Akumal, Riviera Maya

 
Originally a seaport and trading center, known to the early Mayans as “Place of the Turtles,” Akumal is a small beach community approximately 65 miles south of Cancun, along Mexico’s beautiful Caribbean coast.

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Akumal Properties for Sale


 
47 photos

Akumal, Suite Luxury Villa

"Includes a cenote wine celler"
$1,950,000 USD
"Luxurious & Exclusive"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 6
40 photos

Akumal Beachfront Villa

"With separate 'casita' cottage"
$1,900,000 USD
"Oceanfront beauty"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 4
29 photos

Akumal

"5 Star Golf course community"
$1,200,000 USD
"Exclusive & Private"
Style Single Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 4
31 photos

Akumal, Suite Two homes for the price of one!

"Peaceful, Private Jungle Escape"
$990,000 USD
"2 houses, large pool & Cenote"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 6
34 photos

Akumal

"Exclusive, private gated community"
$895,000 USD
"A Golfer's Dream Home"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 3
16 photos

Akumal, Suite Casa Cecilia

"With separate guest suite"
$750,000 USD
"Single family home"
Style Single Story
Type Residential
13 photos

Akumal

"One of the last with a white sandy beach"
$675,000 USD
"Great Beach front lot"
Style Lot / Land
Type Residential
26 photos
$529,000 USD
Style Single Story
Type Residential
40 photos

Akumal, Suite C Residence

"5 Star living advantages"
$525,000 USD
"Upgraded house in TAO"
Style Single Story
Type Residential
31 photos

Akumal Tao house

"Furnished with private plunge pool"
$449,000 USD
"Turnkey home!"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 3
36 photos

Akumal, Suite Tao house

"Incl. deck, fenced yard & master bedroom terrace"
$439,000 USD
"TAO home with plunge pool"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 3
33 photos

Akumal, Suite Mi Casa del Mar

"Magnificent ocean views"
$349,500 USD
"Ocean front condo & fully furnished"
Style Single Story
Type Residential
Bedrooms 2
23 photos

Akumal, Suite Penthouse

"Super investment"
$325,000 USD
"Great location"
Style Single Story
Type Residential
41 photos

Akumal, Suite CHI

"Great Location!"
$319,000 USD
"Great Penthouse"
Style 2 Story
Type Residential
21 photos

Akumal, Suite PH 2

"Fully Furnished"
$317,000 USD
"Reduced - Gorgeous Penthouse"
Style Single Story
Type Residential
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Akumal, Riviera Maya

      
    Akumal

It is a quiet and friendly place, and something of a secret to those who live there, with its powdery beaches, lush jungle and wonderful people.  Akumal’s shallow and protected bays, created by the world’s 2nd largest barrier reef, delight every level of snorkeler discovering the beauty of its underwater world. 

The bays are populated with a huge variety of fish and marine life.  The favorite resident here is the sea turtle.  You can swim with an abundance of tropical fish, along with the unconcerned turtles feeding on underwater grasses.  The beach is spotted with protected turtle egg nests.  The local environmental organization, CEA (Centro Ecologico Akumal) is dedicated to protecting these turtles, which nest from May to October.

A little known story is the town’s beginnings.  The year was 1511 and a shipwreck caused 17 sailors to wash up on shore, where the Mayans swiftly captured them.  Fifteen men died and the two survivors would have an enduring impact on Akumal and Mexico.  One of the survivors, Gonzalo Guerrero, married the Mayan princess Xzazil, who was the daughter of the Mayan chief.  He fathered three children, who became the first mingling of Mayan and Spanish heritage in Mexico and the first Euro-American family.

 He grew to love his new life and even denounced his Spanish culture.  He told the Spanish emissaries that he was no longer Spanish; he was a Mayan.  He taught the Mayans techniques of war which they later used against the invading Spaniards.  The Spanish conqueror Cortes arrived at the island of Cozumel in 1519 and was told about the shipwreck and its only two surviving sailors living in Akumal.  He sent a search party.  They located the two men and rescued the other sailor, Geronimo de Aguilar, who became the first Mayan language translator and a guide for the Spanish conquistadors. Guerrero lived in Akumal with his wife and three children until his death in 1536.  A statue of Guerrero, with his wife and children greets visitors at the entrance to Akumal.

About 200 years later, a Spanish merchant ship, El Matancero, ran aground on the coral reef during a terrible storm.  Its cargo would have brought a considerable price had the ship made her destination of Veracruz.

In 1959, a team of WWII Mexican frogmen came to salvage the ship.  This tropical coast had only been accessible by boat.  Cannons from the ship were recovered and can be seen at the north end of the bay.  Snorkelers can also find them on the sea floor there.  One of those divers, Pablo Bush Romero, eventually purchased thousands of acres of land in and around Akumal.  He founded the town as a dedicated community for scuba divers.  Their group donated Xel-Ha and over 5,000 acres of land around Akumal to be dedicated as a national park.  There is a shipwreck museum in Puerto Aventuras, which holds most of the artifacts found on El Matancero.  Visitors there can get a view of the fascinating history of scuba diving in the area.  Part of the ‘treasure” of glass beads can still be found at the site of the wreck in Akumal Bay.

Unlike the many resort communities along the coast, Akumal has kept its relaxed, eclectic and laid back mood.  Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead made Akumal his vacation hideaway.  The famous dive locations in the Riviera Maya originated in the waters of Akumal.

 There is much to see and do in Akumal, but it is really more about just relaxing.  The very first vacation resort on the Riviera Maya is still just a small beach community with an easy feel and slow pace.

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