Where to stay in Mahahual at the Costa Maya? Mahahual and the surrounding beaches have the most beautiful hotels, beach cottages and luxury hotels. But it does take some time to go through that overwhelmingly large offer to find the perfect place to stay in Mahahual. As one of the most popular beach destinations in the Yucatán peninsula, there’s a lot to choose from. You also have to make a choice between staying in Mahahual or a more remote beach stay along the Costa Maya nearby. This blog will help you make a choice. What are the best areas to stay in and near Mahahual and the Costa Maya? And which hotels are the best?
How to get to Mahahual in Mexico
Mahahual is a small beach town on the Costa Maya on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It is located on the eastern side of the Yucatán Peninsula.
It is one of the more southern coastal towns in that area and Belize is not far from Mahahual. Mahahual is located at the starting point of a peninsula on the Costa Maya coast. South of Mahahual are kilometers of white sand beaches lined with palm trees. The very tip of this peninsula is not even part of Mexico, but it is the location of tropical Amber Gris in Belize.
Other popular coastal towns in the area are Tulum (2.5 hours to Mahahual), Playa del Carmen (over 3 hours) and Cancún (4 hours). Laguna Bacalar and the town of Bacalar are also only a 45-minute drive from Mahahual. The nearest airport is the Cancun International Airport. You can either get to Bacalar by public transport and the ADO bus or by driving yourself with a rental car. Public transport in Mexico is really well organized with its comfortable, clean ADO buses. If you are looking for a rental car, we recommend that you read our extensive blog about renting a car in Mexico to learn how to find affordable options, how to make sure you don’t pay (too much) extra for insurance and how to drive the Mexican roads safely.
Why we wouldn’t recommend Mahahual, but love the Costa Maya
We have a very unpopular opinion about Mahahual, as we don’t think this beach town is worth visiting. It is not a good representation of Mexico’s perfect beaches and blue ocean. This area actually has a beautiful coral reef and stunning picture-perfect beaches, all just in front of the coast and nearby Mahahual. These might sound like the perfect ingredients for some beach days, but Mahahual is just too crowded and touristy to fully relax, partly due to the many cruise ships that dock in the town.
Read more: why we wouldn’t recommend Mahahual.
If you do plan to visit Mahahual, we have some great tips on the best things to do in Mahahual. Snorkeling and diving should be your first choice, as the Mahahual coral reef just off the coast is legendary and beautiful. You can even go snorkelling by yourself with your own or rented gear just off the coast. But especially popular are the snorkelling and diving tours to the protected reef Banco Chinchorro. The reef offers the chance to swim with tropical fish and sea turtles. And you can explore some shipwrecks on the seabed as well! You should also enjoy the restaurants in Mahahual. There is a lot of fresh fish and seafood on the menus. And if you love to relax on the beach, you might also want to add a massage which is widely offerend on the coastal strip of Mahahual.
But Mahahual isn’t the only place where you can find beaches along the Costa Maya coast. Just south of this village are the most pristine beaches where you can stay at stunning beach cottages! We accidentally booked this charming off the grid beach cottage, because at that moment we did not realize that the cottages were not in the southern part of Mahahual, but much further south and actually 30 minutes driving from the popular village. It turned out to be a golden find. We fell in love with the pristine bounty beaches with the most beautiful places to stay at the Costa Maya.
Where to stay at Mahahual on the Costa Maya
We would recommend you to find a great place to stay further south on the Costa Maya than the busy and touristy town of Mahahual. This coastal strip offers pristine beaches with beautiful places to stay. But if you want to stay in Mahahual, we found the perfect solution as well with two amazing places to stay in Mahahual. They both have their own private beach, so you don’t have to spend your time at an overly crowded beach.
Unique places to stay in Mahahual
#1 Eco Cabanas BlueKay for the picture-perfect paradise hotel in Mahahual. This hotel is located on the outskirts of Mahahual near the lighthouse. The beautiful BlueKay offers well-priced dormitories, but we would especially recommend it for its charming and perfectly located bungalows on the beach. As Eco Cabanas BlueKay has a large private beach, you can enjoy the beautiful coast here without any crowds. Staying at BlueKay therefore feels lot less touristy than the rest of the Mahahual beaches feel to us.
#2 40 Canons for a beautiful and charming boutique hotel with a private beach, making a stay here feel less touristy than on the crowded, public beaches. Because of the lovely family rooms, 40 Canons is also the perfect hotel in Mahahual for families.
Unique places to stay outside Mahahual
#3 Cabanas Costa Maya for a small-scale accommodation about 30 minutes south of Mahahual, where we spent a few days in a paradise beach cabin. Don’t expect a luxury resort, but a fantastic off-the-grid experience. The guests of the cabanas have the beautiful beach all to themselves. There is no beach club with rows of sunbeds as you’ll see in Mahahual, but instead rows of palm trees. There are (reclining) chairs in the shade of palm trees for the hotel guests. Make sure to use the kayaking and the snorkel sets as well, as you’ll find a beautiful color reef with rays and colorful fish directly offshore, just like in Mahahual. The evenings are for cozy campfires, after first enjoying the ‘catch of the day’ during a communal diner.
#4 Almaplena Beach Resort for a beach paradise 20 minutes drive from Mahahual. Almaplena is beautifully sandwiched between a vast private beach and a green jungle. It is a small-scale resort with only 8 luxury suites, all equipped with a king-size bed, balcony and of course a private bathroom. There is a private beach club with a swimming pool, sunbeds and palm leaf umbrellas for shade. The restaurant offers Mexican and Italian food, so there is no reason to leave this beach paradise.
#5 Ecological Hotel Maya Luna for a remote beach hotel making you feel like staying on a deserted island. Maya Luna offers a beach hotel with simple, nice rooms for a reasonable price. This eco-hotel on the Costa Maya also has its own private beach, where the picture-perfect palm trees sway in the wind. There are sunbeds, hammocks and a private bar and restaurant. Despite its remote location, Maya Luna has free Wi-Fi for its guests.