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.
Where is Kaan Luum Lagoon located?
Kaan Luum Lagoon is located right off the main highway 307 just 15 minutes south of Tulum, or a little over an hour drive south from Playa del Carmen. The lagoon is located further inland from the Caribbean coast and just northeast of Sian Ka’an.
Kaan Luum Lagoon Entrance Fee
The entrance fee for Laguna Kaan Luum is $100 pesos (~$5 USD) per person. After you pay the entrance fee, it’s just a short walk through a tree-covered area until you reach the clearing of the lagoon.
How to get to Laguna Kaan Luum Tulum
The easiest way to get to Kaan Luum Lagoon is by renting a car. Take the main highway 307 directly south from Playa del Carmen for just over an hour. 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. The main bus depot in Playa del Carmen is located at 2nd Street and 20th Avenue and you’ll want to make sure you get on a colectivo headed towards Tulum.
Once you arrive in 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.
On a Tour
You can also visit Kaan Luum on a tour. Aloha Paddle Club in Playa del Carmen offers an amazing standup paddleboarding tour, which includes transportation and a couple hours paddling at the lagoon. Kaan Luum Lagoon is the perfect place for standup paddleboarding beginners since the water is so calm.
I’m a member of Aloha Paddle Club and highly recommend! There are also many incredible Kaan Luum Lagoon tours available on Viator, which offer all-inclusive options with hotel pickup included.
When to visit Lagoon Kaan Luum
The best time to visit Kaan Luum Lagoon is on a weekday as it can get very crowded with locals and Mexican families on the weekends. It is open daily from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm but you’ll want to arrive early to beat the crowds.
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 sunbathe 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.
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.”
What to Bring to Laguna Kaan Luum
There are very few amenities at Kaan Luum Lagoon so you’ll want to bring everything you need with you. If you plan to spend most of the day there, I would recommend bringing some snacks and drinks to enjoy on the pier as food and beverage are not sold at the lagoon.
You’ll also need to bring biodegradable sunscreen or wear a rash guard as regular sunscreen is not permitted and there is not much shade on site. I’d also recommend bringing a GoPro or waterproof camera to take some fun pictures in the water.
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. Overall, Laguna Kaan Luum is truly a hidden treasure and I’m so glad I got to spend day exploring such a beautiful place.
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