Whether or not you would be best served renting a car in Akumal will depend on the intensity of the sightseeing you plan on doing. Most of the best sites are about 20 minutes or more away, so if visiting them on a flexible schedule is important to you, renting a car will be your best option.
Renting a car in Akumal is not difficult, nor is it terribly expensive, but that doesn't mean it is the right choice for everyone. Those staying in all inclusive resorts, or who don't plan on doing too much traveling can and should plan to use local buses, collectivos, and taxis rather than rent a car not only to save money, but to save sanity as well. Why? Local police officers can pick a rental car out in the crowd very easily, and will look for any excuse to pull you over. When the do, they will often insinuate that you should bribe them out of giving you a ticket, which is illegal. It makes for a very uncomfortable situation for many tourists, so if this is something you don't think you can handle you'll need to be extra careful to follow all local driving laws carefully including following the posted speed limit exactly and wearing your seat belt. It is also highly recommended that tourists purchase rental insurance in the full amount because if you are in an accident here you are guilty until proven innocent and could be fined heftily.
Aside from the difficulties with local law enforcement, there is nothing to discourage tourists who crave independence from procuring a rental. The type of car you rent will be entirely up to you based on your needs and preferences. If you're traveling with a small party and don't have need for extra amenities or comforts, by all means choose an economy model to save money. If you're going to be exploring a lot of the recommended natural attractions in the area, off-roading will likely be common and you should aim for a sports utility vehicle that is equipped for handling rugged roads. In some places, it makes more sense to rent a golf cart from your resort and use that mini vehicle to zip around the property. If you're unsure which type of vehicle if best for you, ask the operator of the rental car agency and they will be happy to steer you in the right direction.
The chart below lists the vehicle rental agencies located in this general area.
|Akumal Guide Car Rentals||(984) 875-9115||Akumal|
|Executive Puerto Aventuras||(984) 873-5492||Puerto Juarez Federal Highway - Puerto Aventuras|
You should also speak to a representative about their requirements for renting a car. Requirements and restrictions vary by agency. Some places will rent to those under the age of 25 while others will not, and the type of license you need varies as well. In most cases, your driver's license from home will do just fine, but in others you'll need an International Driver's License. Since there is no blanket set of regulations, you must ask questions to ensure that you don't run into any road blocks.
You will also be able to pick up a rental from Cancun (click here for more information on that). Your most cost efficient option will be to rent from the since it will save you the expense of hiring someone to driver. Renting from you resort will almost always cost the most. On average, you'll spend between $20 and $105(USD) a day on a rental, depending on the type of vehicle, when you rent, and who you rent from. This does not include the added insurance which is highly recommended. You can also rent bicycles for quick jaunts about town for about $8(USD) a day, golf carts for around $40(USD) a day, and Harley-Davidson motorcycles for $150(USD) a day.
As can be seen below, prices vary with the season. The lowest rates shown are usually only available from the least expensive agencies during the slowest times of the year. The high rates are what you might be quoted during the high season.
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 20.00||$ 30.00|
|Compact Car||$ 32.00||$ 42.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 40.00||$ 80.00|
|Light SUV||$ 92.00||$ 125.00|
|Mini Van||$ 95.00||$ 135.00|
|Rental Type||Low Rate||High Rate|
|Economy Car||$ 120.00||$ 180.00|
|Compact Car||$ 192.00||$ 252.00|
|Mid Size Car||$ 240.00||$ 480.00|
|Light SUV||$ 552.00||$ 750.00|
|Mini Van||$ 570.00||$ 810.00|
As mentioned previously, it is extremely important that you adhere closely to local driving laws, and especially make sure to stick to the posted speed limit. In general, this will mean that you are not keeping up with traffic, but it is better to go a little slower and ensure that you don't get pulled over. The posted speed limit changes frequently, so keep your eyes peeled for signs, and if possible have a passenger do the same.
...ask a local resident for direction...
The main highway to Akumal from Cancun is paved, well-marked, and maintained, and most roads in town are the same. On occasion you may come across a road that is not in the best condition, and if you're out searching for natural attractions there may be times you encounter dirt roads as well. One of the most difficult things you'll discover about driving in this part of the country is that the maps do not always match up with the existing roads. Some towns even have different names assigned to them. The best thing to do is to ask a local resident for direction rather than rely on a map.
While you may find there to be plenty of gas stations up and down the main roads, not all of them will always have gas. It is in your best interest to keep your gas tank above half a tank in case you run into a long stretch of road where you can't find a place to fill up.
is the one gas station we have we have information on. Find this location in Xpu Ha, 6.3 mi. northeast of Akumal.
Driving most definitely is not for everyone in Akumal, but those who crave independence and are willing to stick very closely to local laws, there should be no reason not to make this your main mode of transport.
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