Costa Maya, Mexico

  • Costa Maya, Mexico
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Explore Costa Maya, Mexico

Mexico’s vivid southern Caribbean coast lies just outside your dock on Carnival cruises to Costa Maya. Silver dolphins, bright yellow angelfish, turquoise waves, ivory sand—these are just some of the colors you’ll see on cruises to Costa Maya, Mexico. Inland from the port are more brilliant hues, from the otherworldly blue Lake of Seven Colors to the white stone pyramids of the ancient Maya.

  • Snorkel and kayak in the remote village of Xcalak.
  • Leap into the ethereal turquoise waters of Laguna Bacalar, the Lake of Seven Colors.
  • Scuba dive with moray eels and nurse sharks in the Great Mesoamerican Reef.

Things To Do

Local Attractions

Your Mexico cruise pulls right up to a beautiful Costa Maya white sand beach. The scenery is picture-perfect, from Costa Maya’s turquoise seas to the vibrant blues and greens of nearby Bacalar Lagoon. Kick back at Uvero Beach Club or take a snorkel or scuba excursion to Mahahual’s barrier reef. The mystical Maya sculptures at Kohunlich are an easy day trip away.

  • Dive into the clear water of Cenote Azul, the biggest cenote in Mexico.
  • Try out Snuba gear and Sea Trek helmets on nearby beaches.
  • Join the party at Uvero Beach Club or enjoy the peace of Xcalak village.
  • Explore the delicate underwater world of coral reefs on a scuba dive from Mahahual.
  • Stroll among restored Maya pyramids at Chacchoben.

Fun Facts

  • The Bacalar Lagoon is considered the second-largest lake in Mexico, even though it’s connected to the ocean by small waterways.
  • The Great Mesoamerican Reef is the second-largest reef in the world. It starts at the northern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula, passes Costa Maya, Mexico, then stretches south to Honduras.
  • The stone faces of Kohunlich are so well preserved because they were hidden beneath another pyramid for hundreds of years.

Within Walking Distance


Carnival cruises to Costa Maya, Mexico dock just minutes from surf and sand. A short walk from your cruise ship is Dolphin Discovery, where you can swim with the resident dolphins. Stroll the sandy streets of slow-paced Mahahual village, stopping for an icy beer at an open-air bar and a browse in shops selling Mexican handcrafts. The waterfront promenade follows the beach along the sparkling Caribbean Sea.

Beyond the Port Area

scuba diving

Explore the undersea world with Snuba, a snorkel with an air tank that floats on the surface. With a steady supply of air, you can swim underwater to examine colorful sea fans and coral. While on the Sea Trek Helmet Dive excursion, take a walk on the ocean floor with SeaTrek gear, an air-filled helmet. At Uvero Beach Club, doze in a hammock and swim in the turquoise sea. You’ll have access to snorkeling off the beach, kayaks, and even an open bar. Snorkel and scuba trips from Mahahual cruise to the Great Mesoamerican Reef, where living coral walls and underwater canyons teem with tropical fish.

An hour south of Mahahual is the remote village of Xcalak. Daily life is simple in this little village outpost: You spend your day blissfully swimming or snorkeling off Costa Maya, Mexico and snacking on fish tacos.

Maya Ruins in Costa Maya

Discover the ruins of an ancient Maya civilization on your Carnival cruise to Costa Maya, Mexico. Three pyramids rise from the jungle at Chacchoben. The Maya originally painted the stucco walls of the pyramids a vivid red, and many of the ruins at Chacchoben still retain traces of red paint. Imagine these imposing pyramids covered in magnificent red murals during Maya times, nearly 2,000 years ago. Explore these virtually unexcavated Chacchoben Mayan Ruins near the border of Belize on the Chacchoben Mayan Ruin Tour excursion.

Mexico Maya Fortress

Six molded stucco faces stare out from the walls of the Pyramid of the Masks at Kohunlich. The detailed faces wear elaborate headdresses and have stars for eyes. Pyramids and temples line the grand plaza of Kohunlich, and more than 200 buildings in the surrounding thick jungle await excavation. Explore them while on the Kohunlich Maya Ruins tour excursion.

The Yucatán in Costa-Maya


Inland from Costa Maya, Mexico is Bacalar Lagoon, otherwise known as the Lake of Seven Colors. It’s plenty colorful, with turquoise waters, pure white sand and dark green jungle. Linger for a few hours and watch the colors of the lagoon shift from vivid blue to shades of peachy pink. Bacalar village has kayaks for rent and swimming beaches along the lagoon. Overlooking the lagoon is Fuerte San Felipe Bacalar, a Spanish fort. At the museum, learn about the pirates who frequently attacked this Spanish settlement. Just south of town is Cenote Azul, the largest cenote in Mexico. Cenotes are freshwater wells or sinkholes unique to the Yucatán and sacred to the Maya. Dive right in—the cool water is so clear, you can see nearly 200 feet straight down.

Travel Tips


  • Costa Maya, Mexico cruises pull in at Mahahual.
  • Mexico's official language is Spanish, but most tour guides speak English. Many Costa Maya locals speak only Mayan.
  • Mexico's currency is the peso, but many shops and restaurants in Mahahual accept U.S. dollars. In Xcalak, payment is in pesos.