Posted February 15th, 2012, 02:27 PM
If you don't want an All Inclusive place and just want to wander around on your own, Grab a taxi or the bus at the cruise port and head to Mahahual and walk the malecon along the beach ($2 pp). Have the taxi driver drop you at the lighthouse to start. bus will drop you at Tequila Beach. Stop at SakHa for a tasty snack or more (Mom and Pop owned you can see it from the Pemex station) then walk on down the beach. If you want a lounger, ignore the hawkers until you're down past Corona Beach Club and look for Tropicante and ask for Steve (if you see Tapas, you've walked a block too far). If he has any unreserved, he'll set you up nicely. If beaching isn't your thing go on down past Pez Quadro and Nohoch Kay (great AI place, BTW) to the pier then come back up. There are some small vendors of crafts along the way. When you get back around Tapas take a left on the side street (Cherna as I recall) go one block, turn right and walk up a half block to 100% Agave. It's a great little restaurant ran by a super nice guy, Fernando, who will take excellent care of you. Can't miss it for the large tequila bottle sign. He makes his own hooch, excellent margaritias, and michaladas (beer bloody marys). Then grab a cab back to port $3pp).
If you want a relaxing A.I. along the malecon, then reserve a spot at Nohoch Kay via costamayacruiseexcursions dot com/Costa Maya Beach Break. Jaime will take excellent care of you and kep all the hawkers and vendors away. Many cruise ship captains and officers head here.
Away from the malecon, for great AI's try Maya Chan or Almapena Beach Club. Both will tell you how to get to their places. Both take limited number of guests each day (40 and 20, I think). Really refreshing way to enjoy a port day. Both have websites and information on this board.
If you like to explore ruins and culture, contact David and Ivan at native Choice for one of their tours that go to Maya ruins and visit villages of Maya descendants for interesting culture and lunch. They have other things too. There are reviews and contact information on native Choice on this board.
Nice to see cruisers who like to see more than the port, enjoy your day in Costa Maya and the rest of your cruise.
Costa Maya/Mahahual Malecon Beach Clubs and Maps (posts 26-36)
Carnival Inspiration, January 2006
Carnival Sensation, February 2007
, May 2009
Carnival Dream, January 2010
Carnival Dream, May 2010
Carnival Dream, June 2011
Carnival Liberty April 2012
Carnival Breeze, November 2012