Cruise to Costa Maya

If you stay in the port complex at Costa Maya, you’ll say there isn’t much to see. This port was created for cruise ships to dock at, and yes, there are just enough shopping, dining and fun-in-the sun facilities to entertain cruisers who never want their ship to be out of their field of vision.

But the glory of the southern Yucatan is outside of the fences. Offshore, the waters are a glorious clear warm blue, and the Mesoamerican Great Barrier Reef thrives near shore. Further out, dolphins leap and big game fish flourish. Inland, there’s a charming though still developing fishing village of Mahahual, where the freshest ceviche and cold, cold beer costs pocket change. A dozen entrepreneurs are catering to the cruisers “beach break” market, offering your perfect vision of a tropical chill spot: a palapa-thatched roof to provide shade, a chaise lounge near the water, and a mid-day beach barbecue feast.

Inland, adventure awaits: a jungle wildlife tour, a visit to an indigenous village, an eco-tourism park with aerial attractions, or a walk amongst history at lesser-known Mayan ruins. At the southernmost ruins, you’re just a few minutes from the Belize border.

This area is definitely still developing, and services and infrastructures are not yet a smooth machine. The flip side of that is that the ruins and reefs are un-crowded, the local restaurant owner will still come out to show you his daily catch, and there are true eco-tourism and Mayan cultural gems to be found.