Guide to visit Yal-Kú in Akumal

August 09, 2023

The best-kept secret in Riviera Maya

Let me tell you everything you need to know to visit this place! 

Let me tell you about one of my favorite places in Riviera Maya, and in my opinion, one of its best-kept secrets: Yal-Kú.

If you are a fan of quiet plans, nature, and beautiful sights... This will interest you!

Yal-Kú is a little paradise in Akumal where you can mainly enjoy a cove, which is known for its stunning natural beauty and for being an ideal place for snorkeling.

With this in mind, I’ll share with you everything you should know about this place before you visit.


Yal-Kú is located in Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo. It’s approximately 25 or 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen in the same direction as Tulum.


How to get there?

From Cancun

By car

-Take federal highway 307 towards Tulum.

-Pass through Playa del Carmen and continue until you reach Akumal.

-In Akumal, follow the signs to Yal-Kú. Parking is available.

By public transportation

-Go to the Cancun’s main bus terminal (also known as the ADO Terminal), located in downtown Cancun.

-Take a bus going to Playa del Carmen but make sure it makes a stop in Akumal.

-In Akumal, you can get off the bus and walk to Yal-Kú following the signs. 


From Playa Del Carmen

By car

-Take federal highway 307 towards Tulum.

-Drive towards the Akumal exit. 

-In Akumal, drive about half a mile and follow the signs until you reach Yal-Kú. Parking is available.

By public transportation

-Go to the downtown station where the vans depart to Tulum. 

-Get off at Akumal (the ride takes about 40 minutes). 

-In Akumal you can get off and walk to Yal-Kú following the signs.


Types of entrance

There are three different types of entrance tickets according to your needs and budget.

-General admission


-Yal-Kú Plus


-Yal-Ku Experience


Operation schedule

There’s access from Monday to Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Now that you have some basic information, I want to tell you a little bit more about what you can do in Yal-Kú.


1. Cove 

It is ideal for snorkeling, as it offers the opportunity to explore the coral reefs and swim with tropical fish. Visibility in the water is usually excellent, allowing you to enjoy marine life at its best.


2. Sculpture Garden 

Strolling through this place is going to be quite an experience as you will see incredible sculptures as you walk along the path to the cove.


3. Restaurant

Yal-Kú has a restaurant that has a variety of dishes for breakfast and lunch. The Experience admission includes one dish.


4. Cabins

If you prefer more privacy, cabins are available for rent at the ticket booth when you arrive. These can accommodate up to 10 people and are perfect for spending the day with family or friends, plus they have direct access to the cove!


5. Rest area

Don't miss a moment of relaxation in the hammocks, available in case you want to take a nap after swimming or eating.


Yal-Kú is perfect to celebrate a special occasion. Among my favorites, I recommend a birthday with your friends, or if you are feeling more romantic, get creative and organize a picnic for your partner.


There are many possibilities to spend a beautiful day here!

What to bring for a day at Yal-Kú?

-Sunscreen: It is essential to protect your skin from the sun's rays. Remember that it must be biodegradable.

-Beach towel: A large and comfortable towel to relax and enjoy the sun.

-Swimsuit: to enjoy the water.

-Light clothing: Bring cool and comfortable clothes for when you’re not inside the water, such as T-shirts, shorts, or dresses.

-Hat or cap and sunglasses: To protect your head and face from the sun.

-Sandals or flip-flops: They are practical for walking around the area.

-Waterproof case for your cell phone: Mandatory if you want to take pictures and videos in the water.

-Other optional items: You might consider bringing an umbrella or parasol to create your shade, a magazine or book to read, and an extra bag to store wet or dirty clothes.


Flora and fauna in Yal-Kú.

Flora: Around Yal-Kú, you will find lush vegetation typical of the tropical rainforest. Some of the plant species you may encounter include palms, local trees such as chicozapote and ceiba, as well as shrubs and smaller plants. The vegetation provides shade and shelter for various creatures and contributes to the ecological balance of the area.

Land fauna: You are likely to observe animals such as coatis, raccoons, iguanas, and various species of birds. There are also a variety of insects and butterflies that are an integral part of the ecosystem.

Marine fauna: The real attraction of Yal-Kú lies in its marine life. During your snorkeling time you’ll be able to enjoy the presence of numerous brightly colored tropical fish, such as angelfish, parrotfish, butterfly fish, and damselfish. You may also encounter rays, moray eels, and occasionally, sea turtles.

In addition to fish, corals are an essential part of the ecosystem, you can observe different types of corals, such as brain coral and fire coral, which provide shelter and food for many marine species.


In addition to fish, corals are an essential part of the ecosystem, you can observe different types of corals, such as brain coral and fire coral, which provide shelter and food for many marine species.

Yal-Kú is not an officially recognized protected area, but it is important to keep in mind that it is a fragile and valuable ecosystem that requires care and respect if you visit it.

Yal-Kú is a body of water that connects to the Caribbean Sea and is home to a diversity of marine life. It is essential to follow responsible practices during your snorkeling time. This involves not touching the corals or harming the marine environment, as well as not feeding the fish to avoid interfering with their natural feeding patterns.

In addition, it is recommended to use biodegradable sunscreen and respect any specific indications or regulations established at the site to preserve the beauty and balance of Yal-Kú's ecosystem. Visitors must act consciously and responsibly to contribute to the conservation of this unique natural environment.

Now you already have one more plan to add to your checklist of beautiful places to visit!

Orgullosamente Cancunense, viajar es mi actividad favorita. Amante de los atardeceres, la pasta, el vino y la luna. Creo que vida es increíble.


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