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Half-moon Bay in Akumal
Half-moon Bay in Akumal
Akumal is located in Mexico
Location on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico
Coordinates: 20°24′00″N 87°19′16″W / 20.40000°N 87.32111°W / 20.40000; -87.32111
Country Mexico
StateFlag of Quintana Roo.svg Quintana Roo
MunicipalityTULUM.png Tulum
36 ft (11 m)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (No DST)
Major AirportCancún International Airport

Akumal is a small beach-front tourist resort community in Mexico, located 100 km (62 mi) south of Cancún, between the towns of Playa del Carmen and Tulum. It is located on Akumal Bay and Half Moon Bay on the site of a former coconut plantation in Tulum Municipality in the state of Quintana Roo, and is part of the Riviera Maya area. The 2010 census showed a population of 1,310 inhabitants.[1]

Akumal is famous as a destination for snorkeling, where visitors can swim with endangered green sea turtles, who visit the shallow bay to feed on sea grass.[2] The popularity of snorkeling has put environmental pressure on the fragile habitat.[3]


The town was officially founded in 1958 as a community for scuba divers by Pablo Bush Romero—a Mexican businessman, big game trophy hunter, diver, writer, historian, and archaeologist. Pablo Bush's family still controls a portion of Akumal.[citation needed]

On March 7, 2016, Akumal Bay was declared a marine refuge to protect the threatened turtle population.[4][5]

In 2018 the Akumal Arts Festival was founded. Each November this annual event brings over 120 national and international artists from Mexico for one of the largest mural festivals being produced globally.[6]

Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) swimming in Akumal


  1. ^ http://mapserver.inegi.org.mx/mgn2k/?s=geo&c=1223 Archived 2013-05-02 at the Wayback Machine 2010 census tables: INEGI]: Instituto Nacional de Estadística, Geografía e Informática
  2. ^ "Swimming with Turtles in Akumal, Mexico". Anna Everywhere. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  3. ^ Russell, Paul Sánchez-Navarro (20 Feb 2016). "Akumal suffering from unsustainable growth". Mexico News Daily. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  4. ^ "ACUERDO por el que se establece con el nombre de Bahía de Akumal el área de refugio para la protección de las especies que se indican, la porción marina que se señala en el Estado de Quintana Roo". Diario Oficial de la Federacion. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  5. ^ "Akumal Bay Marine Refuge for protected species declared". Centro Ecológico Akumal. Retrieved 22 December 2017.
  6. ^ "A fiesta of art, community and magic in Akumal, Mexico". www.akumalartsfest.com. Retrieved 19 June 2022.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°24′00″N 87°19′16″W / 20.40000°N 87.32111°W / 20.40000; -87.32111