Greetings Internet Stranger! Sometimes modern life can be overwhelming. We’re always answering emails, answering texts, answering the call of our robot overlords…etc. Wouldn’t it be nice to get away to a simpler time? A time free of cell phones, Tiktok, and fake news? That’s where your best Things to Do in Costa Maya itinerary comes in!
During this best Things to Do in Costa Maya itinerary, we’re going to explore one of the most advanced civilizations of the pre-modern world! Then, we’ll turn our brains off and relax on the beach.
Plus, we’ll be enjoying our best Things to Do in Costa Maya itinerary from Royal Caribbean‘s Allure of the Seas, one of their biggest ships! So even after we return to the cruise ship, we’ll never run out of things to do.
If you’d also like to book a cruise to Costa Maya so you can find the best things to do in Costa Maya, just go ahead and click here. Then, follow me!
Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
Where to Stay?
I mentioned that I spent my day exploring the best things to do in Costa Maya as a shore excursion on Royal Caribbean cruises. You can book a very similar experience on this or any other cruise line by using this search engine here to explore your best options.
But if you’d rather stay somewhere in town on your day exploring the best things to do in Costa Maya, I recommend the Hotel Manglar Suites. This hotel is right by the beach, so you can relax by the water any time you feel like it. It’s also by the cruise ship terminal, so you’ll be near the popular shops and places for your tour guide to pick you up. Plus, there’s a 24 hour staff that can assist you with any issue that might arise!
Click here to get a great rate on this hotel! Or if you’d rather explore, click here to see many excellent hotels available in Costa Maya. This search engine will help you find the best places for your taste and budget so you can really enjoy your time in Costa Maya.
Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
Tools For Travel
- A cell charger so that you’ll be able to keep taking photos all during your time in Costa Maya
- The best international travel adapter because if you’re American like I am, you’ll need one to be able to plug in electronics during your day in Costa Maya
- My book Get Lost, that I wrote myself with all my best travel tips. This book will show you exactly why travel is better than a man.
Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
Morning: Maya Facts
It’s not going to be possible to see all the Mayan ruins on the Costa Maya without a guide and a driver. Fortunately your cruise ship, whether it’s Royal Caribbean or a different line, will have plenty of shore excursions that will allow you to explore these majestic creations.
If you are on Royal Caribbean, just book the shore excursion called Chacchoben Ruins and Blue Lagoon. If you are not, you can book a similar tour through a company yourself right here! Actually, the tour will probably be a little cheaper if you book it separately. However, I always book the shore excursions through the company when I cruise because it’s so convenient.
You can book this fantastic time-travel adventure for yourself by clicking here. Either way, you’ll be picked up by the tour company as soon as you arrive in port. Then you can settle in for the long bus ride to Chacchoben. But your guide will keep things interesting by regaling you with more than…
Three Fun Facts: Mayan Civilization
1) Were the Mayans Really That Advanced?
Be careful asking this question on the Costa Maya, Internet Stranger! The locals are extremely proud of their Mayan heritage. And indeed, the Maya were an extremely advanced civilization. According to our guide, the Mayan civilization was one of only five ancient civilizations to have a writing system. (For the curious, the others were India, China, Sumer, and Egypt.)
Some of you may be wondering what happened to the Greeks and the Phoenicians. In that case, NERD! (Take it as a compliment because nerds are the very best people.) But in Mayan terms, the ancient Greeks and the Phoenicians don’t even count as ancient. That’s how old Mayan civilization is. It’s even older than Wilford Brimley!
2) What Else Did Mayans Invent?
Glad you asked! Our guide to the Best Things to Do in Costa Maya said that the Mayans invented an advanced number system that’s based on the number 20. (This is different from our number system, which is based on 10. Ten beautiful numbers, MWAHAHAHA!)
Mayans should be proud of their amazing accomplishments, but I have to think that ancient Mayan children weren’t so excited. “We have to study writing AND math! I wish I’d been born Incan!” I assume they thought.
The Mayans were also famous for their calendar which supposedly predicted the end of the world in 2012. But our guide said this was a misunderstanding. The Mayan calendar appeared to come to an end in 2012, but that just meant the calendar needed to restart, not that the world was going to end. Phew! I didn’t want the world to end before I finally got to see the end of The Good Place.
3) Anything Interesting To See Along the Way to the Mayan Ruins?
That depends on what you find interesting! What are your thoughts on Spongebob Squarepants? Because our guide to the Best Things to Do in Costa Maya told us that there’s a town near Chacchoben that is financially dependant on selling pineapples.
To honor the mighty pineapple, these people have placed a giant statue of one in the center of town. Our guide told us that it was Spongebob’s house, since he famously lives in a pineapple under the sea. I’m not so sure about that, but if it’s true, then Spongebob and Dora the Explorer should definitely team up to explore the Mayan ruins. If Spongebob misbehaves, Dora can always stuff him in Backpack.
Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
Now that the bus ride is over, you’ll have an opportunity to see the Mayan ruins of Chacchoben and relax on the gorgeous Mexican beaches. This is an amazing opportunity to experience the most beautiful scenery in Mexico.
I assume you’d get something out of exploring all these ruins by yourself, but it’s so much more interesting to do it with a local guide who knows how to stuff your head with the most delicious knowledge. Your guide to the Best Things to Do in Costa Maya will take you all around and make sure you enjoy the…
Approximately Top 5: Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
1) See the Ruins of Chacchoben!
These ruins look like they’ve been here forever, and certainly they have been in existence for centuries. But our Costa Maya shore excursions guide told us that actually the ruins were lost and only rediscovered in the 20th century…by Charles Lindbergh’s wife. I wanted to ask if that was before or after her baby was kidnapped, but that seemed like it would put an unnecessary damper on the discussion.
However, I do feel like if your baby is ever kidnapped, becoming the subject of the most famous trial of the century, and you wanted to do something to distract yourself, exploring Mayan ruins would be a pretty satisfying option.
Our guide also told us that sometimes the Mayans practiced human sacrifice on these ruins. Apparently it was a great honor to be sacrificed to the gods, so only important people like significant captives from other nations or great warriors were sacrificed. Note to self: if I ever get transported back to Mayan times via a DeLorean or something, make sure to be a very unimportant person. Human sacrifice is one of those things I’d rather read about than experience first hand.
2) Honey I Shrunk the Maya
Why am I showing you a picture of my sticky hand, you might be asking? I’m just showing off the Mayan honey. Look at that fabulous golden color! On top of that, it’s made from special local bees who do not sting. Where do these magical bees come from, and how can our planet make more of them? Our Costa Maya shore excursions guide gave us each a little taste of this wizardry from a tiny bottle that looked like a container for eyedrops.
He said that this Mayan honey is so rare and valuable, it costs 25 dollars per little bottle. It’s basically the caviar of honey. So you can shell out big bucks for your own sweet jar of Mayan honey, or you can taste it on this Chacchoben tour for free! I know which option I’d choose
3) Tree Hugging
During your free exploration time, be sure to take in the amazing trees that grow all around the Chacchoben ruins. But there’s one tree in particular that’s very special and shouldn’t be missed on any Costa Maya trip. You’ll recognize it right away because it’s covered in Xs.
Our Costa Maya shore excursions guide told us this tree is called a chicle tree. It produces a gum the Maya thought was delicious to chew. And this is where we get Chicklets from! Chewing gum, Spongebob Squarepants, AND doomsday countdowns? Was there anything the Mayans didn’t invent?
At this point in your Costa Maya shore excursions, the guide will take you to the company’s private beach where you can enjoy a buffet lunch. (This isn’t included if you book the tour separately.) There was enough seating that I was able to enjoy a table all to myself like the curmudgeon that I am! But if you want to “make friends” and “talk to people”, go right ahead! No one will judge.
But if you’re looking to work up a little liquid courage and talk to some of your fellow tourists, just pick up one of the very affordable margaritas! They’ll make you as happy as a bee that produces 25 dollar honey!
5) A Day at the Beach
After lunch, you’ll have free time to enjoy the idyllic beach. I was excited that this was a private beach because it can be hard to go swimming when you are a solo traveler. You don’t want to leave your swag unattended on the beach for fear someone might swipe it. Some people offer up tricks like hiding their money in a used diaper, but I’d just worry some kindly soul would throw the diaper away.
Fortunately, since the beach was private, no one was there to take my things except for my fellow Allure of the Seas passengers. And I felt confident that if one of them did try to steal my wallet, I could track them down and then beat them savagely with one of my high heels. Luckily no one attempted to steal my purse, so I was not forced to ruin a perfectly good pair of shoes by using them to avenge a robbery.
6) Costa Maya Port
After your Costa Maya shore excursions are over, you’ll have some time to shop at the cruise ship port. Some of the stores sell tacky tourist tchotchokes, but others sell lovely products like handmade soaps and yummy chocolate.
I especially recommend the Mercado del Te stand for some artisanal iced tea. It’s the perfect thing to drink on a hot Costa Maya day. It will even cool you down if Jaguar does decide to send that fireball down and destroy all of civilization. (I assume.)
There are plenty more amazing secrets and adventures from the Costa Maya shore excursion that I didn’t show you. But you’ll have to book this tour here for yourself to find out what they are!
Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
Evening: Dinner at 150 Central Park
I usually prefer eating at the Royal Caribbean specialty restaurants rather than the main dining room all the time. The food is better in the specialty restaurants because they don’t have to cook for so many people. But 150 Central Park is a special specialty restaurant because it isn’t available on every Royal Caribbean ship, just the larger ones like the Allure of the Seas. So if you want to experience classic gourmet cuisine, start here. I enjoyed a lovely sunchoke soup as my first course.
You know this restaurant is fancy because you get two appetizers! Up next is a beet salad with goat cheese and croutons that could double as a murder weapon. With both the beets in the salad and the sunchokes in the soup, I was impressed that they had such fresh produce on a cruise ship!
For the main course, I recommend the lobster thermidor. Even though I’ve been an enthusiastic restaurant-goer for my entire life, I’d never eaten lobster thermidor! And I certainly would never have thought to cook lobster with egg yolks, brandy, and mustard before trying this dish. But I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious the combination was. It was as decadent as a tiny bottle of 25 dollar honey made by Mayan bees.
And what would a gourmet restaurant be without a dessert that looks like it’s sporting a hat you could wear to a royal wedding. This is a luscious peanut butter and chocolate tart. My waiter recommended it because he said the black currant sorbet on top was amazing, and he was indeed correct.
Always listen to your cruise ship waiter’s recommendation! They’re basically living Groundhog Day because they have to experience the same week over and over again for months at a time. So they know everything that’s good and bad on your cruise ship…including when the Mayan apocalypse is really coming.
That’s the Best Things to Do in Costa Maya
What do you think are the Best Things to Do in Costa Maya? Would you ever pay 25 dollars for honey? And has this bat come to warn me about the Mayan apocalypse? Please leave your thoughts below!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours with the best Things to Do in Costa Maya itinerary, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours with the best Things to Do in Costa Maya itinerary. If you want other itineraries for different islands in the Caribbean, I have you covered here!