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TENNIS is a popular activity in the Akumal area; click here for more information. 

There are several area locations for horseback riding. Akumal local favorite, Selva Maya, offers guided Riviera Maya horseback riding from a jungle ranch west of the pueblo. Along the way, visit a cenote and cool off!

Many of the Akumal vacation rentals have kayaks for guests to use. Paddle around our protected bays and enjoy the beauty of the sparkling Caribbean. Kayaks are available to rent on Half Moon Bay at Akumal Dive Adventures and Akumal Bay at the Akumal Dive Shop. Or, for more adventure, try a kayak tour of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

Check out our list of Kiteboarding schools affiliated with the IKO (International Kiteboarding Association).

Yoga en Akumal is the only Yoga studio located in Akumal proper. Just inside the arch on the 2nd floor of the Las Casitas reception in Plaza Ukana, enjoy classes in Hatha, Asana, Kundalini, Parinaama, Vinyasa, and other types of yoga while on your Akumal vacation. Please check in at teh studio above the Las Casitas reception for current classes and times. 

Organic Yoga is a bed and breakfast and yoga retreat north of Akumal in the jungle. You don't have to be a guest to take part in the classes; email Leon or call him at 984.117.1968 for more information.

Yoga by the Sea is located at the Kool Beach Club in Playa del Carmen. Enjoy yoga overlooking the incredible Caribbean Sea from a spacious terrace. Contact Arielle by email or call her at 984.876.2653 for more information.

Some of the larger theme parks can be expensive, but they have a huge variety of cool eco-adventure activities all in one place. They are definitely a convenient option if you need to entertain kids of different ages, as preschoolers and toddlers will be happy with the playgrounds, wading pools and tamer wildlife attractions (Xcaret has a butterfly pavillion and turtles) and older kids can rock climb, zip line, snorkel or swim with dolphins. Some parks have packages that include meals and drinks.

Crococun Zoo is an interactive and conservationist zoo project south of Cancun and north of Puerto ​Morelos. It was originally established as a crocodile farm and now offers 60-75 minute tours with the opportunity to interact with the animals. You will able to touch, hold and feed great variety of the wild (and all local) animals like parrots, spider monkeys, snakes, deer, turtles, coatimundis and others.

Dolphinaris Park is a fairly new dolphin park located just north of Puerto Aventuras, about 14 kilometers north of Akumal.

Dolphin Discovery is located in the Puerto Aventuras tourist complex on the marina, about 10 kilometers north of Akumal. The facilities were built inside a tropical green island with a lagoon, and you do not have to pay an entrance fee to enter the marina or watch the shows.

EcoRanchoMayamar is a special place for special people. Complete with 450 meters of underground river systems, 10 big cave rooms with blue and green transparent water to crawl and swim in, places for meditation, cenotes, and an ecologically-friendly house in the jungle. The location is available for special events, and people can bring drinks and food. A barbeque is available and the house is available to rent for a unique night in the jungle.

Indiana Joe's at Aktun Chen Natural Park Experience cave exploration, a cenote swim, zip line, and jungle trails, all for a reasonable price. Located 4 kilometers south of Akumal off of Highway 307.

Kantun-Chi is one of the more low-key eco parks, located just a few kilometers north of Akumal off of Highway 307. At Kantun-Chi you can explore nature trails, cenotes, grottos, and the underground river.

LabNaHa Cenotes and Eco Park Labnaha’s Eco Park, the "Magic Mayan World," operates only with small groups and has a visitor limit per day to avoid not only mass tourism but a larger negative impact on the Eco system. Labnaha is located just 10 minutes south of Akumal.

Punta Venado Caribbean Eco Park Punta Venado Caribbean Eco Park includes 206 acres of jungle and almost 4 miles of beautiful beach just south of Playa del Carmen. Tours include ATV excursions, horseback riding, snorkeling, and more. Also on the grounds is the Blue Venado Restaurant/Beach Club that serves Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine.

Tres Rios Nature Park is an ecological park in the Riviera Maya located inside the Hacienda Tres Rios Resort where three rivers converge and flow into the Caribbean Sea. Within its 326 acres are 120 species of plants and 90 species of animals, and it is the only nature park in the Yucatan Peninsula that includes three distinct ecosystems: jungle, mangrove forest, and coastal dunes. Visitors have the opportunity to kayak, snorkel, swim, bicycle and dive in this sustainable tourism model park. For more information on their tours, click here.

Xel-Ha Eco Water Park is an enormous water park with a lazy river, cliff jumping, zip lines, snorkeling, interaction with sting rays and dolphins, cenotes, caves, and lots more fun. Great for families! Purchase your package on online with three days advance and save 10%. Located on Highway 307 between Chemuyil and Tulum.

Xplor - Below the Surface is the brand new attraction at Xcaret which includes an exhilirating underground adventure using amphibious vehicles, swimming in the stalactite river, underground rafting, and over 2 miles of ziplining across the Mayan jungle! Located at Xcaret, just south of Playa del Carmen on Highway 307.


A less commercial option than some of the big adventure parks is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO site that offers bird watching, kayaking, fly fishing and small boat tours. The entrance to Sian Ka'an is located at the south end of the Tulum Beach Road.

For an unforgettable day or overnight trip, make the 3-hour trek up to Rio Lagartos, a fishing village at the northern tip of the Yucatan peninsula. A 150,000 acre Bio-Reserve that protects 388 species of resident and migratory bird species, 59 species of mammals, 80 species of reptiles, 99 species of fish, and 16 species of amphibians. The flamingo colony is the largest in Mexico and one of the largest in the world with a population of more than 40,000 during nesting season. One of our favorite guides is Francisco Sansores; ask for him by name at the Information booth in town, or he can be reached at 986.107.1679.

The Jungle Place is a sanctuary for endangered spider monkeys located in Chemuyil, about 15 minutes south of Akumal. The wonderful owners provide food, shelter, access to medical care and plenty of love to rescued Spider Monkeys who were victims of the illegal pet trade, poaching, and habitat destruction and have nowhere else to go. "Tours" are available and the experience is absolutely unforgettable, as you are able to sit inside the monkeys' natural habitat, feed them, and let them play with you. Reservations are required; contact information is on the website.

Ya'ax Che Botanical Garden Named for a local botanist, the Dr. Alfredo Barrera Marin garden south of Puerto Morelos exhibits the Yucatan peninsula's plants and flowers, which are labeled in English, Spanish, and Latin. The park features a 130-foot suspension bridge, three observation towers, a tree nursery, an orchid and epiphyte garden, an authentic Mayan house, an archaelogical site, and a library equipped with reading hammocks. More than 220 species of birds have been identified here (be sure to bring the bug spray, though). Spider monkeys can usually be spotted in the afternoons, and a tree-house lookout offers a spectacular view of the grounds, but don't make the climb if you are afraid of heights. The park is open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am. - 5:00 p.m. (closed on Sunday); last entry is at 4. Current cost to enter is 100 pesos.

written by Superintendent Linda Henke of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District in St. Louis. Dr. Henke wrote this piece for her graduate students in a school principal preparation program. I share these powerful words with you to provoke your thinking about the role of design in your life.
To My Wonderful Students

Be designers…first and foremost…design.
Design with a glorious childhood in mind,
not just a good education;
Design toward an amazing future,
not just a reaction to the past;
Design with an engaged heart and spirit,
not just with your analytic mind;
Design with a fearless sense of possibility,
not with the anxiety of compliance;
Design with your dance shoes on
and your butterfly net in hand,
not just in your work clothes;
Design as a gentle warrior for children,
not as a bureaucrat longing for certainty,
seeking comfort in numbers;
Design…our children desperately need you
to design new schools that celebrate childhood,
not try to remediate it.