Costa Maya, Mexico
Puerto Costa Maya is located about 100 miles south of Cancun on the western side of the Caribbean Sea near the Belize border. Private investors who recognized the need for more cruise ship ports in this section of the Caribbean financed the new port in 2001. The port was almost destroyed by Hurricane Dean in 2007, but was reconstructed a year later.
Costa Maya has all the amenities that cruise lovers expect including swimming pools, shops, bars, and restaurants. The beach is rocky at Costa Maya, but the nearby village of Mahahual (also known as Majahual) has sandy beaches and is just a short taxi ride away. Activities such as kayaking, diving, snorkeling, or exploring in a Jeep are also popular.
Costa Maya’s unique attraction is the ancient Mayan city of Chacchoben, which dates to 360 A.D. and was once a major center of trade. It was largely undiscovered until 1999, so is less excavated than more well-known Mayan sites like Tulum and Chichen Itza. Shore excursions visit not only Chacchoben, but also other lesser-known ancient sites, making this port of call perfect for those who want to learn more about the Mayan culture.