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What to Do in Costa Maya, Mexico

27 Jul 2022
Once a rural fishing village, Costa Maya has transformed into one of the best cruise ship destinations in the world. The port, located on the southeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, gets many visitors annually from different ships.

Tourists can participate in several independent or sponsored excursions. They can also choose to explore the cruise centre at the port instead to visit the lost Mayan kingdom. This article is an overview of the best experiences you can have at this traveller's paradise. And here’ even more tips on what to do in Costa Maya when with a family or friends. 
Not sure what to do in Costa Maya? The possibilities are endless! © Spencer Watson / Unsplash
Not sure what to do in Costa Maya? The possibilities are endless! © Spencer Watson / Unsplash

Exploring the Costa Maya Cruise Centre

There are entry discounts for visitors who have port passes to multiple attractions available at the cruise centre. Visitors can only purchase them on the cruise ships that bring them. Below are some of the paid attractions to experience at the port.

Photo Ops
Your vacation is incomplete if you don't ensure that the memories you make last forever. Costa Maya blends culture and nature to present visitors with several photo ops. Those who want to capture their experiences can use the backdrops to produce beautiful images. 

Exotic Bird Park
Prepare for a fascinating experience of the Caribbean at the port's aviary. Visitors can feed and play with these exotic birds. The parrots and flamingos have some of the most colourful feathers you have ever seen. You can climb to higher heights and tour the park using the incredible hanging walkways. It gives a breathtaking view of the port and beach.

Tequila Museum
Costa Maya's cruise centre is home to many shops. One unique space among them is the La Consentida. This museum offers visitors the chance to tour the place while learning about the production of Mexican tequila.

Apart from the history lesson, you get to taste some of the best alcohol brands in the world. Experts who double as your tour guides share tips and tricks about the drink every step of the way. These guides also treat you to some good mariachi music.

Dolphin Discovery
Get interactive with dolphins at Costa Maya. They are one of the most intelligent marine animals and very playful. Swim underwater with them or ride them if you are confident enough. The dolphins are friendly and fun, and enjoy getting hugs and kisses from visitors. You should expect them to sing for you as their new friend.

Chocolate Factory
Kakaw chocolate factory is a popular and amazing spot for families. You can learn about the factory and its manufacturing processes on tour as you taste all their delicious flavours.

Mayan Spa
Relax at the traditional Mayan spa after an activity-filled day. Get treated to cool baths, massages, facials, stretches, and acupuncture if you need it. These treatments eliminate muscle soreness and promote stress relief. They also rejuvenate you for your adventures.

Dance of the Flyers Aerial Show
Expect to see the mind-blowing Papantla flyers perform to a cheerful flute and drum beats. The sky dancers hang upside down from a pole about 30 meters long and spin around to the music. They each spin 13 times around the pole for a total of 52. This number represents the 52-year cycle found in indigenous Mexican calendars.

Adventure Outside the Port

Don't limit your Costa Maya port visit to the cruise centre. Try any organised excursion or go on adventures yourself, which is not advisable. It is always safer and cheaper to be in a group.

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Excursion
Chacchoben is the most famous ruins site tour in Costa Maya. Experience the ancient Mayans and understand their perspective on many things with a private Mayan Ruins tour.

The journey includes a walk through the jungle and a hill climb to the top of Gran Basamento. It is one of the most famous ritual hubs in the region. You can also explore temples at the ruins if you have the energy for more adventure.

Beach Break Excursion
Take occasional breaks during your tours in Costa Maya and visit some of the beach clubs in the world with relaxing vibe where visitors can get perfect cruise deals. You can visit the Pez Quadro Beach Club or try the Hayhu Beach Experience.

There is also the Playa Mahahual and many other beaches as options. Compare prices and select which ones to visit even before getting there as this saves you time and money. These world-class resorts have fantastic food and massage services for your relaxation. Sunbathe in a lounge chair overlooking the ocean while sipping a Caribbean cocktail. 

Seven Colours Lagoon Boat Excursion
This excursion explores the beauty of the sensational Bacalar Lagoon. It's about an hour's drive from the cruise ship docks, but that shouldn't bother you. Many tours include transportation arrangements for visitors.

Your first stop on the lagoon is the Cenote Esmeralda, where you see the water take on several shades of blue. This display helps you understand the reason why it's called seven colours.The next stop is the Cenote Cocalitos to see the living stones. They are considered the oldest life forms on earth.

Your tour continues to the Black Cenote (the deepest part of the lagoon) and ends at the Pirate Channel. Pirates in the past used this channel often to enter Bacalar and plunder it. The freshwater here is not deep and is an excellent spot for swimming.

Snorkeling
Many beach clubs offer a boat tour of the colourful reefs on the coast of Costa Maya. They give you snorkeling gear and guide you through the corals. Banco Chinchorro is an atoll reef that offers one of the best diving experiences ever. 

Swim with different kinds of turtles and hundreds of beautiful colourful fish in the clear warm ocean. You also have the option of a guided underwater tour of shipwreck parts that now house most of the reef's lifeforms.  Visibility is excellent, making it possible to use the place for photo ops. 

Malecon Visit
Most visitors recommend a visit to Malecon before leaving Costa Maya for a good reason. The beachfront street is for pedestrians only and has several restaurants, bars, and shops that are less restrictive and cheaper than those at the pier. It gives you a more interactive experience with the locals and their culture.

Mango Moonshining
You have to visit this artisanal distillery when your cruise ship docks. Established in 2013, the company has become one of the best spots for tourists. It produces moonshine, rum, vodka, and whiskey. 

In Conclusion

With all the activities listed in this article, it is advisable to book a visit online if you can. Several cruise ships bring in large crowds at a time. It gets frustrating when you have to find your way through hundreds of other visitors while trying to arrange a tour. Try getting off the ship early every day to avoid the large crowds. A trip to Costa Maya is a vacation story you'll talk about for a long time after experiencing it.

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