Mahahual: one of the best kept jewels in the state of Quintana Roo

I came across this article the other day.  I wrote almost the same article about 3 or 4 years ago.  I thought some of you readers might like this other view of Mahahual.


Mahahual is par excellence one of the most important destinations in the entire state of Quintana Roo.

The reasons are many: its history, its anecdotes, its natural beauty, its growth and the respect that has been had to its true essence. This makes it the perfect choice not only for tourists, but also for us, the cancunénses.

Explaining why you should visit this magical town will be a bit complicated, but the difficult thing is not the lack of reasons, but quite the opposite: excuses are enough to include Mahahual within your priorities on your next trip.

And well, without so much preamble, let us begin.

Why Mahahual?

Imagine the following:

You come to a beach invaded by a blue tonality that you have never seen in your life. In addition, you find the largest public beach in Quintana Roo

Tranquility prevails in every corner. It has shallow water and this gives you peace of mind for your children to have fun. In addition, it remains rustic: you find the streets unpaved and sandy, without too many restaurants and that retains its essence of coastal town.

Well, this is Mahahual.

And to make it even clearer, I give you some reasons why to visit:

  • Currently it is considered one of the jewels of Quintana Roo
  • If you are looking for a place to a certain point, this is your choice
  • Because the climate is privileged
  • The locals are excellent amphitrions
  • The beaches are splendid, pure and clean
  • Here you try the best lobster in the region
  • It is located near Chinchorro Bank, considered a natural reserve and the second largest barrier reef on the planet
  • If you like to dive, the previous point and you will convent

Mahahual | Image Source:

How to get to Mahahual?

To get there, drive along the Cancún-Chetumal federal road until you reach the town of Limones, about 270 kilometers from Cancún and then turn on the state road Limones-Mahahual, which is about 60 kilometers.

If you are going to drive there I recommend caution, because to the new and great highway between Felipe Carrillo and Chetumal, follows the road Limones-Mahahual that may present some bumps.

Mahahual Map

If you travel from Cancun to Mahahual, the trip lasts approximately 4hrs and a half

The moment will come when you will see that unmistakable lighthouse that welcomes you. And behind it, that sea will divide you in different shades of blue.

What to do in Mahahual?

Mahahual is the center of attention of all the Great Costa Maya.

It is considered as an important pillar within this tourism project. But one of its great advantages, besides enjoying all its natural beauty, is the proximity to other places you do not want to miss.

Here is a list of alternatives inside and outside of Mahahual, including a brief description so that you can get excited and have a better idea of what you would expect:


Xkalak near Mahahual

Beach in Xkalak | Image Source:

It is located 60km south of Mahahual.

It is a destination full of magical wild landscapes. Its beaches are the best throughout the state to rest and to practice the best known water sports.

Chinchorro Bank

Banco chinchorro is located near Mahahual

Bank Chinchorro | Image Source:

It is located only 30 kilometers from Mahahual.

It is neither more nor less than the second largest barrier reef in the world (only behind Australia). It is the largest atoll in Mexico.

Its importance is so great that it has been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Something that makes the Chinchorro Bank a place worth visiting is due to its submarine attractions, as they highlight the boats sunk over the years that have run aground on their reefs and are visited by those who like to dive.

Chacchobén Archaeological Zone

Photograph of the Great Basement of the archaeological zone of Chacchobén, very close to Mahahual

Great Basement of Chacchobén | Source:

It is only 50 minutes from Mahahual, located in the municipality of Bacalar.

This place was discovered only in 1994 and has interesting buildings such as the Great Basement, Group II and the Roads.

Chacchobén, likewise, is endowed with a vast natural environment, there you will find species such as toucans, spider monkeys and vegetation, such as cedars, mahogany, peppers and fig trees.

The Malecon

Mahahual's Malecon in broad daylight

Mahohual’s Malecon | Source:

It is the heart of the city. It is where the locals, tourists and social life of the port is mixed.

Imagine that it is 1,700 meters long in front of the public beach! Here are options to stop and contemplate the tranquility that characterizes its beaches. Also, if it’s time for lunch, there are restaurants of all colors and flavors.

Cruise ship dock

Mahahual Cruise Dock

Cruise ship dock | Image source:

Despite being a small village, to a certain extent, small, you will not believe the number of cruises that arrive daily to Mahahual.

It truly is a delight to contemplate the arrival of several of the most famous cruise ships in the world. Coming from the other side of the world just to enjoy this natural beauty is priceless.

Diving and Snorkeling

Diving in Mahahual

Source of the image:

Nothing better than practicing it in Mahahual.

Its biodiversity is so much that it becomes an attractive destination for all those who like these activities.

Fishing Tournament

The Sport Fishing tournaments have become frequent in the port.

Normally it takes place in the months of June and November (the calendar can change, it is a matter of constantly revising it).

What to eat at Mahahual?

As I mentioned, there are still options for deciding where to eat.

Rice with seafood, chiles rellenos seafood, succulent dogfish bread and kebabs are some of the dishes you can try in this destination.

Overall, its cuisine is mainly based on the rich creations with lobster meat, fresh fish with clams or defined by its rich creations with lobster meat with clams or fresh fish.

Today I am a fan of the lobster and my closest friends say that nobody cooks the lobster better than I do (I still doubt it, hehe) since I only have a lot of lemon, pepper, salt and butter, a very basic recipe but with a Delicious result.


Mahahual already has 600 rooms in small hotels of different prices very within reach of the pocket of the national tourists and also has cabins far from the town in the direction of Xcalak.

All you’ll find in Mahahual is new, since in 2007 the town was virtually erased from the map by Hurricane Dean, Category 5, which passed exactly above the town destroying 80% of its buildings.

Finally, a bit of history …

Mahahual was the best kept secret for many years.

In its origins was a small community of fishermen with less than 200 inhabitants. All (and I am sure that none were missing) were astonished by the tremendous natural beauty that gives this place; Its biodiversity was amazing.

The name Mahahaul comes from a family of typical trees that are located near the marine park “Reefs of Xkalak” (later I will speak of them).


What did you think of the post? Did I meet my goal? Which if you had not noticed, was that you plan to schedule your visit to Mahahual soon.

We still have room to add more experiences and anecdotes, so I would love to hear from you and know that you would like to contribute something to this post.

Thank you very much for reading us. Do not forget to share this post in your social networks.

Ah … and to close, I leave this video that shows much of what is Mahahual.


Thanks for reading,

Stewart Rogers USA-South Carolina

One thought on “Mahahual: one of the best kept jewels in the state of Quintana Roo

  1. Steve Heide says:

    This is a great article and sums up the entire and what I refer to as, the south of Tulum experience. From a selfish point of view, I hate to see articles like this, I saw the same thing happen to the Florida Keys from the late 70s to the 2005 era, not good. Not good meaning the entire article is true, Mahahual is wonderful, the Keys used to be wonderful and I do not want to see Mahahual go the route of complete commercialization and ruin the beauty of: No Shoes, No Shirts, No Problem.

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