We headed towards Akumal once more but this time we set our eyes on the Laguna Yal-Ku. Located 2kms to the left from Akumal beach. This place promised excellent snorkelling where freshwater meets saltwater with 100’s of colourful fish. Lonely planet says without a doubt this place is one of the region’s highlights. Once you turn left from the beach, the cobblestone road was accentuated by many beautiful oceanfront villas. It took approximately 20 minutes to get there by foot. If you’re not up to a walk, you can take a taxi for 200$MXN. The entry for an adult was 285$MXN and a child (5-12yrs) 204$MXN.
What a great place for families and snorkel enthusiast! This exceptional lagoon just outside of Akumal, is a paradise. Perfect for a day trip destination. Get there early and rent a ‘Palapa’ for 400$MXN. It’s absolutely worth it! What is a palapa? It’s an open straw roof hut that sits on the rocky shore of the lagoon giving you shade, comfort, privacy and a private lagoon access. It gives off the vibe of a Robinson Crusoe sort of dwelling. Totally part of a ‘I’m on vacation and want to relax attitude.’ This wonderfully constructed structure also offers you two hammocks to lounge in, two wooden benches and a large wooden dining table with 6 chairs. There is a limited amount of them (three, I believe) so arriving early is key to scoring one of these babies.
Just a few steps away lies a small resto style snack bar that offers great food, but expect to pay higher than you would if you were in the city. We ordered 2 plates of all dressed nachos, that could have easily been shared by 2 adults or 3-4 kids and we also ordered 3 hot dogs and fry plates and 2 large water bottles which totalled 600$MXN. There is also a bar to order an alcoholic beverage; sipping while lounging in the hammock is a possibility.
The lagoon is gorgeous with its aquamarine coloured water framed by irregular shaped rocks and lush green jungle foliage. The fresh cool water streams in from one end while the other side is fed by the warm Caribbean Ocean. The water temperature is simply perfect. It can be quite deep in parts but despite seeing so many tourists with life jackets, you don’t really need one. Myself, I’m not the strongest swimmer, found it easy to float because of the salt water. There are many large under water stones to swim to and stand on if you feel uneasy. There are also life guards on site, so it really is a safe place to swim. The fish are fantastic and very numerous, especially by the fresh water side where the water is cooler and clearer allowing you to see deep amongst the submerged stones and coral. Towards the sea the water is murkier but still worth exploring. Steph spotted 4 stingrays buried in the sands below.
Laguna Yal-Ku is a definite must-see destination in Riviera Maya and a place to spend the entire day.