Puerto Costa Maya is Caribbean Mexico's second largest cruise port - after Cozumel. This is also one of the country's most popular tourist regions located in Quintana Roo state. This municipality is near the state's capital city - Chetumal, located on the border with Belize.
The region is generally undeveloped, but has been rapidly growing after the construction of a large pier with capacity to accommodate the world's biggest cruise liners. Other port upgrades included new shops and attractions. The new pier and port expansion project was completed for season 2017-2018, and fully operational for season 2018-2019. The result was increased passenger traffic growth from 900,000 to over 1 million. Port's daily cruise ship passenger capacity is 15,000 to 18,000.
Also in 2017 was opened the largest Mayan archaeological site Xcabal, located at around 1 hour bus ride from the cruise port. Until 2019, the site is open exclusively to cruise line organized shore excursions.
Costa Maya includes a pair of small villages, Xcalak and Mahahual, and extends in the south to the southern border of Sian Ka'an in the north, approximately 100 km (62 miles). The fishing village of Mahahual is just 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) away of Costa Maya and cruise ships are easily seen from the village. Mahahual features grass thatched palapas, soft sand beaches (most visited by tourists is Mahahual Beach), a coral reef (called Banco Chinchorro), as well as restaurants, bars and shops. A new development named New Mahahual has been created inland from the port.
Port Costa Maya features a modern shopping mall, central plaza and saltwater pools. There are also several shops selling discount-priced jewelry, beachwear, Mexican silver and handicrafts, souvenirs. It is generally open to cruise ship passengers only. Costa Maya port is the closest to lots of the lesser known Mayan ruins in Yucatan (including Kohunlich and Chacchoben).
In 2017, the port handled around 1 million cruise ship passengers. For season 2018, their number is expected to reach 1,3 million. To increase its capacity, the port will extend its berths 3 and 4, allowing them to handle RCI's Oasis-class ships (225,000 GT tons, LOA length 362 m / 1188 ft, max capacity 6780 passengers plus 2400 crew). The port expansion project will result in capacity to dock 3 large plus 1 smaller vessel simultaneously.
Costa Maya's largest cruise liners scheduled for visits in 2018 were Symphony of the Seas (RCI Royal Caribbean) on November 20 (7-day from Miami / Nov 17-24) and MSC Seaside (MSC) on January 11 (7-day from Miami / Jan 6-13). The port's The current day passenger record is 14,000. The port's max day capacity is 17,000.
In 2018, to the Costa Maya excursions list were added 3 new tours - Bacalar Fort, Seven Color Lagoon, and Aqua Rocket (speedboat tour). At the Maya adventure park were added a monster truck circuit and "animal encounter" experience. For season 2019 was scheduled the inauguration of the new "Journeys to the Mayan Legends" attraction - river ride within the Lost Mayan Kingdom jungle.
Highlights: Mahahual, Beaches, unspoiled reefs, Chacchoben, Kohunlich
Costa Maya cruise terminal
Puerto Costa Maya was is the first cruise port in the Western Caribbean that was purposefully built for cruise ships exclusively. The port's location is around 5 1/2 hours from Cancun (Yucatan Peninsula). The cruise terminal complex was designed to resemble a Mayan city. The port's capacity is 3 berths (3 ships may dock here at a time), with water depth of the pier allowing docking even of the world's largest ships. If more than 3 vessels visit the port at once, the other will be anchored and their passengers transported to the pier via tender boats.
Majahual is located approx 5 minutes away. Limited taxis are parked at the village's exit. Taxi fare from the port ot Majahual is around $5 PP. Banks and post offices are not available in port. There are pay phones in the shopping complex.
The following map of Costa Maya cruise port shows all facilities in the terminal area. The built by the pier cruise tourist village has several complimentary swimming pools (including 1 huge, filled with saltwater and featuring a swim-up bar), also restaurant and bar, restaurant grill, shops (incl a convenience store and Market Place selling Mexican crafts), Jade Maya Museum, taxi ranks, bike rentals, even a Mayan Pyramid replica and its own beach (with hammocks, showers, volleyball pool). The following map of Costa Maya cruise port shows all facilities in the terminal area.
Next map shows Costa Maya cruise terminal's main facilities and all shopping options. Most of the shops are open when ships are in port.
Numbers on the map indicate the following shops:
- (1) Diamonds International (Caribbean's largest selection of diamonds and diamond jewelry)
- (2) Tanzanite International (thousands of loose and set pieces in all sizes, shapes and colors)
- (3) Diamonds International (discount jewelry)
- (4) Carpet Emporium (over 10,000 certified handmade carpets, including from Turkey, Persia, India, China; free DHL shipping worldwide, tax and duty free)
- (5) Diamonds International (luxury watches and designer jewelry, including the brands Caribbean Topaz, Chameleon, Chopard, Wyle, TAG Heuer, John Hardy, Korite, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Concord, Corum, Cyma, Dior, Ebel, ESQ Swiss, IWC, Longines, Maurice Lacroix, Movado, Philip Stein, Piaget, Edward Mirell, Judith Ripka, Yvel)
- (6) Havana Club (premium cigars, including Monte Cristo, Cohiba, Romeo & Julieta, Partagas, the shop has a walk-in humidor)
- (7a, 7b) Tequileria International (over 200 Tequila brands, including Agave, Mescal, Anejo, Blanco, Kahlua)
- (8) Del Sol (world's largest color -changing retailer, custom-Made T-Shirts themed on the Mayan Ruins in Chichenitza)
- (9) Silver Factory (unique silver and gold jewelry designs at low prices, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, also sells
- (10) Taxco (silver factory, unique silver jewelry designs, Including semiprecious stones / amethyst, onyx, quartz, topaz, zircon,, Swarovski crystal, at factory prices)
- (A) Bbandito's (Lobster Shack) is a beach restaurant with live entertainment (menu includes lobster burritos and fresh fish specialties)
- (B) Mamasita's (Restaurant & Bar) - offers fresh fish tacos, poolside Bar Service and Happy Hour prices between 3-4 pm).
Port Costa Maya cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Costa Maya, Mexico. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
The Costa Maya cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Costa Maya, Mexico.
If you lose the Costa Maya location on the map, simply reload the page (also with F5 button). This feature is integrated with the CruiseMapper's cruise ship tracker tracking the vessels' current positions at sea and in ports.