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Room at Que Onda Akumal

Thursday, October 29, 2009

We woke up early and decided to walk to the square and find something to ead and ended up having breakfast at a cute, artsy little coffee joint that had good coffee and bagels and croissants.  We discussed changing hotels and hanging out in Puerto Morelos another day but eventually decided to head to Akumal so we headed back to the lovely Carmen Hacienda and packed up.

The manager thankfully was not at the front desk when we went to check out early and the young kid was confused since our check-in card said that we were staying for two nights.  He tried to initially charge us for both nights and when I pointed out that we only stayed one, he examined the check-in card more closely and I saw that the sleazy manager had officially charged us the "national" rate and no doubt intended to pocket the difference.

Pool at Que Onda Akumal
  At the end of the day, we paid the lower, national rate and scooted out the door off into the sunrise before the manager was any wiser.

It's a pretty short drive south to Akumal where you turn off the main highway and head towards the beach, eventually coming to a sort of small set of shops and what looks like a resort.  After nosing around a bit, we figured out that you have do drive through that resort and onto a really bumpy, dirt and cobblestone paved road that parallels the beach and runs past a whole bunch of upscale looking condos and personal homes.  Many of them are beach-front and look really, really nice (and no doubt expensive - this is clearly a pricey part of the Mayan Riviera.

We had a little trouble finding the highly recommended Que Onda Bed and Breakfast located all the way at the very end of the road right next to the Laguna de Yal-ku which is a giant protected lagoon in which you can go snorkeling.

Que Onda Hotel in Akumal
We finally had to ask some locals and they pointed us the right way.  We were immediately happy and knew we had made the right decision to bail on Hacienda Carmen as Que Onda is a really quaint and quirky little place of about a dozen rooms, a gorgeous dipping pool and a cool outdoor dining room and bar.  There was virtually nobody there and getting a room wasn't a problem at all.  The place has a great, laid back feeling and we were wondering if hanging here an extra day or two would be smarter than heading up to the craziness and tourism of Cancun but decided to figure that out later.

After checking in and taking a refreshing dip in the pool, the manager, after getting chastised by a diva-esque obviously wealthy local woman, asked if we could move rooms since he made a mistake and they had four or five people staying in a single room (apparently supposed to be the one we were in).

Coconut Weiner Men in Akumal
  We said no problem and moved to a smaller but nice room on the second floor with a great balcony and quirky interior including a hand tiled, green and white tub and some interesting art like the "Coconut Wiener Men" in the picture.

Since there wasn't much going on at Que Onda, we decided we would have dinner there later and headed into "town" for lunch ultimately deciding to go to a little taco stand at the entrance to Akumal.  The food ended up being really tasty and cheap and we sat enjoying our Tacos de Puerco with beers chatting with two couples from Denver and Utah.  We stocked up on provisions (beer and some miniature Cuban cigars that are probably fake) at the little store and then decided to try a bit of snorkelling off of the beach at Half Moon Bay (not the one in San Francisco which would be really chilly.

Balcony at Que Onda Akumal
..)  The visibility from the rough surf was really bad and there wasn't much to see.  I brought Cindy's camera with our AquaPac dive bag thing and somehow it managed to leak and probably trashed her camera (which is admittedly antiquated at this point and probably in need of replacement anyway - maybe an omen...)

Back to Que Onda for a nip of the agave juice, beers and a cigar on our deck overlooking the sunset before walking over to the rocks on the beach to watch the pink sun sink into the Caribbean Sea.  We were the only people out there and enjoyed the spectacular end to the day before walking back for dinner.  Que Onda has a kind of eclectic, Mexican-Italian menu and the food was actually really good.  Of course sitting at a thatch covered outdoor restaurant drinking beers with your feet in the sand makes everything taste better.

Tacos de Puerco in Akumal
  We ended up talking with two Canadian couples who had rented one of the houses that fronts onto Laguna Yal-ku who were pretty interesting.  They told a typical story for Mexico of going to check-in to the house but finding out that the real-estate guy was off surfing hours away so his brother came and broke into the house to let them in or something.  Apparently the house is pretty cool and you can basically walk out on the patio and jump in the lagoon for snorkeling.  We are going to check out the diving in the morning before heading back up to Cancun.

Friday, October 30, 2009
We woke up early to no avail as we had to wait for someone from Que Onda to show up so we could get tickets into Laguna Yal-ku which has an entrance fee.

Boats in Half Moon Bay Akumal
  Once the guy arrived, we wandered around the dirt roads trying to find the back entrance, finally popping through a small opening in the bushes to a little area where there were some instructors teaching what appeared to be a group of less than skilled swimmers, how to put on their bright orange floaty devices, masks and fins.  This should be good...

We walked out to the platform where you sit and put your gear on and slipped into the water, a little chilly for Cindy's tastes but no too bad for this early in the morning.  Laguna Yal-ku is sort of akin to snorkeling in the bay that the submarine ride at Disnelyand putts along in.  There is not much to see and there is a very bizarre inversion layer where the cold fresh water from the local cenotes mixes with the warm sea water from the ocean.

Half Moon Bay Beach Akumal
  Interestingly, the water gets warmer the deeper you go and for about 2-3 feet around where the fresh and salt water mix, everything is very blurry and weird looking.  The bay (I think partially man made) is pretty enough with lots of little coves and nooks and crannies and had some fish but it is definitely not serious diving and targeted at first timers who ooh and ahh about seeing a colored fish or two or maybe even a turtle (we saw one little one).

We gave it a shot and swam almost all the way out to the ocean by the rocks where we watched sunset last night but eventually turned back as there really wasn't much to see and it was kind of boring.  We had a really nice breakfast at Que Onda where we met a couple from Seattle, Neil and August, who we ended up talking with for quite some time.

Sunset at Que Onda Akumal HDR
  Neil is a disabled, American Indian Vietnam veteran and looks like a large Harley Biker kind of guy.  They live up in Washington outside of Seattle and came down sort of last minute to spend three weeks checking out the Yucatan.  We gave them some tips on places to see and, after mentioning that I make it up to Seattle for work on occasion to see Boeing, he laughed and said "Ahh the Lazy B Ranch!" which is the nickname for the throngs of lifer employees waiting to retire (no offense intended to any A&D folk..).  We lounged around in the room a bit deciding what to do and opted to check out the diving at one of the newer cenotes on the way up to Cancun before R&R at the Hilton.

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Room at Que Onda Akumal
Room at Que Onda Akumal
Pool at Que Onda Akumal
Pool at Que Onda Akumal
Que Onda Hotel in Akumal
Que Onda Hotel in Akumal
Coconut Weiner Men in Akumal
Coconut Weiner Men in Akumal
Balcony at Que Onda Akumal
Balcony at Que Onda Akumal
Tacos de Puerco in Akumal
Tacos de Puerco in Akumal
Boats in Half Moon Bay Akumal
Boats in Half Moon Bay Akumal
Half Moon Bay Beach Akumal
Half Moon Bay Beach Akumal
Sunset at Que Onda Akumal HDR
Sunset at Que Onda Akumal HDR
Tree Branch and Snails in Akumal
Tree Branch and Snails in Akumal
Que Onda Akumal
Que Onda Akumal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Cenote Taj Mahal
Akumal Hotels & Accommodations review
A unique little B&B
A little tough to find, Hotel Que Onda is a fantastic little place to say a few minutes drive from the main part of Akumal and conveniently located a … read entire review
Akumal
photo by: E_Beth