Mahahual (also spelled Majahual) is a city in the municipality of Othón P. Blancothe, state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, a short distance northeast of Belize.


Mahahual used to be a quiet and friendly small fishing town off the beaten track. However a large cruise ship docking jetty dubbed "Puerto Costa Maya" has been constructed just up the beach. Every day a couple of cruise ships dock and the occupants are disgorged onto the town to drink, shop, swim and ride jet skis and quad bikes. However the further south away from the cruise ship dock you go the quieter the town becomes, so it's still possible to have a quiet time of it, especially at some of the hotels south of town.

Hurricane Dean (August 2007) landed just North of Mahahual and heavily damaged the cruise ship dock and destroying much of the small village. Most residents have since rebuilt and cruise ships have returned to using Puerto Costa Maya on 31 October 2008.

As of February 2009 many nice hotels are up and running. A new seaside Malecon runs from the Main Road to the Southern End of Mahahual Pueblo. The Malecon is a pedestrian walkway with the beach to the east and businesses to the west. Many nice restaurants and shops line the Malecon. The town now has several ATMs: one is in the "Casitas", a subdivision adjoining the port, at the Mobius internet/DVD rental store; another is located at Luna De Plata, a kilometer south of the pueblo; a third is an HSBC bank ATM within the town's only Pemex station, 4 kilometers west on the main access road. Cash is still the best option as many times the ATM machines do not work or are out of cash.

If you are looking for quiet tranquil beaches, away from the crowds, drive through Mahahual and continue some 4 kilometers along the coastal road. After passing the small bridge of Rio Bermejo (hardly a river, more a small stream connecting the mangrove waters with the ocean) you will find small ecological hotels, restaurants and rental houses, all beachfront. Electricity is generated with solar panels, wind mills and most of the businesses use a generator as a back up. Rain water is captured on roof decks and collected in systerns used tio shower and flushing toilets. When you arrive at km 12, there is a turn of to the right, take it to either return to Mahahual or continue to Xcalak. If you continue on the beach road, you will find lots of empty bays,only a few rental houses on the road side.

Get in

Organized tours are also available from a variety of companies.

You will not necessarily be over run with the tourists from the cruise ships, when they leave you have this sleepy town to yourself. Things switch quickly from bustle to mellow.

Staying just a few km outside of town will keep you from the majority of the cruise traffic.

Get around

Your best bet is to rent a car. Most travelers land in Cancun. Get a car they are get ready for the drive down. It will take over four hours but do not confuse this area with Cancun. Four hours gets you to an entirely different world.



Mayan ruins

There are several sites of Classical Period Mayan ruins close enough for a day-visit. Note that Mexican law requires a fee of about US$5 for the use of video cameras at these sites.


If you are interested in conservation, ask for directions to GVI (Global Vision International) who are now located 35 km North of the town in Uvero.. This is the base for marine conservation work carried out by a young and enthusiastic group of full-time staff with the help of 16 volunteer divers, in liaison with Mexican partner organisations. Staff and volunteers are from around the world; they will be happy to tell you about the project and how you can become a volunteer yourself. Food and living conditions are basic but the experience is unbeatable.

The barrier reef, which is part of the Meso American Reef, just off shore offers opportunities for snorkeling or scuba diving, and keeps the waters of the Caribbean safe for kayaking. This reef is the 2nd longest barrier reef in the world being just over 900 km long, starting at puerto Morelos in Mexico, stretching down past to Belize to terminate at Honduras. A few of the dive operators are Dreamtime Diving who also provide accommodation and Nomad Divers .


55 foot Catamaran, Crystal Blue Persuasion, takes interested travelers out for sailing and snorkeling trips. You can't miss this ship, it's docked outside of Tequila Beach halfway between the lighthouse and the town. For more information, visit the website Sail Mahahual

Gypsea Divers and Snorkeling, In front of the Nacional beach club on the malecon




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