Akumal Area Frequenty Asked Questions (FAQ)

Akumal Tourist FYIIs it customary to tip maids?
How much?  
It is up to the guest.  However, it’s usual to leave at least $20 pesos/day for each guest; often guests leave 5% of their rental total. Of course, if you really liked the service, then show them.

Is it safe to drink tap water?
Absolutely not!

Can I use the tap water to brush my teeth?
It’s best to use bottled water.

Are ice cubes safe?
Yes.  Ice is made from purified water.  Use bottled water to refill ice trays.

What about ants?
Please remember you are in the tropics.  To help with the ant situation, don’t leave any food open or on the counters. Store all you can in the fridge.  Clean up spills immediately.  Rinse plates, utensils, and glasses after use.  These steps will help keep ants at bay.

Are the taxis cheap?  
From here to Playa del Carmen a taxi runs about 350 pesos. When you hail a taxi, make sure to negotiate the rate before you get in the cab. Once you are in the cab and on the road, you have little power to bargain. Also, if you like your taxi driver and want to use him again, ask for his phone number, you might be able to use him again.

Do I tip the taxi driver?
It’s not customary to tip, but feel free to tip if you like the driver or service.

How else can I get around the area?
Bike rentals are available at most rental reception offices along with information on golf cart rentals.
For longer distances, Buses and Collectivos will get you up and down the highway.

Can I eat the lettuce?
Restaurants use purified water and antibacterial products to clean vegetables and fruits.  Many rentals provide Bactericide for you to use when washing your own groceries. They can also be purchased at most stores along with your groceries.

Can I use foreign money (not Mexican Pesos)?
U.S. dollars are widely accepted in the Riviera Maya at most busy dining establishments and larger stores.  The exchange rate you receive, however, might not be in your favor.  There are a few exceptions; major chain grocery stores (i.e. Mega, Chedraui, and Wal-Mart) will accept U.S. dollars and give you a very favorable exchange rate.  Taxi drivers often spend their U.S. dollars at major chain grocery stores instead of paying commissions to exchange them. Before you travel it is a good idea to look up the current exchange rate.  Money from other countries is much more difficult to spend.  If in doubt, ask the business what their exchange rate is.  If you do end up paying a little more, because you don’t have pesos, don’t fret because you are here to have a good time and help support the local economy in this beautiful place. One final note, do NOT expect to get change back in anything other than pesos.  Local businesses do not have stocks of foreign currency that are required to support giving change in anything other than pesos. On the plus side, now you have pesos.

Why can’t I buy beer or liquor at the store?
It’s Sunday! Alcohol sales are also limited on election days (no drunk voting).
On most other days, stores in Akumal stop selling alcohol at 2:00 pm, but the Pueblo sells until 5:00 p.m.  Bars and restaurants can serve alcohol whenever.

How long does it take to get to the Cancún airport?
Plan on 1½ hrs. If you are returning a rental car then make sure you allow an additional hour for the return process and a bus to the terminal.

Is it safe down here?
YES.  However, as in any tourist area, leaving purses and cameras unattended in public areas – or in wide-open condos – could result in them being stolen.  Also, don’t leave valuables visible in the car when you park, ideally move them to the trunk.  Just be aware of your surroundings and enjoy yourself.

Where’s the check?
In Mexico it is actually rude for a waiter to bring the check before you ask for it. They will bring it when you request it, so you don’t feel rushed.  Nice, eh?

Where can we buy groceries in Akumal?

  • Midway Food, across from Playa Caribe, has staples, snacks, soft drinks, beer, booze — and all kinds of things! Open 8:00am – 10:00pm
  • The Corner Store, at the Vista del Mar Hotel, selection is limited. Open  9:00am-9:00pm daily
  • El Pueblito, at the entry to Akumal, has good selection and prices of staples, alcohol, snacks, clothing, souvenirs, and many imported items.  Open 7:00-9:00pm daily.  Credit cards accepted.
  • Super Chomak, across from El Pueblito, has a good selection of imported products, plus alcohol, snacks, clothing, and souvenirs. Open 7:00am-9:00pm daily.  Credit cards accepted.
  • On Wednesdays and Saturdays there is a fruit/veggie market set up between El Pueblito store and the basketball court at the Arch.
  • Don’t forget to check out the Akumal pueblo too, there are veggie stores, open fire grilled chicken,Super Mar Caribe grocery, plus other small shops.
  • Chedraui super markets are located in Puerto Aventuras and in Tulum.  There is also a Super San Francisco in Tulum.  All are open from 7:00am-10:00pm daily and accept credit cards.
  • If you don’t want to bother shopping, you can have groceries delivered, check out Riviera Maya Groceries, at www.rivieramayagroceries.com

Are reliable baby-sitters and nannies available?
Yes, see www.akumalkids.com

Where can we get a load of laundry done?
By the Arch you’ll find a laundry that provides 1-day service.  The pueblo also has laundries right on the entrance road.