The city of Mahahual is relatively unknown among backpackers. This small-scale fishing village is located south of Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum. You will find a long boulevard with many restaurants, a white beach and you can snorkel between giant turtles just before the coast. A nice place to relax for a few days!
Because we couldn’t find much about Mahahual on the internet, we didn’t have high expectations of this coastal town. We wanted to spend our last vacation days in a quieter and less touristy place than Tulum. From this busy seaside town you can reach the relaxed Mahahual in around two hours by bus. There are also direct bus connections from Bacalar and Chetumal.
Mahahual cruise ships
And for sure you can find peace in Mahahual … What a nice laidback village it is! Unless a cruise ship has just arrived, it’s full of Americans on the boulevard. At that time there are more and more souvenir shops and suddenly there are American menus on the tables everywhere. Impressive to see how much impact the cruise ships have on such a small beach town. I would advise you to find out in advance on which days the ships will dock (in March 2018 this was from Tuesday to Friday). It’s nice to experience it once, but we especially enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere on the other days.
Swimming among the locals
On the other days, the atmosphere was really chill. On the beach we were mostly between Mexican families at the weekend. While the children play in the sea, the rest of the family is chatting on the beach with well-stocked cool boxes. You can eat wonderfully in the restaurants on the boulevard. Especially at Nohoch Kay Beach Club you can eat really tasty tacos for little. Moreover, you can use the sun loungers on the beach for free (when there are no cruise ships) and there is free WiFi available. If you fancy a good baguette for breakfast or lunch, go to ‘La Tartalete Panadería’. This sandwich shop is located in a side street of the boulevard and that’s why it’s incredibly busy in the morning.

Zwemmen tussen de locals
Op de andere dagen was de sfeer chiller dan chill. Op het strand zaten wij in het weekend veelal tussen Mexicaanse families. Terwijl de kinderen lekker in de zee spelen, zit de rest van de familie met goedgevulde koelboxen te kletsen op het strand. In de restaurantjes aan de boulevard kun je heerlijk eten. Vooral bij Nohoch Kay Beach Club kun je voor weinig écht lekkere taco’s eten. Bovendien kun je gratis gebruik maken van de ligbedden op het strand (wanneer er geen cruiseschepen zijn) en is er gratis Wifi aanwezig. Mocht je zin hebben in een goede baguette als ontbijt of lunch, ga dan naar ‘La Tartalete Panadería’. Deze broodjeszaak zit in een zijstraatje van de boulevard en het is er niet voor niets ontzettend druk ‘s morgens.

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Swimming with turtles
Off the Mahahual coast is the third largest coral reef in the world. You can dive and snorkel here with giant turtles. We have arranged a private snorkeling trip through our accommodation. We paid 600 pesos for that for one hour. Tip: do this on a day when no cruise ships dock, then it is nice and quiet on the water.
Swimming with turtles
Off the Mahahual coast is the third largest coral reef in the world. You can dive and snorkel here with giant turtles. We have arranged a private snorkeling trip through our accommodation. We paid 600 pesos for that for one hour. Tip: do this on a day when no cruise ships dock, then it is nice and quiet on the water.
Sleeping on the beach
We slept in a nice AirBnB on the beach of Mahahual: Posada Tony’s en la playa This beach house is not luxurious, but the location is worth more than five stars, you can walk straight into the sea from the back garden. Moreover, you can walk to the boulevard within a few minutes. The owners are super friendly and are happy to help you get started in Mahahual.
Is your budget a bit higher, we recommend the MahaSand Suites. It is a Hostel / Hotel with ideal location and regularly good offers. Another good option, with a good location, are the Caribe Dream Private apartments.

ATM’s in Mahahual
There are no ATM’s near the Mahahual Boulevard. We went by taxi to the Costa Maya Inn hotel to collect our money. Not very handy so I would bring enough money.

Do or don’t
In the end we are very happy that we went from the busy Tulum to Mahahual. Of course it depends on what you are looking for; if you like to go out you better go to Tulum. If you want to relax for a few days between Mexicans and snorkel among turtles, Mahahual is highly recommended!

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Hi I am Anne (30) and I am a travel and lifestyle blogger for Travelgoodies. Together with Remco I travel the world. Along the way I shoot pictures of worldly interiors and I have a weakness for boutique hotels. At Travelgoodies I share my personal (travel) experiences and of course useful tips for on the road. Never stop exploring! Do you have questions, tips or comments? Feel free to send me an email: anne@travelgoodies.nl or contact us via the contact form.

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