When I am working at the Costa Maya Port in Mahahual when cruise ships are in town, part of my job is to educate tourists about Costa Maya and the Mahahual area. A lot of cruise ship tourists think that Costa Maya and Mahahual are an island and not part of the Mexican Caribbean coastline. A lot of them ask me if they can take a tour of the island like they do at other cruise ship stops.
A lot of these people are shocked to learn that Costa Maya and Mahahual are on the Caribbean Sea coastline, and not an island. Some are not even aware that Mexico has a Caribbean coastline. The Mexican Caribbean runs basically from Cancun all the way south to Xcalak, on the border with Belize.
Right in the middle, or the heart of the Mexican Caribbean, is Costa Maya and Mahahual.
The amazingly beautiful Riviera Maya—the area from Cancún south to Tulúm—constitutes the fastest-growing region in the country. The equally stunning Costa Maya—from south of Tulúm to the Belize border—isn’t far behind. The government is developing this entire white-sand, emerald-sea coastline into the biggest tourist destination in the country. Already, it’s home to several thriving tourist regions, including Cancún, Playa del Carmen, Isla Mujeres Tulum, and Cozumel… with the focus now on Costa Maya and Mahahual.
South of the country, where the Mexican Caribbean offers warm waters in turquoise shades and sandy beaches, is a land blessed by a contrasting ecosystem. Among the tropical forest, wetlands, white, sandy beaches, coral reefs, abundant wild life and wonderful archaeological sites lies Costa Maya, ranging from Punta Herreros to Xcalak, passing through the Magic Town of Bacalar, the pristine beach of Mahahual and the city of Chetumal.
Costa Maya is the perfect place for alternative tourism and delving into the Mayan culture, as many communities still preserve these ancient traditions. Follow the trail and discover the ruins of Kohunlich, Dzibanche and Kinichna, three important archaeological sites that will unveil some of the mysteries of the Mayan society.
Diving enthusiasts will find an underwater paradise in the Banco Chinchorro, the largest coral atoll in the world; discover native remains and its abundant marine life. Very close to Banco Chinchorro lies the Mesoamerican Reef, the largest coral reef in the Atlantic Ocean, a treasure trove of biodiversity with over 500 varieties of fish.
In many ways, Mexico today is like the U.S. was 50 years ago…before big government, big business, and special interests whittled away the lifestyle our parents took for granted. It is full of overlooked retirement havens where you can retire in luxury without spending a fortune.
Here, deserted beaches—dotted with coconut palm trees, populated by curious iguanas and sea birds, with azure blue water and total silence but for the sounds of the beach—cannot be matched for tranquility and natural beauty.
Surrounded by untamed jungle, ancient forest cities, the protected Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve, and the Caribbean Sea, Costa Maya and Mahahual’s beaches boast sugar-white powder sand and sparkling blue waters.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina