I wanted to write this review of Costa Maya after spending a day at this port while sailing on a western Caribbean cruise with MSC.
Costa Maya is a growing tourist region in Mexico that boarders along the Caribbean, but it wasn’t until 2001 that this port was opened to cruise ships. Ever since cruise ships started using this port more attractions have been added to satisfy the demands of cruisers and it’s becoming a very popular cruise destination.
When you first arrive at Costa Maya you walk through this large archway, beyond which are all kinds of shops with your typical cruise port merchandise.
But the coolest part is the wrap around pool that weaves its way through a few shops and restaurants and even has swim-up bars to get a bite to eat or something to drink. You will find plenty of shade all around this pool and it doesn’t cost anything to use. It’s usually pretty crowded if there are a few ships in port, but when I was at Costa Maya we were the only ship in port.
Between the wrap around pool and the shore there is a place where you can swim with dolphins. It’s not a very big area but we got to watch some of the dolphins do tricks and jumps and we didn’t have to pay the big chunk of change for that excursion.
Beyond the shops that are close to the port and the pool there really isn’t much you can do at Costa Maya without taking a 30 minute to 1 hour bus ride.
I have heard that the scuba diving and snorkeling at Costa Maya is extraordinary and well worth your time. There is a nice long peer at Uvero Beach that is a short bus ride away that has a lot of coral and fish, but I did not have the chance to go snorkeling at this port because my wife and I opted to check out the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben.
Our excursion to see the Mayan ruins at Chacchoben cost my wife and I $75 each and included an hour bus ride to the ruins, a very knowledgeable tour guide, bottled water or soda, and an hour bus ride back to the port. If you book excursions through Shore Excursions Group, you can save up to 40% off what the cruise lines charge.
If you have never seen Mayan ruins before I would highly recommend checking out the ruins at Costa Maya. Our tour guide, Manual, really knew his stuff and explained the significance of almost every aspect of the Mayan’s lives.
I thought we would see just one pyramid, but at Chacchoben there were 3, including two that were at the top of a large stone staircase that lead us to a platform of flat ground that was built up by the ancient Mayans. I am not going to go into all the history of these ruins and the Mayans, but it’s very interesting.
Costa Maya is great for 3 different things:
- Going swimming in a huge and well-designed pool
- Going snorkeling or scuba diving
- Checking out the ancient Mayan ruins
If you have been to Costa Maya before I would love to hear your review and how you liked this cruise port. Just leave a comment below and fill us in.