Costa MayaCopyright: Spencer Watson/Unsplash
Costa MayaCosta Maya is a rising star of the Yucatán peninsula that offers a quiet alternative to its "big brothers" such as Chetumal or the Riviera Maya. But despite its young age as a tourist resort, it boasts an abundance of historical and natural landmarks, and has a genuinely impressive beach bar scene, which no doubt makes it a worthy rival.
Costa MayaCosta Maya is an emerging tourist region in the state of Quintana Roo, washed by the Caribbean Sea less than 100 miles away from Mexico’s border with Belize. The area includes a shore of 60 miles stretching from Sian Ka’an in the north to Xcalak in the south. The history of Costa Maya dates back to ancient times, when the area was inhabited by the Maya and other Native American civilizations. The Maya built a series of city-states in the region, including the sites of Chacchoben, Kohunlich, and Dzibanche, and conducted flourishing maritime trade across the Yucatán peninsula. From the 16th century onwards, the region saw a series of clashes involving Spanish colonizers and English pirates, which lasted until the advent of Mexican independence. The area has not been spared by natural disasters, either. Xcalak ceased to exist as a major port after Hurricane Janet in 1955, and Mahahual too was hit in the years of 2007 and 2012. These were a setback for the development the region had seen in previous decades, but today Costa Maya is on an upswing again and is seeing more and more visitors every year.
Do & See
Costa Maya is an up and coming tourist region that has something to offer to all age groups. Lesser-known Maya ruins such as Chacchoben and Kohunlich are sure to amaze with their amazing history and architecture, and natural wonders like Banco Chinchorro are a bucket list item for all sea lovers. If it's some quiet time by the beach you are after, the Malecón (boardwalk) in Mahahual will likely cater to all your needs.
Despite its friendly size and low-key ambiance, Mahahual has no shortage of restaurants with exciting local flavors. Most of these venues are found on the town's lively boardwalk (Malecón), and as beach clubs they also provide visitors with beach chairs and a range of services and fun activities, all in exchange for a day pass. You decide whether it's light ceviche or a filling lobster meal — your beach spot and entertainment are taken care of.
From elegant stores in the bustling cruise center to local vendors on Malecón boardwalk by the beach, there is an abundance of places to do your souvenir shopping when in Costa Maya.