Sunday, March 7, 2010
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I first started vacationing in Quintana Roo 12 years ago. A co-worker had been to Tulum a few times and encouraged me to travel there with a group of friends. We went two years in a row and the 2nd trip was my introduction to Akumal. We had heard of Yal Ku lagoon and all packed in the rental truck to visit one afternoon. It was an overcast and windy day (in March, i believe) but we pressed on. As we drove past Akumal and Half Moon Bays I felt that there was something different about this place! (Mind you this is still when 307 was 2 hectic lanes all the way from Cancun south and the only stoplight south of Cancun was swinging on a wire by Playa del Carmen! No WalMarts or car dealerships or McDonalds!) But Akumal just had a different vibe from Tulum or Playa. I was intrigued to say the least.
We enjoyed an hour or so of swimming in Yal Ku with hundreds of beautiful fish (and hardly any other visitors) and then stopped at a little place called La Buena Vida on the way back for lunch. It was so windy and dark that we were the only customers there and we had to eat upstairs in the enclosed dining room. Even on a dreary day, I could not stop staring out at Half Moon Bay.
Years went by and I tried Tulum again and Cozumel once, but my mind kept heading back to that dark and windy day that I spent an afternoon in Akumal. After trying fun, but not great, vacations in other spots in the Roo, I said to my girlfriend, "Why don't we try this little place called Akumal for our yearly vacation?". That was four years ago, and we have not missed spending our vacation there since! We stay at Vista del Mar and I laugh when I have to wait for a table sometimes at that "little place called La Buena Vida"! Over the past couple years I have convinced friends and co-workers to accompany us, and it has been so wonderful to see that this little gem called Akumal has affected them and earned a place in their hearts just as it has mine.
Even 12 years has not seemed to have changed the core of the place. Sure, there are more people than back then, but the beauty and tranquility of Akumal remain. It is a trip that I look forward to starting the day I return home from there! Whether it is swimming with sea turtles in Akumal or Half Moon Bays, walking along the road admiring the flowers and houses, or enjoying a cerveza and some delicious food on the beach, I feel like I am at home. And this is a feeling that I get from so many travelers that I meet in Akumal each year.
Let the huge resorts rise up all up and down the cost. Let the huge tour buses zoom up and down 307 whisking tourists to big overpriced attractions. I know that when I make that first turn off of 307 and head down the road towards Akumal, I will feel like I am returning to my home away from home. Tucked in safely on the shore of the the lovely and timeless Quintana Roo.
When I am home in Minneapolis and the snow flies in the winter or the humidity soars in the summer (with no bay to snorkel in) my mind immediately races to Akumal. I can hear the waves, feel the sun and the breeze, and count the days until I can be there once again.
Muchas gracias Senor Romero! You found a pretty neat little spot that has become a huge part of me!
Viva La Akumal!
Friday, March 27, 2009
I first stumbled into what I later learned was Akumal in the spring of 1996. Two girlfriends and I had escaped our “Working Girl” lives in Washington, DC to rest and relax on the beaches of Cancun for a week. We were pretty adventurous (for a trio of gringas) and one day we rented a VW bug – they made me drive; neither of them knew how to drive a stick-shift! – and we headed south for a day of snorkeling at Xel Ha. On the way home we verged off the beaten path to explore a little village on the water. Lo and behold, we found heaven! We spent the afternoon sipping beers and enjoying the swings and hammocks at a little hole-in-the-wall beach bar. I never knew the name of the bar or the town.
Fast forward 11 years and I find myself in the same little bar in the same little town on the same beautiful beach. I’d wanted to return to Mexico and had done a lot of research online and happened upon the Loco Gringo website. I fell in love with Akumal from everyone’s posts and photos and soon planned a trip. We rented a condo, booked a car and headed south for a week. We spent several afternoons at La Buena Vida, enjoying the atmosphere and views. I had a weird sense of déjà vu throughout our week in Akumal and especially as we traveled along Half Moon Bay, but it wasn’t until I got home and scrounged up my old pictures from the 1996 trip that I realized that I had indeed been there before! It takes a special place to draw me in and Akumal did it twice.
We’ve been back again since rediscovering Akumal and we will continue to visit this most wonderful of places!
- Claudia Harris
P.S. Here are a couple of pictures from 1996. As well as one of me and my sweetie John Wiley during our 2007 visit.
P.P.S. Thanks for this project - I can’t want for the book!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Here, you will find memories and stories and photos submitted by people from all over the globe... and get a glimpse of how Akumal used to be.
Many thanks to all who have submitted and shared their memories with us.