ShoreTrips and the Costa Maya | TravelResearchOnline

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ShoreTrips and the Costa Maya

Like Cancun, Costa Maya is a fabricated destination built for tourism—notably the cruise industry. Costa Maya is the newest port in the Western Caribbean and is located on a peninsula which feels eerily similar to many of the private islands owned by the cruise ships.  The area is located on the Caribbean Sea approximately 100 miles south of Playa del Carmen and quite close to the border of Belize.

The port itself is nothing terribly special–a man-made tourism village with bars, restaurants, shops and pools at the ready. The area was built in 2001 from scratch. The only nearby inhabited place is the village of Mahahual with its population of about 200. These folks helped build the port (along with others who came from other areas) including the brick roads, concrete cottages, and the water filtration plant. And before you ask, yes the water is safe within the confines of Costa Maya.

Be sure to see the recommended tours by ShoreTrips after the article.

 

60-Second Geography

The Costa Maya

But don’t be led to believe that Costa Maya is all there is in the region. If you want to venture a bit further and immerse yourself in some true Mayan culture, you have several options. The region is home to some lesser known (but still important) Mayan ruins with the most prominent one being Chacchoben, a city dating back to around 350 A.D. The seaside village of Mahahual is also worth a visit. It’s history began as a fishing village, but now, with the advent of Costa Maya and more recently some financial gain from Hurricane Dean, there are seaside huts, beautifully groomed (and calm) beaches which are perfect for families, and a boardwalk. However, be aware of the buskers who will be selling the traditional souvenirs.
  • The Chacchoben Ruins are the most popular site in Costa Maya. For many years the ruins of Chacchoben remained silent as evidence of the greatness and glorious past of the most brilliant civilization of the new world. Today Chacchoben has become the most popular shore excursion in Costa Maya!Kohunlich Ruins is also popular. This city is dedicated to Kinich Ahau, the Sun God for the ancient Maya.
  • The Dzibanche Mayan Ruins are located in the heart of the Costa Maya region. It may take a while to get there, but it is one of the more impressive ruins in Mexico with some of the greatest examples of architecture and urban organization. The city is an ancient ceremonial center surrounded by many religious buildings. Excavations in the larger temples in Dzibanche, revealed tombs holding jade offerings for members of the elite and ruling families. A set of inscriptions recently discovered in Dzibanche, suggest that it could have been home of one of the most powerful dynasties in the Mayan territory.
  • The Ruins of Kohunlich are one of the most studied sites in the area with the centerpiece being its spectacular temple dedicated to the Sun God. You will see temples housing stucco masks that are part of a symbolic decoration system reflecting the importance of the cosmos for the ancient Mayans. Kohunlich also features residential complexes and palaces that present a very elaborate architecture, that evidence the importance and status of the families who once lived there.

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