I rate this experience up there with Disney's private island .... LOVE Mahahual!
Beach Break Rating:
I was a bit bummed that we had short port day in Costa Maya I think we had maybe a total of 5 hours in port. Our original plan was just to hang out at the port, because there are shops and a pool there. It was a nice port -- but we only walked through...and right out of the gates.
We started to see this place pop up on the message boards and decided it sounded a little bit better then a cruise-line manufactured port. The place: Tropicante Ameri-Mex Grill in the town of Mahahual. http://www.sandalsandskis.com/Tropicante.html
The plan: emailed the owner -- Steve prior to sailing, to reserve some loungers. This is FREE of charge, if you promise to eat and drink from his restaurant. Steve was great to deal with, emails were answered with great attention to detail and within 24 hours! He let us know how and where to hail a cab and how much we should be paying for the cab as well. He answered all of my questions and even gave me a tequila lesson -- which was to be continued once I arrived!
The weather is looking great and I can't wait to get to our destination. We take a 5 min stroll through the port -- as it is not clearly marked how to get out. I suppose they want you to stay and spend your money there.
We walk a block outside of port -- everything seems safe -- and speak to a cab driver about taking us to Tropicante. He takes us ($2 per person) and we arrive in about 5 minutes, safe and sound. The driving in Mexico does leave you a bit nerve racked. I wonder if they do that to boost tequila sales once you get to your destination
We walk from the cab right to the beach, speak to our waiter who walks us to our loungers and just drink it all in for a minute. This is a beautiful tropical paradise right on the beach. If I looked to my left I could see our ship. Deceiving though -- because the walk would have taken a good 45 minutes to an hour. The kids went right to playing in the sand and water, while the adults ordered a few cold beverages
Steve, the owner, chatted with us a bit. He was always visible for the whole time we were there chatting with all of his guests and making sure everyone was having a fantastic time. Aside from food and drink, you can also get a massage, snorkel, banana boat, and many other activities. We were just happy to eat, drink, and play in the water. The food was good. Though it was mostly Mexican fare, it was American enough to please pickier eaters too.
I was sad to leave - and would definitely recommend this place to anyone in the area, or cruisers looking to have an amazing beach day.