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

What to do in Costa Maya Mexico

Costa Maya was once an area of rural fishing villages.  In 2002, this region was transformed into a popular cruise ship destination.  After a year’s closure following Hurricane Dean’s devastating impact in 2007, the re-built cruise port of Costa Maya has been growing ever since.

If you’re not in the mood for a day-long, expensive shore excursion to visit the Mayan pyramids, I have a solution.  Most people wonder, “what’s there to do?”  My answer is “Plenty!” And it’s cheap, too.

costa maya cruise port

After you walk the lengthy pier from your ship to the port’s colorful Disney-esque entrance, here’s what to do.  Follow the pedestrian walk along your right side, past the little shops until the grand staircase is on your right.

Costa Maya staircase with short cut to trolley

See the little path?  Walk through there and when you emerge, you’ll notice a makeshift table under a long awning.  Head over there and you’ll have two choices both at the same price.

You can either buy a $3 trolley ticket or take a $3 taxi ride (all per person).  Tell whomever is driving that you want to go to 40 Canons Hotel or in Spanish, simply, Cuarenta Canones.  It’s 10-15 minutes to the last stop at the end of the road.

If you have no back or neck issues, the trolley is kind of fun as it happily bounces along the bumpy roads. Taxis of course provide a much smoother ride but not quite as much fun.

Costa Maya trolley to Mahahual

Enter the whitewashed breezeway at 40 Canons and walk towards the beach.  You can’t miss it.

40 Canons breezeway Costa Maya

View looking back towards the road with my back to the beach.

And then there’s this – 40 Canons Beach Club.

40 Canons Beach Club

and this…

40 Canons at the Promenade

Spend the day on the beach – there are several beach clubs along this stretch of promenade. Pez Quadro, part of 40 Canons, has an All You Can Drink package which includes a meal, wifi and a laundry list of inclusions.

40 canones restaurant costa maya

Sponsored Link

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

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.

Take a walk along the promenade after lunch…maybe set yourself down on a beach chair and take a brief siesta.  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 an 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 (for a short distance it’s a different route) look for these rainbow-colored cabanas.

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.

trolley at Costa Maya port

Too tired to walk?  There’s a complimentary trolley that shuttles back and forth from the entrance to the end of the dock.

Seriously now….you could have this…

Or you could have this…it’s your vacation.


By |March 22nd, 2017|Mexico, Travel Tips|


  1. Paula Rogers May 18, 2017 at 3:17 am

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

  2. Sherry Kennedy May 18, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    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.

  3. Christina Bollinger September 27, 2017 at 8:09 am

    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

  4. Sherry Kennedy September 27, 2017 at 10:08 am

    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!

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