Quintana Roo, Mexico
A turquoise lagoon with a cenote in the middle, with light and darker shades, rustic facilities and a unique charm. You will find Kaan Luum lagoon a few km outside Tulum.
The lagoon is a large, warm fresh body of water. Near the shores the sand is very fine, almost mud-like. You can scoop it up and use it as an exfoliating scrub for your face and body. Otherwise, you can just lounge here, have a swim and a picnic. The water is very shallow around the boardwalk and around the perimeter but gets very deep in the centre, which is much darker in colour. Or you can just sit on the boardwalk pier and dangle your feet for a mini fish pedicure. Because the water is very calm and steady, the lagoon is great for families and paddle boarding.
I came here in February 2018 with my husband Rhod and our friends Claudia and Gil. I was excited, like every time when I am visiting a new place. I liked the beautiful scenery and the tranquil atmosphere. I loved the reflection of the clouds in the still waters and for a while we enjoyed sitting on the pier, just staring at the water and emptying our minds. Turquoise waters are just made for such meditation.
We also had a dip; it is a must. The calm waters just invite you to do so. I found the steps of the pier slippery so I jumped in. I was a little bit disappointed that the cenote was cordoned off. However, the staff advised us that it is because of strong currents. I also learnt that the depth of the cenote is about 80m, and knowing that, I would actually not go in. If you are a paddle boarder or a snorkeller, you will really love it here but you will have to be in the waters around the cenote.
After our swim we had a picnic under a palapa. There is a boardwalk along the lagoon leading to the picnic area (with about 6 tables) but it does not go beyond so you can't really walk around the lagoon. A pity, as there aren't many places in Riviera Maya where you can walk in nature or the jungle.
The board at the entry offers massages (100 pesos) and yoga sessions (100 pesos). To rent a paddleboard costs 150 pesos and a snorkelling kit is 200 pesos. Pets are not allowed and you are asked not to use sunscreen, to protect the pristine waters. You are also asked not to bring alcoholic drinks (we brought beer for our picnic and nobody checked), smoke, use horns or cut trees. Pretty specific!
You can visit this spot off the beaten track every day (from 9am to 5pm). It is popular with the locals but never crowded. You will have to pay the entrance fee of $50MXN. The place is managed by a local co-operative as it is on ejido (community) land. Bathrooms are available by the picnic area.
The car park is free (or rather included in the entry fee). You feel even in the car park that you came to a calm place. The staff are friendly.
How to get there:
There is no public transportation to the lagoon and the entrance is about 300m from the freeway. However, if you are coming from Tulum, you can cycle here.
By car, take the road from Tulum in the direction of Felipe Carillo Puerto (and Bacalar). On the left you will see a small sign indicating that you have arrived, just about 2km after passing the entrance to Cenote Dos Ojos.
Mix & Match:
The locals come here just for an afternoon…. If you are a tourist, and want a full day of adventure, you can combine with the visit to Tulum ruins (half an hour’s drive) or even closer ruins of Muyil (12-minute drive). Expect crowds at the ruins of Tulum while you will have Muyil to yourself.