What To Do During Your Costa Maya Cruise Visit?

Do you want to visit Costa Maya? Shore excursions are the best choice because you can stay near to the port and still travel and experience fun!

costa maya
Photo by Ahmet Demiroğlu on Unsplash

The cruise industry is getting better after the pandemic, though it seems to lag slightly because people don’t want to travel as much. One of the most popular destinations is Mexico. It’s always been the hot spot for tourism.

Costa Maya, Mexico, is an excellent place that often gets ignored by other areas, such as Cancun and Cozumel, which is 130 miles away. However, it still has everything you want for a vacation, including the open air. If you’re thinking of going on a cruise to the beach, it might be wise to contact the Royal Caribbean line. Stop off at the Costa Maya cruise port and have fun!

Where’s Costa Maya?

Where’s Costa Maya? It’s about 80 miles south of Cancun and 130 miles from Cozumel. This space has been the spark of the tourism industry from the year 2000 onward. Before that, Costa Maya was a sleepy fishing village in Mexico with a largely untouched beach area.

Now, Costa Maya has an influx of tropical tourists and cruise options that all want you to experience that beauty that is Mexico.

Costa Maya has the Mayan ruins, dense jungles, and world-renowned diving options. You will not see sky-rise buildings here. In fact, this Mexican port prides itself on being a small-town fishing village with pristine waters. Sitting to the north of Costa Maya, you see Sian Ka’an Reserve, a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Shore excursions to Sian Ka’an Reserve are well worth the time. There are one million acres full of monkeys, rainforests, and lagoons. Tour operators in Costa Maya often schedule day trips to the area. It’s a great chance to see nature’s wonders in Mexico, but Costa Maya is also home to local Mayan villages.

Chichen Itza isn’t the only Mayan influence to consider. Some Mayans live in the area and schedule tours of the local Costa Mayan villages. Residents profit from tourism, and you can see the local cultures in Costa Maya and enjoy the beach.

Puerto Costa Maya

The Puerto Costa Maya port began construction in the 1990s, though tourists didn’t arrive until the early 2000s. Finally, hotels popped up on the beach, but it took time for tourism to make it worth the effort. Plus, beach shops ran on gas or diesel generators.

The port, also called Puerto Costa Maya, was created from an idea of establishing it for eco-tourism. This means you will not find high-rise hotels. Most places use architecture that hints about those simpler times.

However, creature comforts are still available. Taxis and buses are at the port to take people on tours. You can also rent four-wheelers to get more adventure because the roads are paved. When you get a craving to see the Mayan ruins, you should have no trouble getting there.

Hurricane Dean

A large hurricane tore through the Yucatan region in 2007, which devastated Costa Maya for a bit. Most cruise ships had to cancel stops at the pristine port.

When it happened, Costa Maya was the second largest port in Mexico. In fact, Mahahual got the most damage from the hurricane, which became a Category 5 before it finally quit.

Mahahual lost many buildings, and the Costa Maya port lost about 50 percent of the infrastructure, which included three ship berths. Initially, the port was scheduled to close for six months. However, it took Costa Maya much longer to rebuild its city and port. Whenever cruise ships started returning, tourism had dropped, and the housing market crashed.

Costa Maya took another few years to get back to what it is now because of drug and gang violence. However, the area and port recovered and are now a booming cruise ship destination once more.

Diving and Snorkeling

Costa Maya has many wonders, but the beautiful waters are the top reason to go to the beach area and snorkel.

In fact, Costa Maya has the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef System with many popular diving spots. However, there are secret options in Costa Maya, which is every diver’s dream. If you prefer scuba diving in Costa Maya, visit the dive shops in Xcalak and Mahahual.

Mahahual is a beautiful place as you travel on a Mexican cruise. It also has the closest beach area, which is two miles away by taxi or shuttle.

Those who don’t have training or certifications for diving can still snorkel, as Costa Maya has many options.

Mayan Ruins

When you don’t want to go to the beach for snorkeling or diving, you can visit the Mayan ruins in Mexico. Many cruise options offer this as part of their shore excursions.

The Temples of Chacchoben is a new restoration project because it received a full renovation in 1994. However, it wasn’t initially available to the public until 2002, when the Costa Maya cruise port opened. There aren’t many posted sign options or information, though.

Overall, the ruins have three temples and can help you experience life outside the port and beach.


You can go outside of Costa Maya and visit Bacalar, a lakeside town. Check out the local restaurants or go to the most famous cenote (sinkhole) in Mexico. It’s a short drive from your Costa Maya cruise port and has a lot of potential.


Mahahual is the largest town in Costa Maya, though there’s a population of less than 1,000. Still, Mahahual is unknown in Mexico.

Overall, Mahahual is a great area to explore. It’s got a pristine beach, world-class scuba diving, and authentic Mexican food.

When heading to Mahahual, make sure to go kayaking or paddleboarding. Otherwise, sling a hammock on the beach to relax. There are also local beach clubs in this beautiful area of Costa Maya.

Port Activities in Costa Maya

The namesake for Costa Maya comes from the port. Some people never get off the cruise ship once they port, but the beauty of Costa Maya is often missed because of that.

Even if you only venture off the cruise ship on Costa Maya to experience the beach, it’s crucial to do so. There are aviaries to see exotic birds without getting too far away from the Costa Maya port. You may even see a dolphin in the port area!

Book Your Cruises to Costa Maya, Mexico

If you’re ready for the beach and want some privacy, it’s best to visit Costa Maya. You can contact the Royal Caribbean cruise line to book a trip and experience many ports. However, a Costa Maya cruise should be at the top of the list, and it’s easy to create travel plans.

Team JST

Team JST work with our sponsors, shop vendors, and many more to create informative and engaging content.

Jetset Times in your inbox

Sign-up for our newsletter

By signing up, you agree to our Privacy Policy and European users agree to the data transfer policy.