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Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

Fort Collins...
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Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

So we have made most of our plans. We plan on staying 11 days total in Mexico. We are staying in Akumal (Half Moon Bay) for first four days. Then we will drive down to Tulum and stay at CoCo Tulum for rest of time. We do plan on having a rental car so we can schedule our own adventures and tours. We plan on renting a bike (or driving) to local bars and restaurants along beach each day. We want to swim in cenotes, snorkel, see ruins, maybe do a monkey preserve, etc. BUT WE STILL HAVE QUESTIONS:

1.) What things should we do in AKUMAL each day? What is close that we should see in that area? What is worth a day trip? What is around town? Must eat places? Any tips for Akumal?

2.) What things besides Coba, cenotes, and Sian Kaan tour should we definitely do while in Tulum? What is worth day trip? What is right on beach we should see? How about must eat/drink places?

3.) What are some travel tips for mexico in general --- never been but travel a lot so we know the basics about money safety, etc. -- what other tips from people who have travelled the area a lot that we should know?!

4.) What are some MUST PACK items to bring. I heard mosquito spray is good?! Sunscreen of course?

Southern California
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1. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

Lots of good snorkeling and relaxing at Akumal, Half Moon Bay if it is not too windy but you will need water shoes due to the coral and stuff when entering the bay and Yal-Ku lagoon north end of Half Moon Bay, this costs 140pesos and opens 9am. Plenty of restaurants to eat at, I like Lol-Ha or the Loncheria for breakfast. Maybe drive up to the La Playa Beach Club at Xpu-Ha (little bit north), on weekends they have music. Visit the pueblo, maybe visit Tequilaville (there is also a cambio right next to it for money exchange). He does rib night on Wednesday and I think Friday. Drive down to Tankah and visit Casa Cenote on a Sunday for Gary's Texas BBQ (go early, sometimes they run out of stuff). When we visited he served brisket (SO tender), ribs and chicken, beans, broccoli slaw and french bread. Enjoy.

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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2. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

Check out these excursion ideas ((also read top questions in this thread and in the Akumal forum)

tripadvisor.ca/…35585095

Austin, Tx
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3. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

My family stayed on Half-moon bay last Spring Break. There is good reef snorkeling easily accessible from the beach - better if not windy as mention. I would also highly recommend Yal-kuh snorkeling - it's cheap and like swimming in the pool. Be sure to head left after getting into the water rather then right and out to the ocean where the water can become very brackish (filmy).

We love eating at La Buena Vida. Great vibe, reasonably priced, and good food (especially guacamole and Ceviche).

One possible excursion is to Actun Chen, just down 307 from Akumal. It was a bit pricy ($99/pp), but worth it. The cave tour was very enjoyable. Good formations over a 45-1hr tour. Zip-line was a blast. Scenic and exhilarating, without being intimidating. Cenote snorkeling tour - our favorite. The water is a bit chilly but worth it. I'm sure some might complain about the underwater lighting. But, it did really bring the formations to life.There was a bit of sales pressure at the end to buy a DVD with photos of your experience. But, all and all, a good memory maker.

As for Tulum, I'd spend as much time relaxing on the beautiful beach as possible. But, if you want an excursion, you can, of course, go to the famous Tulum ruins - but get their early before the tour busses arrive. Go past the touristy area and head straight back to the ruins entrance. Personally, I liked the Coba ruins more, but it is a little further drive. You can also hit the Gran Cenote on the way back.

My $0.02.

Pittsburgh...
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4. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

You've made two good choices already! We stayed at La Bahia condos on Half Moon Bay last year and our first trip to Mexico we were at CoCo. For both places, I would concentrate on adventures in the morning and pure beach chilling in the afternoon--you can do almost everything before noon, stop for lunch somewhere, and be back for a relaxing afternoon with a beverage in your hand before 2:00 p.m.

If you have at least a refrigerator (or a full kitchen in a condo) for your Half Moon Bay stay, I suggest stopping at the Puerto Aventuras Chedraui on your way from the airport. It's good to get a head start on your beverage and snack shopping! It's a full size supermarket (but not as huge as the new one in Tulum) and prices are great.

I would concentrate on snorkeling adventures and getting acclimated during the Half Moon Bay part of your stay. Akumal Bay is really easy snorkeling but it gets really crowded these days, so you'll want to get there early. Same for Yal Ku, which was much, much better than I expected it to be. As everyone has said, Half Moon Bay can be a challenge to get into but it's worth it once you're out there. The great part about staying on Half Moon Bay is that it's incredibly uncrowded--if you do a couple of hours on Akumal Bay, you can come back and it's like having your own private beach. Over Memorial Day week last year we were often literally the only people out there. Dos Ojos is an amazing, amazing cenote (and very reasonably priced) that's about half way between Akumal and Tulum. Highly recommended.

For the Tulum part, it's great to get to the ruins early. Coba is one of my favorite places, and if you rent bikes and explore beyond the big Nohoch Mul pyramid you'll escape the crowds. Tulum is in a beautiful location, but a lot of the people there ooh and ah over the beach and the one in front of CoCo is better. You can also check out Muyil, south of Tulum pueblo, for a very uncrowded experience.

I personally wasn't impressed with any of the food in the Akumal area except for the lionfish tacos at Gynn'AK. For good food, we went down to Tulum. There's plenty of information on this forum on all your options.

Fort Collins...
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5. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

Awesome feedback - sooo helpful.

We decided to do four days Akumal at La Bahia, four days at CoCo Tulum, and then two days I am surprising my fiancé with a suite at AHAU which is supposed to be gorgeous and a little more classy than CoCo (things like having our own bathroom, AC at night, special amenities like stereos in room) will make it a nice place to close out trip with a special bang.

San Jose, California
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6. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

Since it doesn't look like people have addressed either of these yet...

3.) What are some travel tips for mexico in general --- never been but travel a lot so we know the basics about money safety, etc. -- what other tips from people who have travelled the area a lot that we should know?!

* Money: Get pesos from a bank ATM, 1USD is approximately 13 pesos, so estimate 1=12 for easy math. Cash is king, although you will be able to use your credit card some places, I prefer to use cash for daily stuff

Safety: Violent crime isn't a big problem, but petty crime is everywhere, so take normal precautions. Normal safety stuff like water safety, sun safety, stay hydrated, etc. For food and drink - drink bottled water or purified water from big jugs that hotels and restaurants have, ice is fine since it comes from an ice factory using filtered water, eat at places with a high turnover of food and make sure things that are supposed to be hot are hot and things that are supposed to be cold are cold.

Car Rental: Read the traveler article to the right for all you need to know. Driving in Mexico is fine, you just need to make sure you get all the insurance (don't rely on a credit card policy) and read up on possible scams so you can avoid them.

4.) What are some MUST PACK items to bring. I heard mosquito spray is good?! Sunscreen of course?

* Yes, bring mosquito spray and sunblock - and a flashlight since it can be dark in Tulum. Then other than your bathing suit, warm weather clothes, and a sun hat, I can't think of anything specific to bring. Some people have big packing lists with everything under the sun, but I prefer to pack light - I don't bring anything special. The humidity can be fierce, so if you normally straighten or curl your hair, you probably want to leave the appliances at home since whatever hairstyle to do will not last.

dedham, ma
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7. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

I enjoyed a Saturday breakfast at Turtle Bay Cafe in Akumal. Loved swimming on the main beach but go there as early as possible since the tours start arriving around 10. Check out the Hekab Be library in Akumal: a great organization that serves the local population, especially the children. I prefer Coba over the ruins at Tulum. Larger and more spread out, also more shade available. I loved renting a bike and exploring. Chitzen Itza is mind blowing but a bit farther away and dreadfully hot. The best part of Tulum to me is simply walking along the beach!

New Jersey
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8. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

That sounds like a great trip, and yes, I'm sure she'll appreciate the surprise of Ahau at the end for the full-on eco-luxury thing (and the bathroom lol). Super-comfortable beds, cool design, great restaurant/hangout space, nice people. Eggs Ahau is one of my favorite dishes. Only the lower suites have a/c, the uppers have soaring palapa roofs. I know you're looking forward to the a/c and that's totally great, but if for some reason they mess up the reservation and you end up in an upper, don't worry. I stayed in one of the uppers in July once and the design of the room made it feel like we were in the middle of a cool breeze all night long. Ended up sleeping under the duvet! But the lowers are awesome too, and they have a kind of outdoor shower thing. Man, I want to stay there again!

(I love Coco too, just in a totally different way.)

Edmonton, Canada
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9. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

We were just in Tulum for 8 days, rented a car and thoroughly enjoyed it!

Did the Sian Kaan, but were a bit disappointed by the Cesiak Boat tour. Felt like there could have been more info and exposure to nature, boating around is ok, but...

Akumal was ok, but you'll find the restaurant selections in Tulum will blow it out of the water. Turtles were pretty cool though, and it has awesome snorkelling.

Ek balam ruins are great - not a lot of other tourists, no buses go there yet! On the way, stop in the sleepy villages and walk around. Valladolid is a very cool colonial city, and it's on the way.

Tips - pack small freeze packs to bring in your backpack with drinks and snacks, we have a cooler type bag, never leave home without it.

Buy a sarong, use this as your beach towel. Nobody wants to lug around a soggy heavy beach towel. Sarongs are light, and dry fast. Also double as a dress or skirt - suppose that was what they rare intended for. HA!

Get to each excursion before it opens, be first in and first out. We missed line up's and tour buses by arriving early. Then you'll have the rest of he day to chill and take a nap, since you had to be up at 6:am. Coba, Tulum ruins and cenotes - all apply.

Buy fresh fruit from the market in Tulum, the one down towards the end of town, near Pemex is the best!! Pineapple, guava, mango, bananas, papaya - just amazing!! They're so sweet, like candy.

Buy or bring your own snorkel gear, so you can hit up some our of the way beaches and cenotes, or at least not have to rent and wait I line to rent. You have full access to do what you want, when you want :)

Fort Collins...
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10. Re: Tulum & Akumal Tips Needed - Please Help!

BUMP FOR AMAZING TIPS - Love all the advice - keep it coming