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Day Trips & Transfers from Akumal

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Based on recommendations from other posters here on Fodors, we are planning a trip to Akumal, Mexico, in early March. We'll be staying at the Akumal Beach Resort because the main purpose of our trip is snorkeling. However, with that said, from doing a little research on Locogringo and other websites, it's clear that there is a lot to see and do in that region. For example, there seem to be a lot of "ecoparks" out there. Does anyone have any recommendations as to which is the best? I think we'd probably like to check out some cenotes - animals or ruins would also be nice. Zip lines and other more "adventurous" activities probably aren't as much our thing. We'd also like to see some ruins. We were thinking Tulum definitely looked like a must, but there were some others in the area that looked good. Chichen Itza looked a little far? Any thoughts on this? In addition, a little souvenir shopping might be fun - where would the best place be to do this from Akumal?

Further, we're wondering about transfers from our hotel to these places. We weren't planning on renting a car since we're planning on doing so much snorkelig. I've seen posts on here regarding "collectives" or "collectivos" as well as taxis. Are the collectives difficult to catch/take where you need to go? How about if you don't speak much Spanish? It looks like we could probably arrange trips through the hotel, but I'm guessing that will be a lot more expensive. Any thoughts from those of you who have been there/done that would be great. Thanks!

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