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Sassygirl18 10-02-2017 02:15 PM

Akumal Advice?
 
Hi All,

We are gearing up for a 10 day trip in November - staying 5 nights in Akumal and 5 night in Isla Mujeres.

We've only visited Akumal a couple of times for day trips and never stayed there, so we are unfamiliar with it. We are renting a condo on Half Moon Bay (north end, near Yal-ku lagoon).

For those of you who are experienced Akumal visitors....Any tips on good restaurants that we can walk to for breakfast, lunch and dinner? We don't cook much when we are on vacation. We don't eat meat, but we do eat everything else (fish, cheese, eggs, etc.).

I believe the beach in front of the condo is rocky so we will bring water shoes and snorkeling gear. Are there any non-rocky, non-rough beaches within walking distance of this area that would be good for swimming?

If we were to rent a car, can you recommend a good rental car company that we can pick up the car at the CUN airport? Ideally, (if possible), we'd like to return it in Cancun Centro as we are heading from Akumal to Isla Mujeres and will be headed there to get the ferry. If that's not feasible, I guess we would return it at the airport and take a taxi to the ferry dock.

If we decide NOT to rent a car, where is the closest LARGE supermarket (a.k.a. Chedraui or MEGA)?

Any other tips/suggestions are welcome. THANKS!!!

WaterRat 10-02-2017 09:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sassygirl18 (Post 2196084)
Hi All,

I believe the beach in front of the condo is rocky so we will bring water shoes and snorkeling gear. Are there any non-rocky, non-rough beaches within walking distance of this area that would be good for swimming?

Just walk south. It turns sandy very soon.

WaterRat 10-02-2017 09:14 PM

[quote=Sassygirl18;2196084]
If we were to rent a car, can you recommend a good rental car company /quote]

I'd only rent from Caribbean, aka Cancun, aka I forget at the moment, or Avant.

Closest big grocery stores are in Playa or Tulum. I'd rent a car and stop off in Playa on my way down. If you can't stop on your way down, I'd head in to Tulum.

If that's not feasible, the biggest grocery store is on the other side of 307 - in the Akumal Pueblo, which is a town that was created for the Mayans when they "relocated" them from Akumal and Half Moon Bays.

Sassygirl18 10-03-2017 08:46 AM

Thanks for the tips, WaterRat!

Sogno 10-03-2017 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sassygirl18 (Post 2196084)
Hi All,

We are gearing up for a 10 day trip in November - staying 5 nights in Akumal and 5 night in Isla Mujeres.

We've only visited Akumal a couple of times for day trips and never stayed there, so we are unfamiliar with it. We are renting a condo on Half Moon Bay (north end, near Yal-ku lagoon).

For those of you who are experienced Akumal visitors....Any tips on good restaurants that we can walk to for breakfast, lunch and dinner? We don't cook much when we are on vacation. We don't eat meat, but we do eat everything else (fish, cheese, eggs, etc.).

I believe the beach in front of the condo is rocky so we will bring water shoes and snorkeling gear. Are there any non-rocky, non-rough beaches within walking distance of this area that would be good for swimming?

If we were to rent a car, can you recommend a good rental car company that we can pick up the car at the CUN airport? Ideally, (if possible), we'd like to return it in Cancun Centro as we are heading from Akumal to Isla Mujeres and will be headed there to get the ferry. If that's not feasible, I guess we would return it at the airport and take a taxi to the ferry dock.

If we decide NOT to rent a car, where is the closest LARGE supermarket (a.k.a. Chedraui or MEGA)?

Any other tips/suggestions are welcome. THANKS!!!

We've stayed in HMB for a number of years, and have it well sorted out. All of HMB is rocky, but you can head over to Akumal Bay for a sandy entrance if it's that important to have sand under foot. A good hike, especially if you're carrying snorkel gear. I suggest bringing some water shoes, and enjoying the snorkeling straight out from your condo. Personally, I avoid Akumal Bay. Way too busy, and the snorkeling isn't nearly as good as HMB. Yes, you can see turtles in HMB also. Tip: Google Earth is your friend. Zoom in and locate the reefs in HMB, and that's where you'll find the best snorkeling.

Que Onda is an excellent restraunt in our opinion, and is walkable in HMB since it's next to Yal Ku lagoon entrance. Don't miss their Tacos al Pastor on Sunday for lunch. La Taverna next to the arches is also very good for dinner. For breakfast, I highly recommend Loncheria Akumalito also near the arches. Look for the open air place with stools in front. Excellent and reasonably priced. We don't care for Lol Ha or La Cueva del Pescador, although many a gringo will undoubtedly swear by them. No thanks to either. La Buena Vida for lunch, fish or shrimp tacos. Won't go there for dinner, but will stop by for a drink after dinner. Be sure to challenge a waiter to a game of ring toss ;) They'll school you quick, but it will be a fun schooling.

Highly suggest to have a vehicle if you'll be there for a week. EXPLORE!!! That's how you'll find the gems that are better than HMB ;) We rent from Avant Car Rental, pick up a the airport. Contact them to ensure you can drop where you want to - they're great, and I'm pretty certain they'll accommodate you.

There's a Chedraui in Tulum & Puerto Aventuras.

If you don't mind my asking, where are you staying?

Sogno 10-03-2017 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WaterRat (Post 2196137)
Just walk south. It turns sandy very soon.

Where? Akumal Bay? That's "very soon" if you're staying in North HMB? :confused:

WaterRat 10-03-2017 11:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sogno (Post 2196184)
All of HMB is rocky, Personally, I avoid Akumal Bay. Way too busy, and the snorkeling isn't nearly as good as HMB. Yes, you can see turtles in HMB also.

All of Half Moon Bay is most certainly not rocky. Ever walked out of LBV toward the bay?

Agreed, the snorkeling is much better in HMB, with the added bonus of a fraction of the humans.

Sassygirl18 10-03-2017 12:22 PM

Thanks for all of the tips so far. I am taking notes and will definitely refer to them.

Quote:

If you don't mind my asking, where are you staying?
We are staying at La Sirenis Condos, which are on the north end of Half Moon Bay, not far from Yal-ku lagoon.

Sogno 10-03-2017 12:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by WaterRat (Post 2196202)
All of Half Moon Bay is most certainly not rocky. Ever walked out of LBV toward the bay?

Agreed, the snorkeling is much better in HMB, with the added bonus of a fraction of the humans.

Yes I have. I've been frequenting HMB for many years. Speaking of LBV, I was there for their grand opening celebration. ;)

jackjackattack 10-03-2017 06:26 PM

Hey Sassy....

We really like Turtle Bay cafe and Bakery for breakfast, and Lucy's ice cream there is always spot on delish! They are located up by the dive shop where you come into the beach road.
We are tourists of course and we do love La Buena Vida! We stayed next door last May for a couple nights. I absolutely love their coconut shrimp. We have eaten about everything they serve over the years. Great for lunch wth your toes in the sand and what a view! Nice bar at night if you happen to have a good crowd but usually quiet.

Yal-ku is fun to snorkel. Earlier the better!

juanrojo 10-04-2017 01:10 AM

We stay down at the end of Halfmoon Bay most of our trips.

We rent cars from, America Car Rental, CANCUN CAR RENTAL - FULL INSURANCE , which is a branch of the same company Water Rat suggests. Get a quote in pesos if you will pay by credit card as that is the currency charged to your card regardless. Canadians especially benefit from the peso quote on exchange rates. They pick you up and take you a mile or two off airport and this is where you would normally return the car. You could get a city cab from there to the ferry if you had to and they might give you a ride if you let them know your plan. There is a good chance that they would have to return the car themselves anyway. This is only a possibility.

There is a really easily accessed Chedraui grocery store just before Puerto Aventuras that should get you enough supplies. Prices are high in Akumal and so I would go big at first and leave extra food and drink for the staff as part of a tip. Near the entrance to the little mall that houses the Chedraui there is a take out Chinese place with huge portions if you are hungry or getting in late.

As you pull out of the Chedraui most people would quickly merge onto the overpass lane. If you choose not to you will proceed down the service road to the underpass. At this point there at two great food options. The first requires a turn under the highway and then another left. Very quickly and just before the gas station is Taco Paco for wonderful battered fish tacos with many self served salsa and condiment options. At the gas station next door there is a small satellite La Europea store to check out if you wish. After lunch you would have to go a half mile north to retorno back south. From that same point at the underpass the second restaurant would be straight ahead and just up the on ramp to the highway. This place is called, El Arbolito. It is a deli style take out or sit down place where you can see the choices and you might see something for lunch or the fridge.

Alright enough supplies. When you get to Akumal exit the highway to the right to spend the five minutes it takes to SEE Akumal Pueblo's three or four blocks by three or four blocks. Cross the overpass and just follow the only road to the condo.

Your condo is on ironshore not just rocks. ALL of the Halfmoon Bay water entry is over rocks and submerged ironshore but there is lots of sand out of the water all through the mid bay area. The water is very shallow for a long time so I take a few careful steps and then put my fins on my hands like protective gloves and then do a reverse push up sort of entry to get horizontal. So many people walk SO far crunching SO much sea life just to get to waist depth so please try the fins as gloves method.

Que Onda is just around the block from the condo and they will have seafood pastas and other Italo/Swiss/Mexican fusion meals. There was talk of a branch of the very Mexican restaurant La Cueva Del Pescadors right inside Yal Ku Lagoons gate and open to the public but I haven't seen this myself. The main La Cueva Del Pescadors is very economical and tasty and is by the arch and next door to Turtle Bay. Turtle Bay is always excellent and the owners are great community boosters and organizers.

Akumal Bay has constantly changing rules but currently there is a substantial portion of the usual turtle sighting area that is marked off by buoys and CLOSED to ALL snorkelers and enforced I'm told.

Since you have a car, drive to the Pueblo near the top of the hill to the right where they make fresh on demand salbutes for breakfast. They would normally put meat on them but just tell them how you want them. Down the hill there is a tortilleria.

A side trip to Soliman bay at Chamicos at the very end of the beach road is always relaxing and the next bay Tankah has a nice destination at Casa cenote. Xcacel beach, near Chemuyil is a wild beach with only a changeroom for services and a small pond style cenote down a short jungle path. Chemuyil is also a nice village and the restaurant La Palapa is always enjoyable.

Please be happy always

WaterRat 10-04-2017 01:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by juanrojo (Post 2196362)
We rent cars from, America Car Rental, CANCUN CAR RENTAL - FULL INSURANCE

Yes, that's the other name that escaped me last night.:doh2:

I think I'd give Avanti a try --- never heard a bad report yet, and the last time I looked, their prices were better. However, I don't recall whether or not the pick up - drop off locations were as many.

Sogno 10-04-2017 09:12 AM

America Car Rental is just one of the rental agencies that's in our 'former' list. Over the many years we've been renting vehicles in this region, we've rented from quite a few. To date, Avant is the best, hands down. We hope they keep up the good work.

What we didn't like about America Car Rental

* Vehicles were old, slammers. Every time we rented from them.

* Their choice of meeting spot is smack in the middle of the chaotic arrivals area, outside. Very difficult to find their rep.

* Each time we rented from them, we had to search for quite a while. No doubt serving other passengers, but they should have a secondary rep staying in place with a sign so at least someone is there.

* Although we had pre-registered and reserved a vehicle in advance, when we arrived at their off-site office, paperwork took nearly an hour to complete. Small, smelly office, and it took far too long.

* Returning the vehicle to their off-site office - rep looking it over was on a mission to find something wrong that we had done. He was literally, and I mean literally, crawling underneath the car, scrutinizing every inch of the vehicle. I understand they're looking for damage, but frankly, this guy was an asshat. That was the final straw with AmericaCar Rental, for us.

If others have had great experiences with them, that's cool. We just find Avant much more customer centric, much faster with pick up & drop off, and just a lot friendlier. The fact that they've provided brand new vehicles each time is awfully nice too. To each their own.

Sassygirl18 10-04-2017 11:37 AM

Thanks again to all of you for giving me tips and advice. I sincerely appreciate it. I think we are going to rent a car for the Akumal portion of our trip and probably will go with Avant, since nobody has a bad thing to say about them. I have to admit, I do not LIKE renting cars in Mexico. The last time we rented one (I forget which company) there was some kind of hassle when we returned it and I remember it got us all worked up.

BUT it is nice having a car to get groceries, or take little side trips. We might want to go to Tulum one day or do other things and it will be nice to have the freedom to just hop in the car and go.

I am looking forward to trying all of the restaurants you have all suggested. As I said, we've only been to Akumal a couple of times for day trips and don't really know the area. We did snorkel in Yal-ku once and also in Akumal Bay, but it was an overcast day and not the best visibility, so I am hoping we can get some better snorkeling in on this trip.

Please keep the tips coming. I am keeping notes of all of your suggestions!

Sogno 10-04-2017 12:31 PM

OK, now that you'll have wheels :clap:

I highly suggest exploring. There are some awesome restaraunts in Tulum, and it's best to park the car & just walk to find them. Follow your nose, is the best advice I can offer. That's what we do, and we found a few gems. One of them offers sotol, a cousin-to-tequila liquor not commonly found in this region. I fell in love after the first sip, and the diiner there was the best meal I had in the two weeks we were there this year. Sorry, I'm not naming it :emb:

If you imbibe, there's also a fantastic liquor store in Tulum with a great selection, and awesome prices.

Highly suggest a trip to Coba. The talavera store and other nice markets along the way are worth the trip alone, however the ruins are fantastic. Suggest getting bicycles or hiring one at the entrance to save time between the ruin sites. Hire a guide for certain. Coba is fantastic. If you're having fun exploring, continue on to Valladolid. Park at city center and walk. Have a wonderful lunch there, and bring your camera. I have enlargements hanging on our walls from this beautiful town.

Another great day trip is a drive down to Sian Ka'an biosphere. Stop along the way for photos, beach time, and perhaps a beach bar or two. Adventurers? See if you can make it to Punta Allen. If you do, grab a hotel for the night and enjoy off the grid.

Explore the cenotes. There're so many, and imho, the best swimming/snorkeling you can do while there.

Bottom line, make use of the wheels. I promise you, you wont regret it.


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