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Akumal contains eight restaurants ranging from the fancy beachside Lol Ha to the quaint Teresa's Cocina, three dive shops and several collections of shops selling souvenirs. The entrance to Akumal is accessed from the main four lane divided highway between Cancun and Felipe Carrillo Puerto.The narrow two lane highway to the beach is well maintained and has several small roadside shops selling groceries,Mexican food,snorkeling tours,and jewelery. The town is entered through an arch after which the road divides into the road to the north that leads to Half Moon Bay and Ya-Ku Lagoon and the South Road which goes to the beach of Akumal, Akumal Dive Shop and Lol Ha Restaurant and Bar. Both the north road and the south road are guarded and admission to the south road is only available to pedestrians and the automobiles of guests of the aforementioned establishments.The north road passes by a parking lot and three bar/restaurants.It then winds past large resort with very large luxurious private beach houses and luxurious condominiums on the beach which afford the most incredible views of the Cozumel Strait to the east and the mangrove jungle to the west. Half way between the split in the road is the bar/restaurant La Buena Vida. This restaurant has excellent food and drinks and offers diving and fishing trips.At some times of year it is possible to see a large family of Coati-Mundis at the souvenir shops across from La Buena Vida. Continuing on the road to Ya-Ku Lagoon you will see Teresa's Cocina a great inexpensive kitchen that serves tacos, and carbon grilled chicken. This is right across from the Playa Blanca Condominiums which have the best view of the bay and are the "in " place to stay in Akumal. After you finish lunch at Teresa's Kitchen (cocina in Spanish) you will have about another mile till you reach the Lagoon. The Lagoon has a parking lot and charges an admission fee but it is a great way to snorkel and see fish without the turbulence of the open ocean. On the south road you will see the Buddha Spa and then arrive at the Akumal Dive Shop and Lol Ha restaurant. This is the most perfect beach on the entire Riviera Maya. There is little surf and the beach is sandy. It is interesting that the snorkeling is so good that many of the all-inclusive resorts bring their guests here for a placid snorkeling experience. If you want to swim with turtles (totugas),this is the place. Cameras and snorkeling equipment are available in the two dive shops for rental. Akumal actually means "place of the turtles" in the Mayan language.
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.