33 Best Things to Do in Costa Maya, Mexico | 2024 (with Photos)

Lara Mega

Lara Mega - Head of Content

Last Updated: March 25, 2024

Hey there! I'm Lara, a travel enthusiast who has explored the vibrant destination of Costa Maya extensively. Discover the top activities and attractions in Costa Maya through my firsthand experiences and recommendations. Have a fantastic time exploring this beautiful destination!

Best Things to Do in Costa Maya, Mexico

Welcome to Costa Maya (also known as Puerto Costa Maya), a popular cruise port in the Western Caribbean, along the pristine shores of the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico.

As a renowned cruise port, Costa Maya offers an array of exciting activities and attractions for visitors from around the world.

From exploring ancient Mayan ruins to diving into the turquoise Caribbean Sea, there are endless options for everyone to enjoy a day in Costa Maya.

Join us as we unveil the 33 best things to do in Costa Maya, Mexico, ensuring an unforgettable experience during your visit.

Most Recommended Thing to Do


Top Choice Hotel

Top Choice Hotel: Costa Maya Beach Resort

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Quinto Sole Restaurante

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

Blue Gecko Bar

Best Time to Visit

Sunny beaches, calm waves, and vibrant culture await.

Average Temperature

Tropical climate, warm year-round, average temperature 80°F.

Transportation Options

Taxis, buses, rental cars, bicycles, scooters, motorcycle taxis.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)


My Top Recommendation

In Costa Maya, Mexico, immerse yourself in the vibrant culture and beauty of this coastal city. Take a leisurely stroll along the stunning white sandy beaches, soaking in the warm sun and refreshing ocean breeze.

Indulge in the rich and diverse flavors of traditional Mexican cuisine with a visit to the local market, where you can savor fresh seafood ceviche and authentic street tacos. Immerse yourself in the fascinating history of Costa Maya by exploring the ancient Mayan ruins that are scattered throughout the area. An unforgettable experience awaits in Costa Maya, where you can create lasting memories against a backdrop of turquoise waters and lush tropical landscapes.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Passport
  2. Sunscreen
  3. Swimsuit
  4. Hat
  5. Insect repellent
  6. Camera
  7. Beach towel
  8. Comfortable walking shoes
  9. Lightweight clothing
  10. Water bottle

What Not to Miss

  1. Mayan Ruins: Explore the fascinating ruins of the ancient Mayan civilization.
  2. Mahahual Beach: Relax and soak up the sun on the gorgeous white sand beaches.
  3. Costa Maya Port: Discover the vibrant port area with its restaurants, shops, and entertainment options.
  4. Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an: Immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty of this protected reserve.
  5. Diving and Snorkeling: Dive into the stunning underwater world and discover colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life.
  6. Chacchoben Ruins: Visit these well-preserved ruins for a glimpse into the region's history.
  7. Sea Kayaking: Paddle along the clear turquoise waters and explore the coast at your own pace.
  8. Bacalar Lagoon: Experience the striking beauty of the "Lagoon of Seven Colors" and take a boat tour to explore its natural wonders.
  9. Xcalak: Escape the crowds and visit this laid-back fishing village for a more secluded beach experience.
  10. Cultural Village of Mahahual: Immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about the traditions and customs of the area.

What to Avoid

Overpacking Unsafe areas

Not carrying enough cash Drinking tap water

1. See the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins

Chichen Itza might be the biggest and most popular Mayan ruins in the area, but it also gets crowded and it's a long way from Mahahual. Only an hour away, though, you will find the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins.

Dating back to approximately 1000 BC, human settlement in the Chacchoben area has a rich history.

These ruins were uncovered in the 1940s by a private landowner. Once shrouded by the surrounding jungle, the temples appeared as mere hills amidst the otherwise flat landscape.

To delve deeper into their captivating history, consider joining a group tour, where knowledgeable guides will enlighten you with fascinating insights into the secrets of Chacchoben.

2. Visit the Kohunlich Mayan Ruins

Kohunlich Mayan Ruins

Situated an hour further away from the port, the Kohunlich Ruins surpass the size of Chacchoben.

As a prominent archaeological site, it offers a unique opportunity to explore a Mayan civilization dating back to 200 B.C.

Here, you will encounter a remarkable array of temples, palaces, ball courts, and residential complexes.

Take a stroll through beautiful gardens and marvel at the awe-inspiring Temple of the Large Masks, adorned with striking eight-foot-tall representations of Maya Kings and the revered Maya Sun God.

3. Go Scuba Diving

Doctor Dive Costa Maya

Unveil the mesmerizing underwater sea life of Costa Maya as you venture into thrilling scuba diving or snorkeling expeditions.

Scuba dive at the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, which spans 620 miles from the Yucatan Peninsula to Honduras, making it the world's second-largest coral reef system and the largest in the Northern Hemisphere.

Prepare to be enchanted by the vibrant coral gardens, teeming with tropical fish, sea turtles, and eagle rays.

Dive deeper into adventure as you explore intriguing shipwrecks, including a Dutch galleon where remnants of its cannons still rest on the seafloor.

4. Get Ready for a Dolphin Discovery

Dolphin Discovery

Dolphin Discovery is the leading company worldwide for swim-with-dolphins experiences.

Within their Dolphin Encounter program, you have the extraordinary opportunity to come face to face with these intelligent creatures, where you can even share hugs and kisses.

These Dolphin Encounters rank among the most incredible and enjoyable experiences one can have in the Mexican Caribbean and is suitable for children as well.

Lifeguards are present on-site at all times in the beach area, ensuring a secure and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

5. Snorkel at Mahahual Beach

Buceando Mahahual Costa Maya

Stretching for a mile, Mahahual Beach beach boasts tranquil, crystal-clear waters, shielded by a protective sandbar.

If you have your own snorkeling gear and prefer a more independent adventure, Mahahual Beach is the ideal choice.

Alternatively, you can easily find locals offering snorkel tours along the beach, with prices starting at 300 Pesos ($15).

Escape the tourist crowds and venture off the beaten path as you embark on a captivating snorkeling journey at Mahahual Beach.

6. Relax at Yaya Beach Club

Yaya Beach Club

Head to Costa Maya's newest beach club, conveniently located at the heart of Mahahual Village, right on the boardwalk.

You'll find an array of luxurious amenities designed to enhance your beachside retreat. Relax on beach chairs and beach beds, sway on water hammocks, or enjoy the fully equipped bar at Yaya Beach.

Immerse yourself in thrilling water sports, or simply unwind on comfortable lounge chairs under the shade of umbrellas.

Indulge in an all-inclusive beach break, with a delectable Mexican platter per person and unlimited access to the all-day, all-you-can-drink open bar.

7. Explore Mahahual


Just a short taxi ride from the Costa Maya port area, Mahahual used to be a small fishing village that is turning into a tourist center. It is located about 2 miles outside the Costa Maya cruise terminal.

Wander along the picturesque seaside promenade and treat yourself to the delectable flavors of fresh seafood at one of the charming local eateries.

Immerse yourself in the laid-back ambiance of this former sleepy fishing village and don't miss the Mahahual Lighthouse.

Standing tall at 72 feet, it is entirely solar-powered and also a nice place to watch the sunset.

Capture a memorable snapshot alongside the colorful Mahahual sign and the huge marlin sculpture.

8. Relax at Maya Chan Beach Resort

Maya Chan Beach Resort

Maya Chan Beach Resort is a charming independent day resort situated approximately 5 miles along the coast from the port. The taxi ride takes about half an hour.

Maya Chan Beach Resort accommodates only a limited number of guests at a time, ensuring a tranquil and exclusive experience.

By reserving a private cabana furnished with a hammock and daybed, you gain access to an abundance of delectable snacks, refreshing drinks, and delectable cuisine.

For a reasonable fee of approximately $70 per person, you have the opportunity to indulge in a day of pure paradise.

9. Hang Out at the Pool at Costa Maya Port

Costa Maya Port

Port Costa Maya features a massive swimming pool for cruise passengers in the port area which is the perfect setting to unwind and embrace the tropical ambiance.

Admission to this huge swimming pool is free when you purchase from nearby restaurants.

Take advantage of the available loungers, bask in the sun's warmth, and immerse yourself in the refreshing waters.

Enjoy a relaxing day at the port complex with drinks and poolside fun for the whole family.

10. Beach Escape Club

Beach Escape Club

Bask in the warm sunshine and enjoy an open bar, as you unwind and admire the glistening ocean waters.

This beach area offers the perfect retreat for cruise passengers seeking to embrace the beauty of the Mexican Caribbean Sea.

Nestled along the boardwalk in Fisherman's Village, Beach Escape Club offers an idyllic setting just 15 minutes away from the pier.

Lounge comfortably on a beach chair with a cold drink and enjoy the ultimate relaxation and indulgence.

11. Experience Mayan Healing Rituals

traditional sweat lodge

Immerse yourself in the mystic traditions of Costa Maya by taking part in a transformative Temazcal ceremony.

This ancient ritual, deeply rooted in Mayan culture, offers a unique and profound spiritual journey.

As you enter the traditional sweat lodge, known as the temazcal, you will be guided through a series of purifying rituals led by a knowledgeable shaman.

The Temazcal ceremony provides a sacred space for introspection, self-reflection, and connection with the natural world. The combination of heat, aromatic herbs, and indigenous chants creates an atmosphere of deep healing and harmony.

12. Discover Bacalar Lagoon

Bacalar Lagoon

Take a trip to this mesmerizing lagoon in the state of Quintana Roo.

Bacalar Lagoon is a long, shallow lake located about an hour from the Costa Maya cruise port. It is also the largest freshwater body of water in Mexico

This stunning lake, also popularly referred to as the Seven Colors Lagoon, more than lives up to its nickname

Marvel at the lagoon's stunning shades of blue and green as you navigate its calm waters by boat or kayak. Explore the cenotes, underwater caves, and abundant marine life that make this natural wonder a must-see.

13. Explore Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve (meaning "Origin of the Sky" ), a UNESCO World Heritage Site near the small town of Tulum, north of Costa Maya.

This remarkable reserve encompasses tropical rainforests, mangroves, marshes, and a vibrant marine section.

With over 379 bird species, mammals, native bees, dragonflies, butterflies, and more, Sian Ka'an is a paradise for nature lovers.

The marine area of Sian Ka'an boasts a stunning reef with 84 species of coral and offers a remarkable opportunity for snorkeling and diving adventures.

14. See Fuerte de San Felipe de Bacalar

Fuerte de San Felipe de Bacalar

Visit the Fuerte de San Felipe de Bacalar, a Spanish fortress situated in the town of Bacalar, Mexico.

Built in 1733, this impressive structure served as a defense against pirate attacks along the coast.

Designed by Italian architect Juan Podio, the fort takes the form of a four-pointed star, representing the saints Santa Ana, San Arturo, Santa Maria, and San Joaquin.

Constructed with local materials such as marine rocks, volcanic rocks, and limestone, it offers a glimpse into the region's history and architectural landscape.

15. Enjoy a Massage on the Beach

Massage on the Beach

You'll find that many beach clubs in Mahahual offer the services of massage therapists and have dedicated cabanas equipped with massage tables.

The prices for massages at these beach clubs are generally more affordable compared to those offered on board the cruise ship.

You can easily find options for a 30-minute back massage starting at just $15.

Indulging in a relaxing massage at one of these beach clubs is a great way to unwind and pamper yourself without breaking the bank.

16. See the Aldea Mahahua Cultural Show

Aldea Mahahua Cultural Show

Located just a short bus ride away from the port, this entertainment complex offers a captivating cultural show for a memorable shore excursion.

As you arrive, you'll be greeted with a traditional beverage crafted from the chaya plant, setting the stage for an immersive experience.

Witness a mesmerizing Mayan welcome ceremony, featuring various chants and dances. The highlight of the show is the four traditional Mexican dances originating from different regions of the country.

Enjoy a delectable lunch and a selection of diverse margaritas are included, ensuring a truly memorable and flavorful taste of Costa Maya.

17. Take a Tour of the Kakaw Chocolate Factory

Kakaw Chocolate Factory

Embark on a captivating tour of the Kakaw Chocolate Factory in Costa Maya and immerse yourself in the enchanting world of cacao beans and chocolate.

This tour promises an unforgettable adventure where you can indulge in Mexico's finest sweet treats while delving into the region's fascinating cocoa history and traditional chocolate-making techniques.

Explore the origins of chocolate, from the cultivation and harvesting of cacao beans to the intricate process of transforming them into delectable chocolate products.

Sample some local chocolate creations, made by using time-honored methods.

18. Visit the La Consentida Tequila Museum

La Consentida Tequila Museum

Stroll through the La Consentida Tequila Museum in Costa Maya to discover the captivating history of this popular liquor.

The museum is conveniently located within a short walking distance from the cruise port and is often included in various shore excursions you can book.

Here, you can delve into the process of tequila production, from three essential ingredients: yeast, water, and agave plants.

Sample a variety of tequilas and gain insights on the proper way to savor this spirit for the ultimate tasting experience. The local guides will also treat you to some mariachi music.

19. Enjoy Lost Mayan Kingdom Water Park

Lost Mayan Kingdom Water Park

For an adrenaline-filled adventure, visit the Lost Mayan Kingdom Water Park.

Experience thrilling water slides, lazy rivers, and exhilarating zip lines suspended above the jungle canopy.

Prepare for an unforgettable day of excitement as you splash around and float along lazy rivers, or soar above the jungle canopy on exhilarating zip lines.

This family-friendly haven promises laughter and adventure for visitors of all ages. Please note that the park is currently undergoing a temporary closure.

20. Visit Mango Moonshining

Mango Moonshining

Situated on the scenic Caribbean shores at the southernmost tip of Mexico's Costa Maya, Mango Moonshining is the first artisanal brewery and distillery in the state.

With a 1,100-square-foot nano brewery and an adjacent 1,200-square-foot distillery, they craft their exquisite spirits and age their whiskey in oak barrels from Guadalajara.

Mango Moonshining sources fresh ingredients, such as white corn, from local maize and sugar cane fields for their renowned moonshine.

The brewery belongs to the owners of Costa de Cocos, a distinguished resort for fly fishing and scuba diving, which offers 16 palapa cabanas, an onsite restaurant, and a bar.

21. Chill at El Tarro Rooftop Bar

El Tarro Rooftop Bar

Located on the 4th floor of the Matan Ka'an Hotel, El Tarro's rooftop bar presents stunning ocean vistas and serves as the perfect spot to enjoy a picturesque sunset.

With its Mediterranean-style ambiance, the hotel features a large, refreshing pool and a rooftop jacuzzi, providing guests with ample opportunities to relax and unwind.

Whether you're looking to bask in panoramic views, sip on refreshing beverages, or soak in the soothing waters, the El Tarro rooftop bar at the Matan Ka'an Hotel offers an exceptional experience.

22. Go Shopping

Costa Maya Cruise Port

In the Costa Maya cruise port, you'll find the usual shopping options like Diamonds International, Crown of Light, Tanzanite International, and Del Sol.

However, for a more authentic and vibrant shopping experience, explore the local shops that showcase the artistic talents of the region.

Whether you prefer elegant stores in a shopping mall or browsing the offerings of local vendors along the Malecón boardwalk by the beach, Costa Maya offers a plethora of opportunities for souvenir shopping.

23. Discover the Flamingo Aviary Fountain

Flamingo Aviary Fountain

Amidst the vibrant energy of the Costa Maya cruise port, uncover a hidden gem—a charming flamingo sanctuary.

Nestled within the tropical surroundings, a small sandbar serves as home to several elegant pink flamingos.

Take in the beauty of these graceful creatures and capture stunning photos up close.

The Flamingo Aviary Fountain, a recent addition to the Costa Maya cruise port, offers visitors the opportunity to admire and appreciate these magnificent birds in a tranquil setting.

24. Jaime's at the Blue Reef

Jaime's at the Blue Reef

Just a short taxi ride from the port, Jaime's offers a tranquil oasis with shaded seating, delectable Mexican and Caribbean cuisine, and picturesque waterfront views.

Indulge in the flavors of the region while lounging on beach chairs, taking kayaks for a spin, or finding shade under palapas. The delightful food and drinks are all included in your booking.

With a limited capacity for only 25 guests, Jaime's provides a peaceful escape from the crowded ship, allowing you to unwind and savor the beach ambiance.

25. Take a Drive on a Dune Buggy

Dune Buggy

The Costa Maya and Mahahual region offer mostly unpaved roads that require a vehicle capable of navigating rough terrain.

For an adventurous experience, consider embarking on a dune buggy excursion that takes you off the beaten path, quite literally.

These trips provide an opportunity to drive through the wilderness and reach a secluded beach, all while exploring the lush jungle.

If you're seeking an adrenaline rush, this type of shore excursion is the perfect choice. Consult your ship's shore excursions for more information and booking details.

26. Spend Time at the Aviarius


Located in the Costa Maya port area, Aviarius offers an incredible opportunity to observe and interact with the stunning and exotic bird species of the Caribbean.

Climb to great heights and cross the hanging bridges that connect eight unique habitats.

As you cross each bridge, you'll have the chance to discover and learn about various Caribbean bird species, including owls, Pijiji ducks, cardinals, golden pheasants, parrots, lovebirds, and the rainbow bird.

It's important to note that this excursion involves walking on uneven surfaces and requires some climbing.

27. Discover the Flavors of the Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine

Indulge in a delightful dining experience while in Costa Maya, where a variety of restaurants offer a fusion of fresh ingredients, local seafood, traditional flavors, and warm hospitality.

When it comes to dining in Costa Maya, you'll find a variety of restaurants offering fresh ingredients, catch-of-the-day seafood, traditional dishes, and welcoming staff.

Check out Café Mexico, Cantina Latina, El Faro, El Pan Dulce, Flavors of Mexico, or La Tortilleria.

At each of these wonderful restaurants, you can savor the essence of Mexican culture through delectable dishes and immerse yourself in the vibrant coastal atmosphere.

28. Take a Catamaran Tour

Catamaran Tour

Catamaran adventures in Costa Maya often combine sailing with snorkeling experiences.

These excursions allow you to cruise along the picturesque shoreline and witness some of the region's finest beaches.

Embark on a catamaran journey and uncover the hidden gems of the Caribbean as you navigate the barrier reef.

Catamarans offer a thrilling and enjoyable experience for both seasoned sailors and beginners.

Typically, most catamaran excursions in Costa Maya accommodate around four passengers per vessel, ensuring a personalized and intimate outing.

29. Take a Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Experience the mesmerizing marine world without getting soaked as you embark on a glass-bottom boat tour in Costa Maya.

From the comfort of your seat, peer through the clear glass bottom and marvel at the wonders beneath the water's surface.

Witness vibrant tropical fish and a myriad of fascinating sea creatures that call the barrier reef their home.

This unique adventure allows you to explore the underwater realm and gain a closer look at the diverse marine life found in this captivating region.

30. Take a Scenic Bike Tour

Bike Tour

Immerse yourself in an authentic Costa Maya adventure with a bike tour of the port area and beyond that brings you up close and personal with the beauty of the region.

Pedal your way along the beautiful coastline, pass by a picturesque lighthouse, and venture through a serene mangrove forest before reaching the charming village of Mahahual.

Embrace the local atmosphere, immersing yourself in its vibrant culture and warm hospitality. A bike tour offers an unforgettable experience, allowing you to discover the true essence of Costa Maya.

31. Take a Day Trip to Chetumal


Located less than 2 hours away from Costa Maya, Chetumal offers a unique blend of rich history, cultural heritage, and natural beauty.

This city south of Costa Maya serves as the capital of Quintana Roo and is known for its vibrant atmosphere and welcoming locals.

Visit the Museum of Maya Culture, where you can delve into the fascinating history and traditions of the ancient Mayan civilization.

Stroll down the Chetumal Bay Promenade, a scenic waterfront area, and indulge in delicious local cuisine at the waterfront restaurants.

32. Take an ATV Tour of the Mexican Jungle

ATV Tour

Embark on an exhilarating ATV tour through the Mexican jungle, transforming the untamed wilderness into your personal playground.

Discover the beauty of the rugged and verdant rainforests that Mexico is renowned for, as you embark on an off-road adventure on an all-terrain vehicle.

Stop at a secluded beach for a well-deserved break, and cool off with a swim in the Caribbean.

An ATV tour offers the perfect blend of adrenaline-fueled excitement and serene natural beauty, providing an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Mexican jungle.

33. Learn to Make Salsa and Salsa Dancing

Salsa Dancing

Learn to make salsa and guacamole in a fun and unique way. Join a cooking lesson in Costa Maya and discover the art of creating delicious and authentic guacamole.

Enjoy the company of others as you sip on tequila and learn salsa dancing. It's a fun-filled experience that allows you to unwind and have a great time.

After the lesson, savor your homemade guacamole and showcase your newfound salsa dancing skills.

It's a perfect opportunity to have a fantastic time while learning something new and gaining a deeper appreciation for authentic Mexican cuisine.

FAQs: Best things to do in Costa Maya

In this section, we look at and provide answers to frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Costa Maya.

Is Costa Maya worth visiting?

Yes, Costa Maya is definitely worth visiting. It offers a unique blend of natural beauty, ancient ruins, and diverse marine life.

Additionally, the area boasts exciting activities like snorkeling, diving, and exploring the nearby Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve.

Whether you're seeking relaxation at a local beach club or fun water sports, Costa Maya is a destination that shouldn't be missed.

What is Costa Maya Mexico known for?

Costa Maya is known for its pristine Caribbean beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and fascinating Mayan heritage.

It is a popular cruise ship port in Mexico and has developed into a thriving tourist destination.

Visitors can explore the nearby Mayan ruins of Chacchoben or Kohunlich, go snorkeling or scuba diving, learn about local culture on a guided tour, or simply relax at a local beach club.

Can you walk to the beach in Costa Maya?

Yes, you can walk to the beach in Costa Maya. The port area where cruise ships dock is located right on the coast, and there are several beach access points within walking distance.

Many beach clubs and resorts offer day passes for visitors to enjoy the beach, complete with loungers and water activities.

Additionally, if you're exploring outside the port area, there are beautiful stretches of beach along the coast that can be reached on foot or by taxi.

Is Costa Maya safe for tourists?

Costa Maya, Mexico, is generally considered a safe destination for tourists.

The Costa Maya cruise port has established security measures to ensure the safety of tourists, including surveillance systems and trained personnel.

What cruise lines visit Costa Maya cruise port?

Several cruise lines include Costa Maya cruise port on their itineraries, allowing cruise ship passengers to enjoy this stunning destination.

Costa Maya cruise port is the second-largest in Mexico and the only port in the Western Caribbean designed specifically for cruise ships.

Some of the popular cruise lines that visit Costa Maya include Carnival Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, MSC Cruises, and Princess Cruises.

Summing Up: Best things to Do in Costa Maya, Mexico

As you can see, there is no shortage of incredible things to do in Costa Maya.

A Caribbean cruise vacation to Costa Maya offers an array of exciting activities and attractions that are perfect for a shore excursion.

Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural experiences, Costa Maya has it all.

Grab your snorkel gear and dive into the clear waters, learn about local culture on a fun shore excursion, or chill at a local beach club with free drinks and amazing ocean views - there are endless ways to enjoy a day in Costa Maya.

So, plan your journey and include Costa Maya on your Yucatan Peninsula itinerary for an unforgettable vacation.