Located in Mexico on the Yucatán Peninsula near the border of Belize, this former home of the ancient Mayans provides a picture-perfect getaway. Amid jungle terrain and sparkling beaches, Costa Maya offers an unforgettable adventure. Get closer to nature with the underwater beauty of Banco Chinchorro, the second largest reef in the world. History lovers will want to spend time at the ruins at Chacchoben. For sun worshippers, the beaches are as abundant as they are beautiful.
Comprised of 2 small villages, Mahahual and Xcalak, Costa Maya is relatively new for tourists, so the area feels more authentic. While restaurants, shops and bars can be found in the center of town; dirt roads, thick green jungles and tranquil lagoons are the norm in this part of Mexico, offering a restful retreat.
Places to Explore
Costa Maya's most famous landmark, the ruins at Chacchoben, were constructed by the Mayans around 350 A.D. and include awe-inspiring stone temples and pyramids only recently opened to the public. Still undergoing excavation, this ancient city invites all who visit to walk in the shadow of Mexico's wondrous past.
- Mayan Pavilion Park
Home to arts-and-crafts kiosks, restaurants, bars, saltwater pools and great shopping, this Mayan Pavilion Park is a retail mall with a cultural twist, conveniently located at the port.
- Uvero Beach
The most popular beach in Costa Maya, located about 20 miles north of the Mahahual town, features sprawling white sands, clear blue water and charming eateries and shops.
- Banco Chinchorro
Snorkelers and divers will surely want to explore this natural reef, considered to be the largest in Mexico and the second largest in the world. The reserve is home to a vast array of underwater wildlife and a number of shipwrecks.
The principal language is Spanish, but English is also commonly spoken.
The Mexican Peso is the official currency, but most places will accept U.S. dollars. Major credit cards are also commonly accepted.
- How to Get Around
- Taxis can be secured at the port and throughout the city for about $5 USD per person roundtrip. Because the taxis are not metered, be sure to negotiate a price upfront.
- Bus service is available to Mahahual behind the shopping area; the cost is about $3 USD. Tickets must be purchased in advance at the ticket booth located nearby.
- All-terrain vehicles and golf carts are available for rent for about $12 USD per hour.