Akumal means "Place of the Turtle"
in the Mayan language, and if you snorkel here, you just might see one swimming alongside you. (Don’t touch it, though. That’s prohibited by law.) You’ll definitely see coral and beautiful fish in the clear, sparkling waters. Akumal is a small beach-front tourist resort community 100 km (62 mi) south of Cancún, between the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is located in Tulum Municipality in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, and is part of the Riviera Maya area.
The town was officially founded in 1958 as a community for scuba divers by Pablo Bush Romero—a Mexican businessman, diver, writer, historian, and archaeologist. Pablo Bush's family still owns a large portion of Akumal, including the largest resort/hotel Hotel Club Akumal Caribe. Akumal is also home to ONDARTE International Artist Residency.
The beaches to the north and south are endangered Green Sea Turtle habitat. The Centro Ecologico Akumal (CEA), local NGO, educates residents and visitors about habitat preservation. Yal Ku Lagoon, to the north is a haven for snorkeling; an area where fresh water percolating through ground limestone meets salt water and creates nutrient-rich habitat for marine life.