Costa Maya is not a snorkeling spot.......yes, you can do it, but it's not like Cozumel or Grand Cayman. We just hung out at the beach right near the port , went back to the ship to shower/change and eat lunch, and then explored the shopping area, so I cannot compare it to a trip to the ruins. I must say though that Costa Maya was one of our favorite ports because it was stress free and inexpensive. If you want, you can spend the day right at the port like we did. For adults, there's a huge pool with swim up bar right at the shopping complex. Some people spend their whole day there. Of course, kids can use the pool, but it is more of a drinking/partying atmosphere.
The port area is really crowded most of the time. The ruins exxcursion is really a good one, but ours took 8 hours so unless you're really interested that might not be a good idea. Book with the ship if you do the ruins. We were late getting back and they held the ship for us. Another time we went to Uvero Beach. It's only available through a ship's excursion, but it's a nice beach with an open bar, restaurant, restrooms and a gift shop. It's a very pretty area and you can snorkel there. Go as early as you can though...it's about a half hour bus ride there and back.
Has anyone seen a place called Olinca Marina? It is supposed to be near where the cruise ships dock at Costa Maya. Have seen it mentioned on one other site, but was unable to find any other info on it.
There is a beach break party right in Costa Maya we booked it privately and it was most enjoyable. $25 for us adults and it included a full open bar, unlimited, (yep we love Mexico We did not do it but there was snorkeling from the beach right there, some people brought gear. We booked it through costamayacruiseexcursions
If you go outside the shopping area you can catch a bus or taxi to Majahual. Its about two miles away (some people walked there and back but it was too hot for me to try it!). They have a very nice beach there. Just watch out for the vendors, they can be agressive. There are hammocks along the beach, restaurants and bars. We rented a golf cart ($15/hr) and went on our own. We spent a couple of hours there and then just drove around for a while before heading back. This year we're going to Uvero Beach. One of the other popular excursions here is the ruins. We opted not to do them as we travel with our children and I heard that it was a long, hot bus ride and while they are spectacular to see, if you're really not into it, it can be a long day. We're really more beach and water people so we're sticking to that.
Hope this helps.
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isle..........I know you are going to Chankanaab and will enjoy great snorkeling. If you are going to Grand Cayman, you'll have great snorkeling there too. If you have your own equipment or are renting on the ship for the week, you can take them to the beach in Costa Maya, but it won't be as good as the other two stops. Just go with the flow, but don't count on great snorkeling at Costa Maya.
What we did in Costa Maya: morning, hung out at the beach to the right of the pier; you must go through the shopping area and turn right to get to the beach. When we went, chairs were $2 to rent. Take some pictures of you (your family/friends) with your ship in the background. Then, back to the ship to shower/change and eat lunch. After lunch, we hung out at the shopping area; there was local music and dancing also. It was neat to have the ship right there......we used Costa Maya as a "private island". It was a very relaxing, no stress, inexpensive day.
loved costa maya was there last week. you have to email me and i will give you more info. children going with you? if so you have to visit the school in the village of majahaul. very laid back and easy going. must do this. spend the day on the beach there. have a few tips so email me. email@example.com
I didn't price any of the food at Uvero Beach so I can't answer that one. It was a very nice beach though, and seemed much less crowded than at the pier. The pier area is definitely a tourist trap, although everything is there. Still a nice place though...the most relaxing of all our stops.