Hang out in the remote town of Xcalak sharing a cold beer and some stories with the locals. Xcalak is a great base for fly-fishing, sport fishing, snorkeling or dive trips, all of which can be arranged through various tour companies or local hotels. If you are looking for a little bit of action, swing by the town of Mahahual in the Costa Maya. This fishing village is growing rapidly to support the influx of cruise ships docking at their deep water pier. Local businesses support the small but vibrant tourist center, but many visitors choose to walk the a beachfront malecon first so they can take in the authentic Caribbean feel in this Costa Maya town. For something completely different and off the beach, venture to Lago Bacalar (Bacalar Lake), where you will find old Spanish forts, the lake of seven colors and more fresh water activities. The town of Bacalar located off the shores of the lake, sees very few tourists, as most prefer to stick to the accommodation and facilities surrounding the lagoon.
It’s all about the water in this part of Mexico, either fly-fishing on the salt water flats, deep-sea sport fishing on the Caribbean, or diving the world’s second largest barrier reef and the Chinchorro Banks. The best part about this untouched piece of paradise is its peaceful atmosphere. You won’t come across any crowds here, either on the water or in town, which makes for a uniquely relaxing vacation far from the tourism found in the Riviera Maya.
The Mayan archaeological zones of Chacchoben, Dzibanche, Kohunlich, Becan and Chicanna are located in the Costa Maya. You won’t have to battle the tour bus crowd here, as these sites are lesser known. Having a Mayan ruin site to yourself is pretty special and lets you explore in more detail, the history of the Maya. Visit the Fortress de San Felipe Bacalar, built in 1729 to protect the pueblo of Bacalar from pirates. During the Caste War, the fort was used to defend the town against the Mayans who won their rightful land from the Spanish invaders. The fort has a musuem, a recap of local history and the events of the famous Caste War.
Head south from Tulum town on the 307 highway, and you will pass through the town of Felipe Carillo Puerto, about an hours drive. Continue south for 45 minutes (about 65 kilometers) then take the left turn towards the towns of Xcalak and Mahuhual. For Bacalar, continue south along the 307 until you reach the Bacalar pueblo. The Costa Maya is still a lesser travelled area on the tourist trail of the Caribbean coast. This is precisely what makes it so special. For a unique vacation away from the more populated tourism destinations, check out this pristine natural environment. Many think of the Costa Maya as their heaven on earth.
Beyond the Riviera Maya lies a beautiful, little-known stretch of Caribbean coastline known as the ‘Costa Maya,’ where deserted beaches and seldom visited ancient ruins await. Inland, Laguna Bacalar known as “the lake of seven colors” because of all the amazing shades of blue is a world apart from excitement of Cancun or Playa del Carmen. You will discover the area exudes a deep history, natural beauty and a serenity like no other.
The Costa Maya is a more remote area than the Riviera Maya, but few regret the travel time to this remote location. Mahahual has the ageless charm of the Caribbean that was thought to exist only in Jimmy Buffett songs and island tales. Bungalows, beach bars, shrimp cocktails, and lazy afternoons in the shade. Be instantly immersed into the beach lifestyle we all crave.
Xcalak in southern Quintana Roo is part of what is known as the Costa Maya, a rustic yet beautiful part of the Mexican Caribbean. Xcalak is just 7 miles by water from the Central American country of Belize and is the southernmost location in the state. Step back to the simpler times of tropical life taking in the fishing and diving famous in this destination.