Costa Maya: Never-Ending Adventure
Set on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, Costa Maya is best known for jungles, beaches, lagoons, and Mayan ruins. In fact, this region has the highest concentration of Mayan archaeological sites in Mexico.
White-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees shape the backdrop for Costa Maya, the Mexican port of call designed exclusively for cruise guests.
In 2007, this quiet fishing town underwent a massive rebuilding project. The renovations resulted in a remodeled cruise facility and the addition of a promenade along the beach. The all-encompassing entertainment complex features a 70,000-square foot shopping center, local artisan market, private beach club, two saltwater pools, 650-seat amphitheater, restaurants that serve some of the freshest ceviche in the Caribbean, and all the resources needed to explore the natural surroundings.
The area around the cruise port is home to one of Mexico’s largest populations of Mayan descendants and the highest concentration of ancient Mayan archaeological sites, hence its name: the Mayan Coast.
The village of Mahahual is just a five-minute ride from the pier. Guests can visit a Mayan home to taste authentic dishes such as buried-earth-cooked chicken, handmade tortillas, and exotic local produce.
The Chacchoben ruins, about an hour west of the port, are Costa Maya’s most popular shore excursion destination. However, two other Mayan archeological sites are also worthy of exploration.
At the Kohunlich ruins, elaborate residential dwellings of the ancient Mayans overlook miles of tropical jungle and lush hillsides. These ruins are best known for the Temple of the Masks, a pyramid with 10-foot-high sculpted masks of the Mayan sun god running up the sides of its stairways.
The secluded Dzibanche ruins were once part of a major ruling Mayan city that spanned more than 15 square miles; excavations have revealed tombs with rich jade offerings for the upper class. The area is wooded by ceibas, huge trees central to the mythological cosmology of the Mayans. Must-see structures include the Temple of the Owl and the Temple of the Captives.
Walk in the footsteps of ancient Mayans at a fascinating lost city that archaeologists believe was a thriving metropolis some 1,500 years ago. Chacchoben’s ceremonial center alone covers about two-and-a-half square miles.
Play with dolphins in the cool Caribbean waters of Costa Maya only five minutes from the port. Your marine mammal specialist will teach dolphin facts about their character and abilities. Afterwards, enjoy the pool and shopping within the Costa Maya port.
Explore the mysterious Mayan world on an exclusive drive tour through the rainforest to the Chacchoben Mayan ruins. Then walk in the footsteps of the ancient Mayans, marvel at their temples, see their once-magnificent gardens, and absorb their fascinating history.
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