The Akumal Beach Resort in Akumal, Mexico is an all-inclusive family beach resort about 65 miles south of Cancun. Akumal was originally a small diving town, and it retains that quaint vibe. The beaches are gorgeous and the easygoing vibe of the hotel was just what my family wanted in a Caribbean family vacation destination.
The Resort itself is relatively modest, and the rooms leave something to be desired, however they have been slowly renovating the rooms over the last several years. The same can be said for the food, although the breakfast was nice, and the kids were happy with the simple offerings at the buffet. Friends of ours went more recently than us, and said the food was very tasty, so that would be a wonderful improvement.
Fortunately, the town of Akumal has several really delicious options. Lucy's Kitchen has absolutely perfect fish and shrimp tacos. Plus, they make their own ice cream! Loncheria Akumalito was a pleasant outdoor restaurant with great platters of authentic Mexican food, and we had one of our most fun, relaxed family dinners ever at La Cueva del Pescador. There are several other well-reviewed restaurants in Akumal, as well as a couple grocery stores (Super Chomak and El Pueblito), where you can get little gifts or snacks.
There is a silver shop right in Akumal with very pretty jewelry that I regret not buying. It's pricey, but the owner expects to negotiate. Otherwise the shopping is primarily local crafts and Akumal mugs.
True to its roots, the snorkeling was very nice. We saw turtles, octopus, and a lot of fish. There is also kayaking at the resort, and everything can be rented on the premises. If you are more serious in your diving interests, the original Akumal Dive Shop is five minutes from the resort. Do not buy anything from the shop that you can otherwise get in town, or you'll pay much, much more.
There is a kid's club at the hotel, which our children loved, and a kid's movie in the dining hall during dinner, which let us eat in peace a couple nights. It's a really lovely family resort though, so you quite enjoy the quality time together. There were many families there for the 5th or 6th time.
The Gulf of Mexico is stunning and temperate, and the pool, despite a lack of lazy rivers or swim up bars, suited all of us just fine.
We took a couple side trips, which I highly encourage. It's a bit complicated to rent a car, but worth it in the end. We went to Tulum and toured the ruins. It was very hot, but fascinating, and there were tropical birds and iguanas that you can feed bits of apple. The town of Tulum is very touristy, but we had a great meal, and the kids got their picture taken with a Mayan princess.
We also ventured to the Cenote Dos Ojos, which was an amazing experience. It's a cavern with a pristine river flowing beneath it. It's like nothing I've ever experienced before. We all snorkeled, and watched the scuba divers tour the deeper caves. It was gorgeous and a real adventure. Just don't, DON'T, use the bathroom.
Akumal Beach Resort was relaxing, laid back, well-located and just what our family was looking for. If you want a big fancy resort than it's probably not for you, but we'll be going back.
Read more about the amenities and rates here: www.akumalbeachresort.com
Photo Credit: Adam Saynuk