COSTA MAYA is locally known as MAHAHUAL. It is located in the lower part of the State of Quintana Roo, and it’s beautiful beaches offer a close encounter with nature that will leave you breathless. Being a place that shelters an immense variety of species both marine and terrestrial; Mahahual is a beach that you MUST VISIT on your next trip.
If you travel by car and you stay for a few days in this paradise, you must certainly immerse yourself in these pristine waters that shelter the second longest reef in the world; or go out with your camera to capture species in their wild state, with a very particular touch where peace and harmony mix together. Mahahual is still far from being established with large chains of hotels and restaurants like in the Riviera Maya; maybe that
Whether you travel by car or by sea, once you get to Costa Maya youwill want to bring home the best picture with you. Here are 5 thingswe recommend you try when travelling to this hidden treasure in theMexican Caribbean.
1. THE LIGHTHOUSE – it was built in 2006 and it’s 22mts (72ft) tall. Itmarks the beginning of the boardwalk (malecón) where you will seenumerous small local shops, bars & restaurants.You won’t be able toget inside the lighthouse, but you can capture a great shot with theCosta Maya Port In the background.
2.MAHAHUAL SIGN – Costa Maya is known locally as Mahahual, and thiscolorful sign is intentionally there for a great photo opportunity. Itis located right next to the lighthouse. Remember to tell your friendshow beautiful the Mexican Caribbean is, by sharing your selfie on yourfavourite app.
3.SNORKELLING – Witness the second longest reef in the world and beamazed by the great variety of fish all around the spectacularcolorful corals. You don’t have to be an expert, but be aware of notto touch any coral since it takes thousands of years to recover, andsome have stinging needles! Only within a few meters from the shore is where all the show begins. There are many other options where youcan hire tours to take you on deeper waters, but it will be anexperience you will never forget. 4. WILDLIFE PHOTOGRAPHY – If you are into animals and plants, Costa Maya offers a wide variety of plants that can only be seeing on this partof the hemisphere.But what about animals? What can you see as soon asyou get there? … Iguanas, coatis, lizards, crocodiles,frigates,pelicans, turtles, and five different species of palm tree. Considerthat for certain animals, you would need to go deep into the junglebut, let’s focus on the ones that don’t represent any damage so youhave a safe trip.
5.CEVICHE – part of the Caribbean cuisine, ceviche is typically madefrom raw fish cured in citrus juices (lemon or lime), spiced withpepper, salt, chopped onions, chopped tomatoes and some additionalseasonings. In Costa Maya we usually add habanero pepper (on aseparate dish) but be prepared with a cold drink, since your mouth may burn a little bit… and we don’t want to see you running into the oceanasking to drink all the water!
TO-DO LIST WHEN BOOKING OFF SHIP TOURS IN COSTA MAYA
If you are taking a cruise ship to Costa Maya Pier, youare probably thinking about spending less of your hard-earned vacation money tobetter enjoy your time on land. And it’s understandable due to the high ratescharged onboard, and we want to help you save a few dollars and enjoy ourcorner of the Caribbean!
Like in any other service, there are advantages anddisadvantages when buying online. Please be aware of this TO DO list beforemaking your purchase.
1.Compareat least 3 different tour operators: Think of your day off-ship as a small luxurypurchase, especially when booking for your whole family! To ensure you investyour limited time in Costa Maya, try to compare the different shore excursionsavailable, but not based solely on price. Check which archaeological sites theyvisit, which beach they stop at for “beach break” and where the snorkel toursgo. Not all tours are created equal, and we have dedicated ourselves to findingthe best locations for each of the above tours!
2.Read thereviews: Always look for NEGATIVE reviews so youcan have an idea of what people are complaining about. Also remember that VERYFEW OR NO REVIEWS aren’t precisely a bad thing. Most of the time, people willwant to make public a bad experience, which won’t necessarily happen if theexperience was positive.
3.Webdesign: The professionalism of the onlineexperience reflects on the in-person experience. If the operator put a lot ofwork and thought into explaining the tours and using good quality photographsof the experience, then it may be worth considering it that tour operator. Weknow, because our first website was so much work! But we doubled our effortsand put as much work into displaying our favorite areas to be as inviting aspossible when in the Costa Maya!
4.Ask if transportationis included: Some budget touroperators require you to meet at their office downtown to begin the tour. Theymay offer a lower initial price, but the hassel and cost of taxis can add asignificant amout to your day! We make sure all our tours have the round-triptransportation already factored into our quited price.
5.Inquire about group size: Some operators combine multiple groups in order tosave on costs. You might end up on a huge bus, crammed in like sardines! Weprefer small groups and are better able to personalize the experience
Now you know what to do if you’re planning your nextadventure in the Costa Maya. Good Luck and we look forward tomeeting you!
Our Fly Fishing excursion started early in the morning on the 6th of December. It was slightly cloudy at Puerto Costa Maya cruise port, but we were optimistic about the weather at our fishing flats near Xcalak town. As soon as we arrived, surprise!!! Clear skies and quietness in that little corner of the Mexican Caribbean. The sargassum was not a problem at all since there were locals cleaning out the beaches too. After a 50 minute drive, we were excited to get on the boat and get our gear ready. The pristine water of Xcalak allows you to see right to the bottom, as well as fish of course. We even saw a ray jump out of the water, which was amazing.
It was the first time for the guests to catch bonefish; a young couple from USA but I could tell they knew what they were doing. They usually spend some of their weekends back home fishing, but only using spin rods. He got really good at fly fishing and but she preferred the spin rod, although she caught about 5 bonefish, she knew was she was doing as well.
We had to move to a different location, to an old channel where you could clearly see everything under the boat. They kept trying but he had very little luck this time, except for him who caught a jack, he was very happy about it too. Some other fish bit the fly but were able to get away, which is all part of fly fishing. The weather was great and the water temperature just perfect. We got off the boat for a while to wade a little bit and see if we could catch something else but no luck, while she stayed for a while to walk and enjoy the water.
We went back after 4 hours and the ride home was amazing and very relaxing. Then we made our way back to the pier with excited talk about our fishing adventures. We hope to see them back in Costa Maya soon!
Our day began on a not very shinny morning. Costa Maya pier was rainy, but we were positive our day was going to get better by the time we got to either Chacchoben or Bacalar; and guess what? Apparently the Mayan Gods had all set up for us to have a great adventure in that little corner of the Mexican Caribbean.
We went to the archaeological site of Chacchoben first and got there JUST BEFORE everybody else did, so we had the entire site to ourselves. But an hour later, legions of buses were entering the site full with other tourists; we were very lucky.
Afterwards, we drove to Bacalar Town for our ride on a pontoon, and the lake is just BREATHTAKING; we went around some important spots and some neat, out-of-the-way places. After a few hours on the lake, we went ashore and were treated to a homemade meal from one of the local grandmothers who is highly respected in the community for her cooking skills. She made us chicken fajitas, guacamole, and a local Mayan specialty called "sikil pak." Think of it like a thick salsa made from pounded pumpkin seeds (pepitas), tomatoes, fresh habaneros, and cilantro. we finished the whole plate, she refilled it twice, and she even dashed home to get me a bag of the pulverized pumpkin seeds and the fresh habanero chiles she used to make it!
This COMBO TOUR is a great option if you want to see another great part of Mexico and want to escape the crowds. and connect with the wonderful, friendly locals, taste their food, see the natural and archaeological wonders, and become a better person because of it!