Costa Maya, a Mexico Gem

This quiet town caters mostly to cruisers

Costa Maya’s best beach is about 20 minutes from port, outside Almaplena Eco Beach Resort.
Located along Mexico’s Caribbean coast, Costa Maya is often overlooked in favor of Cancun or Riviera Maya. The area is a popular stop on cruises sailing the Western Caribbean, however, thanks to lovely beaches, charming towns, traditional architecture, and proximity to Mayan ruins.

History and Culture
For first-time visitors, a journey to the nearby Mayan ruins is a must. A trip to see the excavated ruins at Chacchoben is the most popular for shore excursions, though Kohunlich is also within visiting distance. At the latter site, travelers can tour three plazas, a ball court, and an impressive temple. About 90 minutes from the port, cruisers can also explore Bacalar, a Spanish fortress that once protected against pirate attacks.

Something more modern awaits at Mahahual, a quirky fishing village just a five-minute cab ride from port. A clean, white sand beach borders the town, which also has options for shopping, watersports, and good local dining.

Ecotourism Offerings
Before Costa Maya was a cruise port, its main draw was the amazing diving and snorkeling in the area, making these activities a must for travelers. A close-to-shore reef is easily accessed, and snorkelers can spend time amongst tropical fish and stingrays. From the small village of Xcalet (located within Xcalak National Reef Park), visitors can dive or snorkel around shipwrecks in Mexico’s largest coral atoll.

For adventurers, the BioMaya Canopy Zipline is a popular attraction, with some of the world’s largest jumping platforms and three scenic ziplines. Costa Maya also offers excursion options for a mini jeep adventure, dune buggy rides, boating, and sailing.

Local Dining
Skip the chain restaurants in the port village and grab a bite in Mahahual instead. Nohoch Kay serves some of the best seafood and shrimp tacos in town, while Pez Quadro offers a varied menu that includes breakfast.

If Costa Maya sounds like your cup of tea, click here to start planning your cruise.

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