Experiencing a new cruise ship port can be very exciting! If Costa Maya is new to you Or you are looking to find a new Costa Mayan Mexican adventure then I have some suggestions and tips that can make your next cruise ship port day that can make the experience less stressful and fun!
I hate when I hear that some cruise ship travelers stay on the ship during port day. The only time I suggest staying on-board is if you have visited the port city multiple times. Even if money is a factor, you can have a virtually free experience by utilizing port amenities and take advantage of the free cultural experience the port has to offer.
Puerta Costa Maya is located south of Cancun on the Caribbean coastline and offers the largest number of Mayan archaeological sites and has the largest existing Mayan population in Mexico. Naturally I would recommend visiting the ruins, temples and other archaeological sites while visiting Costa Maya. Having children of my own, I understand that excursions such as these can cost a small fortune. I like to plan 1-2 pricier excursions while being economical on at least one port city.
Luckily for us, we did just that in Costa Maya in 2015. Puerto Costa Maya was built in 2001 and has since been developed to target cruise ship passengers by offering an array of modern vacation conveniences like shopping, saltwater pools, as well as several restaurants and bars.
We arrived early which is always a good idea but some enjoy arriving after lunch when other cruise ship travelers are returning to the ship. Costa Maya has a 70,000-square-foot shopping center as well as crafts made by local artisans, including silver, leather and pottery. We decided to utilize Costa Maya as our day to shop and relax at port. We purchased our liquor, fragrances, T-shirts and other souvenirs in Costa Maya. The facility also has a drug store, clean bathrooms and a first-aid station for cruise ship passengers.
As you can see by the pictures the crowds were minimal and the two pool were large and spacious! Both pools offer swim up bar access and a perfect view of the docked cruise ships. They also offer free wi-fi so you can post pictures and check up on family members at home.
If the pool is not your thing, along the shore line near port entrance you can find several free beach areas. you can order food and beverages from your seats or take advantage of the view of the dolphin pools as guest experience their paid dolphin excursion.
To be frank, I’m glad we didn’t purchase a dolphin shore excursion package held at the port. The “Swim Dolphin” experience consisted of several small pools (as pictured above) with one dolphin and a group of 10-12 guests per pool. I could see their experience from the swimming pool and beach area. I’m sure it was fun for them, but we saw the whole thing for free and it appeared to be very simplistic in nature. To each, their own…
Although there is a large number of
Although Costa Maya includes two small villages, Mahahual and Xcalak is within an earshot of the cruise ship port, port visitors can also find several Mayan cultural pieces (man-made) that offer a glimpse of what the small tourist region has to offer. We did not explore outside port parameters, but next time we might experience Maya, Lost Mayan Kingdom, a new adventure in Costa Maya or take a city tour of Mahahual.
Costa Maya has so much to offer, there is no reason to stay on the ship during your cruise port day. Puerto Costa Maya has room to grow and with the growing number of tourist attractions, choosing your cruise ship excursion in Costa Maya will become more difficult as the local economy grows.
Enjoy the free and affordable cruise ship amenities that the port has to offer on one visit and splurge the next time you visit with your family. Besides, all those daiquiri lounging by the pool will cost you money!