Mahahual Travel Guide

Photo of Mahahual

Mahahual Overview

Mahahual, or Majahual, is an up and coming destination on southern the Yucatan Peninsula close to the border of Belize.  Still considered ‘off the beaten track’, Mahahual has seen rapid growth in the past few years as the Mexican government has invested a lot of money into developing the area.   Although a fishing village at heart, Mahahual has moved into the tourist industry since the construction of a large cruise ship dock, which sees several ships per week.


When the cruise ships are not in port, the vibe is cool and laidback.  

You can expect a handful of travelers and backpackers walking the Malecon (the pedestrian only street next to the beach) and chillin’ at local beachside restaurants and bars.   There are excellent water sports in Mahahual such as swimming, scuba diving and sailing, which is often why many of the visitors come visit. 


When the cruise ships are in port, hoards of tourist flood the streets to eat, drink, shop, swim, Jet Ski or do anything else they can find to spend money on.  They usually don’t stay long, but it changes the vibe of the village considerably.  Locals move into money-making mode and prices are jacked up, cheesy music pumps into the air from the beachside bars, and hawkers work the streets.   Knowing when the cruises ships are in port and planning a trip out of town during those times is not such a bad idea.  Be sure to check the Mahahual Cruise Ship Schedule to see which days the ships are in port.


Still, even with the cruise ships, Mahahual is well worth a visit.   Located 218 miles south of Cancun, Mahahual is not exactly easy to get to.  A good option is to rent a jeep and drive down the coast visit Playa del Carmen and Tulum.  From Tulum you will still have another 137 miles to go, about 3 hours by jeep, but the drive is pleasant and beautiful.   Another option is coming in from the state capital in the south, Chetumal, which is only about 2 hours or 85 miles.


Once in Mahahual the town is divided into two parts; the beach along the Malecon and the Casitas, which is a subdivision containing most of the housing for the locals.   The Casitas is close to the cruise ship dock so many of the tourists from the ship stay in the area leaving the Malecon somewhat more relaxed.  You will find that most of the travelers hang by the beach along the Malecon.   Mahahual is easy to navigate by foot, but it is also possible to rent bikes.  ATM machines are available in both sections of town, but it is not uncommon for them to run out of cash so it’s recommended to bring a little extra dinero if possible.   Internet access is possible at some of the larger hotels, but sometimes the connection can be spotty.

Things to do in Mahahual

Mahahual Beaches – The main beach is located along the Malecon and stretches from the lighthouse to the southern tip of the Malecon.  On the northern end you can find more up-market beach clubs (they already have a Senior Frogs up there), while towards the southern end things get a bit more rustic.   The water is shallow at Mahahual so be sure to find a spot that is good for swimming.


Scuba Diving Mahahual – The scuba diving at Mahahual is excellent.  There is a protected reef just off-shore, which offers excellent dives that are easy to get to.  About 45 min out there is Chinchorro reef which offers world class diving.  If you’re a serious scuba diver you will want to go to Chinchorro.  


Scuba Dive Shops in Mahahual

Doctor Dive – The most respected dive shop in Mahahual.  Located on the Malecon. Tel: +52 983.1252140  email:

Dive Life – Located on the Melecon. Offering Padi classes and dives. Tel: +52 55.52949761

Gypsea Divers – Located on the beach. Offering snorkeling and diving in Mahahual.

Dreamtime Dive Resort – A PADI 5 star resort offering package deals.  Located on Mahahual Coastal Road.  +52 1 983 124 0235


Sailing Mahahual – there are plenty of opportunities to get on a boat in Mahahual and a few options to either rent your own sailboat or have a skipper take you out.  Just walk down the Melecon and ask around.


Mahahual Restaurants – not surprisingly you can expect some very delicious seafood in Mahahual.  Several restaurants in both the Casitas and by the beach offer catch of the day specials.  Most hotels along the Malecon have their own restaurants as well.

Capitan Mono – A local favorite, located right on the beach.

Tapas Bar – serving up wonderful tapas directly on the water.

El Delfin – Excellent seafood, located on the northern side of the Malecon.

40 Canones – restaurant bar located on the southern end of the Malecon

Oxtankah Resturatn Bar – Located directly on the beach at the center of the Malecon.  This is a good choice for lunch or days on the beach.



Mahahual Nightlife – People go to bed early in Mahahual and there is not much going on after 9:00PM.  Hotel bar restaurants are you best bet for a dink, but don’t expect a late night. 


Mahahual Roadtrips – there are several interesting destinations within striking distance of Mahahaul.   If you drive down the coast, there is an excellent coastal road that will not disappoint.  It’s quite bumpy and made of dirt so a jeep is recommended.  Directly from the Melecon head south along the dirt road and you will come across Puerto Angel, and in about 90 min you will come to the end of the road at the town of Xcalak


Mayan Ruins near Mahahual – check out Myan ruin sites at: Ickabal, Chacchoben, Dzibanche, and Kohunlich. 


Mahahual Yoga Retreat – Get you Om on at Costa Maya Yoga. Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yogo, meditation and beach yoga available.

Hotels in Mahahual

Budget Hotels Mahahual

K’ay Kook Hotel – Affordable family run hotel located one block off of the beach.  Lote 7, Mahahual.


Mid Range Hotels Mahahual

Hotel Costa Maya Inn – offering 50 rooms in a jungle setting on the north side of Mahahual.  Paseo del Puerto, Lote 1211, Fraccionamiento Nuevo Mahahual.  Tel: 983.835.1250

Posada Pachamama – Small but clean rooms located walking distance to the beach.  Calle Huachinango S/N. Tel: +52 983 8345 762

40 Canones Hotel – excellent choice located on the southern end of the Malecon.

Matan Ka’aan Hotel – One of the nicer hotels in the beach area of Mahahual.  Located one block off of the beach on the s

Mahahual Weather

Mahahual Travel Resources


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This page was last modified on 21 Feb 2013 by Matt