What to Do in Costa Maya if You’re Visiting on a Cruise

Regardless of the cruise line, if you’re visiting Costa Maya, there are tons of excursions you can do. You can pay to do these excursions through your cruise or through independent companies selling tours and excursions on shore. Your other option is to explore the area yourself by walking, taxi, or renting a golf cart.

Costa Maya is a port town located on the Yucatan Penisula in Mexico. It’s a fun place to stop because unlike some other port towns on this route, there are lots to do and see near and far. If you’re also the type of person that likes to chill in the port town, there are lots of shops and restaurants. They even have a large pool with lounging chairs as well as a spa retreat.

Are Cruise Excursions Worth It?

Whenever I go on cruises, I like to have at least one excursion booked through the cruise line. However, I also like to save a day or two for unplanned excursions. I typically spend those days walking around exploring the city or town on my own or finding an excursion on shore because it’s usually a lot cheaper! There are pros and cons to booking excursions through your cruise line.


  • It’s already planned for you
  • It’s less stressful
  • You’re in a larger group so it feels safer
  • Transportation is included


  • It’s expensive
  • Too big of a group
  • More time sitting on transportation than doing your actual excursion
  • Can be boring sometimes or too long
  • Waiting on other people

If you want to save money, don’t buy your excursion through your cruise line! Specifically for Costa Maya, I knew there were a lot of things to do in the area so I planned to figure it out once we were docked. For this port, your cruise will offer tours to see the Mayan ruins and the Bacalar Seven Color Lagoon or offer kayaking tours, ATV tours, snorkeling, etc. Lots of these tours were about 6 hours which is a VERY long time and over $300 per person.

Depending on what you want to do, if you get off the ship early enough there will be people selling excursions for less. At this port, I wanted to see the ruins. But I also wanted to see the town and relax by the beach. I knew if I did a tour to see the ruins through the cruise I wouldn’t have time for anything else.

What You Can Do

In the end, I was able to do all of the things I wanted to do because I got to create my own day. For $75 per person, I was able to get a taxi driver to drive me 45 minutes to Chaccoben to see the Mayan ruins. I had an hour to explore and it was about $7 to enter. The same taxi driver waited for me so that he could take me back. It felt like I had a personal Chauffeur. However, instead of going back to the port, I asked to be dropped off at Mahahual Beach (the beach next to the port) instead. All of this for under $200 for my friend and me (minus the admission fee for the ruins)! Plus, we received two drink tickets that worked at this specific restaurant on the beach strip where we ended up getting lunch.

It’s also only $4 per person for a taxi cab back to the port from the beach. Just look for a Costa Maya Yellow Cab…they’re everywhere! You can save so much money and time doing Costa Maya this way! I’m also fairly positive you can negotiate your price down, which I should’ve tried.

Places To Visit

If you do end up visiting Chaccoben, remember to bring cash or pesos! They do not take credit cards. Once you are inside, you can walk around freely or purchase a guided tour. It’s a very beautiful sight with lots of history so I recommend checking it out if you can!

Mahahual Beach is also a nice spot if you’re looking to swim in the ocean or eat by the water. There are lots of restaurants along this beach town so get ready to kick back and relax. If you have time, you can even get a massage on the beach for $30 an hour! Now that’s a deal.

The one thing I wish I had the time for was the cenotes in Tulum. However, it would’ve taken all day as it’s a little under 3 hours away. But that just means I’ll have to visit Tulum on its own one day!

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