Between Tulum (26km) and Playa del Carmen (36km) lies Akumal a world famous Caribbean beach where from May to November is easy to see and swim the sea turtles. Not surprisingly, the word Akumal in the Mayan language means Land of the Turtles.
To access the beach you don't need to pay any admission fee and for swimming with the turtles you don't really need a tour or a guide because the turtles swim very close to the shore.
You only need a mask and fins, and after no more than 10 minutes in the water you will definitely meet them lying on the ground eating or sticking your head above the water and then back down again.
This beach is a protected park so it is important not touching the turtles nor corals, also being at about 15 meters from the shore. Besides the turtles you can explore the beautiful waters, you can do skorkeling and get to the reef swimming, it is very close, or go diving.
The backdrops are really beautiful. Akumal from my point of view it looks like a seaside town built especially for tourists, a little ' Varadero of Yucatan", many resorts and shops, not really my cup of tea but the beach and the experience under the water is worth the effort to come here.
The special feature is the ease of seeing the turtles, then you could do a day tour. For those still wishing to stay in Akumal costs are not exactly for backpacker, it starts from 17-18 €, you know we pay no more than 6$, per person but alternatively you can stay in hostels in Tulum and paying between 100 and 120 pesos per night and take the collectivo bus or a taxi to come to Akumal having a stop at the Cenotes.
Coming by bus from Tulum costs 25 pesos (1.40 €) and takes less than 20 minutes.
If you are keen to sleep in Akumal then these hotels are my personal selection:
Hotel Que Onda - Right on the beach the hotel offers great bungalows and is convenient located to reach the mai touristi point of the area. With swimming pool, private rooms strating from €54 per night
B&B Villa Morena - Beautiful bungalows in tropical gardens and swimming pool 3 km away from the beach starting from €88 per room