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What To Do In Costa Maya On Cruise


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Karia Furlong



Welcome to Costa Maya, a stunning coastal destination located on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. Known for its pristine beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant culture, Costa Maya is a must-visit place for travelers, especially those on a cruise. With a wide range of activities and attractions, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this tropical paradise.


Costa Maya is a popular stop for cruise ships, and it’s easy to see why. This port area offers a variety of amenities and entertainment options, making it a perfect destination for a day of adventure and relaxation. Whether you’re a history buff, a beach lover, or an adrenaline junkie, Costa Maya has it all.


In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Costa Maya while on a cruise. From exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on gorgeous beaches, experiencing thrilling water activities to immersing yourself in the local culture, there’s no shortage of exciting opportunities to make the most of your time here.


So sit back, relax, and get ready to embark on a virtual journey through the wonders of Costa Maya. Let’s dive in and discover the best activities and attractions that this beautiful destination has to offer.


Exploring Ancient Ruins

One of the highlights of visiting Costa Maya is the chance to explore its fascinating ancient ruins. The region is home to several archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the rich history of the Mayan civilization.


One must-visit site in Costa Maya is the famous Chacchoben Ruins. Just a short distance from the port, these ancient ruins date back to the 3rd century BCE and are shrouded in mystery and intrigue. As you wander through the well-preserved structures and climb to the top of the towering pyramids, you’ll be transported back in time and marvel at the architectural brilliance of the Maya.


For those seeking a more immersive experience, the Kohunlich Ruins are another fantastic option. Located deeper in the jungle, these ruins boast stunning pyramids, temples, and a unique ball court. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and significance of each structure, and don’t forget to snap some memorable photos along the way.


If you’re interested in Mayan culture and history, a visit to the Dzibanche Ruins is a must. This ancient city was once a significant political and cultural center, and you’ll be awe-struck by the intricate stone carvings and grand ceremonial plazas. The highlight of the site is the Templo de las Ocho Perras, with its eight stucco masks and intricate friezes.


Exploring these ancient ruins not only offers a glimpse into the past, but it also provides an opportunity to appreciate the advanced architectural and mathematical knowledge of the Maya. You’ll undoubtedly leave with a deeper appreciation for this remarkable civilization and its contributions to human history.


Whether you choose to visit one site or explore multiple, make sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring sun protection, and carry plenty of water. The sites can be hot and humid, but the reward of standing in awe of these ancient wonders is well worth it.


Relaxing on the Beaches

When it comes to relaxation, Costa Maya delivers with its stunning beaches that offer a slice of paradise. Whether you’re looking to unwind and soak up the sun or take part in water activities, the pristine coastline of this destination has you covered.


One of the most popular beach destinations in Costa Maya is Mahahual. This charming fishing village boasts beautiful beaches with soft, powdery sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Find a spot under the swaying palm trees, lay out your beach towel, and let the gentle ocean breeze lull you into a state of pure relaxation.


If you want to elevate your beach experience, consider renting a beachfront cabana or hammock. These comfortable lounging options offer the perfect mix of shade and ocean views. You can unwind, read a book, or simply bask in the beauty of your surroundings.


For those seeking a bit more adventure, Costa Maya’s beaches also provide excellent opportunities for water activities. Snorkeling is a popular choice, as the vibrant coral reefs teem with marine life. Dive below the surface and discover a mesmerizing underwater world filled with colorful fish, coral formations, and even the occasional sea turtle.


If snorkeling isn’t your thing, you can opt for kayaking or paddleboarding. Glide along the calm waters, enjoy the scenic views, and maybe even spot some dolphins playing in the distance. Many beaches offer equipment rentals and guided tours, making it easy for visitors of all skill levels to participate.


When you’re ready for a break from the sun and sand, take a stroll along the beach promenade in Mahahual. Here, you’ll find a variety of beachfront restaurants and bars. Grab a refreshing drink and savor the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine while taking in panoramic ocean views.


Whether you choose to relax on the beach, engage in water activities, or indulge in delicious food and drinks, Costa Maya’s beaches provide the perfect backdrop for a day of pure bliss and relaxation.


Exciting Water Activities

If you’re seeking a thrilling adventure in Costa Maya, look no further than the exciting water activities that this destination has to offer. From snorkeling to scuba diving, and from jet skiing to fishing, there’s an activity for every water lover.


For those seeking an up-close and personal underwater experience, snorkeling is a must-do activity. Costa Maya is home to an abundance of vibrant coral reefs teeming with marine life, making it a snorkeler’s paradise. Grab your mask, snorkel, and fins, and explore the colorful underwater world. Swim alongside tropical fish, marvel at the colorful coral formations, and if you’re lucky, you might even spot a majestic sea turtle gliding by.


If you’re a certified scuba diver or have always wanted to try it, Costa Maya offers exceptional diving opportunities. The Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second-largest coral reef system in the world, is easily accessible from Costa Maya. Dive into the depths and discover a mesmerizing world of underwater caves, tunnels, and an incredible array of marine biodiversity. With dive sites suitable for all levels, from beginners to experienced divers, you’re sure to have an unforgettable underwater adventure.


If speed and adrenaline are more your style, consider renting a jet ski and powering through the waves. Feel the rush of the wind in your hair as you zip across the crystal-clear waters. Or, if you prefer a slower pace, hop on a kayak or paddleboard and explore the coastline at your leisure.


For fishing enthusiasts, Costa Maya offers excellent opportunities to reel in some big catches. Head out on a deep-sea fishing excursion and try your luck at catching species such as marlin, sailfish, and mahi-mahi. With experienced local guides to assist you, you’re in for a thrilling fishing adventure.


Before embarking on any water activity, it’s important to prioritize safety. Ensure you have the necessary equipment, follow the instructions of trained professionals, and be mindful of any local regulations or guidelines.


So, prepare to dive into the exhilarating world of water activities in Costa Maya. From exploring underwater wonders to zooming across the waves, there’s no shortage of excitement and adventure awaiting you in this aquatic paradise.


Visiting the Mahahual Village

When you visit Costa Maya, a trip to the charming village of Mahahual is a must. Located just a short distance from the cruise port, Mahahual offers a blend of laid-back vibes, breathtaking scenery, and rich cultural experiences.


As you wander through the streets of Mahahual, you’ll be greeted by vibrant colors, quaint shops, and friendly locals. The village has a relaxed atmosphere, making it the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the cruise port.


One of the highlights of Mahahual is its picturesque malecon, a beachfront boardwalk lined with shops, restaurants, and bars. Take a leisurely stroll along the malecon, enjoy the ocean breeze, and admire the stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. Don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to stop at one of the beach clubs for a refreshing drink or a delicious local snack.


For history buffs, a visit to the Mahahual lighthouse is a must. This iconic landmark stands tall on the coastline, offering panoramic views of the village and the surrounding turquoise waters. Climb to the top of the lighthouse and capture breathtaking photos of the coastline and the expansive ocean.


If you’re looking to unwind and relax, Mahahual is home to several beach clubs and resorts that offer day passes. Enjoy access to pristine beaches, comfortable lounge chairs, and amenities such as swimming pools, bars, and restaurants. Spend the day basking in the sun, swimming in the crystal-clear waters, and indulging in delicious food and drinks.


For a taste of the local culture, visit the Mahahual handicraft market. Here, you’ll find a variety of handmade crafts, jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs. Support local artisans and take home a unique memento of your time in Costa Maya.


No visit to Mahahual is complete without savoring the flavors of Mexican cuisine. Sample fresh seafood dishes, indulge in mouthwatering tacos, or try traditional Yucatan specialties. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a refreshing margarita or a local beer.


Visiting the village of Mahahual is like taking a step back in time to a simpler and more relaxed way of life. It offers a chance to connect with the locals, appreciate the natural beauty of the region, and create lasting memories of your time in Costa Maya.


Discovering the Local Cuisine

One of the highlights of visiting Costa Maya is the opportunity to indulge in the local cuisine and experience the flavors and spices of Mexico. From delicious street food to authentic restaurants, Costa Maya’s culinary scene is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palates.


When it comes to Mexican cuisine, tacos are king, and you’ll find no shortage of mouthwatering options in Costa Maya. Whether you prefer traditional fillings like carne asada (grilled beef), al pastor (marinated pork), or opt for seafood variations such as fish or shrimp, each bite is a burst of flavorful goodness. Don’t forget to top your tacos with fresh cilantro, onions, and a squeeze of lime for an extra kick of flavor.


Another local delicacy you must try is ceviche. Made with fresh citrus-marinated seafood, typically fish or shrimp, ceviche is a refreshing and light dish that showcases the vibrant flavors of the ocean. Served with crispy tortilla chips or tostadas, it’s the perfect appetizer or light meal on a warm day.


For a truly authentic culinary experience, venture into the local markets or street food stalls and sample Mexican street food favorites like tamales, enchiladas, or empanadas. These handheld delights are filled with a variety of flavorful fillings, such as shredded chicken, cheese, or vegetables, and are sure to tantalize your taste buds.


When it comes to drinks, no visit to Mexico is complete without trying the world-famous margarita. Sip on this refreshing cocktail made with tequila, lime juice, and orange liqueur, and let the flavors transport you to a tropical paradise. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try the traditional Mexican spirit, mezcal, known for its smoky flavor profile.


If you’re looking to expand your culinary horizons, Costa Maya offers a taste of regional Yucatecan cuisine. Sample dishes like cochinita pibil, slow-roasted pork marinated in achiote paste and wrapped in banana leaves, or try papadzules, egg-filled tortillas topped with a pumpkin seed sauce. These unique flavors and dishes showcase the rich culinary heritage of the Yucatan Peninsula.


Whether you choose to dine at local street food vendors, casual eateries, or upscale restaurants, Costa Maya’s culinary scene is sure to delight your taste buds. Embrace the flavors, savor each bite, and experience the vibrant and diverse world of Mexican cuisine.


Shopping for Souvenirs

No trip is complete without taking home a piece of the destination, and Costa Maya offers a fantastic array of shopping opportunities for finding unique and memorable souvenirs. From handmade crafts to traditional Mexican products, there’s something for everyone to bring back as a cherished memento of their time in this beautiful destination.


One of the best places to start your shopping adventure is the Costa Maya Port area. Here, you’ll find a variety of shops and boutiques offering a wide range of items, from clothing and accessories to local artwork and handicrafts. Browse through the bustling streets and make a stop at the local stalls to discover handmade jewelry, colorful textiles, and intricately crafted pottery.


If you’re looking for the perfect beachwear or vacation attire, Costa Maya is a great place to find them. Pick up a stylish sarong or beach cover-up, a trendy sun hat, or a unique piece of handcrafted swimwear. You’ll be sure to turn heads on your next beach vacation.


For those interested in bringing a piece of Mexican culture home, seek out stores that specialize in traditional handicrafts. From beautifully painted Talavera pottery to intricately woven textiles, these artisanal products are a true representation of the rich cultural heritage of Mexico. Look for unique items like alebrijes, colorful wooden sculptures of fantastical creatures, or huipils, traditional embroidered blouses.


Another popular item to bring back from Costa Maya is locally produced tequila and mezcal. Explore specialty shops that offer a wide selection of these Mexican spirits, and consider purchasing a bottle as a gift or to enjoy yourself. Make sure to check the customs regulations of your home country regarding the transportation of alcohol.


Don’t forget to pick up some delicious Mexican spices and sauces to recreate the flavors of Costa Maya at home. From chili powders and salsa mixes to traditional mole sauces, these culinary treasures will transport you back to the vibrant and spicy world of Mexican cuisine.


When shopping for souvenirs, keep in mind that haggling is a common practice in many marketplaces and street stalls. Don’t be afraid to negotiate a fair price, but remember to be respectful and polite throughout the process.


Shopping for souvenirs in Costa Maya is not just about acquiring material possessions; it’s also about supporting local artisans and communities. By choosing handmade and locally sourced products, you’re not only taking home a piece of the destination, but also preserving and appreciating the authentic craftsmanship and traditions of the region.


Enjoying the Costa Maya Port Area

The Costa Maya port area is much more than just a starting point for exploring the surrounding attractions. It offers a range of activities and amenities that make it an enjoyable destination in its own right. From entertainment and relaxation to shopping and dining, there’s plenty to keep you entertained during your time in the port area.


One of the highlights of the Costa Maya port area is the sprawling beach club. Here, you can relax on a comfortable lounger, sip on a refreshing drink, and enjoy direct access to the pristine beach and crystal-clear waters. Take a dip in the inviting ocean, soak up the sun, or simply take in the breathtaking views. With beachside bars and restaurants offering delicious food and drinks, you won’t have to venture far to satisfy your cravings.


For those seeking entertainment, the port area is home to a variety of shows and performances that showcase the vibrant culture of Mexico. From traditional dance performances to live music and acrobatic displays, you’ll be captivated by the talent and energy of the local performers.


Shopping enthusiasts will be delighted by the variety of shops and boutiques that line the port area. From jewelry and clothing to souvenirs and local crafts, you’ll find a wide range of options to suit every taste and budget. Take your time to browse through the stores, chat with the friendly vendors, and find that perfect item to take home as a memento of your time in Costa Maya.


When it comes to dining, the port area offers a diverse selection of restaurants and eateries serving up a range of cuisines. Whether you’re in the mood for traditional Mexican flavors, fresh seafood, international dishes, or quick bites, you’ll find a dining option to satisfy your cravings. Grab a table with ocean views and savor the delicious food while enjoying the vibrant atmosphere of the port.


If relaxation is your top priority, indulge in a spa treatment at one of the port area’s luxurious wellness centers. Treat yourself to a massage, facial, or a rejuvenating body treatment, and let the skilled therapists pamper you while you unwind and recharge.


The Costa Maya port area is also equipped with modern amenities and facilities to ensure a comfortable and convenient visit. From Wi-Fi zones and charging stations to currency exchange counters and ATMs, you’ll have everything you need within easy reach.


Whether you choose to spend your time enjoying the beach club, shopping for souvenirs, or immersing yourself in the local entertainment, the Costa Maya port area has something for everyone. Make the most of your time in this vibrant hub and create memories that will last a lifetime.



A visit to Costa Maya on a cruise offers an incredible array of experiences that cater to every traveler’s interests and preferences. From exploring ancient ruins to relaxing on pristine beaches, engaging in thrilling water activities to immersing yourself in the local culture, this destination has something for everyone.


Costa Maya’s ancient ruins provide a fascinating glimpse into the rich history of the Mayan civilization. From the Chacchoben Ruins to the Kohunlich Ruins, these archaeological sites offer a chance to step back in time and marvel at the architectural wonders of the Maya.


The region’s beautiful beaches are perfect for relaxation and adventure. Whether you choose to unwind under a cabana, snorkel among colorful reefs, or feel the rush of jet skiing, the beaches of Costa Maya provide endless opportunities for enjoyment.


A visit to the Mahahual Village offers a chance to experience the local culture up close. Explore the vibrant malecon, climb the iconic lighthouse, and savor the flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine. And don’t forget to pick up unique souvenirs at the local markets to cherish the memories of your trip.


The port area of Costa Maya is a destination in itself, offering a range of entertainment, shopping, dining, and relaxation opportunities. Enjoy live performances, browse through the shops, dine on delicious cuisine, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment.


Whether you spend a few hours or a whole day in Costa Maya, this tropical paradise will leave you with lasting memories. From the historical treasures to the natural wonders, the local cuisine to the vibrant atmosphere, Costa Maya is a destination that will captivate and enchant you.


So, embark on your cruise adventure and make sure to plan for a visit to Costa Maya. Immerse yourself in the beauty, history, and culture of this Mexican gem, and create memories that will last a lifetime. Costa Maya is waiting to welcome you with open arms and provide an unforgettable experience.