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29 Jun 2024
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If you’re staying in Akumal and looking for an unforgettable nature experience, visiting the Xcacel-Xcacelito Sea Turtle Sanctuary and Cenote is a must. 

The Sea Turtle Sanctuary

Xcacel-Xcacelito is renowned for its sea turtle sanctuary. During the nesting season, from April to November, visitors can observe the efforts of expert biologists to protect their nests despite beach conditions.  This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the winter, with long stretches of soft white sand and stunning turquoise Caribbean waters. Visitors can expect to encounter seaweed accumulation in some spots, especially from May to August, but walking to the southern end offers a better landscape. 

Activities for Nature Lovers

The sanctuary offers a variety of activities that allow you to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area:

Bird Watching: Enjoy the area's rich biodiversity by spotting a variety of bird species.
Eco Activities: Engage in activities that promote environmental education and conservation.
Beach: Relax on the beautiful, unspoiled beach and soak up the sun.
Biodiversity: Explore the diverse ecosystems that make Xcacel-Xcacelito a unique destination.
Environmental Education: Learn about the importance of preserving natural habitats and the role of sea turtles in the ecosystem.

The Cenote Experience

In addition to the beach, Xcacel-Xcacelito is home to a stunning cenote, a natural freshwater sinkhole surrounded by lush jungle. A dip in the cenote's cool, crystal-clear waters is a refreshing way to escape the heat and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. The cenote is an excellent activity during the summer months when beach conditions vary due to inclement weather and seaweed accumulation. The sanctuary’s serene environment provides a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle, allowing you to connect with nature meaningfully.

Regulations to Preserve the Sanctuary

To protect the natural beauty and biodiversity of Xcacel-Xcacelito, visitors are expected to follow several regulations:

No Alcohol: Alcoholic beverages are not allowed within the sanctuary.
No Pets: To preserve the natural habitat, pets are not permitted.
No Music: Loud music is prohibited to maintain the area's serenity.
No Picking: Refrain from picking plants or disturbing wildlife.
No Chemicals or Smoking: Ensure the environment remains clean and pollutants-free.
No Food: Bringing food is not allowed to prevent littering and protect wildlife.
No Drones: Drones are prohibited to avoid disturbing the wildlife.

Practical Information

Visitors are required to pay a fee upon arrival under $100 pesos.  This contibution helps support staff and facilities available including showers and bathrooms. 

Opening Hours: The sanctuary is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and is closed on Mondays.
Eco-Friendly Products: Visitors are encouraged to use eco-friendly products and bring their beach equipment.
Stay Hydrated: Make sure to stay hydrated during your visit.
Designated Areas: Use only the designated areas for activities to protect the natural habitats.
Respect Nesting Sites: To ensure their safety and well-being, respect turtle nesting sites.

How to Get There

Xcacel-Xcacelito is easily accessible from Akumal. Whether renting a car or a taxi, the short drive is worth the visit. Though public transportation is available, this only drops you off at the entrance, and there’s about a ¾ mile walk to the beach and cenote, so a vehicle is highly recommended. 

Plan Ahead

Visiting Xcacel-Xcacelito is more than just a day trip; it’s an opportunity to experience the wonders of nature and contribute to the conservation of a vital ecosystem. Whether exploring the cenote, relaxing on the beach, or witnessing the incredible sea turtles, this sanctuary offers something for everyone. Contact us for more details about adding Xcacel-Xcacelito to your itinerary for an unforgettable adventure next time you're in Akumal.