Cruise Port #3: Costa Maya

Our 3rd and last stop on the cruise was Costa Maya, Mexico. Costa Maya is a stretch of Caribbean coast on Mexico’s eastern Yucatán Peninsula. It’s known for its beaches and coral reefs.

One cannot go on a cruise to the Caribbean and not spend at least one day at the beach! We picked Costa Maya as our beach day, since we had other plans for our other stops. Costa Maya’s Mahahual Village features a ton of beach clubs to pick from. We opted for an all-inclusive, private beach day at Maya Chan, which is located a bit further from the hustle and bustle.

For $60, the all-inclusive package includes a bunch of perks, including an all day open bar and AYCE Mayan-inspired lunch buffet. There are also a ton of cool toys you can play with at Maya Chan, including floating chairs, kayaks, and snorkel gear.

You are assigned either a large thatch-roof Palapa or open Pergola. I had reached out to the team when booking my reservation with my request for a palapa. We had this giant palapa with a hammock and swing chair all to ourselves for the day!

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Once you arrive, you’re greeted by welcome cocktails and chips with salsa and guacamole. The guac was so good!

Before you even finish your first drink, they’re already walking around asking if you want anything else. I had many, many Pina coladas and mango daiquiris that day!

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While X was getting a massage ($25 for half hour, $45 for full hour), I laid in the hammock and just enjoyed the sea breeze with a daiquiri in my hand.

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After X came back, we took some floating chairs out to the water and bobbed in the ocean. Here is where the service at Maya Chan really impressed us. They kayaked out to us to take drink orders and then kayaked back out to deliver it to us. This happened multiple times during the day. I was never without a drink!

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We also used their kayaks, which was a first for the both of us. It’s actually a lot harder than people make it look!!

Lunch was a delicious taco buffet. They offered corn or flour soft tortillas and 4 different toppings – skirt steak, pulled pork, chicken, and fish. I was greedy and went for 3 tortillas – steak, chicken, and fish. The fish! Oh my gosh, the fish!! It was so soft and flaky. They offer this buttery sauce for the fish and it was one of the best things I have ever eaten. They offered a bunch of toppings for the tortillas as well – guac, pico, manchego cheese, etc.

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They come around after lunch to ask when you’d like to leave, so they can arrange transportation back to the port. We were out in the water again in our floating chairs, so they kayaked out to ask us and a few other people. I cannot even begin to describe the service that was provided at Maya Chan.

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If you’re looking for a private, intimate, and low-key beach day, check out Maya Chan. Reservations fill up quickly, as they only allow a certain amount of guests per day. We both thoroughly enjoyed our day at Maya Chan and would gladly return.

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You’ll notice that in my pictures, the water isn’t clear and blue like one would think about the Caribbean. This is in part due to the large amount of seaweed that has been plaguing the area for months. When we arrived, workers had already raked up so much of the seaweed that had washed ashore, and they would continue doing so during the day.

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Climate change and ocean pollution are the suggested culprits, fueling more seaweed growth. The seaweed is breaking off and washing ashore, decaying on the beaches, which not only smell bad, but also affect marine life – the fumes can kill fish, coral and sea grass while the buildup can block sea turtles from coming ashore and laying their eggs.

Honestly, besides being mushy at some spots, we weren’t bothered at all. Please do not let the seaweed deter you from coming to Costa Maya or Maya Chan! But definitely remember to bring your reef-safe sunscreen with you!

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