Costa Maya, Mexico | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya is a small tourist region in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the only state bounded by the Caribbean Sea to its east. This municipality is close to Chetumal (capital of the state) on the border with Belize. The area is generally undeveloped but has been growing quickly and rapidly after the construction of a large pier to accommodate cruise ships. Costa Maya also called Costamafia or Costa Mucho by locals is a subdivision near the actual village of Mahahual. Another notable neighbourhood to visit is the famous 55, where all the locals live. The beach extends physically from Xcalak in the south to the southern border of Sian Ka'an in the north, a distance of approximately 100 kilometers (62 mi).

While Xcalak is approximately 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of... Read more

Costa Maya, Mexico

Destination:

Costa Maya is a small tourist region in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the only state bounded by the Caribbean Sea to its east. This municipality is close to Chetumal (capital of the state) on the border with Belize. The area is generally undeveloped but has been growing quickly and rapidly after the construction of a large pier to accommodate cruise ships. Costa Maya also called Costamafia or Costa Mucho by locals is a subdivision near the actual village of Mahahual. Another notable neighbourhood to visit is the famous 55, where all the locals live. The beach extends physically from Xcalak in the south to the southern border of Sian Ka'an in the north, a distance of approximately 100 kilometers (62 mi).

While Xcalak is approximately 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of the Costa Maya cruise port, the fishing village of Mahahual is only about 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) away. Cruise ships can easily be seen from the village. Mahahual has soft sand beaches, grass thatched palapas, and a coral reef a short distance off-shore called Banco Chinchorro, as well as several bars, restaurants, and shops. A new development called New Mahahual is being created directly inland from the port. When ships are in port, the village is busy with cruise passengers.

The center has a central plaza with saltwater pools and 'swim-up' style bars. It is generally open only to cruise ship passengers.

Costa Maya is the closest port of access to many of the lesser known Mayan ruins in the Yucatan including Chacchoben and Kohunlich. These sites are substantially less excavated than the better-known pyramids of Tulum and Coba to the north; Chichen Itza and Uxmal in Yucatan.

The port sustained heavy damage due to Hurricane Dean in August 2007. This included the dock designed for cruise ships. Holland America's Westerdam was the first cruise ship to return to the port since Hurricane Dean on October 31, 2008.

Mahahual (also spelled Majahual) is a city in the municipality of Othón P. Blancothe, state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, a short distance northeast of Belize.

Mahahual used to be a quiet and friendly small fishing town off the beaten track. However, a large cruise ship docking jetty dubbed "Puerto Costa Maya" has been constructed just up the beach. Every day a couple of cruise ships dock and the occupants are disgorged onto the town to drink, shop, swim and ride jet skis and quad bikes. However the further south away from the cruise ship dock you go the quieter the town becomes, so it's still possible to have a quiet time of it, especially at some of the hotels south of town.
Hurricane Dean (August 2007) landed just North of Mahahual and heavily damaged the cruise ship dock and destroying much of the small village. Most residents have since rebuilt and cruise ships have returned to using Puerto Costa Maya on 31 October 2008.
As of February 2009, many nice hotels are up and running. A new seaside Malecon runs from the Main Road to the Southern End of Mahahual Pueblo. The Malecon is a pedestrian walkway with the beach to the east and businesses to the west. Many nice restaurants and shops line the Malecon. The town now has several ATMs: one is in the "Casitas", a subdivision adjoining the port, at the Mobius internet/DVD rental store; another is located at Luna De Plata, a kilometer south of the pueblo; a third is an HSBC bank ATM within the town's only Pemex station, 4 kilometers west on the main access road. Cash is still the best option as many times the ATM machines do not work or are out of cash.
If you are looking for quiet tranquil beaches, away from the crowds, drive through Mahahual and continue some 4 kilometers along the coastal road. After passing the small bridge of Rio Bermejo (hardly a river, more a small stream connecting the mangrove waters with the ocean) you will find small ecological hotels, restaurants and rental houses, all beachfront. Electricity is generated with solar panels, windmills and most of the businesses use a generator as a backup. Rainwater is captured on roof decks and collected in systems used to shower and flushing toilets. When you arrive at km 12, there is a turn off to the right, take it to either return to Mahahual or continue to Xcalak. If you continue on the beach road, you will find lots of empty bays, only a few rental houses on the roadside.


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Costa Maya, Mexico: Port Information


The port was built especially for cruise ships use. Cruise liners dock at the pier. Restaurants, bars, shops, and swimming pools are available in the port area.
Mahahual is very close. It takes about 10 minutes to get there by taxi (taxi is quite cheap).   

Get around Costa Maya, Mexico


You can explore the port on foot. If you decide to visit nearby Mahahual, you can get there on foot, by taxi, or use shuttle service.
Besides, there are numerous tours available from the port.
 

What to see in Costa Maya, Mexico


Beaches
  • Puerto Angel Beach
Mayan ruins

There are several sites of Classical Period Mayan ruins close enough for a day visit. Note that Mexican law requires a fee for the use of video cameras at these sites.
  • Chacchoben - Dates to the 3rd-8th centuries. The tallest pyramid rises above the trees and for those physically and psychologically equipped to climb it, offers a view of the countryside. Several smaller ruins at the site may have been the houses of nobles. For a guided tour to Chacchoben, you can contact The Native Choice 1the only tour operator from Chacchoben offering tours to this and all the ruin sites in Costa Maya. 
  • Kohunlich - A ceremonial center and the capital of a powerful dynasty. The Temple of Masks features five stucco masks with the features of the Sun God, along its stairs. It also contains the ruins of residences and a ceremonial ball field.
  • Dzibanché - A (formerly) important city, featuring stone plazas bordered by temple pyramids, including the Temple of the Owl and the Temple of the Cormorants.
  • Ichkabal - Under excavation by INAH since 1995, this vast and important preclassic city, located 30km from Bacalar, will open to the public within the next two years. A "lost" city of gigantic proportions, Ichkabal may be one of the most important discoveries in Mayan archeology in decades.

What to do in Costa Maya, Mexico


If you stay in the port area, you can enjoy a beach day: relax, swim, sunbathe, try various water sports, etc.
Besides, you can try

  • Nomad Divers. Scuba Diving in Mahahual, Costa Maya, Mexico
  • Gypsea Divers, Malecon (Infront of Nacional Beach Club). Professional Dive and Snorkel Business

Sailing

55-foot Catamaran, Crystal Blue Persuasion, takes interested travelers out for sailing and snorkeling trips. You can't miss this ship, it's docked outside of Tequila Beach halfway between the lighthouse and the town.
​Gypsea Divers and Snorkeling, In front of the Nacional beach club on the Malecon.

What to eat and drink in Costa Maya, Mexico


You can enjoy trying local Mexican cuisine or delicious seafood in the lovely bars and restaurants situated in the port area. 
Besides, you can find many attractive dining venues in the nearby Mahahual:

Eat

  • Almaplena Restaurant, km 12,5, ☎ +52 9831375070. Facing directly on the edge of the Caribbean Sea. The restaurant menu offers mainly Mediterranean cuisine with local influences that incorporate and enhance the best ingredients and regional flavors.
  • Casa del Mar Serves excellent shrimp tacos.
  • El Grito, inside Matan Ka´an hotel. real Mexican food
  • Pizza Papi Pasta, avenida paseo del puerto 1095, ☎ +52 983-104-0667, e-mail: pizzapapipizza@gmail.com. 5:30 pm. Pizza Papi Pasta is located at Puerto Costa Maya, really Italian food with brick owen wood. Cool service and nice night ambient
  • Tapas Bar, Capitan Mono, El Delfin are a few of the bars/Restaurants on the Malecon. Just south of the town you have Maya Luna.
  • Travel In' (Travel Inn), 6km south of Mahahual on the beach road. Fantastic and varied international food from a Dutch couple who transplanted to Mahahual some years ago.
  • Restaurant Maya Luna, km 5.2, ☎ +52 9838360905. Beach front restaurant,south of Town. mix of European and Mexican kitchen with an Indonesian touch. Famous for their Stuffed Pineapple !
  • Maya Chan Beach, Km. 6.5 Carretera Mahahual - Xcalak, ☎ +52 983-101-3585. 7:00. Maya Chan Beach Resort is located minutes south of Puerto Costa Maya is an oasis amongst the flood of tourists and hungry locals. Palm trees lazily sway in the Caribbean breeze, beckoning you to come and enjoy the outdoor living space which has been configured to your specific wishes. Turquoise oceans tempt you to come discover the underwater world through the glass bottom of a Costa Maya kayak tour or the mask of your snorkeling gear. All included. And your beach beds and hammocks will be waiting for you well after the early risers have staked their claims. So come relax on your private part of the Costa Maya Beach Resort 5.

Drink

  • La Bodeguita, Center of Mahahual. 13.00-01.00. Sports bar and meeting place for locals who gather here after work to watch their favourite sports game, often a soccer or boxing game. Or to play some pool or darts.

Shopping in Costa Maya, Mexico


Costa Maya's port has a new and modern tourist shopping mall. There are several jewelry stores and many small shops selling ubiquitous souvenir items. 

Safety in Costa Maya, Mexico


Cruise center area with shops, restaurants, bars, pools is open only for cruise tourists, so it's guarded and absolutely safe. However, you should always use your common sense.
Drink only bottled water!

Language spoken in Costa Maya, Mexico


Spanish is the main language. English is widely spoken in tourist places. 

LOCAL TIME

11:36 pm
December 14, 2018
America/Cancun

CURRENT WEATHER

25.31 °C / 77.558 °F
few clouds
Sat

25.74 °C/78 °F
sky is clear
Sun

25.33 °C/78 °F
light rain
Mon

26.94 °C/80 °F
moderate rain
Tue

27.47 °C/81 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

MXN

1 USD = 20.24 MXN
1 EUR = 22.89 MXN
1 GBP = 25.48 MXN
1 AUD = 14.54 MXN
1 CAD = 15.12 MXN

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