Is Costa Maya a Good Cruise Port (and What Can You Do There)?

With a 3-berth dock, the Costa Maya Cruise Port receives a flock of visitors that flood little towns that dot this southern Yucatan marvel. From ancient Mayan ruins, underrated beaches, and magic town, Costa Maya is worth a day of exploration.
Is Costa Maya a Good Cruise Port
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Costa Maya has plenty to offer, other than the pristine blue Caribbean beaches. Excursions off-shore and inland are the best options if you want to get more out of this underrated coast.

Where Does the Cruise Ship Dock in Costa Maya?

Cruise ships that visit Costa Maya dock at the Costa Maya Cruise Port, 5 minutes from Mahahual, a small village right at the heart of Costa Maya. Costa Maya Cruise Port in itself has many things to offer and is accessible to many interesting places beyond Mahahual.

Is Costa Maya a Tender Port?

Costa Maya isn’t a tender port, as it has 3 berths, meaning it can simultaneously dock 3 cruise ships. This way, cruisers do not have to take a ferry inland as the cruise ship anchor offshore. With readily available transportation shuttles further inland, Costa Maya Port can perfectly host cruisers.

How Many Ships Are in Port in Costa Maya?

Due to its developments in recent years, Costa Maya Port can accommodate up to 3 ships at once. With a capacity to host large cruise ships, the port of Costa Maya has seen rapid development and an increase in its recognition because of this.

Proud to preserve the old spirit of what Mexico used to be like before the tourism boom, Mahahual, 5 minutes from the port is perfectly accessible and accommodates more than 15,000 tourists annually.

Do You Need a Passport for Costa Maya?

If you come from other countries, either through domestic travel via other Mexican cities or through cruise trips, you will need a passport. However, some conditions exempt you from needing a passport if you’re traveling via cruise.

One of these is via closed-loop cruise. A journey where it starts and ends in the same port, specifically in the US. You can enter Costa Maya or any other stops without the need for a passport.

What Currency Is Used in Costa Maya?

Costa Maya uses the Mexican pesos, on the Mexican side. As Costa Maya stretches down to Belize, south of Quintana Roo, you might need Belize dollars as well. However, most establishments around the region accept US dollars.

Can You Use US Dollars in Costa Maya?

You can use US dollars in Costa Maya as establishments, especially bars and restaurants price their menus with US dollars. While it’s common practice to pay in US dollars in Costa Maya, chances are, conversion rates are bad and will leave you at an advantage.

It’s best to bring Mexican pesos in advance to avoid bad conversions and overpriced meals. You can also withdraw Mexican pesos at the port ATMs.

Is Costa Maya Cruise Port Safe for Cruise Passengers?

Costa Maya is still experiencing a boom in tourism compared to other places in the western Caribbean, so it doesn’t have tourist hazards that other bigger places have.

However, this doesn’t mean to drop your guards. Costa Maya is still ridden with petty crimes like theft or pickpocket, so it’s best to err in the side of caution the same way you would where you’re from.

What Is There to Do on a Costa Maya Cruise?

Costa Maya cruise offers a plethora of activities, even at the port itself offers several various activities. To start, the port has a swimming pool perfect for kids, and families. Tours buses and shuttles also line outside the port waiting for eager explorers.

Tours and excursions are offered right at the port. From Mayan ruins to diving, an excursion that lets you experience the beauty of southern Quintana Roo, and Costa Maya are readily available for cruisers.

You can also check out the Mahahual Beach, just 5 minutes from the port where you can lounge while having drinks or good food. For adults, beach bars and restaurants that line near the port are definite must-do as well.

Other things to check out for a cruise in Costa Maya also includes the Mahahual Lighthouse, strolling around the time capsule that is Mahahual village, the Kakaw, where you can see chocolates being made, and many other souvenir stores that sell locally made products.

What Is the Best Shore Excursion in Costa Maya?

Costa Maya’s natural beauty offers a plethora of excursions that are available for cruisers and long-stay guests.

Probably the most popular, and a highlight of the Costa Maya experience is an excursion to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, its majesty is southern Yucatan’s answer to the north’s Chichen Itza.

With rich marine life and features, another popular and go-to excursion is the Snorkel Excursion, you can snorkel in the reef lagoon in Costa Maya.

There are also inland excursions that take you to the jungle on ATVs, from the beach to the jungle, offering a diverse experience of the region.

What Can You Do in Costa Maya on Your Own?

Traveling alone is also an ideal experience in Costa Maya as the region offers plenty of experience for everyone. You can freely explore Mahahual at your own pace and check out shops and buy souvenirs unique to the region.

With plenty of restaurants and cantinas that dot the village of Mahahual, you can have a DIY food tour. Bars and restaurants that line the Mahahual Beach have the best food in the village, dining in by the beach is also a chance to mingle with other solo travelers.

You can also check out plenty of excursions, especially the Chacchoben Ruins tour that is perfect for everyone. A bus ride away from the coast, you can tour the Spanish Fortress at Bacalar if you want a contrast between the ancient and the new world.

What Is the Best Beach in Costa Maya?

It depends on what kind of experience you want to have, Costa Maya has more than just the port in Mahahual. The Mahahual Beach is a go-to for cruisers as it has lovely waters and beach clubs that line the sand.

If you want to lazy away and a bit of quiet, you can head to La Bamba Beach, 20 minutes south of Costa Maya. You have to go through La Bamba Beach Club, where you can chill and relax under the palm trees.

North of Costa Maya, you have Uvero Beach which has plenty of space to relax in the sand, or on a lounger. There are plenty of things to do here as well, like renting kayaks or riding a banana boat.

Xcalak Beach has a huge Meso-American beach that runs across its entire length. The water is teeming with wildlife, plus, it has calmer waves due to the reef breaking the waves. It’s a pretty sleepy beach, perfect for a lazy day, with a fresh catch right from the water.

How Far Is the Beach From Costa Maya Cruise Port?

The Mahahual Beach, the most popular beach in the region is only 5 minutes from the cruise port. Which makes this beach the cruisers’ go-to option, making Mahahual a primary destination when exploring Costa Maya.

How Far Is Lake Bacalar From Costa Maya?

By road, Lake Bacalar is 103.8 km or 64.4 miles from Costa Maya, specifically from the village of Mahahual.