PARADISE FOUND: DISCOVER ISLA CONTOY
Created By: Sabrina Rupp | Published: 4/15/2022
Mahahual is a small beach town located just 2.5 hours to the south from Tulum and one hour away from the famous Bacalar Lagoon. This lovely destination is one of the few beach towns near the Riviera Maya that still hasn’t been disturbed by the large resort chains and endless companies that are well-established now in popular destinations such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen and others.
If you’re an adventurous traveler who loves the beach, raw nature, peaceful environments and are really looking forward to an eco-friendly experience, then Mahahual is definitely the place you have to visit on your next Mexican vacation!
The easiest and most common way to arrive here is by car, although you can also travel here on a cruise ship as there’s a nearby port, but you won’t quite get the same experience in the end.
The closest airport to Mahahual is the Chetumal International Airport, which is nearly 2 hours away. Once you arrive in Chetumal, you can rent a car so that you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the unique sights of the virgin tropical forest on the way and take a peek at the impressive Bacalar Lagoon that is sitting right in the middle between Chetumal and Mahahual.
Now, if you’re arriving at the Cancun International Airport, then the trip to Mahahual will be considerably longer, as you’ll be 4.5 hours away from here. But the great news is that you’ll have the chance to drive by cities and towns like Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen and Tulum.
Once you take the exit road to Mahahual from the Federal Highway, you’ll see nothing but dense unperturbed jungle for about 40 minutes, so don’t get too impatient! At the end of the way, you’ll be greeted by theMahahual lighthouse, a pretty simple but iconic landmark where the oceanfront boardwalk begins.
Congratulations, you’ve made it to Mahahual! Now that you’ve arrived at the Mahahual Lighthouse, you’ll have the choice to visit two completely different sides of the town, which we’ll describe below.
We’ll start with the south sector, which is basically the traditional Mahahual that all visitors have fallen in love with, as it’s the side with all the breathtaking beaches, cozy hotels, beach-side restaurants, eco-friendly beach clubs, and where you will find most of the exciting nature activities.
It is important to mention that everyone who lives in Mahahual takes the environment very seriously, so all the activities you’re allowed to do here are done with the utmost care to protect the ecosystem, including the coral reef that shields the town from the waves brought by the Atlantic Ocean.
Among the water activities you can do here is snorkeling or diving to see the exotic marine wildlife and appreciate the coral reef from up close. When you plunge into the depths of the sea, you’ll see right away some of the most colorful fishes, crustaceans, jellyfish, and beautiful turtles, which are permanent residents to this area and are rarely seen in nearby destinations.
If you’re not really into being underwater, there are plenty of other options as well, for example, you can visit restaurants such as The Krazy Lobster and after enjoying a tasty 5-10 USD meal, you’ll get complimentary use of a kayak to see the marine life from above. Since pretty much the whole beach area of Mahahual is wave-free, you’ll surely enjoy paddling around!
After you’re done with the water activities, the next thing we suggest is exploring the long but entertaining boardwalk. To do so, you can take a walk to stop at each location, or rent a handy bicycle for a whole day, to visit everything that the boardwalk has to offer, and go beyond the limits to venture into nature.
Another great thing about Mahahual is that there are hammocks virtually everywhere. You can find them hanging from palm trees by the boardwalk, at the restaurants, and even right above the water! So you can simply lay down and rest enjoying the breeze and the sound of the sea.
After the sun starts to set, you’ll quickly notice that most businesses by the beach will begin to close, but that doesn’t mean the action stops there! Simply head a few streets away from the boardwalk and you’ll be able to find a lot of bars, street vendors, performers and everything you can think of.
Nighttime in Mahahual is the perfect occasion to socialize with other tourists and go partying with your friends in a different style!
This is the newly-built, more modern side of Mahahual, which doesn’t really have access to the beach, but does feature other kinds of attractions that you might find interesting as well, especially if you’re here with kids!
This attraction was mainly designed for cruise ship tourists in mind, as it’s located right at the entrance of the cruise ship port, which welcomes tourists from all over the world. But don’t worry, since other tourists are welcome as well.
At Costa Maya you’ll be able to find a water park, as well as swimming pools, on-site restaurants, boutiques, and so much more. This place has everything you’d expect to find near most cruise ship ports, but in the heart of the jungle!
If you’re already planning on visiting Mahahual, then you might wanna know when is the best season to come here, right? Well, we can tell you that any time of the year is perfect for traveling, however if you’re more into hot sunny days and are comfortable with a larger number of tourists, then summer is the obvious choice. If you want to enjoy chilly waters and cooler weather in general, then the fall-winter season is right for you, which is also when there’s slightly less people around!
We hope you enjoyed reading about this fascinating destination that is still one of Mexico’s less known treasures, and that you decide to take a trip there to truly experience it at its fullest!
Just keep in mind that this little gem has been preserved almost intact for so long because its inhabitants and other tourists have taken good care of it, so when you visit it remember to follow the traditions of respecting nature to allow future generations to enjoy it too.
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Created By: Mariana Flores | Published: 3/31/2022