tourist region in Quintana Roo, Mexico

The Costa Maya is in the Quintana Roo state of Mexico. The Costa Maya is part of the Mexican Caribbean coast created and marketed by the state of Quintana Roo to tie the southern part of the state with the more successful Cancún and Riviera Maya in the North. The "Costa Maya" is also a marketing term used to refer to a cruise ship destination in the town of Mahahual.

Cruise ship at Mahahual

Regions edit

Map of Costa Maya

The Costa Maya extends from Xcalak in the South to the Southern Border of the Sian Ka'an in the north, although many people include the southern part of the Sian Ka'an to Punta Herrera when they talk about the Costa Maya because you can only access it via the Coast Road in The Costa Maya.

Cities edit

  • 1 Chetumal – largest city in the Costa Maya region, state capital and transportation hub for southern Quintana Roo
  • 2 Felipe Carrillo Puerto   – historic 19th century Maya town
  • 3 Mahahual – cruise line dock
  • 4 Xcalak – southernmost fishing village, near Belize border

Other destinations edit

  • 1 Banco Chinchorro - offshore reef lying 22 km off the Quintana Roo coast, includes 3 islands, popular scuba diving site, crocodile reserve on one island
  • 2 Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve - Mexico's largest protected wetland full of saltwater mangrove swamps, a   UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Ramsar wetland
  • 3 Oxtankah - small Maya archaeological site just north of Chetumal with a dramatic jungle setting near the sea, off the beaten path and generally unknown to foreign visitors so crowds are never an issue. Well cleared structures with good walkways, an on-site museum, several temples (one with in-place, intact murals). Bring water and mosquito repellant.

Understand edit

Get in edit

By car edit

The major highway through the Costa Maya is federal highway MEX-307, which runs from the Belize border north to Cancun.

By plane edit

Chetumal International Airport (CTM IATA) has several daily flights to and from Benito Juarez International Airport in Mexico City. The new Tulum International Airport (TQO IATA) is located 40 km south of the town of Tulum. As of January 2024, TQO is served by domestic flights on Aeromexico, Mexicana, Viva Aerobus and Volaris. International flights to Tulum from Guatemala and U.S. and Canadian cities begin March 2024.

Chetumal is the best choice for the southern Costa Maya while Tulum is the best choice for the northern Costa Maya. A sider selection of flights to Quintana Roo is at the Cancún International Airport.

By train edit

The Costa Maya region has 4 major stations and 2 smaller stops for the new Tren Maya intercity rail system, connecting coastal areas with major cities and archaeological sites throughout the Yucatan Peninsula. The train can also be used as local transportation between towns in the region, though it will not run as often as combis or buses. Tren Maya tickets can be purchased in stations or through the official Tren Maya web site. Train stations in the Costa Maya region are:

By boat edit

Cruise ships occasionally visit the small port of Mahahual with its large pier on the open Caribbean shore. A growing cluster of shops offer souvenirs from the area, as well as bars and swimming pools for visitors. A tower that has a view of the entire harbor is in the cruise ship port. One must be able to climb up several flights of stairs to reach the top, as there is no elevator in the tower.

Get around edit

See edit

Do edit

Scuba diving is a primary attraction.

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Go next edit

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