Laguna Kaan Luum (Kaan Luum Lagoon) is a secret swimming hole that can be found just south of Tulum. Meaning “Yellow Earth” in the Mayan language, Laguna Kaan Luum is a less well known attraction and definitely a hidden gem in the Riviera Maya. Full of natural beauty, it makes a fun excursion from Playa del Carmen or Tulum, where you can spend the day swimming and relaxing in the sun.
Kaan Luum Lagoon is located right off the main highway 307 just 15 minutes south of Tulum, or a little over an hour drive from Playa del Carmen. The lagoon is located further inland from the Caribbean coast and just northeast of Sian Ka’an. Once there, you’ll pay the entrance fee of $100 pesos (~$5 USD) per person. Then it’s just a short walk through a tree-covered area until you reach the clearing of the lagoon.
How to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon
The easiest way to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon is by renting a car. Be on the lookout for a sign marking the main entrance on the left side of the highway. You’ll have to drive down a bumpy road and then there is a large parking lot on site.
By public transportation
If you don’t have a car, you can still get to Kaan Luum Lagoon by taking a colectivo (shared van) from Playa del Carmen to Tulum. You’ll then have to transfer to a colectivo going from Tulum to Felipe Carrillo. Keep in mind that these colectivos do not run very frequently so you may have to wait a while for one to drive by, and it will be harder on the return trip. From the entrance at the highway, you’ll have to walk about 10 minutes before reaching the lagoon.
What to do at Kaan Luum Lagoon
Laguna Kaan Luum is a massive pool, almost perfectly circular in shape, with a dark and deep center. Although swimming in the center is prohibited, it’s amazing to see the drastic contrast in color where the depth drops off into the deep cenote in the middle. The shades of the water vary from emerald green to the darkest blue. One of the only structures is a narrow wooden pier, which is usually covered with visitors sitting on the edge and dangling their feet in the water.
There aren’t many activities to do at Kaan Luum lagoon other than sunbath on the pier and relax in the water. The depth of the water around the pier ranges from about waist to shoulder deep, so it’s easy to stand freely and enjoy the lagoon. There are bathrooms on-site but no other amenities or places to buy food and beverages. If you want to spend the day at Kaan Luum, I would recommend bringing a small cooler and some snacks to enjoy.
Kaan Luum Lagoon is layered with soft sand and there are particular areas near the edges of the lagoon with soft brown clay that can be used as clay masks on your face and skin. It’s from this soft sand that Kaan Luum got its naming meaning “Yellow Earth.”
With not many activities to offer, Kaan Luum Lagoon is not flashy or opportunistic, but offers a simple retreat to admire the natural beauty of the region. If you’re looking for more activities, I would also recommend visiting Kaan Luum Lagoon on a stand up paddleboarding tour with Aloha Paddle Club. Overall, Laguna Kaan Luum is truly a hidden treasure and I’m so glad I got to spend day exploring such a beautiful place.