Taking a page from Disney’s legendary magic, the planners built Costa Maya as a port conjured up especially for cruise ship passengers. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that this wouldn’t be an interesting port on your itinerary, it is simply unlikely that you will be traveling to Costa Maya by air anytime soon. Costa Maya is a beautiful port filled with thatched roofs, a bar just steps from the ship, a refreshing pool, sandy beach, all close to Mayan ruins rising out of the jungle that are a worthy trip to add to your itinerary, plus unique freshwater lakes nearby add to the beauty of the region. For the budget traveler the port of Costa Maya offers a day where you can save money by simply hanging out at one of the saltwater pools or nearby beach club, do a little haggling at one of the many shops then head back to the ship to grab lunch and still be back on the beach for a relaxing afternoon.
For the true water enthusiast, Costa Maya is a great option for snorkeling and scuba diving because the barrier reef creates a natural aquarium you will find teeming with Angel fish, Barracuda, Blue Tang, Cowfish, Parrot Fish, Puffer, Southern and Spotted Eagle Rays, Tarpon, even Loggerhead, Green and Hawksbill Turtles!
If you choose to take a tour of the Mayan ruins that dot the area, I highly recommend forgoing to cruise ship excursion and booking a tour with Native Choice Tours or www.shoretrips.com . Why? For close to the same amount of time cruise ship passengers get transported with the crowds, while smaller tours allow you to marvel at the impressive Chacchoben Mayan Ruins much quicker with fewer fellow passengers around. By booking with another tour operator you will enjoy two excursions, first Chacchoben then a delightful traditional Mayan lunch, amid a tropical resort overlooking the stunningly clear waters of Seven Color Lagoon (Bacalar Lagoon). Rarely have I seen fresh water of such vibrant colors as the lagoon – rippling from an electric blue to a turquoise green. The small group setting allowed us to spend our short time traveling from Chacchoben to the lake, and back to the ship engrossed in warm conversation that felt like picking up a favorite, book – familiar but full of surprising new discoveries. Native Choice Tours and Shoretrips deliver a better experience; both are highly recommended by Midwest Travel Solutions if you want to add a tour to your Costa Maya port experience.
Yet another option for those stopping in Costa Maya is taking the short taxi ride to Mahahual, a small seaside village where fishermen still serve up the local catch of the day. You will find lovely white sand beaches with shallow surf. Do be mindful that you will run into many hawkers vying for your tourism dollar.