Once a simple fishing village on the Caribbean coast, this place has changed after the cruise ship dock was built. Every day, hundreds of tourists arrive and leave from this place and you will be able to find a surprising number of restaurants, bars and hotels. 

Although it will only take you about 20 minutes to walk around the whole village, Mahahual is a must-see of the Riviera Maya. Here you can both party and relax, enjoying the Caribbean vibe and the beach.

Things to see and do in Mahahual:

Go snorkelling

If you are looking for the perfect place to go snorkelling, this is it! During the times when the tourist cruise ships arrive, you may not want to spend your time on an overcrowded beach, so this is the perfect time to book your snorkelling trip. Although there are different people selling you tours on the beach, we went to one of the shops on the Malecon and booked at tour for 300 pesos, which is around €15 and this is seems to be the average price for it, including the boat trip and the equipment.

Unlike other places, we particularly enjoyed this one because it was done in the most eco-friendly way possible. The groups were made up of 5 people maximum and the boats, that only left three times per day, brought us far enough from the coasts, making sure they would avoid the parts where the water was too swallow and so people might have been able to touch the corals. Once you get to the perfect spot, you are forced to wear a life jacket, to prevent you from diving too deep and touch the animals.

We saw so many different kinds of corals and fishes, and we were lucky to see many sea turtles and barracudas.

Relax on the beach

Once the ships sail off, you can return to the shore and enjoy the beach for yourself. If you go snorkelling near the coast, you will still be able to see some smaller colourful fish and even a few rays. You can also sit down on the beach and enjoy the sunrise or sunset colours of the sky and listen to street musicians play.

Stay in a cabin on the beach

You will find plenty of accommodation options in this small village, from hostels to luxury hotel. If you want a different experience, there are a few budget accommodations that offer you a cabin on the beach and I thought this was a really cool experience.

We stayed at Blue Kay Eco-Resort and we were very happy with it. Unlike other cabins we stayed in, this one was a bit smaller, but very clean and fresh during the night. The shared bathrooms were probably the cleanest we came across in the whole trip. The restaurant just beside the hotel has some pretty good breakfast and lunch options. However, the hotel will try to sell you this bracelet that gives you a discount for three meals in this restaurant and other ones nearby. Since it seems like a good deal, we actually bought one, but later we found out that it actually would have been the same price to eat out anyway and we would have been forced to eat at a certain time.

Take a trip to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

About one hour North from Mahahual you will find the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. This reserve was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 and it preserves the delicate ecosystem in this region.

This place is home to wildlife like dolphins, manatees, turtles, and a lot of birds, but their habitat because damaged because of over-fishing, pollution, and irresponsible tourism. Thanks to these reserve, the condition of the wildlife living here has greatly improved and, if you visit it, you’ll get a chance to see some of these animals in the wild. And by taking a tour, part of your fee will end up towards conservation efforts in the reserve too.

Enjoy the chilled vibes of the town

Like I said above, Mahahual is a pretty small town, but it has a lovely waterfront, with lots of bars and restaurants playing music. You can take a walk, while you enjoy some fresh coconut water, go to see the different muelles and up to the lighthouse, where you can take the typical tourist picture with the “Mahahual” sign.

Bonus points for this village: There are a lot of cute dogs in the street that are fed by everybody and usually belong to the owners of the hotels and restaurants nearby.


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