Carretera Tulum, Cancún, Q.R., Mexico
Akumal Bay Ideal for travelers who daydream of swimming beside sea turtles, this bay has clear, shallow, pool-like water and a silky white-sand floor that means you can chill, carefree, as fish poke around your feet. For more adventure, rent snorkel gear and head out a little farther, where large turtles swim among the sea grass; be careful to keep your distance and avoid touching the coral. The area has locally owned eateries like Turtle Bay Cafe & Bakery or La Buena Vida beach bar, plus great nightlife on neighboring Half Moon Bay. It’s more popular with every season, so smart bathers go early weekday mornings to snag shade beneath the palapas.