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Things To Do In Costa Maya From Cruise Ship

Time For A Mexican Lunch

Costa Maya (Mexico) Cruise Port Guide: Tips and Overview

Personally, I always go to the outdoor dining area at the hotel for a fabulous lunch. Actually, you can choose Italian or Mexican. The owners are Italian and serve traditional Italian meals.

I love the shrimp fajitas. Guacamole is awesome, tooeverything there is good. A full lunch with a drink will run from $12 to $30 depending of course if you order a fresh-caught lobster or a cheese quesadilla.

Take a walk along the promenade after lunchmaybe set yourself down on a beach chair and take a brief siesta. Youll find the beach and town quiet, peaceful and pretty much undeveloped.

When its time to head back to your ship just walk back to the road through the hotel. Taxis are usually available but leave enough time just in case you have to wait.

As you drive back to Costa Maya look for these rainbow-colored cabanas.

Once back at the cruise port, just follow the crowds out towards the pier. You can buy any last minute souvenirs from the hundreds of stalls and shops at the complex.

Too tired to walk? Take the complimentary trolley back to your ship.

Watch The Musicians Or Observe A Silly Mexican Wrestling Match

Last but not least, if youre in need of some entertainment, there are a couple of options. First, there are musicians located throughout the cruise port. There are also some people dressed up in Mayan costumes and dancing near the shops area. Lastly if youre really into it, the same restaurant with the swim-up bar has a ring set up for Mexican wrestling matches, with silly costumes and all. We had a good time listening to the wrestling from the pool.

Well, we hope you find our guide helpful so that you have as good of a visit to Costa Mayas cruise port as we did!

Sail In The Most Beautiful Water Aboard A Catamaran

What better way to spend the day surrounded by some of the most beautiful water than to hop aboard a catamaran and soak up the sun? Cruise lines offer excursions aboard the boats, which many times come with a lunch and a snorkeling session. If you get seasick it may not be for you, but its great if you want to avoid the crowds on shore.

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Costa Maya Mexico: What To Do During Your Visit

Are you planning on vacationing in Costa Maya, Mexico? Here is a guide of what all you can do while enjoying your relaxing vacation in paradise.

The cruise industry is already above 80% of what 2020s numbers were. While continuing to lag behind the number of people who traveled in 2019, this is a promising sight to see in an industry that many of us thought might not prevail.

Now that we can reschedule those cruises once more, where are some popular destinations?

Mexico has always been a hot spot for tourists. Costa Maya, Mexico is a beautiful port that gets swept under the rug by Cancun and other, more popular areas including the cruise destination of Cozumel, just 130 miles away. However, it sports all the beauty and wonders Mexico has to offer.

Map Of The Costa Maya Cruise Port:

Best Things to Do in Costa Maya, Mexico on a Cruise

Below is a hopefully helpful map of the Costa Maya cruise port. This map seems to be a bit outdated. As of January 2019, there is actually another set of buildings on the back of the cruise port. If you walk all the way down to the south side, then to the west, an alley curves around with more places to eat and it takes you to the alebrijes, the yellow Costa Maya sign, and the taxi stand.

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Watch The Dolphins Swim

This is animal tourism and therefore may be a little bit controversial, but yes you can watch the dolphins swim. At Costa Maya you can spend a lot of money to swim with dolphins and support animal tourism. Or you can go the budget route and watch the dolphins swim around for free. This way youre saving money and you arent giving a penny to a company that may or may not be exploiting animals! And lets face it, little kids will just think that the dolphins are really neat! We watched them for probably about 10 minutes and one swam right up to look at Jackson in his stroller. So go ahead and make some free memories watching dolphins.

There are signs all around the dolphin tank asking you not to take pictures. So like a good little traveler, I didnt. The picture below is taken with my back to the dolphin tank.

Explore Puerto Costa Maya

Puerto Costa Maya

Unveiled back in 2001, Puerto Costa Maya is as much of a destination as the rest of the town surrounding it. Not only does the port contain a variety of immersive experiences the entire family can enjoy, but it also features its own bay for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing.

Head to Aviarus for an unforgettable birding experience, where youll discover bird species in their various habitats. After, pop by Kakaw within the port for an interactive look at the rich history of Mexican cocoa. Learn how chocolate is made and, of course, sample a few sweet treats. Discover the distillery process of how local tequila is made at La Consentida. After a history lesson, enjoy the Mexican pastime of slowly sipping tequila.

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Directions From The Port

  • Walk along the lengthy pier from your ship to the ports colorful Disney-esque entrance.
  • Follow the pedestrian walk along your right side, past the little shops until you see the grand staircase on your right.
  • Update Dec. 2, 2021: This little breezeway path behind the stairs is closed. When I first wrote this articleyou would see the little path between the tree and the stairs. You could walk through there and when you emerge, youd notice a makeshift table under a long awning to book your taxi or trolley.

    Now its changed. Best suggestion is to use the ships map and walk past the stairs following the maps directions to the taxi rank, golf cart rental or trolley.

    Book An Open Bar Pass At A Beach Restaurant

    Costa Maya – 10 BUCKET LIST – Things to do

    Similar to Maya Chan, there are several beach bars/restaurants that offer tables, loungers and umbrellas right on the beach and unlimited drinks. One such place is Jaimes at the Blue Reef and another is the YAYA Beach Club. These restaurants offer an easy way to relax during your port stop, even though your memories might be a little hazy after spending all day here.

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    Explore Historic Mayan Ruins

    Chacchoben Ruins

    Venture beyond Puerto Costa Maya to the most visited Mayan ruins in the area. The well-kept Chacchoben Ruins trace back over 3,000 years of history, a tiny civilization of temples, steps, and a towering ceremonial center.

    Climb to the summit of Gran Basamento for sweeping jungle views. As you trace the footsteps of ancient Mayans, you may even spot local spider monkeys swinging from tree to tree. Remember to step carefully and respectfully among the ruins, which are a beloved peek into Mayan life.

    Discover Mayan History Through The Ages

    Handmade tortillas

    If you visit Costa Maya without experiencing the ancient traditions of the Mayans, youre missing out on a critically important piece of local culture. Unlike popular myths, Mayans didnt entirely disappear, but their culture lives on today in parts of Mexico. Learn about age-old Mayan customs and meet a community dedicated to protecting their legacy for centuries to come. Enjoy an authentic Mayan meal complete with locally sourced ingredients and handmade tortillas.

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    Wander The Shops Looking For Colorful Mexican Souvenirs

    If youre looking for Mexican souvenirs, there are a few things that are pretty typical. First, you can find Mexican pottery in all shapes and sizes. And its one of those souvenirs that you can actually use. A few years ago, I bought a beautiful bowl that I use for a fruit bowl in our kitchen. If youre more into knick-knacks, then you can pick up some small alebrijes to take home with you. For jewelry, you can find certified Mexican silver jewelry. Food based Mexican souvenirs include bottles of Vanilla for cooking, or you can take home some Mexican chocolate. Lastly, there is always things like maracas, ponchos, sombrerors, or wrestling costumes which you can take home. Our nephews loved their silly wrestling masks!

    Pick Up Anything You Forgot At The Pharmacy

    7 Amazing Things to Do in Costa Maya Cruise Port (+ Port ...

    When youre on the ship, you have two options if you need some toiletries or over-the-counter medicine. You can either go without or pay insane prices at the ships shops . If you forgot or need anything, there is one other option Costa Maya has a pharmacy in port with just about anything youd need. Its also considerably cheaper than buying these items on the ship.

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    Visit Water Park Lost Mayan Kingdom

    From the rooftop of El Tarro I saw a huge Maya temple in the distance I thought but it was the Maya Water Park right next to the Costa Maya cruise port. Visiting this water park is one of the best things to do in Costa Maya with kids. There are loads of exciting water slides, zip lines and more exciting activities.

    Stroll Along The Mahahual Boulevard

    This is the best place to get a feel with this lovely beach town. The boulevard starts at the lighthouse and follows the beach south. The boulevard continues for about 5 miles and is a great walk or perfect for a morning run. Along the boulevard is where you will find all the Mahahual beach clubs, restaurants, bars, supermarkets and endless souvenir shops.

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    Mahahual Beach & Village

    This beautiful beach is located in the lively fishing village of Mahahual and is the closest one to the cruise port. White powdery sands and a barrier reef make it ideal for swimming and snorkeling as the water is calm and crystal clear, so make sure you get your camera ready for turtles, stingrays, stunning tropical fish, and a spectacular coral reef!

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    Along the beach, you will encounter local restaurants, bars, and beach clubs offering beach chairs, umbrellas, watersports, and fantastic service. Most of the beach clubs have either a minimum spend or an open bar, and you should definitely check out Yaya Beach, Blue Kay, Ibiza Sunset, Pitaya Beach Club, and Pez Quadro. Local vendors and beach massage areas are also available, as well as other facilities including showers, changing rooms, and restrooms.

    Besides the gorgeous sandy beach, Mahahual has several other spots of interest, such as Faro de Mahahual a lighthouse, where Mahahual boulevard filled with countless shops, supermarkets, restaurants, and bars starts.

    Mahahual village is very safe and the beach is ideal for families and people of all ages.

    Transfers and taxis from the Costa Maya cruise port to the beach cost around $2 $3 USD per person each way.

    Best Things To Do In Costa Maya Mexico On A Cruise


    If your next cruise is visiting the Western Caribbean, have a look at our list of the Best Things to Do in Costa Maya, Mexico on a Cruise.

    The Costa Maya purpose-built port is located along the Yucatan Peninsulas Caribbean coast. It was originally opened to cruise traffic in 2001 but was destroyed by Hurricane Dean in 2005. Luckily, the area has been restored and is currently able to accommodate up to three ships at one time. This up and coming Western Caribbean cruise port offers plenty to do but still provides an old-time Mexico feel. Is your cruise ship visiting this hidden gem? If so, you will want to explore our Best Things to Do in Costa Maya on a cruise to make the most of your time ashore.

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    Parque Nacional De Arrecifes

    The Arrecifes de Xcalak Park is the southernmost location in Costa Maya, located just seven miles from Belize. It has one of the last unspoiled stretches of the Mexican Caribbean and is designated as a Mexican national reef park. It is also a departure point for scuba and snorkel tours. Explore the various eco-systems in the area, such as coastal lagoons, beaches, jungle, and coral reefs. Discover unique habitats for waterfowl such as great blue herons, ibis, and ospreys. The wetlands are also a breeding site for fish and crustaceans. Delight in this park and all of its natural wonders.

    Cultural Tours

    Visit The Costa Maya Ruins

    There are three Costa Maya ruins that make perfect Costa Maya excursions.

    Chacchoben Ruins

    The most popular and most stunning Costa Maya ruin is Chacchoben. These ruins are only 45 miles outside of the Costa Maya cruise terminal and very easy to get to. There is only one road heading out of the Costa Maya port. Renting a car at Costa Maya is cheap and can be found for less than $20 a day. Rental cars make a great day trip to explore the Costa Maya. You can also join a group tour for around $40, mind you that the entrance fee for the Chacchoben Ruins is only 55 Pesos . Unfortunately you are not allowed to climb the Chacchoben ruins.

    Kohunlich ruins

    The Kohunlich ruins are more than 100 miles out of the Costa Maya cruise port and best to be visited when renting a car. It is a spectacular archaeological Maya site and the biggest Costa Maya ruins. It is one of the greater things to do in the Costa Maya but doesnt get busy because it is off the beaten path. You can climb 27 steps up to the top of one of the temples for great views over the jungle. You will most probably also see monkeys here. Visiting Kohunlich ruins is best to be combined with a day trip to Dzibanche and the Kinichna ruins and Bacalar

    Dzibanche and the Kinichna ruins

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    Dzibanche And Kohunlich Mayan Ruins

    Do not miss the opportunity to visit the ruins of these two Mayan civilizations lost in the jungle close to the Belize border. There are two archeological zones within the same area: the Archeological Zone Dzibanché Kinichná, and the Archaeological Zone of Kohunlich.

    Archeological Zone Dzibanché Kinichná

    Dzibanche is said to be the first capital of the Kaan Dynasty, also known as the Snake Dynasty, and the center of social and economic activities for the local population. Within the same archeological zone, in the heart of the jungle, you can also visit Kinichná ruins located approximately 4 km from Dzibanche. The complex is dominated by a huge two-level pyramid that you can climb and admire the spectacular views of the lush rainforest and surrounding pyramids. There are usually no crowds as the place is off the beaten track.

    Both Dzibanche and Kinichná belong to the same archeological zone and the entrance fee is $3.50 per person. The admission ticket includes access to both sites. Children under 12 years old and elderly visitors do not pay. For those of you who wish to use a video camera, there is an additional $5 $8 charge.

    Archaeological Zone of Kohunlich

    Kohunlich archeological site is larger and it takes at least 1 hour to visit it and walk around. The area is beautifully preserved, with tall palm trees and monkeys that you can spot high up on the trees.

    Try A Mayan Healing Ritual

    Costa Maya Mexico, Here

    Mayan healing ritual

    Take a much-needed wellness getaway in Costa Maya, where you can indulge in a complete mind and body detox in an authentic Mayan sauna. This sacred ritual of spiritual cleansing is performed by a knowledgeable shaman. Soak in a restorative bath, then head inside the Temazcal to sweat away impurities and toxins. Pamper yourself with nourishing clay or a massage treatment.

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    What To Do In Costa Maya Mexico Instead Of An Expensive Shore Excursion

    If youre going to Costa Maya on your cruise, lucky you! This port is one of my favorites in the Caribbean. By the time youre finished reading this, youll know why.

    Puerto Costa Maya and nearby sleepy Mahahual were once rural fishing villages. In 2002, this region was transformed into a popular cruise ship destination.

    It was the first manufactured cruise port in the Caribbean, but it didnt last long. After a year of rebuilding following Hurricane Deans devastating impact in 2007, the cruise port of Costa Maya reopened. And its been growing ever since.

    Most people wonder, whats there to do in Costa Maya? Actually, most people havent heard of Costa Maya or theyve heard the name but have no clue what to do there. Isnt that partly why youre reading this?

    Every cruise line offers full-day and expensive shore excursions to visit the incredible Mayan pyramids, dolphin encounters or snorkeling. When Im here, I just want a really good lunch and a cold drink. Followed by a couple of hours lounging in a beach chair and floating in the ocean. Heres how to do exactly that, save a bundle of cash and have one of the best port days ever.

    Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve

    Sian Kaan was established in January 1986 and means Origin of the Sky. The biosphere is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains tropical rainforests, mangroves, marshes, and a marine section. Over 379 bird species have been identified in the Reserve, and it is also home to many mammals, native bees, dragonflies, beetles, crustaceans, mosquitoes, and butterflies. The reef which intersects the marine area is comprised of 84 species of coral. Sian Kaan promotes sustainable tourism which will minimize the environmental impact of tourism within the Reserve and is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean. Take a Nature Tour into the lagoons of Boca Paila and Caapechen through the natural mangrove canals and lagoons and try to spot crocodiles and tropical birds. You will also see a Mayan temple along the way. The saltwater lagoons are world-famous among fly fishers. A Guide will take you to the best areas to catch fish like the barracuda, tarpon, and bonefish.

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