shops which sell Mexican handicrafts. You may wonder, “Am I actually downtown yet?” Just a few steps from downtown is Akumal beach, which is on a protected bay, so the water is quite calm and tranquil, no crashing waves here. If you snorkel out a hundred yards or so you can watch sea turtles lunching on the sea grass.
The tranquil Yal-Ku Lagoon
My favorite place in Akumal is Yal-Ku, a natural lagoon located about 10 minutes from town.
Once you pay your cover and follow the path down to the lagoon’s edge, all you can hear is the wind blowing through the jungle foliage. The cool, bright blue water shines in the sunlight and invites you to slip in and escape the heat. Once inside, even if you decide not to snorkel you will be able to see fish and other marine life. One of the fish might even tickle your toes.
After you’ve cooled off in the lagoon, you can shower and change in the restroom area close to the entrance. Then grab a cold beer from the rustic snack stand and take a leisurely stroll along the paths that wind around the edge of the lagoon. Stop to ponder the intriguing traditional and contemporary sculptures which rest in the lush green jungle vegetation. The setting is peaceful, picturesque and relaxed. The natural beauty and intimacy of the cool lagoon and its surroundings are what makes Yal-Ku my go-to place for some serenity.
About the this week’s guest writer
Kristin Busse is currently a travel writer but has worked in many different industries. She lives in Cancun, Mexico and plans to use her diverse experiences to write about the Yucatan Peninsula from her unique perspective.