chacchoben mayan ruins j mayan ruins at the chacchoben site in costa maya mexico

Mayan Ruins and Culture

  • Puerto Costa Maya Shore Excursions

From adrenaline-pumping ATV tours to relaxing snorkeling trips, Puerto Costa Maya has something for everyone.

One of Puerto Costa Maya's top shore excursions is the ATV tour, which allows visitors to explore its rugged terrain and scenic landscapes. With its lush jungle and stunning coastal views of the Caribbean Sea, Costa Maya provides the ideal backdrop for an exhilarating ATV adventure. This thrilling excursion guarantees an adrenaline rush, making it a must-try for adventure enthusiasts and adrenaline seekers.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the Chacchoben Mayan Ruins is a must. Located just outside Costa Maya, these ancient ruins offer a fascinating glimpse into the region's rich Mayan heritage. Visitors can explore the temples and ceremonial structures while learning about the history and significance of this ancient civilization.

Do you fancy diving into a world beneath the waves? Thanks to its crystal-clear oceans brimming with vibrant coral reefs and an array of marine creatures, Costa Maya offers an underwater paradise. Why not join a snorkeling tour? This is your chance to swim up close with tropical fish and enjoy the exotic sea-dwellers. Discover the bustling life and colors hidden beneath the ocean's surface!

If you're looking for an extra dose of excitement, consider river rafting on the nearby Rio Hondo. This exhilarating journey guides you through the stunning jungle on a white-water rafting adventure. As you navigate the rapids, you'll feel the rush of adrenaline and soak in the area's breathtaking natural beauty.

Looking for a more relaxed adventure? The Glass Bottom Boat Tour could be your perfect fit. It lets you plunge into a striking underwater world without getting a single drop of water on you. You'll get to marvel at the vivid sea life and coral reefs below from the comfort of the boat, with its see-through floor offering a mesmerizing view of the marine paradise beneath.

If you're ready for a one-of-a-kind adventure that will stay with you long after it's over, consider embarking on a Tubing Adventure on Bacalar's mesmerizing Seven Color Lagoon. This exciting experience invites you to surrender to relaxation as you gently drift along the picturesque lagoon atop an inflatable tube. Immerse yourself in the tranquility of the lagoon's crystal-clear waters and marvel at the stunning array of seven distinct shades of blue and green that earned this natural wonder its enchanting name.

Calling all food and drink lovers! In Costa Maya, your taste buds are in for a treat with a range of exciting culinary adventures. One that stands out among the rest is the unforgettable chocolate and tequila tasting experience. Immerse yourself in the captivating history and art of crafting these delightful treats as you savor a delightful array of chocolates and tequilas. It's the perfect opportunity to pamper your palate with Mexico's rich flavors and uncover the secrets of its culinary heritage.

Costa Maya also offers a range of excursions suitable for families, couples and seniors. From snorkeling tours suitable for all ages to cultural activities like visiting the Mayan ruins or exploring the local cuisine, there is something for everyone. Families can enjoy bonding experiences in nature, while couples can find romantic activities and seniors can enjoy the beauty and history of the region at their own pace.

Puerto Costa Maya, Mexico offers an array of exciting shore excursions that cater to all interests and preferences. From exhilarating ATV tours to relaxing snorkeling trips or beach excursions and everything in between, there is no shortage of adventure and exploration in this stunning destination. Whether you're looking for cultural experiences, outdoor adventures or culinary delights, Costa Maya has it all. So, make the most of your time in Puerto Costa Maya by exploring the options and choosing the perfect excursions for your vacation.

Experience Puerto Costa Maya Shore Excursions with these sailings

roatan honduras beach

Complete your adventure with these shore excursions


Off Road Jeep Journey to Pleasure Beach


By aprilcruisers , August 2, 2018 in Costa Maya

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Cool Cruiser


Has anyone does this? Cannot find any info if this is a fun, safe, worth it tour. TIA

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jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

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  • Outdoor Adventure

Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.

Hold on to your hats and prepare for a full-filled eco-adventure. You'll enjoy a genuine Costa Maya land experience as you drive in a Jeep Renegade through the town of Mahahual and long the coastline's gorgeous white-sand beaches. You will stop at the lighthouse for the perfect photo opportunity and learn from your guide about this one sleepy town. You'll caravan through the quiet fishing village of Mahahual where the way of life is so different from your own. Wave as you drive past cottages, fishing boats and friendly locals, many of whom are direct descendants of the ancient Maya. Stop for a Tequila Tasting experience and then continue to then beach club. Relax on white powder sand of Pleasure Beach and gaze out onto the turquoise blue water while you enjoy an authentic Mexican lunch consisting of chicken fajitas and Mexican salsa.

Special Notes:

Medical restriction:.

Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.

Safety Briefing

Travel to costa maya town, restroom break, travel to pleasure beach, beach break, travel back to pier.

Cruise Maven

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What to Do In Costa Maya Mexico Instead of an Expensive Shore Excursion

After almost three years I recently had the chance to return to Costa Maya. Why was I excited? Costa Maya has always been one of my favorite cruise ports in the Western Caribbean.

A stop at the Costa Maya cruise port is a great excuse for anyone to eat good local food and simply relax on the beach.

If you’re going to Costa Maya on your cruise, lucky you! By the time you’re finished reading this article, you’ll know why it’s one of my top Caribbean cruise ports . 

And you’ll learn how to save money here, too.

Port of Costa Maya Mexico welcome sign.

Best Things to Do In Costa Maya, Mexico

In This Post...

You don’t have to spend a lot of money.

In this article, I’ll explain how to spend a really great day in Costa Maya without buying an expensive shore excursion.

Puerto Costa Maya (the port’s official name) and the nearby sleepy town of Mahahual was once a rural fishing village. It wasn’t until 2002 that this region was transformed into the popular cruise ship destination. 

Costa Maya was the first “manufactured” cruise port in the Caribbean, but the infrastructure didn’t last too long. In 2007, Hurricane Dean had a devastating impact in the area. Costa Maya cruise port was closed for a little over a year. 

Finally, Costa Maya reopened and the port complex has been growing ever since.

Where is Costa Maya, Mexico?

When your cruise is going to Costa Maya, most people wonder, “where is it and what’s there to do when I get there?” Actually, a lot of people haven’t even heard of Costa Maya, Mexico. Or they’ve heard the name but have no clue what to do there.

Situated along the turquoise-colored Caribbean Sea, Puerto Costa Maya (Costa Maya cruise port) and its nearby towns rest between the sea and the deep jungle.

Geographically speaking, Costa Maya, Mexico is located on the Yucatan peninsula, near the southern border of Quintana Roo, one of 32 Mexican states. 

What to Do in Puerto Costa Maya Instead of a Shore Excursion

Cruise lines offer full-day and expensive shore excursions to visit the incredible Mayan pyramids, dolphin encounters or snorkeling. That’s great if you want to spend time on a motor coach.

Then there are the on-site tour operators who greet cruise passengers as they enter the port, hoping to pick up some last-minute business. These hard workers offer many of the same excursions as the cruise lines.

When I’m in Costa Maya, I just want a really good lunch and a cold drink. Followed by a couple of hours lounging in a beach chair or floating on a mat in the ocean.

Here’s how to do exactly that, save a bundle of cash and have one of the best port days ever. Head over to the town of Mahahual and its beautiful beaches.

How to Get to Mahahual Beach from Costa Maya Cruise Port

Directions from the cruise ship complex to the transportation area has changed over the last few years. As of this update, here’s how to get to Mahahual and the beaches on your own.

View of the walkway from the cruise ship pier in to the main entrance.

Walk (or take the free tram) along the lengthy pier from your ship to the port’s colorful entrance. Don’t hesitate to hop aboard the tram if it’s really hot outside. The walk is longer than it looks! 1.   After you pass through the Costa Maya entrance, follow the pedestrian path as you enter the bustling cruise recreation and shopping complex.   You know you’re on the right path as you pass the grand staircase on your right.

staircase with the open short cut to trolley area but now closed.

Update:  This little breezeway path behind the stairs is now closed.  

You can’t “cut” through behind the stairs anymore to the taxi and transportation area. Now you have to walk past a zillion shops and snack bars until you come to the beautiful pink flamingoes.

Flamingoes at the cruise port

Look to Your Right, Across from the Flamingoes

2.   There are of course more shops.   But what’s special about Amorino is that it’s the quickest (and maybe tastiest) shortcut to the transportation area out of the cruise complex!

Amorino Gelato in the cruise port.

Be polite as you cut through the shop and maybe promise to stop on your way back for a creamy gelato.

3.   Once you’re on the other side of Amorino’s, you’re getting closer to the taxi and rental area.   Plus you’ve avoided at least another dozen shops that try to lure you inside to buy.

PRO TIP:   Some of these locally owned shops have wonderful items, including unique turquoise and sterling silver jewelry, so plan to have some time to browse or shop on your way back to the ship.

Walkway to taxi area at the port.

4. Here’s what you’ll see as you approach the taxi area.   Yes, you’re in the right place…it’s undergoing some improvements so don’t mind the appearance. Keep walking…

The taxi and golf cart rental area at the port.

Here’s where you can rent a golf cart or hire a taxi. The trolley and/or shuttle are currently not operating, at least not when I was there.

Take a Taxi or Golf Cart to the Beach

You can take a $8 taxi ride (that’s per taxi for one or more people) to anywhere in Mahahual. Or you can rent a golf cart for the day.

The current rate for a golf cart is $60 for a four-seater or $80 for a golf cart for 6 people for the entire day.

The golf cart rental company employees are wearing red shirts, thus the company name, Red Shirt Golf Carts!

A reader recently emailed me that you now need to make a reservation if you want to rent a golf cart! You can Google them and call Mayahual Red Shirts Golf Cart rentals to reserve your golf cart.

Illustrated map showing highlights of Costa Maya and Mahahual area.

5.   Take a taxi to 40 Canons/Cuarenta Cañones/40 Canones.

Tell whomever is driving that you want to go to 40 Canons Hotel or in Spanish, simply, Cuarenta Cañones. It’s a 10-15 minute ride until you reach the last stop at the end of the road. The town is actually Mahahual.

The driver will stop at the entrance to the hotel. Enter the whitewashed breezeway at 40 Cañones and walk towards the beach. You can’t miss it.

40 Canons Hotel breezeway in Mahahual, Mexico.

And Then There’s This – 40 Cañones Beach Club

40 Canons Beach Club.

and this…

40 Canons at the Promenade in Mahahual Mexico, near the Port.

Spend the day on the beach – there are several beach clubs along this stretch of promenade. All charge a fee.

Pez Quadro , the Beach Club at 40 Cañones, has an All You Can Drink package that also includes a meal, wifi and lounge chair for $122 per person. 

There’s also an all you can drink non-alcoholic package with the same amenities for only $45 per person. That’s a bargain price for sure. The food at the hotel is excellent.

Also a Lobster meal and open bar day pass for $167. 

40 Canones restaurant in Costa Maya, Mexico.

Where I Prefer to Eat Lunch

Personally, I always go to the outdoor dining area at the hotel for a fabulous lunch. At 40 Canons you can choose Italian or Mexican. The owners are Italian and serve traditional Italian meals.

Shrimp fajitas at 40 Canones restaurant

I love the shrimp fajitas. Guacamole is awesome, too…everything there is good. A full lunch with a drink will run from $12 to $30 depending of course if you order a fresh-caught lobster or a cheese quesadilla.

If you go with the Pez Quadro Beach Package, one dish is included in the rates.

Homemade guacamole and chips at 40 Canones in Mexico.

After lunch, I like to take a walk along the promenade then head back to the hotel and the beach club.

You’ll find the beach and town quiet, peaceful and pretty much undeveloped.

When it’s time to head back to your ship (be sure to allow at least a full hour) just walk back to the road through the hotel. Taxis are usually available, but leave enough time just in case you have to wait.

As you drive back to Costa Maya (for a short distance it’s a different route) look for these rainbow-colored cabanas.

Colorful tiny houses in Mahajual Mexico.

Once back at the cruise port, just follow the crowds out towards the pier. You can buy any last minute souvenirs from the hundreds of stalls and shops at the complex. Or that gelato I mentioned earlier!

People on board the free trolley at the port back to the ship.

Too tired to walk? Take the complimentary trolley back to your ship.

Seriously….You Could Have This…

Busy and crowded swimming pool at entertainment complex in the port.

Or You Could Have This…It’s Your Vacation

Stretch of beautiful sandy beach at Costa Maya in Mahajual Mexico.

The beautiful beaches of Costa Maya, Mexico. One heck of a cruise port!


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Eight ways to pamper yourself on a cruise, 82 comments.

Hi Jennifer, thanks SO much for your positive feedback. Much appreciated. I’m so glad that you enjoyed your stay in Costa Maya and especially at Pez Quadro! And thank you for taking the time to write about your experience after your cruise. Happy cruising! Sherry

We just followed you plan for Pez Quadro a few weeks ago and it was perfect. The cabs were easy to find, the beach was great and the food was delicious. Thank you so much! We are going on the same cruise next year and will do this again.

I’ve been in Costa Maya once on a cruise to see the Mayan ruins. If I were on a ship that stopped there again, I’d probably stay on board.

Hi Whitney, Thank you for your glowing comment…really made my day! While the Mayan ruins certainly are interesting to see, sometimes you just need to sit on a beach and relax. I totally get it! Thank you for signing up for my newsletter, too. I hope to get an Icon of the Seas review asap. Happy travels and Cheers to the pina colada! Sherry

Hi cruise maven! Im not really into things like this but i read your article (above) for about 3 minutes and thought, oh my goodness this is the kind of right to the point with specific information I need and what she says….she gets ME. You hit the nail on the head. Mayan ruins …. great if you want to sit on the bus but I want to be on the beach drinking a beer or pina colada, with my wife snorkeling or swimming or doing nothing in a bathing suit! Thanks for being here and I will pay attention. FYI, next cruise is the Icon of the Seas, November, 2025 (we just got back from a Caribbean cruise in December) Hopefully by then you will have some feedback about the Icon of the Seas or its sister ships. I signed up for your newsletter and …Thanks again!

Hi Anita, Yes, I was there late last year and updated the post to reflect the changes I noticed that happened since 2018. I hope I did not miss anything that also needed an update.

Have you been back here since 2018?

Hi Penny, Thank you for reading my article and taking the time to ask your question. It all would depend on the amount of time that your Mayan ruins tour lasts. So without knowing that information, all I can suggest is to allow 45 minutes each way from cruise complex to Pez Quadro, based on taxi availability. How much time you plan to spend in Mahahual is up to you of course. Thanks again and have a terrific cruise and day in Costa Maya.

how much time does it typically take to do this? We would like to do this after visiting the mayan ruins.

Hi Bill, I’d check with your ship’s shore excursions – they’ll have all the other types of things to do besides eat. Thank you for your question and reading my article. Have a great trip!

Hi Kathy, Thanks for reading my article. I’ve never known it to be necessary to reserve at Pez Quadro, but if you’d like to ensure a space, you can reserve a package on their website at . If you’re not interested in a package with lunch and/or alcohol, then you could just walk up and, unless everyone on your ship is there, I would like to think that you could pay when you get there. Have a wonderful day in Costa Maya! And thanks again for reading the article.

Hi Sherry thanks for the information on Costa Maya. Do you know if you have to have a reservation for the beach club next to the hotel, or can you just walk in? Our ship doesn’t dock until 1 pm so I’m not sure what we will want to do since it will be getting dark around 6.

i’D LIKE TO DO MORE THAN EAT! Any info on snorkleing, swimming, etc?

We will be in Costa Maya in June. We were told to rent a golf cart and go to the end of the road an check out several of the beach locations as we head back. They have always felt safe there and said the experience is great. Have you tried this? We do have a golf cart reserved but want to make sure it’s a good option before we get there. Excited to explore!

Hi, Sorry to read about your unfortunately experience in Costa Maya. I don’t know what cruise line or hotel was included in your shore excursion, but it sounds awful. You should have been told to wear water shoes at the beach as the shore line can be very rocky and have shells. As for the military showing up, it’s not uncommon. In fact, the other day I heard there was some trouble in Mahahual, so that could account for the police presence.

I hope you brought your complaint to the shore excursion staff and hopefully received a refund or onboard credit. Mahahual is a quaint fishing town with some good restaurants and beach-y hotels.

Thank you for sharing your experience.

I was in Costa Maya a couple weeks ago. If you do not leave the Port it is beautiful. However, we chose to leave the port and take what they called the “beach excursion”. We had been to Belize the day before so were excited to visit the beaches at Costa Maya. DON’T !!!! It cost us $80 a piece to go on the “beach excursion” and I have to tell you it was terrible. We took a tour bus, best part of trip. On the way to the beach there was not but run down buildings and garbage everywhere. When we got to the “resort”, there were old mattresses and garbage all around. The smell well it was horrible. However, we were stuck there, tour bus could not return to ship. So here we are stuck there! We walk inside and the sea grass and rocks were so horrible that you couldn’t get in the water if you wanted to. But I wouldn’t have wanted to anyhow because you have to PAY to use the bathroom. So you know the people that were going in the water were going for one reason. The vendors aggrevate you until you just can’t take it anymore and lose your cool. I had the same lady ask me 7 times if I wanted my hair braided. My hair is 2 inches long. NO NO NO I don’t. I finally had to get rude. It was free drinks all day ! The menu said the drinks had alcohol in them but the did not ! I was to afraid to try the food that the place was just nasty ! When we were finally able to LEAVE the beach. We saw trucks with guys in the back of them with face mask and machine guns. We that can’t be safe! In conclusion, for now, stay away from Costa Maya!

Hi Brooke, Thank you for reading my article about Costa Maya. Yes, shopkeepers and taxis will gladly accept US dollars. In fact, that can give you a little bit of a bargaining point when shopping. Be sure to have small bills, too. I hope you have a wonderful time!

Thank you for your helpful post! I have a question about paying for a taxi and the entrance fee to 40 Cannons. Do they accept US Dollars for payment or do we need to use pesos? Also, ca we use dollars to purchase items from the tourist shop?

Hi Sallie, Thank you for reading my article and taking the time to ask your question. I was in Costa Maya a few months ago and did not see any bicycle rentals at the cruise complex or outside of it. If it was me, even if there were bicycles to rent, I would not rent one. But that’s my personal opinion. Once you get to Costa Maya and leave the cruise complex, you may see bike rentals, but again, I did not. Enjoy Costa Maya whatever way you choose to explore and spend the day. Have a fun cruise!

Thank you for the informative blog on what to do in Costa Maya. I will be there in March with my two grown children and am wondering if there is a good bike rental option (instead of golf cart or taxi) located near the cruise ship landing.

Hi Fernando, Thank you very much for taking the time to recap your experience. I’m really happy to know that everything worked out as planned. I’ve eaten at the hotel many times and have not been disappointed. I’m not a big fan of shrimp, so I have ordered other dishes and none have disappointed. Costa Maya, in my opinion, is just a relaxing day at the beach, away from the over-crowded cruise center and not spending hours on a motor coach. I’m glad it worked out for you. Thanks again for your comment. Much appreciated.

Had a fun time with the family today. Instructions were easy to follow and made everything seamless. A few notes from my experience…. hailing a cab can be a bit caotic as they are not that organized. Also, not sure what changed but today they were charging $4 per person per trip to go to 40 canones. Perhaps not exactly a surprise but path to and beaches were not really clean which was sad to see. I hope the locals can straighten things up a bit to enhance the experience. By the way I did look for trash cans at the beach and there were none found where we were. Dining at 40 Canones was good but not great with rustic and well priced food. Bottom line it was still an awesome experience and we would do that again in a hearbeat. The local feel at the beach was great. Definetly a better and much cheaper uption than the excursions sold by the cruise and others.

Hi Kim, Thank you for the update. I’ve added the Mayahual Red Shirts info to the article. Thank you very much for taking the time to let me know so I can update the info. Enjoy the rest of your cruise!

Good morning. We are currently in costa Maya and I just wanted to bring it to your attention that the golf cart rental have to have a reservation.

Hi Janice, Thank you SO much for your kind words. I’m really happy that my directions to the taxi area, short-cut and more were helpful to you. I have to agree that I’d rather spend a day at 40 Canons than take a shore excursion in Costa Maya…or spend the day anywhere else! They have it all. And thank you for taking the time to submit your comment upon your return. Hopefully, it will help others, too. Much appreciated!

I followed your instructions (and pictures!)! This was my most memorable day on my cruise. 40 Cannons was lovely. Beautiful beach, precious people, very peaceful. Your directions with the pictures and taxi costs were the BEST. This was the best ‘excursion’ by far. Thank you Sherry, it helped so much!

Hi Alison, I apologize for this late reply as your cruise departure day is so close. I was just in Costa Maya two weeks ago and I’m in the process of a completely updated post.

Unfortunately, the trolley is no longer running. However, for your group of 6 people, there are golf carts for rent for 4 or 6 passengers. The company is Red Shirt rentals and you’ll find them in back of the cruise complex, as I describe in the article. The cost is $80 for the entire day. They’ll give you a map of where you can and cannot go (where the roads end).

The beach club at 40 Canones, Pez Quadro, has a fee and you can purchase a day pass online ( ) on their website or when you get there. As for “free” public beaches…there are a few between the cruise port and 40 Canones. You’d probably be better with paying for a day pass just to have a chair and umbrella, plus a meal and/or alcohol. Keep in mind that much of the shoreline can be a bit rocky, or have a lot of shells that make walking barefoot uncomfortable. Aqua shoes are a good solution. Depending on weather and time of year, there can be a lot of seaweed that washes up to the shoreline, too.

There are other beach clubs along the Costa Maya shore, but I have not ventured all the way out there. Chunky Monkey seems to have good reviews but it’s not affiliated with a hotel like 40 Canones.

I hope you get this information before your cruise! I hope to post the update on Monday, Nov. 7.

Thank you very much for taking the time to read my article and send your question. Have a wonderful cruise!

Hi Kristie, Thank you for reading my Costa Maya article. I was just in Costa Maya two weeks ago and I’m in the process of a thorough update to the post. Since the pandemic, the tram/trolley is no longer running. Instead, there are only taxis and golf carts for rent.

A taxi would be your best way to get to Mahahual. While I totally understand your comfort level, it is possible to find others to share the taxi ride. For the return, you’d either be on your own, or from 40 Canones, you could walk along the wide Maleçon (promenade/sidewalk) to find others waiting for a taxi. For me two weeks ago, I stayed onboard the ship until almost everyone went ashore. When I walked to the taxi area, there were some people with whom I could have shared an air-conditioned taxi. I chose not to only because I didn’t want to get into a small car with other cruisers and I didn’t have a mask with me. Otherwise, I would have gone. It’s $8 per trip (not per person) is what I was told.

The taxis are regulated (there’s a dispatcher) and in a queue for passengers.

I’ve always felt safe taking a taxi alone in Costa Maya (and Cozumel), but again, I completely understand the concerns of traveling as a solo female in a foreign country.

I’ll have all the updated info and new photos posted hopefully by tomorrow (Monday).

Thank you again for reading my article and I hope the update will help clarify any questions you may have about getting to Mahahual.

You said that you can take a tram to the hotel. Can you take the tram back to the port? I don’t know if I’m am comfortable riding alone in a taxi.

I’m so happy I came across your article, I’m going on a cruise next week and we are stopping at Costa Maya for a day, my husband and 4 children ages 6-11. We dock at 12:30 to 7pm so i’m just looking for a little trip to the beach with the kids to do some beach combing, play in the sand and back to the boat for dinner. I plan on taking the trolley there as it sounds really fun for the kids. I have a few questions I hope you might be able to answer.

Is the beach you mentioned public? Can I access it without having to go to 40 Canones Beach Club?

Does the trolley take you back to the cruise ship pier or do you have to take a taxi (there are 6 of us)?

Thank so much for any more advice or tips you can give me.

Hi Christine, Thank you so much for your kind words! I’m heading to Costa Maya as I’m typing this, so I’ll look for the Crazy Lobster! I don’t know if it is in Mahahual or at the cruise port center, but I’ll do my best to find it! As for a beach without a fee…there’s a very small beach area at the cruise port (a dip your toe in the water size beach) but you have to get to Mahahual to find the nicer beaches. Most if not all are not smooth sand into the water so bring aqua shoes. The beaches at Mahahual depend a lot on the weather for either rocks to walk over, too much kelp or smooth sand.

If I find Crazy Lobster, I’ll let you know! Thanks very much for reading my blog posts! It’s much appreciated. Have a wonderful cruise!

HI Sherry, I love your blogs! I have just consumed all your information for Cozumel and Costa Maya. I cruise there next month. I also subscribed to your newsletters. I do have two questions about Costa Maya. Have ever eaten at the Crazy Lobster and if so, how was it? Is there a free beach I can enjoy? THANK YOU! Christine

Sorry you had such an awful experience. 40 Cañones is a hotel and restaurant. Across the sidewalk is Pez Quadro, the beach club for the hotel. And yes, the beach club has different prices. A day package with unlimited non-alcoholic beverages, one entrée, lounge chair and wifi is $45 USD. If you want all you can drink plus the same other amenities, then it’s $85 USD. Add lobster and the first package then becomes $65; the second package with booze and lobster etc. is $119.

So if your taxi driver said $65, that would be for the non-alcoholic package with lobster, lounge chair and wifi. I have no clue why you were charged $10 tax on your $26 meal!

I always just go to the hotel for their wonderful restaurant, walk the promenade, head back to the hotel and get a taxi.

Maybe your next visit to Mahahual will be better. Thank you for taking the time to read my article and send your comment.

Asked taxi driver to take us to 40 Cannons Beach. He said they charge $65 per day. He suggested another place, $15 pp per day. What a rip off. Food bill $26 plus $10 tax plus tip. I argued a bit about $10 tax, to no avail. Came back by taxi (now $4). Cimplained to taxi fellow about $10 tax. They are sorry. Is it true the 40 Cannons charges $65 to get in?????

Hi Ali, Thank you so much for taking the time and remembering to come back to my site for your comment! I’m really glad to hear that the restaurant is still top-notch and I’m looking forward to a revisit as soon as I can. Again, thank you! Sherry

Thanks for recommendations. The lunch at 40 Canones was delicious!

Hi Jeff, Thanks for reading this article. I agree…there are more things to do in Costa Maya. My objective with this particular article was to delineate the over-crowded cruise ship complex from a day in relaxing Mahahual. I will work on a new article for Costa Maya with more to do there. Thank you for the suggestion. Much appreciated.

There are quite a few more things to do than sit on a beach! Please cover some of those too.

Hi Jen, Thanks very much. I just replied to a comment yesterday that the breezeway cut-through could be blocked. Now it’s confirmed. I guess too many people figured out the short cut and bypassed the shops and vendors. Thank you very much for the update. I’ll add it to the article in an update. I hope you had a good day in Costa Maya.

FYI: As of two days ago, that pass through next to the stairs is closed!! You must walk all the way around to get a taxi or golf cart. Use the map the ship gives you to find the taxi area.

Hi Lesley, Thank you for reading my article. Yes, there is a fee for the beach club and its amenities. Pez Quadro is the Beach Club associated with 40 Canons Hotel. There’s a link to Pez Quadro in my article where you can book your day pass. My day in Costa Maya means lunch outdoors at 40 Canons and then a leisurely walk along the pathway, turn around and walk back to the hotel for a taxi back to the port. But the Beach Club is a good value with several inclusions (lunch and drinks, wifi, etc) to choose. Just be sure to leave a couple of hours or so for your return to the ship. Someone emailed me to say that at the cruise complex, the little cut-through breezeway that I mention in a photo now has a vendor booth or something in front of it? But it’s easy to find the taxi rank or the trolley.

Have a wonderful cruise and a perfect day in Costa Maya! Thank you again for reading and taking the time for your question.

So there is no charge to use their beach? We will be there next week as a port of call and am not interested in any of the cruise line excursions. I just was a beach and a local place to eat and can go back to ship whenever I want to. Thanks for this info!!

Hi Stacy, Thank you so much for your email! I’m so glad you enjoyed your time in Costa Maya. It is a beautiful place. Also, thanks for reading my article and taking the time to write after your cruise. It’s much appreciated! I look forward to my next cruise that includes Costa Maya! Happy Travels!

Was at Costa Maya last week. It’s absolutely beautiful!

Hi Tammy, Thank you very much for your kind words. It sounds like you’ll have a wonderful family cruise vacation! For Costa Maya, and considering how many people are in your group and the expanse of ages, this may be one of the few times I recommend a ship’s shore excursion or possibly through a 3rd party. Though in your case, just going with the ship’s tour would be the simplest plan, IMO.

Personally, I like to just spend the day having lunch on the beach in Mahahual, just a short taxi ride from the port. But with your group, an air-conditioned motor coach ride to one of the three Mayan ruins could have something for everyone. Most tours include time at a beach as well. And people can nap on the drive back to the port! Have a wonderful cruise! And thanks again for writing.

Hello Sherry, Thank you for your blog.. Our family will be taking a cruise in April 2022 to Costa Maya. At this time there will be approximately 15 of us. Do you have any suggestions, we have age group from 3 18 year olds to 77 yrs young…. TIA for any advice or suggestions you may have. Tammy

Hi Maureen, Thank you for your question. Yes, there is a fee for a day pass to 40 Canons Beach Club. Adults prices range from $45 USD to $85 USD depending upon the type of pass – alcoholic or non. Pez Quadro is part of the hotel. Personally, I’ve never used the beach club (the beaches in Costa Maya can be covered with seaweed) but I’ve had some outstanding meals at the hotel. I love Costa Maya and hope that you have a wonderful visit. Thank you again for your question and reading my article. Sherry

Sheri I’m looking for pricing to enter 40 canons beach club. Is there a price to enter the beach club? Is it per person or adults pay? I was also looking for a website for 40 canons but only found Pez Candro. Could you direct me where to look? Thanks!

Hi Jim, Thank you for taking the time to write and for reading my blog! Much appreciated. I’m not sure what you mean by “port experience”? Is this a Royal Caribbean shore excursion? There are options to purchase tours once you are in the cruise port pool complex but if there’s a trip that your really want to take, you might want to purchase it as soon as possible. Your travel agent or someone at Royal Caribbean should be able to find an answer to your port question. I’m familiar with spending time in Mahahual not a planned tour excursion. Sorry I can’t be of more help. It’s a wonderfully peaceful place to visit once you’re outside of the pool complex. Have a wonderful cruise! Sherry

Great blog, thanks for the information on Costa Maya. I will be visiting there next March with our granddaughter and wanted to know what the cost of the port experience should be. Royal wants about $40pp but can’t you purchase tickets once you get to the port area directly? And what if you only want to see the animals/birds, can you only do one thing?

Thanks, Jim

Hi Michael, Congratulations on your oldest graduating into high school – perfect time for a celebration cruise. You’re best bet is to read other comments online about Costa Maya. You can also contact a travel agent who can possibly arrange shore tours for you and your family.

The only change in my article is that the short-cut to the taxi at the Costa Maya cruise complex has been closed. Now you have to walk all the way around the complex to get to the taxi/trolley boarding area. Costa Maya is great if you want a simple beach day. But be aware that seaweed has been an ongoing issue along the entire stretch of Costa Maya beach and going into the water isn’t pleasant. This could of course change at any given moment.

Have a fabulous family cruise! Thank you very much for reading my articles and taking the time to write. Sherry

I am going to be going on a cruise and stopping in costa maya and want to make sure I’m well prepared for what we will be doing. We are going to be there the week of may 23 2020. I have 2 kids going 1 is 9 the other 13 and this is their first cruise. The 13 year old is going to graduate 8th grade so kind of a celebration and they both want to go to the beach. Can you email me some details so I can have everything in line for what we need to do and what to do so we are not spending that much money. Thank you for your time.

Hi Alan, Thank you very much for taking the time to write your comments. All excellent points. I am disappointed to learn that the little short cut by the stairs is no longer available. It was nice to escape the shopping mall en route to the taxi area.

Yes, I’ve read about the seaweed problem being an ongoing issue with no end in close sight. Personally, I rarely go into the water so thank you again for your report on the seaweed/sargassum and snorkeling. The few times I have, I remember the shoreline being rather rocky and full of shells.

I will work on an update to the article asap. Thank you again for your really great comments. Much appreciated. Sherry

Just a little feedback from our trip here on 7/11/19.

1-You can no longer pass under the stairs to the taxi area. They have walled that off so you have to go all the way through the mall area, out the back, through the parking lot/security and then you find the taxis. Everything went well with the taxis, no issues getting there or back.

2-This and some surrounding resorts are now part of some cruises excursions so it’s not as secluded as it once was. We still had no issue getting seated or anything along those lines, just worth noting.

3-The seaweed/sargassum is overrunning this beach all the way up and down. They were extending the fence offshore during our stay and attempting to keep up with removal but it was pretty thick and you had to go through it to get to the water.

4-Snorkeling off the beach was not worthwhile. You can go beyond the fence (make sure to pay attention when crossing just past there as it is the path the boats take to get in/out of the bay) but even that was just sand and sea grass, mostly conchs not really anything in the fish area. There is a stand right beside the chairs that will take you out on a boat to snorkel for a very reasonable rate but we did not try that during our stay.

5-You will experience numerous vendors passing through the seats trying to sell things. They are very friendly but also respectful if you indicate no interest they will not continue to pursue. You can haggle on price (we did buy a couple things) but I have no idea how to haggle so I’m sure they enjoyed me being there…

Food and drinks were good and staff was very nice. They were able to accommodate my eldest daughters Celiac (gluten allergy). The $20pp fee is adults only…I didn’t realize that so I was trying to eat and drink for 4 including my kids to reach my misunderstood $80 threshold which was only $40 (whoops), but no complaints as it was all very good. All in all it was good, just wanted to call out some items that have changed since the original column was written.

Hi Brenda, Thank you very much for your nice comment; much appreciated. I will try to add your email address to my newsletter list and I think you will receive a double-check email asking you to please reconfirm that you want to receive my newsletter. Then if you click “yes” you’ll be on the list. Thank you again! Have a wonderful cruise and visit to Costa Maya. Sherry

Thoroughly enjoyed reading your info on Costa Maya regarding upcoming cruise. If you have a Newsletter please sign me up!!

Hi DeOndra, Thank you for writing – it’s much appreciated. Since things change all the time, I would suggest that you contact the hotel direct. When I’ve been there, I’ve eaten lunch in the hotel restaurant (fabulous!) then walked across to the beach area and tipped the person for a chair. I’ve never tried the fishing excursion so I can’t advise on that one. Whatever you do, have a wonderful day in Costa Maya! Sherry

Hi there! My question is, if we pay for the all inclusive in advance, would we be eating in the actual 40 canons restaurant or just quesidallas off a menu in a lounge chair? I love the looks of the food and atmosphere of the actual restaurant . I would also like to know more about the fishing excursion that is mentioned in the Pez Quatro website, like how often do they really caught anything. Just trying to figure out the best option before November. Thank you!

Hi Trisha, It sounds like you have some good plans in place. For Mahahual, your kids can snorkel near the shore but while the water in Mahahual is usually calm, be aware that there could be a current or a rocky shoreline to wade through til it was deep enough. But everything else you’ve mentioned seems good. Yes, there are a lot of beach chairs and for a small gratuity I would think that the person collecting the entrance fees would rustle up 10 chairs for all of you to be near each other. I am not familiar with making reservations ahead of time to reserve lounge chairs. If you are referring to just staying at the cruise complex, then rounding up 10 chairs near each other could be interesting. I hope this was helpful. Have a wonderful family cruise. Sherry

Hi! Going next month and my kids love to Snorkel (11& 15yrs old). Can they swim out some and snorkel or would you recommend we find an excursion to do that? As of now plans are just to do lunch, little shopping and hangout at the beach. Also, are there always beach chairs to rent on beach? Can I reserve in advance? It’s a party of 10 and I want to make sure we can all sit together. Thanks!

Hi Esteban, Good question. Aside from going to Mahahual on your own, I wouldn’t suggest venturing out of the town limits without being on some kind of a group tour. You can have a really nice day in Mahahual without spending a lot of money on a full day tour to the Mayan ruins -though they are really beautiful and amazing to see. If you rent a golf cart, there’s not much to do with it after a couple of hours. Puerto Costa Maya is just a recreation complex and the ride to Mahahual is only 10 – 15 minutes away.

I’d suggest taking either the $3 dollar trolley or a taxi down to 40 Canons, have lunch, relax at the beach and stroll along the promenade. Either way, have fun! Thanks for your question. Sherry

Going there in April but would like to deep more in the area….is the area big & secure??? Also, besides the golf carts are there any other options to move a little more??? Going with my parents and want to explore a little more…thanks!!!

Hi Liliana, Lucky you…Costa Maya is one of my favorite ports. You could follow the suggestions in the article and you can read the positive comments from readers. Have fun! Sherry

we are going for first time to Costa Maya, we are very exiting after I read all these comments,, we love the beach and w e are looking to relax in a pretty beach very clear where you can really relax, and enjoy the ocean and have some appetizers and a refreshing drink, where do you recommended to go?

Hi Dale, I’m SO glad everyone had a great time in Costa Maya and that my advice and directions worked! I totally agree that I’d also like to spend a 3-4 laid-back days in Mahahual at 40 Cannons. The food at Maramao is excellent and the ambiance is so very easy.

Thank you for sharing your follow-up for Costa Maya. If you don’t mind, may I take a part of your comment to use on my website? Just a little blurb in the sidebar. I would only use your first name and last initial. I hope you’ll approve, but if not, I totally understand.

Regards, Sherry

We followed your advice and glad we did. Cab ride to 40 Cannons was $8 for our group of 4. We checked out the area and two people had 45 minute massages for $20 each. We had lunch at Maramao. Very good and run by great people. Lobster and fish dishes as well as Italian. Prices were very reasonable and gave us access to the beach. We would not have found this place without your recommendation. I would consider going back to this place for a longer stay.

Hi DeeDee, Good question. There are “free” beaches but if you want a lounge chair, you’ll pay a fee. Since you’re planning on a drink and a snack, that would surely take care of the cover charge. I’d suggest taking the trolley to the end at 40 Canones (why not have lunch and a drink there?) and then walk the promenade until you find whatever appeals to you. Have a wonderful time. Sherry

Hi Sherry, we will be at Costa Maya/Mahahual with a cruise. We want to go by trolley to Mahahual. Is there a part of the beach without paying a fee? Or a bar where you can just can have a drink and a small snack?

Hi Sarah, I always have lunch at 40 Canones and then just go across the pavement to the beach. If you only want to use the beach then yes, there would be a fee. Have fun!

Is there a fee to get in? I read in one post there is a meal and drink package?

For a family, a day at the beach in Costa Maya is a good option, as long as you purchase beach chairs with shade. While most of the shoreline is smooth sand, depending on weather, current etc, aqua shoes are a good idea in case of a pebbly shore as you walk into the water. Meals and snacks are available along the promenade and you can sit and enjoy a nice lunch at 40 Canones. Though with a 2 yr old, I don’t know how relaxing it might for you! Actually, in thinking this through, your best and simplest bet might be to just spend the day at the cruise ship venue, right there at the port. Easy to push a buggy, you can find shade, there’s a kids pool area and you can head back to the ship much easier. Looking back to when my kids were small (first cruise at 5 and 7), the simpler I kept activities, made for an easier and more pleasant cruise experience.

Have a wonderful cruise! Sherry

We are heading here in March. We are a family with smaller children (2-13), and was wondering if this would be a great place to come as a family? There aren’t a lot of options through the cruise line. I am more worried about missing our boarding time, since it’s early afternoon!

Have fun! I love Costa Maya. Enjoy your lunch at 40 Canones and save time to walk along the promenade, too. If you think of it, please drop me a note when you return and let me know how it all worked. Thank you! Bon Voyage! Sherry

We will be there in August. I am so excited to try this out.

Hi Mary Ann,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write such a nice note. I’m happy that you and everyone enjoyed their day at 40 Canons. It’s one of my favorite self-made cruise days! If you don’t mind, may I use your first three sentences as a quote/testimonial? I will only include your first name (I don’t know your last name.) Thank you again for your note (it made my day!) and I hope you’ll approve. Sherry

My husband and I and another couple followed these instructions last week when our cruise ship stopped in Costa Maya. This was one of the best days we ever had. We followed your directions and had no problems. We never saw the little makeshift table you spoke of to get a ride on the trolley or taxi but there were a lot of people there who spoke English that could get us a taxi. The taxi was $2 a person. The taxi driver understood Forty Canons easily and we had printed out the paper to show him in case he didn’t. When we got to Forty Canons, we were so pleased. It is a beautiful resort. It sits on a promenade where you can take a leisurely stroll and looks at the wares that the locals were selling. It was very easy to negotiate a price when we wanted to buy something. We were greeted by one of the beach attendants who spoke English. He said the beach chair and umbrella was $20. We told him no, we would pay $10 so he said ok. He let us pick out where we wanted to sit. It was not crowded at all and had a wonderful scenic place to sit. The water was crystal clear and the beach was nice. There are locals who walk around trying to sell you stuff but when you just shake your head no they smile and leave you alone. It was not a problem. The attendants on the beach are there to serve you drinks and lunch if you want to order anything. It was not expensive at all and the drinks were delicious. It was very easy getting a cab back to the ship. There were many outside the hotel. All in all, we loved everything about the day.

Hi John, That plus some good food and you’re right! The beaches are gorgeous, too. Sherry

any place off the beach with good snorkling

Hi Christina, Happy 10th anniversary! If you follow the directions in the article, you should have a pretty easy time getting to Mahahual and the beach. When you get to 40 Canons Hotel, you can ask anyone about renting a beach chair with them. Otherwise, you can cut through to the beach and walk along the promenade until you find a location you like. Bring US cash in small bills, too. Have a great time in Costa Maya! Sherry

We are headed here next week. Do I need any type of reservation or do I just walk in? I don’t speak Spanish well so I’m nervous. I want to have a great relaxing day as it’s my 10 year wedding anniversary the day we will be there. How do you get a seat on the beach? Just walk up and pick one or do they give you one

Hi Paula, Please contact a travel agency in your area or if that is not convenient, contact the cruise line directly and they can send a brochure. Sherry

Need liturature for your cruises to Alaska my address is Pau, Corning,box1i3, ap,Arkansas,72422t. 1la Rogerssend me literature on your cruises .

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Updated on April 24, 2024 by Wesley Edwards

Jeep Journey to Blue Cay Beach with Mexican Lunch

Jeep Renegade Ride: Hop onto your Jeep Renegade vehicle and drive along the Costa Maya stretch of pristine Caribbean coastline. Visit the Mahahual lighthouse and learn about the history of this once quiet fishing village. Tequila Tasting Experience: Experience a genuine tequila tasting at Tequileria Azteca, where you'll discover the history and global significance of this iconic Mexican spirit. Then, for the part you’ve been waiting for – get the chance to sample three distinct tequilas: Añejo, Extra, and Reposado. Blue Kay Beach Club: Enjoy free time at the beach and a delicious Mexican lunch. Relax, swim in the ocean or simply bask in the sun before returning to the ship’s pier. What's Included:

  • Tequila tasting.
  • Beach Club entrance.
  • Beach beds and facilities.
  • Mexican lunch (Chicken fajitas, chips and salsas, two complimentary drinks, water or soda).

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Requirements and Restrictions: Minimum age – 3 years. Minimum age to consume alcohol – 18 years. Minimum age to drive – 21 years. Valid driver’s license required for the drivers. Designated drivers are not allowed to drink alcohol during the excursion. Pregnant women or guests with mobility issues, neck or back injuries are not allowed to participate in this experience due to the road conditions. Closed-toe shoes are required, water shoes are not accepted. What to Bring: Beach towel and cash or credit card for purchases. Good to Know: There will be 4 guests per jeep. Renegades are automatic transmissions. Returning from the Beach Club to the pier is by land transportation.

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Monster Jeep to Hidden Mayan Ruin and... - Explora Caribe

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We took the 2 reef snorkel tour from a cruise ship. We had to walk a couple of blocks to the pier... read more

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

We had a great time on our excursion to San Gervasio & Punta Sur. Alvin was a great guide & very... read more

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

Monster Jeep to Hidden Mayan Ruin and Virgin Beach- Royal Caribbean

Jeeps clean and in good working condition. Trip to beach fun, definitely felt like adventure through jungle to beach. However, once at beach very dirty, trash everywhere. Lunch provided was good, but again everything felt dirty. Guides friendly but constantly asking for tips, even suggesting 100.00 would be apperciated! Then all made to stop at Tequila place, was supposed to be quick, but held there for over an hour. Again hassled for tips and strong selling of goods at Tequila place. Jeeps fun, but everything else average at best. For price, not worth it. Have done other Jeep tours that were much much better than this one.

Me and my brother left from our Carnival cruise to enjoy an excursion outside the ship. It included a ride with ATV across the famous wineries of Ensenada which was about an hour. The terrain was sandy and perfect for ATV. The guide said that the group’s pace and prior experience will dicatate the speed of the entire group. At the end of the ATV experience, our group went down to the basement of a winery and tasted 4 different kinds of wines with a brief fancy explanation on each one. Cheese and bread was served as well to make the experience even better! In regards to the guide, Diego is a young experienced person who delivers great deal of information about the rural area, wine, and have a great sense of humor. His assistants during our ATV ride, Freddie and Neto, were also incredibly nice and friendly. Overall, amazing experience and highly recommended.

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

We booked the 3 Reef Snorkel by Boat excursion with Explora Caribe through Royal Caribbean International. Our fantastic guide, Josh, met us at the end of the pier in Cozumel, and it was all easy and great from that moment on. We have snorkeled many times in many places, and I can honestly say this was one of the best snorkeling excursions ever. The boat, Island Reef, was super clean and well maintained, and bottled water was offered right away. The equipment was first class--no junky flippers or substandard masks and snorkels here. The first reef we visited was amazing; we jumped into water teeming with all kinds of cool fish and rays. Josh was incredible--he would dive down and point out various kinds of fish and then resurface and tell us all about that particular species. I could not believe how long Josh could hold his breath! The second reef had fewer fish, but Josh showed us a kind of fish only found in Cozumel. Coke and Sprite were served as we motored between reef areas. The third reef was in deeper water and also very interesting. I would highly recommend this excellent snorkeling tour! It was exceptionally well run, and it provided just the right amount of time in the water enjoying the beautiful blue waters of Cozumel. Kudos to Josh, Abraham, Juan Carlos (photographer), Mike, and Jesus!

Booked this tour as an excursion through Carnival Cruise Lines and I couldn't be happier. Upon arrival to Playa del Carmen we were greeted by Emilio and Luigi whom were both very informative about how the day would go. We boarded air conditioned vans and were taken to the Cenote to swim and eat lunch. Luigi was an excellent guide and always kept us informed on the next steps we would be doing. The water was "refreshing " and clear. You could walk most of the time in the cave and you are provided life jackets in the beginning for the swimming you have to do. The lunch served after swimming was authentic tacos, tamales, rice with beans and fresh fruit. The food was delicious. Then you are taken to an area to shop a little bit and then taken back to the ferry. I would highly recommend this to anyone, it has been one of our favorite excursions. P.Sn You can buy a CD with the pictures they take for $30 and they will also email them immediately to as many emails as you want. This is very cheap compared to most excursions.

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

Thank you very much! So glad you've enyojed our tour! Hope to seeing you soon!

We booked a 3 reef snorkel trip through Celebrity shore excursions. We met with the Explora Caribe team at the end of the pier in Cozumel. Very friendly and organized. Gil met us with a smile and checked us in. Once everyone was there, it was off to the boat. Gil Jesus and Jaime handed out equipment and gave a safety briefing to “the familia.” And they really did treat us like family. We stopped at 3 beautiful reefs. Lots of corals and fish. Our guides also pointed out crabs, eels, rays, and other interesting sights. All along they were so friendly and helpful. Jesus also took photos of us with the fish. Highly recommended for a fun, safe, enjoyable excursion.

Thank you very much for your review! Very happy that you enjoyed! Please come back soon!

Tour with Memo was awesome! Getting to the ruins and beach were the most fun - definitely need 4x4. Small group. Highly recommend!

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

Thank you very much! So grlad you enjoyed, please coma back soon!

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jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

Highlights of Costa Maya Town & Beach Break

Costa Maya, Mexico

Activity Level

Excursion Type

Beach,Local Sightseeing,20,25,All

Wheelchair Accessible

Starting At

Minimum Age

Information Not Currently Available

Approximately 4 Hours

Meals Included

Meals included

At the last frontier of the Mayan civilization lies the colorful fishing village of Costa Maya and an endless stretch of beach awaiting your discovery.

Climb aboard an air-conditioned bus and take an adventure through time amid the beautiful and exotic terrain of Costa Maya. Journey through the jungle and along the Caribbean shoreline en route to a beautiful beach .

Enjoy an hour of free time to lie in the sun, swim, play volleyball or drift further from reality in an ocean kayak.

Hop back on the bus and start your way back to civilization, stopping in downtown Costa Maya for an hour of shopping .

Discover the colorful culture of an ancient people in this old Mayan fishing village and witness how it meets with the realities of a modern world.

Be back at the bus at the designated time if you wish to return to the ship with the tour. Guests who wish to stay in town to shop or explore independently are welcome to do so, but must return to the ship on their own.

Ride will be bumpy. Guests who are pregnant or have a back or neck condition are not allowed to participate. Waiver must be signed and medical conditions disclosed. Wear your swimsuit under your clothing; bring a towel, reef-safe/biodegradable sunscreen (no other kind is allowed) and a hat. Swim at your own risk. To avoid sunburn, bring light, long clothing suitable for use as a cover-up.

Books | New information about the mystery of Janet…

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Books | new information about the mystery of janet halverson, book design icon, surfaces, also in the book pages, jenny erpenbeck, the international booker prize winner, appears in southern california..

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

That’s what we were left with when I last wrote about Janet Halverson , the creator of iconic book covers from the 1950s to the 1990s, including Joan Didion’s “Play It As It Lays,” Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” and Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur.”

Despite creating indelible designs for classic books, Halverson herself is largely unknown and unheralded. And that shouldn’t be.

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That’s what Michael Russem, book designer and owner of Katherine Small Gallery near Boston, thought. So after years of tracking down everything he could about Halverson and her work, Russem mounted an exhibit of her designs.

As Russem, who’s also a friend, told me earlier this year, he’d been shocked at how little information there was.

“There’s nothing about her anywhere. There are all sorts of magazine articles about these other guys, but nothing about her,” he’d said then. “Graphic designers … all recognize her work and recognize it as being good. But she just went unnoticed, which is true of all the women of her generation. There are no magazine articles about any of them.”

Even after years of searching, he’d come up empty. Then something changed.

“I got an email not long after your article came out from one of Janet’s nieces,” Russem told me this week, adding that Halverson’s niece Susan lives a little more than 10 miles away from him. “She’d found your piece online.”

“That is something I never expected to happen,” says Russem about connecting with a family member so near. “Somehow we caught her at just the right time.”

Book covers from

Halverson’s niece told him that the designer had died in early 2018, having spent the last few years of her life battling Alzheimer’s disease. Russem invited Susan and her husband to come see what he’d collected.

“They came to the store. Unfortunately, the show had just closed. So we didn’t get to look at the show, but I pulled out some of the books and we talked about them … Janet was Susan’s aunt, not ‘a famous graphic designer,’ so I learned about her as a person, not necessarily what she thought about design,” he says.

I asked Russem how they’d described Halverson. She could be challenging in certain circumstances, he was told, but she could also be a charmer.

“She was smart and funny. She skipped grades in school, which explains how she graduated from college at age 19 – that was something I’d always found weird. She hung out with artists and writers and she lived the life of an artist. And then when she was no longer designing,” he told me. “She switched to painting.”

Was there anything he learned about her work? Apparently, Russem says, Halverson loathed her design for the ’70s blockbuster novel “The Thorn Birds”  – the publisher had insisted on a naturalistic illustration – and never wanted to see it again.

Halverson’s niece remembered seeing her aunt’s designs in bookstores as a child. How did she and her husband respond to an entire exhibit devoted to the work?

“They were kind of surprised by all this, even though they had known from googling her that people were interested,” says Russem, who then poses his own question. “Why were people interested? There was just something special about her work – and then to know this work was made by a woman at a time when women weren’t getting any attention made her story even more special.”

Book covers from

Despite the belief that Halverson’s materials, papers and letters did not survive, it’s possible there will be more to unravel, more to learn. A library sciences student has already reached out to Russem about Halverson’s work, he says.

And for Russem, connecting with Halverson’s family was a powerful experience on its own, whatever comes next.

“Oh my gosh, I was ecstatic, because I’d hoped that this would provide all the missing answers,” says Russem. “It didn’t, which I’m almost glad for because then it would mean this was all done and over.”

See more of Russem’s collection of Halverson’s designs at The People’s Graphic Design Archive or visit Katherine Small Gallery .

Jenny Erpenbeck, International Booker Prize winner, in Southern California

Writer Jenny Erpenbeck signs books at the Wende Museum in Culver City on May 18, 2024. (Photo by Erik Pedersen/SCNG)

This week, the writer Jenny Erpenbeck won the International Booker Prize for her novel, “Kairos.” Translator Michael Hofmann shares the prize with her.

Just a few days prior, I ventured out to the Wende Museum in Culver City to see Erpenbeck in conversation with Louise Steinman . It was a blustery day and a community event in the park nearby added to the festivities (and the dearth of parking), but it was a pleasure to return to the unusual museum, which is a “art museum, cultural center, and archive of the Cold War.”

Held outside, the discussion was a little hard to hear in some spots, but it was being recorded (I reached out to the museum to find out if it would be made available to the public but hadn’t heard back as I wrote this). Erpenbeck, as she began to read from “Kairos,” joked that Southern California was good for her: “I don’t need my glasses. I become younger here.”

Afterward, I was able to chat with the author for a few minutes as the book signing got underway, mentioning that I’d been introduced to her work by Jean Gillingwators who runs Blackbird Press in Upland and who has great, eclectic taste in books (so I may have picked up a copy for her along with my own from Village Well , which was the event vendor).

And in keeping with the event’s small world feeling, I also ran into Laura Silverstein and Tom Nissley of the excellent Phinney Books , one of my favorite bookstores in Seattle, who were visiting. (Tom is another Backlisted podcast fan , too.) They were with Krank Press printer Elinor Nissley  and jack-of-all-cool-trades Alex MacInnis who made a series of audio programs called Valley of Smoke that I really liked. They’re an accomplished bunch – google Tom’s “Jeopardy” run , for example – but also friendly folks. It made the day even better.

Why am I sharing all this? Possibly as a suggestion that it can be a good idea to go to an in-person author reading and pick up a signed book or three. Or that Southern California had the International Man Booker Prize winner in our midst, and it was pretty terrific.

Julia Hannafin likes the covers of old paperback novels

Julia Hannafin is the author of

Julia Hannafin is the author of the novel “Cascade,” published in April by independent press Great Place Books. They have worked as a staff writer on Showtime’s “The L Word: Generation Q” and as an assistant to screenwriter Eric Roth while he was writing the script for Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” 

Q: How do you decide what to read next?

A mix of friends’ recommendations, Twitter, and following the syllabi of the online classes I’ve taken after college. Rabbit holes of writers I admire.

Q: Do you remember the first book that made an impact on you?

I was a big reader as a kid and don’t remember the first. But I loved Gabrielle Zevin ’s “Elsewhere” and her vision of an afterlife. I read the Tamora Pierce series on Alanna’s journey to becoming a knight cover to cover. And my middle school English teacher made us memorize poems and perform them, which introduced me to e.e. cummings, who showed me I could do whatever I wanted with nouns and verbs.

Q: What’s something – a fact, a bit of dialogue or something else – that stayed with you from a recent reading?

I’m thinking about what Hanif Abdurraqib said in a recent interview, how in a desire to love someone in a big way, we can rush to love the imagined person, not the actual. Also, from Maya Binyam’s “Hangman”: “I tried to go home — home was inside of me.” And from Annie Proulx’s “Brokeback Mountain,” “If you can’t fix it you got a stand it. … I been looking at people on the street. This happen a other people? What the hell do they do?”

Q: Do you have any favorite book covers?

I love small, ‘70s and ‘80s style paperbacks — graphic and bright and simple. I also love the Clarice Lispector series of books where her portrait comes together in four parts.

Q: Do you have a favorite book or books?

“Things We Lost in The Fire” by Mariana Enríquez, “Jesus’ Son” by Denis Johnson, “The Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler , “To The Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf.

Q: Which books do you plan, or hope, to read next?

José Saramago’s “Blindness.”

Q: What’s something about your book that no one knows?

I think part of my writing this book was an attempt to understand my mom Dawn better, whose father, my grandfather, died from a heart attack and the disease of alcoholism. She was pregnant with me when he died.

More books, authors and bestsellers

"All Fours," a new novel by Miranda July, is the top-selling fiction release at Southern California's independent bookstores. (Courtesy of Riverhead Books)

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A ’90s pop star, Miki Berenyi tells her own story ahead of LA show.  READ MORE

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Why Los Angeles Dodgers great Clayton Kershaw agreed to a new biography.  READ MORE

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Have you read anything you’d like to share with other readers? Email [email protected] with “ERIK’S BOOK PAGES” in the subject line and I may include your comments in an upcoming newsletter.

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Shore Excursion Details

Jeep safari & beach, costa maya, mexico.

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

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  • 3 3/4 hrs Estimate Duration

jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

Drive a jeep through Costa Maya and discover the perfect combination of lush jungle, turquoise blue sea, isolated terrain and white sand beaches where you’ll enjoy a Mexican lunch. Hop into your Jeep and caravan through the quiet fishing village of Mahahual to see the striking natural beauty. Hold on to your hats as you head into the jungle on a bumpy off-road adventure. You’ll encounter endless stretches of beach dotted with small fishing villages.

After an hour’s drive down the coastline you’ll arrive at a Tequila Hacienda, where you will learn about the process making of this Mexica spirit. Then it is time to head to Explora Beach, a tranquil white powder sand beach. Enjoy a Mexican buffet lunch prepared especially for you. Swim in the clear blue water, stroll down the shore. You’ll have free time to unwind before it’s time to jump back into your vehicle for the return back to the ship’s pier (return to the pier takes place by land transportation). Tour includes bottled water, soda and lunch.

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jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

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  1. Off Road Jeep Adventure & Beach

    jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

  2. Off Road Jeep Adventure & Beach

    jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

  3. Off Road Jeep Adventure & Beach

    jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

  4. Off Road Jeep Adventure & Beach

    jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

  5. Off Road Jeep Adventure & Beach

    jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya

  6. Costa Maya Jeep Safari and Beach Break Adventure Excursion

    jeep journey to pleasure beach costa maya


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  2. Off Road Jeep Trip To Pleasure Beach??? Sea Grass???

    If you google Pleasure Beach Costa Maya there are several you tube videos of presumably the same excursion. I didn't see any landmarks that I recognized but it seems to at least return along the the bumpy ocean road where all beaches were beginning to be affected by seaweed when we were there in February. It seems to have got progressively ...

  3. Costa Maya Jeep Safari and Beach Break Adventure Excursion

    December 2016 Shore Excursion from the Carnival Dream Cruise ship in Costa Maya Mexico. Excursion was a jeep safari with a lunch and beach break.Soundtrack ...

  4. Costa Maya, Mexico Jeep Safari & Beach Excursion

    Jeep Safari & Beach. Drive a jeep through Costa Maya and discover the perfect combination of lush jungle, turquoise blue sea, isolated terrain and white sand beaches where you'll enjoy a Mexican lunch. Hop into your Jeep and caravan through the quiet fishing village of Mahahual to see the striking natural beauty.

  5. Explore Top Beach Excursions in Puerto Costa Maya

    Jeep Journey to Pleasure Beach. Jeep Adventure: Navigate through Mahahual and its gorgeous white sandy beaches in a jeep. Cultural Tasting: Experience a local tequila tasting and learn about this iconic Mexican spirit. Beach Relaxation: Enjoy an authentic Mexican lunch on the sands of Pleasure Beach, overlooking the stunning blue waters.

  6. Excursions

    The tour does include a box lunch during the bus ride to the ruins. Overall, it is a 6 hour shore excursion and you will have about 1 hour and 45 minutes to enjoy inside the ruins site before returning to Costa Maya from the excursion. There is also a $5USD fee at the entrance to the ruins site for using a camera in the ruins.

  7. Puerto Costa Maya Shore Excursions

    Costa Maya also offers a range of excursions suitable for families, couples and seniors. From snorkeling tours suitable for all ages to cultural activities like visiting the Mayan ruins or exploring the local cuisine, there is something for everyone. ... Jeep Journey to Pleasure Beach Duration 30 min Activity Level Strenuous Puerto Costa Maya ...

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    Off-Road Jeep Journey to Pleasure Beach. Hold on to your hats and prepare for a fun-filled eco-adventure. You'll enjoy a genuine Costa Maya land and sea experience as you drive off-road in a 4 passenger, 4x4 Jeep through lush jungle and along the coastline's gorgeous white sandy beaches. ... Costa Maya Town Highlights & Beach Break. Your ...

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    Jeep Ride & Beach with Danny & Cruz. Review of Island Marketing. Reviewed December 5, 2014. By far one of the best. Booked thru Carnival Sunshine 11/2014. If you want the off road ride this is for you. You travel down the beach road stop at a small village then head to the beach. The guides were the best and the lunch that was served was to die ...

  11. Off Road Jeep Journey to Pleasure Beach

    269. October 11, 2005. Corpus Christi, TX. #1. Posted August 2, 2018. Has anyone does this? Cannot find any info if this is a fun, safe, worth it tour. TIA.

  12. Excursions

    You'll enjoy a genuine Costa Maya land experience as you drive in a Jeep Renegade through the town of Mahahual and long the coastline's gorgeous white-sand beaches. ... Stop for a Tequila Tasting experience and then continue to then beach club. Relax on white powder sand of Pleasure Beach and gaze out onto the turquoise blue water while you ...

  13. What to Do in Costa Maya Mexico When You're on a Cruise

    1. After you pass through the Costa Maya entrance, follow the pedestrian path as you enter the bustling cruise recreation and shopping complex. You know you're on the right path as you pass the grand staircase on your right. Mayan staircase in the port. Update: This little breezeway path behind the stairs is now closed.

  14. Costa Maya, Mexico Jeep Safari & Beach Excursion

    DETAILS. Drive a jeep through Costa Maya and discover the perfect combination of lush jungle, turquoise blue sea, isolated terrain and white sand beaches where you'll enjoy a Mexican lunch. Hop into your Jeep and caravan through the quiet fishing village of Mahahual to see the striking natural beauty. Hold on to your hats as you head into the ...

  15. Best shore excursion in Costa Maya, Mexico

    What a blast! We did amazing snorkeling first, then got get a little tour of local attractions of mayans. The kids held an iguana, rode a donkey, used the banos. Then off to view beautiful coastline, stop at beach for photo ops, swing in the hammock. We went to another beach for lunch.

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    Massages: If the ship's spa prices are too high for you, then Costa Maya is the place to get your fix, at much lower prices. There's a spa called Mayan Healing Rituals within the port area; prices ...

  17. Jeep Journey to Blue Cay Beach with Mexican Lunch

    Jeep Renegade Ride: Hop onto your Jeep Renegade vehicle and drive along the Costa Maya stretch of pristine Caribbean coastline. Visit the Mahahual lighthouse and learn about the history of this once quiet fishing village. Tequila Tasting Experience: Experience a genuine tequila tasting at Tequileria Azteca, where you'll discover the history and global significance of this iconic Mexican spirit.

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    About Press Copyright Contact us Creators Advertise Developers Terms Privacy Policy & Safety How YouTube works Test new features NFL Sunday Ticket Press Copyright ...

  19. Off Road Jeep Adventure & Beach

    Duration: 3 Hours 30 Minutes. Adult Price*: $99.99. Child Price*: $99.99. Hop on your 4x4 Jeep for an off road adventure through the jungle that ends at a beachside Mexican lunch. Enjoy an off road adventure through the rough terrain of the tropical forest and a beachside Mexican lunch. On this excursion you will: Listen to a safety orientation.

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    Jeeps clean and in good working condition. Trip to beach fun, definitely felt like adventure through jungle to beach. However, once at beach very dirty, trash everywhere. Lunch provided was good, but again everything felt dirty. Guides friendly but constantly asking for tips, even suggesting 100.00 would be apperciated!

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    Journey through the jungle and along the Caribbean shoreline en route to a beautiful beach. Enjoy an hour of free time to lie in the sun, swim, play volleyball or drift further from reality in an ocean kayak. Hop back on the bus and start your way back to civilization, stopping in downtown Costa Maya for an hour of shopping.

  22. Costa Maya, Mexico Jeep Safari & Beach Excursion

    Jeep Safari & Beach DETAILS. 1 reviews. 3 1/2. hrs Estimate Duration. Family Recommended . Meal . Drive a jeep through Costa Maya and discover the perfect combination of lush jungle, turquoise blue sea, isolated terrain and white sand beaches where you'll enjoy a Mexican lunch. Hop into your Jeep and caravan through the quiet fishing village ...

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    New information about the mystery of Janet Halverson, book design icon, surfaces Also in the Book Pages, Jenny Erpenbeck, the International Booker Prize winner, appears in Southern California.

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    Jeep Safari & Beach DETAILS. 3 3/4. hrs Estimate Duration. Family Recommended . Meal . Drive a jeep through Costa Maya and discover the perfect combination of lush jungle, turquoise blue sea, isolated terrain and white sand beaches where you'll enjoy a Mexican lunch. Hop into your Jeep and caravan through the quiet fishing village of Mahahual ...