Mahahual, a New
- BY GEMA GARCIA
Known as the Heart of the Mayan Coast, Mahahual was a once a small fishing village which has become the second most important cruise destination in the Mexican Caribbean after Cozumel. Its pristine white sand beaches, impressive coral reef, and varied restaurants and bars, make Mahahual a tourist heaven.
Mahahual belongs to the municipality of Othón P. Blanco and is named after an endemic trees species. In 2007, Mahahual was hit by Dean, a category 5 hurricane which destroyed 80 percent of the village. Overlooked by investors during Quintana Roo´s development boom, it is presently increasing in popularity as a tourist destination.
Mahahual is 172 miles south of Playa del Carmen on the Federal Highway 307, passing Limones village, on the route from Sian Ka´an to Xcalak. It currently has a population of less than 1,000 inhabitants. Nuevo Mahahual (New Mahahual), 5 minutes away by taxi from the old town, boasts a 2 mile beachside promenade created for cruise line passengers that arrive on the 300 cruise ships that dock every year at the town’s pier.
The area’s main attraction is Banco Chinchorro, the coral reef within the Xcalak Biosphere Reserve. Banco Chinchorro, in turn, is part of the extensive Mesoamerican Reef, which is the second largest in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. A mecca for diving and snorkeling, the reserve has two small islands called Cayo Norte and Cayo Centro (North and Central Cay), a unique biodiversity, multiple shipwrecks and miles of virgin coastal jungle.
Mahahual´s waters are also rich in lobsters, mollusks, sharks, and a wide variety of fishes. National and international high-level fishing tournaments are held every year in the town gathering fishing amateurs and professionals from around the world.
You can visit Mahahual by car or bus. Once there, you can rent a car or use the local transport network, but taxi may be the most practical way to get around. Mahahual has many hotels to offer, most with no more than 15 rooms, or simple cabañas on the beach. Right now is a good time to get competitive prices for a short stay at this up and coming destination.
This is an article I came across in the Playa Times, a newspaper and website, theplayatimes.com, out of Playa del Carmen. I have been saying the same thing for a couple years now.
Thanks for reading,
Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina