We just got back from the Grand last week, and I had promised to update some folks on what the tours were at Costa Maya. Note: We didn't take any tours offered by Princess at Costa Maya. There is another brochure that came with our information. What is listed below is from a flyer of NEW tours that were probably not included in the original brochure.
MH1-A Chacchoben Mayan Ruins 4hrs $72
Chacchoben meaning "red corn" was probably constructed and inhabited between AD 250a nd 700 and you'll be the first to visit this recently opened site.
Your journey into the realm of the Mayan begins as you board a bus for approx. 90 narrated transfer. Your first glimpse of Chacchoben will most likely be the top of one of the pyramids raising up from the jungle. Upon arrival, you値l follow the guide up approx. 32 steps for a narrated walking tour of the site. The primary attractions at Chacchoben are the two pyramids , the primary temples you may view them from the ground level or the walk up the many steps to the top for a magnificent view of the surrounding countryside. You can also explore several smaller ruins believe to have been residences of the nobility. $8-10 fee for video cameras.
MH1-L1 Costal Biking and Kayaking Adventure 3hrs $49
Explore the pristine coastline of Costa Maya by mountain bike and kayak. Your English speaking guide will meet you on the pier and provide an orientation. Safety gear and bikes will be assigned. Then you値l follow the guide as you peddle out of the port and onto a sandy coastal road. You値l ride through the fishing village of Mahahual where you値l pass by traditional homes and fishing boats. Passing through the village you値l continue your ride along the beach road to the kayak departure point. Here a kayak will be assigned and you値l paddle offshore all the while staying inside the protection of the barrier reef. Upon returning to the kayak departure point you値l have a brief rest before riding back along the same road to the pier. Note: This tour is for passengers in very good physical condition. Chase vehicle and water provided.
MH1-U1 New Waves Intermediate Beach Snorkel
The barrier reef boarding Costa Maya has seldom been explored due to the remoteness of this area. This tour is your opportunity to experience the reef痴 beauty and its many inhabitants simply by snorkeling from the beach. Departing the pier in a bus, you値l get to see some of the surrounding countryside on you way to one of the remote beaches. Upon arrival the snorkeling equipment will be issued and a brief lesson provided. Next you値l follow a guide as you snorkel out from the beach towards the barrier reef. The best part of the reef lies approx. 300-400 yards offshore and the depth of the water ranges from 3-20 ft deep so this tour is recommended for intermediate snorkelers only. The reef is comprised of a verity of hard and soft corals that provide a home to a many colorful tropical fish such as several species of parrotfish, butterflyfish, angelfish, trigger, grunts damsels, and barracuda. Your snorkeling equipment, including a vest, as well as professional instruction, supervision, a beverage and transportation are all provided.
Well as it turns out, we were the first cruise ship to call on this port in some time. It is a nice facility, with a saltwater swimming pool with a fountain in it. They perform traditional dances in a small outdoor ampitheater. There are "shops" with much of the same stuff you'll find all over in Mexico. Chess sets, blankets, silver, etc. Most of the "shops" didn't have the prices marked on things, and if they did they were in pesos. I didn't buy anything in Costa Maya. Sorry, I just didn't feel like haggling with the guy over a pair of $10 earrings in a packed shop.
We shopped for a while and my fiancee thought this was "such a tourist trap," so he thought it would be a good idea to go to Majahual and see if there was anything better there. We took a cab to Majahual and decided not to even get out of the cab! To say it is a village is correct. SMALL village. I would not leave the area of the "tourist trap" unless I was going on a tour.
There was a beach recrecation facility on the other side of the pier, but we aren't big into lying on the beach. I am not sure if this area was free or if they charged you to go there. We headed back to the ship and checked our email and hung out on the ship.
One tour was late getting back and they had to hold the ship for 30 mins.
Sorry to say, most of the reactions and comments from people were negative. I think that they are trying to develop this region much like they have Cancun. It is clearly going to take a while longer.
To sum up this port:
1. Take a tour from Princess.
2. Shopping is limited.
3. Don't take a cab to Majahual!
4. If your not taking a tour, plan on beach activities or hanging out on the ship.