This classic fishing village is one of the last frontiers of the Mexican Caribbean. If you had visited Cancún 35 years ago or Playa del Carmen 20 years ago, you would have seen something like what Mahahual looks like today. If you go there, you will find that hard to believe…
If you are the type of person that enjoys a laid-back fishing village with sandy streets, solar-powered and wind generated electricity, great diving, tranquil beaches and no specific dress code, then Mahahual is for you! But it is growing quickly because it has been discovered, so if you want the experience, be sure to visit sooner rather than later. These days you will find small eco-friendly hotels, dive shops, cafés, quaint restaurants, and the mom and pop handcraft industry that revolves around the cruise ships that arrive to neighboring Costa Maya about 2 miles north. The fishermen of the past are now the dive boat captains who know the area like the back of their hands.
Although the area is most publicized as a dive resort, Mahahual is also for the non-diver. With miles of open, palm tree-studded beaches, pristine waters and ocean breezes, this is the perfect place to hang out in a hammock, sleep the hours away and/or read to your heart’s content!
If sitting by the beach in a hammock gets tiresome, there are other things to do in the Mahahual area. Of course, if you aren’t a diver, you can still enjoy the water and the fish by snorkeling. Bird watching is a popular pastime, as the bird population easily outnumbers the human population. Day trips are available to the Chinchorro Reef, a few hours offshore, or to the Cays of Belize which also aren’t too far away. There are Mayan ruins not far away and small inhabited Mayan villages as well. Even the “lake of seven colors”, Lake Bacalar, is within day trip distance.
There are a lot of really good restaurants to choose from in Mahahual…Mexican and International. The fish really is caught daily…it’s a serious place for foodies. Mahahual has lots of happy tourists.
Getting to Mahahual from Mérida: take the highway to Chetumal. From there go north on Highway 307, passing through four towns on the way to Mahahual. When you see the sign to Mahahual turn right, and go for another 55 km. to Mahahual. The other way to go from Mérida is to go first to Tulum or Playa del Carmen and then south. For the ADO bus schedule click here.