About Costa Maya | Othon P. Blanco | Quintana Roo | Mexico

Costa Maya is a small tourist region in the municipality of Othón P. Blanco in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, the only state on the Caribbean Sea. This municipality is close to Chetumal (capital of the state) on the border with Belize, until recently British Honduras. The area is generally undeveloped but has been growing quickly and rapidly after construction of a large pier to accommodate cruise ships. The Costa Maya includes two small villages − Mahahual (pop. 920) and Xcalak (pop. 375) and extends physically from Xcalak in the south to the southern border of the Sian Ka’an in the north, a distance of approximately 100 km.

While Xcalak is approximately 60 kilometers (37 mi) south of the Costa Maya cruise port, the fishing village of Mahahual is only about 3 kilometers (1.9 mi) away. Cruise ships can easily be seen from the village. Mahahual has soft sand beaches, grass thatched palapas, and a coral reef a short distance off-shore called Banco Chinchorro, as well as several bars, restaurants, and shops. A new development called New Mahahual is being created directly inland from the port. When ships are in port, the village is busy with cruise passengers.

Costa Maya’s port has a new and modern tourist shopping mall. The center has a central plaza with saltwater pools and ‘swim-up’ style bars. There are several jewellery stores and many small shops selling ubiquitous souvenir items. It is generally open only to cruise ship passengers.

Costa Maya is the closest port of access to many of the lesser known Mayan ruins in the Yucatan including Chacchoben and Kohunlich. These sites are substantially less excavated than the better known pyramids of Tulum and Coba to the north; Chichen Itza and Uxmal in Yucatan.