Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya: A Day at Halfmoon Bay

Beach #20 on the Countdown to the Best Beach in the Riviera Maya: Halfmoon Bay

If you are in the Riviera Maya, you cannot miss a day at the Halfmoon Bay, in Akumal. Experience this small town, walk around and enjoy the beauty of the beach, the Yal Ku lagoon and the cenotes in the area.

Akumal is located between Playa del Carmen and Tulum, south of Cancun. An ideal destination for a relaxing day trip, partaking in water sports such as snorkeling, sport fishing or just sunbathing and enjoying a cold beverage.

Akumal in the Mayan language means “Land of turtles” and it is still one of the favorite places for these marine animals to lay their eggs. Three species can be found around Akumal regularly: the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta), the green turtle (Chelonia mydas) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata). Year-round you can find juvenile green turtles feeding in the bays and nesting along the reef.

Akumal with its protected shallow bay, secluded beaches and a nearby reefs it is one of the most peaceful places in the Riviera Maya. Everything to enjoy a wonderful day in paradise!

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Halfmoon Bay: Getting there

If you are interested in visiting Akumal and everything it has to offer, there is several ways to get there:

Driving a Rental Car: If you are coming from Cancun or Playa del Carmen you need to get on the federal highway 307 southbound towards Tulum (65 miles from Cancun/ 22 from Playa del Carmen). There are plenty of signs and once you get into Akumal, try to park your car at the entrance parking lot, as parking spaces are limited inside of the community.

Taking a Van/Taxi: This might be convenient if you are not planning to do other activities and just want to spend the day at Akumal. Ask around at the airport or taxi station, shop around on the internet and try to find the best fare.

Public Transportation:

Colectivos: If you are on a budget, Colectivos are a good way to get to Akumal. They are white mini vans (10-14 passengers) that drive between Playa Del Carmen and Tulum, all along the 307 federal highway. To stop them wave your hand. Once the van stops get in and tell the driver where you want to go and ask for the price to your destination. The fare from Playa to Akumal costs approximately $2 US.

Buses: ADO is an excellent option and they offer direct buses between different destinations in the Riviera Maya. Bus stations are located in Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum and they also offer an airport shuttle service from Cancun International Airport to Playa del Carmen or Tulum. If you choose to use the ADO, you can take a cab or collectivo to get to Akumal from Playa or Tulum.

HalfMoon Bay: Things to do

There is so many things to do around Akumal! Here is some of our favorites:

  • Have a delicious scone and fresh coffee at the Turtle Bay Bakery, they have delicious breakfasts, coffees and pastries.
  • Walk on the bay or rent a bike and explore the town.
  • Go snorkeling and look around for turtles!
  • Visit the Yalku Lagoon: Laguna Yal-ku is surrounded amongst trees and has a nice restaurant, and perfect views. It is a perfect spot for snorkeling, as there is no waves and there is plenty of fish to see. Admission was $10 for adults and $6 for kids and equipment rentals is additional, there are lockers, an outdoor shower and changing rooms.
  • Snorkel or kayak around the bay, enjoy the white sandy beaches or just sun bathe and relax.
  • Stop at La Buena Vida for a nice lunch or dinner and enjoy the views! Lay around in their hammocks and lounge chairs, or take a dip at their pool, or if you are feeling daring you can climb the tree house where you can have drinks!

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Halfmoon Bay: Recommendations

  • The beach at Half Moon Bay is mainly sandy, but there are rocky areas both inside and outside the water. Bring your water shoes to keep your feet safe!
  • Snorkeling is a great activity at Halfmoon Bay, make sure to buy or rent your equipment so that you are ready for the adventure.
  • Parking areas are limited, if possible park in the parking lot at the entrance of the town
  • Do not forget to bring your biodegradable suntan lotion and insect repellent, the turtles and fish might be affected by harsh toxics.

Learn about the different beaches throughout the Riviera Maya, and count down with us to the Top 25 Beaches in the Riviera Maya every Friday.

If you are looking for the perfect beach, follow our blog and learn about other popular, local hot spots. We aim to provide you with the best information about living in the Riviera Maya!

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