We have snorkeled Yal Ku Lagoon extensively on several occasions. We have seen turtles, rays, barracudas, parrot fish and a host ofother interesting sea creatures.
What makes Yal Ku Lagoon so attractive is that during rough sea-days at your hotel where the water is too rough you can visit Yal Ku, which is protected from the main body of water and remains calm.
The grounds surrounding the lagoon have been manicured with paths, waterfront benches, palapas and statues.
To help snorkelers there are platforms and stairs in the water for easy entering and exiting.
Another interesting feature not commonly mentioned is the underwater landscape, which is quite fascinating as you can see underwater caves and mini valleys.
The water is not that deep [6 – 15 ft.] so you can feel comfortable knowing you are not in deep sea. This is good for children, first-timers and people who are not great swimmers. There is very little chance of getting swept away to sea here.
*The following pricing table was at time article was written and can change. The pricing can be more when you arrive so be prepared. We encourage visitors to send us an email if they experience a drastic price change.
Snorkel + Mask
Open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm No Feeding Fish No Sunscreen Allowed
Yal Ku Lagoon is located in Akumal, on the Mayan Riviera.
Yal Ku Lagoon is easy to get to. In fact it would be pretty hard to get lost finding it. There is one main road into Akumal from the highway that winds north when it hits the beach. Yal Ku Lagoon is at the end of this road.
It is best to take a taxi in from the Akumal entrance or if you are staying at a hotel in Akumal you could ride a bike there. We don’t recommend walking although you can, it is a long walk.
To get out you can ask the attendant to call you a taxi or simply wait for one to drop somebody off and take that taxi out.
Taxi rate: $60 pesos [one-way, from the main Akumal gate to Yal Ku]
Colectivo: When taking the colectivo you can ask the driver to let you off on the highway at Akumal. Often the driver forgets so do not rely on the driver and watch for Akumal road signs [there is also a big Akumal sign at Akumal entrance on the highway].
Walk into Akumal from the highway [5 minute walk]. You will see the Akumal arches and some stores. Sometimes there are taxis here but there is a taxi stand just past this. Take the taxi from here to Yal Ku.
Yal Ku Lagoon has bathrooms, change-rooms, lockers and they rent snorkel equipment. They also stock life-jackets if you require any. A lot of people simply change where they set up base-camp as there is lots of bush for seclusion.
There is a snackbar and you can bring your own food. If you are staying at an All-Inclusive you can ask for a travel-lunch to take with you or just grab a bunch of snacks from the breakfast buffet.
There is a store located just before the Akumal gates and a small store half ways to the Lagoon around Halfmoon Bay.
BEST TIME TO GO
Used to be a time when you could go to Yal Ku and be the only people there. In fact it used to be free. Now, tour busses show up and they have built a 5 Star hotel near the grounds.
Luckily Yal Ku is pretty big and if there is a “large group” in the water you can easily get far away from them and find your own snorkel-space. There are also lots of “spots” to sit and relax, even when there are lots of people there.
When the tour busses come in they get the people in the water as fast as possible then have them swim around for half an hour then most people get out. The kids stay in the water a bit longer then they pack up and depart.
If you go early there will be less people but the tour busses come in all day so it really is a hit or miss thing. Even with a few large groups of tourists it is still not really crowded.
HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU NEED?
We find that two long snorkel runs [45-60 min. per run] is plenty. You can snorkel the whole bay in an hour to an hour and a half, depending on how fast you do it. You usually find larger animals closer to the sea entrance and the water is deeper there.
Visiting Yal Ku Lagoon is a good half-day adventure from anywhere on the Mayan Riviera.