Costa Maya Mexico: Great Places to Visit Off the Cruise Ship

Costa Maya ruins in Mexico.
Costa Maya ruins in Mexico.

The Best Shore Excursions in Costa Maya That Aren’t Far from the Cruise Port

By Oscar Davis

The Costa Maya cruise port in Mexico is the perfect destination it’s more than just a cruise port. While you’re here as part of your cruise, you want to experience everything possible without traveling far outside the area.

Bacalar Lagoon 7 colorsIt’s a beautiful port known for various activities, gorgeous beaches, and archaeological ruins. Everyone can experience the fun and cultural heritage of the area. In fact, the port itself resembles an authentic Mayan city and can meet all of your needs.

The Costa Maya port complex has many facilities available, including:

  • Craft Market – Buy authentic souvenirs, browse duty-free shops, and much more.
  • Poolside Beach Bars, Restaurants, and Cafes – The specialties often focus on fish and seafood, and you can experience amazing views and live entertainment.
  • Three Swimming Pools – Try swimming in saltwater!
  • Dolphin Discovery Center There are plenty of interaction shows and programs available.

When you’re tired of the complex, it might be time to test the shore excursions in Costa Maya. Let’s learn more about what’s close by and where to go. Here are some of the best:

Mahahual Village and Beach

Mahahual is a lively fishing village with a beautiful beach nearby, and it’s close to the cruise port. The barrier reef and white powdery sand make it ideal for snorkeling and swimming because the water is crystal clear and calm. Grab your camera to remember all the stingrays, turtles, and tropical fish you experience.

On the beach, you can find many bars, local restaurants, and beach clubs. Book a tour that takes about five hours to get away from it all and see marine life. You get the transportation from the port to the club, a snorkeling trip, and a massage. What else could you want!?

The Chacchoben Ruins are found in the south of the state, about 50 minutes from Costa Maya. While it might take an hour to get there, these are the most popular ancient ruins in the area.

It’s sometimes called the Land of the Red Corn, but the 3,000-year-old site used to be the important pilgrimage place for Mayans. You can learn about its rich history, admire the ceremonial temple (Gran Basamento), and more.

There are plenty of tour options available to experience the mystery and excitement of the Chacchoben Mayan ruins. Always bring plenty of insect repellent and water. Wear comfortable shoes and a hat to protect yourself from the sun!

Snorkeling chunkymonkeyBacalar Lagoon

Bacalar Village is called the Lake of the Seven Colors and is the second-largest body of freshwater in the area. It’s fed by sinkholes, and the sandy bottom makes the water seem to change shades.

There are plenty of activities to enjoy here. With the right tour, you could get a boat trip and spend a few days in this beautiful area. In fact, an organized shore excursion tour is the best choice because you know it’s reputable.

Costa Maya MexicoSnorkeling or Scuba Diving

Costa Maya is well-known for having the second-largest coral reef within the world. Therefore, it’s perfect for scuba diving and snorkeling. See sea turtles in their natural habitat.

The adventure begins on Mahahual beach, and booking through a tour company ensures that you get a safety briefing and appropriate equipment.

Overall, the reef here is one of the many wonders in the Caribbean. You’re sure to see eels, eagle rays, and so many beautiful fish. Locate the best sites for snorkeling and experience the ocean world as you’ve never done before!

Restaurants and Bars in Costa Maya

When you don’t really want to leave the port village, don’t fear. There are still plenty of things to do and places to eat. Several restaurants and bars are right in Mahahual, and you can experience Mexican favorites, including tacos, chips and salsa, and guacamole.

Cantina Latina is an open-air restaurant within the village. Get dinner and a show with the Lucha Libre-style wrestling pros in the ring. Venture out to Mahahual to experience shrimp tacos at Nohoch Kay, which is found at the far end. Tropicante is another popular place for cruisers who prefer more traditional Tex-Mex cuisines.

If you crave a more varied menu, Pez Quadro has breakfast and other delicious choices!

Other Beaches

When you want to relax, consider driving about 20 minutes from the port to see Almaplena Eco Beach Resort. It’s not far from the crowd, but it doesn’t have the sea grass as on the strip.

If you’re the more active type, Jungle Beach Club is a great choice. It’s on Uvero Beach and is part of the shore excursions from the cruise line. Therefore, you might end up there if you book a beach day from the ship.

The “Don’t Miss” Things to Do in Costa Maya

There’s no end to the many exciting things you can do in Costa Maya, and you don’t have to leave the port! Options include:

  • Water Activities – Check out the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef to see the coral and fish. You can even go kayaking in a glass-bottomed kayak. Parasailing is also available.
  • Jungle Activities – If you’re tired of the water, you can explore the jungle on an ATV. When you’re finished, you may go back and relax by the pool bar.
  • Mayan Water Park – Check out the Lost Mayan Kingdom for some fun ziplines, waterslides, and a lazy river. Book through the cruise line for excellent deals. The best part is it’s about 10 minutes by foot from the port!
  • Pyramids – Many Mayan pyramids are in Costa Maya, and they’re within driving distance. Chacchoben is the most well-known, but there are others, such as Dzibanche and Kohunlich.

Costa Maya is Magic

There are so many activities in Costa Maya, so you’ve definitely got plenty to do while you’re there. You don’t have to leave the port area to enjoy everything the place has to offer. Go snorkeling, see Mayan ruins, choose a bike tour in Quintana Roo, explore the jungle, and do something new and exciting.

The list of activities doesn’t end here. You’re sure to keep coming back for Costa Maya cruises because there’s just so much to enjoy. It’s a fun trip for the entire family, and it will leave everyone with beautiful memories of exciting vacations to remember!

Oscar DavisOscar Davis is a freelance writer from Leeds, UK. 

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