beautiful shoreline filled with several palm trees and Caribbean Sea in Mahahual, Mexico / best things to do in Mahahual

7 Best Things To Do in Mahahual, Mexico

Planning a trip to Mahahual, or perhaps you’re already there and looking for the best things to do in Mahahual, Mexico? You’ve come to the right place!

Located in the Quintana Roo region, Mahahual is a small, charming beachside town with many things to do.

The city is famous for its beach clubs, restaurants, and large port. It’s well known to those who live in Chetumal and Bacalar because it’s the closest town with a coastline and beach access.

Mahahual’s main cruise terminal, Costa Maya, gets busy in season, with several cruise ships stopping in Mahahual for their passengers to enjoy the small beach town. They spend the day walking around, shopping, and suntanning at one of many beach clubs.

small boat on the beach with a Mexican Flag standing in it and the Caribbean Sea in the distance in Mahahual, Mexico
Credit: Francisco

How to Get to Mahahual

If you’re coming from Chetumal or Bacalar, there are day trips to Mahahual Beach, which bring you here and take you back at the end of the day. This Day trip Tour will take you from both Chetumal and Bacalar.

Now, if you’re coming from other cities, such as Tulum, Playa Del Carmen, Valladolid, Cancun, or others, you can get to Mahahual by ADO Bus, Car Rental, or private transportation.

Soon, you can take the Mayan Train to Bacalar and then go from there.

Here is a breakdown of the distance and time from nearby cities.

Bacalar to Mahahual / 1 Hour & 15 Minutes – 104 km or 64 miles

Chetumal to Mahahual / 1 Hour & 45 Minutes – 142 km or 88 miles

Tulum to Mahahual / 2 Hours & 30 Minutes – 226 km or 140 miles

Playa Del Carmen to Mahahual / 3 Hours & 30 Minutes – 289 km or 180 miles

Cancun to Mahahual / 4 Hours & 30 Minutes – 356 km or 221 miles

old style Volkswagen van driving on the roads of Mahahual Mexico
Credit: Laurence White

Beach Day at Mahahual Beach Clubs

What’s better than spending a day on the beach sunbathing with some excellent food, cocktails, and the sound of the sea? Nothing.

Luckily, Mahahual is famous for its beach clubs, and the main beach offers several different beach clubs you can visit down the shoreline.

They can get quite busy, so show up early! You’ve got beachgoers coming from Chetumal, Bacalar, and, of course, cruise ship tourists also visiting sometimes.

List of Beach clubs in Mahahual

  • Yaya Beach
  • Pitaya Beach Club
  • Pez Quadro Beach Break in Paradise
  • Nohoch Kay (great restaurant with limited beach sun lounger chairs)

If you’re like me, you prefer an all-inclusive experience when visiting a beach club, open bar, and unlimited food. That’s the only way to experience a beach club, right, in my opinion.

Well, if that’s what you’re looking for: This All-Inclusive Beach club day at La Chilangaloense Mezcaleria has you covered!

clear transparent turquoise blue water at Mahahual Beach
Credit: Leafar Perez

Chacchoben Mayan Ruins Tour

One of the best things to do in the Yucatan or Quintana Roo regions is to visit one of the many historical Mayan Ruins throughout the two regions.

The Mayan civilization is known for its footprint in this region. It’s fascinating to see what they built long ago.

This famous archaeological site is just under an hour away. On this tour, which includes transportation, you will join a small group and explore the site for 1.5 hours.

There you will see various ancient temples and even hike some of them. Regarding things to do in Mahahual, Mexico, this is a must-do!

You may spot wild monkeys jumping from tree to tree throughout the archaeological site. If you have time, make sure to visit Chichen Itza, Mexico’s most famous archaeological site.

Snorkeling in Mahahual

Whether you’re a beginner or experienced at snorkeling, this tour takes you into the waters in a small group with a guide. Snorkeling equipment is included on the tour.

This tour takes you to two shallow reef locations, perfect for snorkeling. The calm waters on Mahahual offer a great view of the many coral reefs below, tropical fish species, and turtles!

The snorkeling tour duration is an Hour and a Half, and the meeting point is Huachinango. Refer to the map for clarification or contact the tour guide host.

two dolphins peaking their heads out the water being touched in Mahahual Mexico
Credit: Annie Lang

Scuba Diving

Those looking for a better view of the waters below, skip the snorkeling and go scuba diving instead!

Note: this activity is only for certified divers.

This scuba diving tour provides you with one tank to go underwater and experience the vibrant colors of the coral reefs here, sea turtles, many fish species, and more!

The coral reefs you will experience are five different underwater landscapes and sites.

Scooter Tour of Mahahual

What better way to see the Mahahual beach shoreline than on a guided electric scooter? On this guided electric scooter tour, a local guide will take you around the town and show you a few different arts/craft stores and restaurants.

You have a choice of either an Electric Scooter or a Bicycle.

At the end of the tour, you will end up at a restaurant on the beach, so if you meet a fellow traveler, this is a perfect way to end the day and get some drinks there with others!

Private Sightseeing Tour of Bacalar Lagoon

observation deck with a palapa roof with views o the Bacalar Lagoon featuring several shades of bright blue waters
Bacalar Lagoon – Credit: Max Harris

If you’re staying in Mahahual, the one thing you must absolutely do when visiting is go to the famous Bacalar Lagoon, also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colours.

The Bacalar Lagoon is the most famous attraction in the southern area of the Quintana Roo region. It’s the neighboring city of Chetumal. Many come to Chetumal to see the Bacalar Lagoon.

This Bacalar Lagoon tour takes you there, and you have two hours to spend at the lagoon before returning.

The first stop on tour is Chacchoben Mayan Ruins, which I mentioned earlier. Transportation is provided to both destinations on the tour!

Visit the Mahahual Lighthouse (Faro de Mahahual)

Driving into the town, as you get to the beach shoreline, you will first notice the town’s lighthouse. It’s the most famous landmark in the city and offers fantastic sea views.

There are a few ledges and benches to sit and enjoy the view. I had a seat one afternoon, and it was pretty amazing seeing the large cruise ship heading into and out of the dock.

Where to Stay in Mahahual

Lastly, if you’re coming here, you’ll need a hotel unless you’re on a day trip from Chetumal or Bacalar.

There are several hotel options here suited for all budgets, whether you’re looking for a beautiful beachfront hotel or humble hostel accommodation. These are the best hotels in Mahahual at each price point!

40 Canones Hotel – 4 Star

Located on the beach, this stunning 4-star hotel has a chic bohemian decor. Rooms are cozy and comfortable, and the decor gives you jungle vibes.

Inside 40 Canones Hotel is an excellent restaurant serving modern Mexican food. Right on the beach, the hotel has several sun loungers for guests to lay in the sun and enjoy.

aerial views of 40 Canones Hotel at Mahahual Beach in Mexico
40 Canaones Hotel – Credit: Bookings / Los40Canones

Hotel Quinto Sole – 4 Star

Hotel Quinto Sole is a stunning hotel located on the beach and relatively close to the town’s city center. The hotel also has several sunbathing chairs you can use when staying here.

They have a beautiful jacuzzi with sea views on the hotel’s roof. And a pool downstairs for hotel guests.

Some rooms offer sea views, so this hotel is perfect if that’s what you’re looking for. Those with views of the back, don’t worry; you will have beautiful views of dense greenery.

Hotel Jardin Mahahual – Hostel/Hotel

This relatively cheap but stunning hotel is also close to the town city center. No hotel in this list is closer to as many restaurants as Hotel Jardin, so foodies take advantage.

Not a large property by any means. This is an intimate hotel offering both private rooms and shared dorms. The beds are comfortable, as seen by reviews, and the property is well-maintained.

Mahasand Hostelito and Suites – Hostel

Last but not least, this place is perfect for those looking for hostel-type accommodation. It’s even located right on the beach.

Mahasand Hostel has a great communal space and offers many surfboards you can use. They do have dorms as well as private rooms.

a wooden structural bridge amongst many palm trees in Mahahual, Mexico

Things to Do in Mahahual — Final Thoughts

Not only are there plenty of fun things to do in Mahahual, but the beach town is near the famous Bacalar Lagoon and Chetumal.

Another important aspect worth mentioning is that Mahahual is the cheapest beach town to visit in the entire Quintana Roo region of Mexico. So, if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, Tulum, or the other towns, come visit Mahahual!

Mahahual is also less touristy compared to other beach towns in the region. The only time it becomes slightly more touristy is when cruise ships stop there for a few hours, and tourists explore. But that’s only for a few hours!

various shades of turquoise blue water at the main beach in Mahahual, Mexico
Is Mahahual worth visiting?

Yes, Mahahual is worth visiting if you’re looking for a budget-friendly and laidback vacation destination along the Quintana Roo region of Mexico.

When visiting, you can always take advantage and visit the Bacalar Lagoon on the way!

How do you get around Mahahual?

The best way to get around Mahahual is by taxi or renting a bike/scooter.

How far is Mahahual from the airport?

Between Cancun International Airport and Mahahual, it is a 4-hour drive with a distance of 340 km by road.

If you fly into Chetumal International, which mostly has domestic flights, you can get to Mahahul from Chetumal Airport in 2 hours.

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