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Dispatches from Akumal - Akumal blog series by journalist and writer Sarah Sweeney

Akumal Direct Reservations brings you an occasional blog series by journalist and writer Sarah Sweeney. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more of Sarah’s adventures.

By Sarah Sweeney

It’s been a whirlwind week! I got situated in Akumal, saw some old friends, made some new friends, and trekked southward down the coastline. Highlights including riding in the back of a pickup truck—screaming, with the wind in my face!—and visiting Sian Ka’an Biosphere, a sojourn long overdue.

But first: If you have Spotify, I made a playlist of some of the songs I’ve been listening to on this trip—Spanish and English-language music. Music is an essential part of travel for me, and I hope these jams get you in some kind of mood, too!

Adventure was the order of the day and so we packed the week with mini-trips. One afternoon, my friend Anne and I pitstopped in Chemuyil to check out a few of the lesser-known cenotes, including an underground cave full of bats, and an outdoor cenote popular with local families. Located between Akumal and Tulum, Chemuyil is a charming little village full of winding roads and colorful stucco houses, and it’s worth a look around.

Itching for some nightlife, Anne and I caught the colectivo into Tulum on Friday evening and shopped the pueblo before taxiing to Mateo’s on the beach for their famous fish tacos and live music. After a few spicy margaritas, the taxi ride home to Akumal Sur was lively and interesting.

The next morning, we hired a taxista to pick us up early and chauffeur us to the archaeological site of Muyil and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, just south of Tulum. At Sian Ka’an we took a 4-hour long boat tour, sailing through marshes and lagoons, pausing for a 20-minute float down one of the freshwater canals. Buoyed by the natural current, we didn’t need to paddle or do any work—just drift. Heavenly! In a another lagoon, we spotted manatees and, in separate canal, a dozing crocodile. It was one of the best experiences of my life! I’ve been coming to Tulum for nearly four years now, yet this was my first time in Sian Ka’an. I cannot wait to return.

After a day of activities, we were famished. So on the way back to Akumal, I made sure to order the whole fried fish at El Camello in Tulum. There’s no shortage of amazing food in Tulum, but my absolute favorite restaurant is an orange taqueria called Antojitos La Chiapaneca. Tacos are just $7 pesos each. If you’re in the area, find it immediately!

Meanwhile, I’m beyond excited to share with you some interviews and guides in the days and weeks to come. As ever, stay tuned!

Greetings from the mayor of Luna Azul, Señor Iguana! I've stayed in Luna Azul #5, beautiful condo with a stunning ocean view :)

At the helm of this Bob Marley boat in Sian Ka'an! 

Sian Ka'an Biosphere and Muyil ruins are only 25min south of Tulum! Worth visiting :)

Among the various types of protected zones in Quintana Roo, Sian Ka'an is the vasted, with 528,000 hectares containing a wealth of tropical salt marshes, mangrove swamps, cenotes and barrier reefs. Sian Ka'an in Mayan language means ''Entrance to the Sky'' and has been decreed as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 1986.

Muyil is the most notable of the 22 pre-hispanic settlements of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. 

Underground cave full of bats in Chemuyil.

Now I am relaxing on a quiet uncrowded sandy beach with great snorkeling and incredible views of turquoise sea against blue sky. Staying in Seven Seas, a small condominium complex located in the quiet beach community of South Akumal, just two and half miles south of Akumal!