Traveling to the southern part of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, and wondering about things to do in Costa Maya? We are going to prepare you for this fabulous visit!
If you are like us, you are not finding a lot of information about Costa Maya. Why is that?
Costa Maya, situated in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco, in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, is a charming tourist destination that is the cruise port, not necessarily the name of where you are visiting.
Where is Costa Maya?
This region of Quintana Roo is unique as it is the only state in Mexico that is bordered by the mesmerizing Caribbean Sea to the east. It is a captivating destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and adventure. This region, known for its vibrant turquoise waters, pristine beaches, and lush tropical landscapes, is a paradise for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
But Costa Maya is more than just its natural allure. It’s a gateway to the ancient world of the Mayans, with numerous archaeological sites waiting to be explored. The local cuisine, a delightful fusion of traditional Mayan flavors and contemporary culinary techniques, is another highlight that food enthusiasts will love.
We visited the area while on a Virgin Voyages cruise and fell in love with the area. We can’t wait to share with you all of the things to do in Costa Maya.
Things to Do in Costa Maya
From thrilling water sports and jungle adventures to tranquil beach days and historical explorations, Costa Maya offers a diverse range of experiences that cater to all types of travelers. Its unique charm, coupled with its warm hospitality, makes Costa Maya a must-visit destination on any Mexican itinerary.
Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or planning your first trip, Costa Maya promises an unforgettable journey of discovery and adventure. If you are visiting Costa Maya Mexico on its own, or through shore excursions, we have plenty of ideas for you to make the most of your time at and around the Costa Maya cruise port.
Mahahual Beach: Serenity by the Sea
Mahahual Beach, a tranquil oasis in Costa Maya, is a paradise of white sands and turquoise waters framed by lush palm trees. The calm Caribbean Sea invites swimmers, while the vibrant coral reef teems with marine life, offering a mesmerizing snorkeling experience.
Sunbathers will find the soft sands perfect for soaking up the Mexican sun, with ample shade provided by the palms. A stroll along the beachfront promenade, or “Malecon,” reveals charming shops, restaurants, and bars, perfect for midday refreshments or souvenir shopping. Whether you seek adventure or relaxation, Mahahual Beach is a must-visit.
Maya Chan: Secluded Coastal Bliss
Maya Chan Beach, a hidden gem in Costa Maya, offers a unique, intimate beach experience. Its charm lies in its relaxed, low-key atmosphere and small crowd, allowing visitors to enjoy the Caribbean Sea’s beauty in tranquility.
The beach features rustic, eco-friendly facilities, including comfortable beach loungers and private palapas equipped with hammocks and swings, perfect for relaxation.
What sets Maya Chan apart is its personalized service. Attentive beach butlers cater to your needs, from delivering refreshing drinks to setting up beachside massages. Adventure seekers can enjoy complimentary kayaks and snorkeling gear, with an offshore reef teeming with marine life just a short paddle away.
The beach also hosts a beachfront bar and restaurant, offering delicious local cuisine and a variety of beverages. With its unique charm and excellent services, Maya Chan Beach provides an unparalleled beach experience in Costa Maya.
Lost Mayan Kingdom: Thrills Meet History
Maya, Lost Mayan Kingdom, an adventure park in Costa Maya, offers a unique blend of history and thrill. Themed around the ancient Mayan civilization, the park transports visitors back in time while providing adrenaline-pumping attractions.
Highlights include a variety of water slides catering to both thrill-seekers and those seeking a leisurely experience, and a relaxing lazy river. The park’s zip-line circuit offers an exhilarating journey through the treetops with breathtaking views.
The unique “Jungle Jump” provides a thrilling free-fall experience. With its blend of history, adventure, and natural beauty, Maya, Lost Mayan Kingdom is a must-visit attraction in Costa Maya.
The Vibrant Costa Maya Port
Costa Maya Port is a vibrant hub that welcomes visitors with a blend of local culture and modern amenities. The port area, designed to resemble an ancient Mayan city, is a bustling center filled with colorful buildings, lively markets, and charming eateries.
The port is a shopper’s paradise, offering a wide range of shopping options. From local handicrafts and traditional Mayan artifacts to high-end jewelry and designer boutiques, there’s something for everyone. The local market is a great place to find unique souvenirs and gifts, while the duty-free shop offers a selection of international brands.
When it comes to dining, the port offers a variety of options to suit all tastes. You can enjoy traditional Mexican cuisine at local restaurants, savor fresh seafood at beachfront eateries, or indulge in international dishes at upscale dining establishments. The port also features several bars and cafes, perfect for enjoying a refreshing drink while soaking up the lively atmosphere.
With its unique blend of shopping, dining, and cultural experiences, Costa Maya Port is more than just a docking point—it’s a destination in its own right. The area has been and still is a fishing village, so if fishing is your desired activity, you are in the right place.
Chacchoben: Echoes of the Past
The Chacchoben Ruins, hidden in Costa Maya’s dense jungle, offer a fascinating journey into the ancient Mayan world. Established around 200 BC, Chacchoben flourished as a ceremonial center until its abandonment in the 10th century. Rediscovered in 1972, the site now serves as a historical treasure.
Visitors can explore the three large pyramid-shaped temples, circular platforms used for astronomical observations, and intricately carved stone monuments known as stelae. Guided tours provide valuable insights into Mayan culture, architecture, and astronomy. The surrounding lush vegetation is home to local wildlife, adding to the site’s allure. For history buffs and those interested in the Mayan civilization, a visit to Chacchoben Ruins is a must.
Check out our article on the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins.
If you are going to be in this part of Mexico for an extended stay, check out other Mayan Ruins Tours.
Sian Ka’an: Nature’s Masterpiece
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Costa Maya, is a testament to the region’s rich biodiversity. Its importance lies in its diverse ecosystems, including tropical forests, mangroves, and coral reefs, which are home to numerous endangered species.
Travelers can embark on guided tours to explore the reserve’s stunning landscapes and encounter wildlife such as jaguars, dolphins, and hundreds of bird species. The reserve offers a unique opportunity to immerse oneself in untouched nature and understand the importance of conservation.
Underwater Wonders of Costa Maya
Costa Maya is a diver’s paradise, boasting some of the best spots for diving and snorkeling. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest reef system in the world, is a highlight, offering vibrant coral formations and diverse marine life.
Divers and snorkelers can expect encounters with colorful tropical fish, graceful sea turtles, and even playful dolphins. The Chinchorro Bank, a sunken ship graveyard, offers an exciting dive for the more adventurous. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced diver, Costa Maya’s underwater world promises an unforgettable experience.
Local Cuisine in Costa Maya: A Culinary Delight
Costa Maya’s local cuisine is a delightful fusion of traditional Mayan flavors and contemporary culinary techniques. Must-try dishes include Cochinita Pibil, a slow-roasted pork dish, and Pescado a la Tikin Xic, a fish dish marinated in local spices.
For a taste of local seafood, visit Leaky Palapa, a popular restaurant known for its fresh catches. For authentic Mexican cuisine, head to Luna de Plata. These culinary experiences in Costa Maya offer a delicious exploration of the region’s rich cultural heritage.
Know Before You Go
If you are visiting the Yucatan peninsula and are on a cruise ship, consider the excursions that cruise ships provide first. Why? The cruise lines will wait for you if something goes awry while you are on an excursion. You may find a cheaper option per person cost via our links or other adventures, but we wanted to make sure you were aware of that caveat.
Staying at a resort or one of the hotels in the area? As your hotel if they have a connection to transportation shuttles or a taxi to save you some money. There are plenty of things to do, but not all options are within a short walk of the port.
Plenty of Things to Do in Costa Maya
So there you have it, a tour of Costa Maya’s best offerings. From the tranquil beaches to the adrenaline-pumping adventures, from the ancient ruins whispering tales of the past to the vibrant marine life beneath the waves, Costa Maya is more than just a destination—it’s a journey of discovery and delight.
But don’t just take our word for it. Go and experience the magic of Costa Maya for yourself. We promise you, it’s an adventure you’ll never forget. Got a favorite spot in Costa Maya that we missed? Or perhaps a hidden gem that deserves a shout-out?
We’d love to hear from you. Share your Costa Maya experiences with us and let’s keep the adventure going!
FAQs | Frequently Asked Questions
While the cruise port is walkable, you will find that you will more than likely need to grab a taxi or shuttle to get to most things to do in Costa Maya.
Yes! There are shops, restaurants, and even some flamingos in a fountain to gawk at.
We found that Costa Maya is very safe. Tourism brings in a great deal to the economy so the locals want you to be safe and to come back to visit.