Visit Mahahual: Top 15 Things To Do and Must-See Attractions


Things to do in Mahahual: The 15 Best Places to Visit

Mahahual is a charming Caribbean town on the Costa Maya, in the south of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is only 1h30 away from Bacalar, and much less crowded than Cancun and the Riviera Maya.

People come here to enjoy its beautiful beaches, and to snorkel or dive in the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world.

While planning my trip to Mahahual, I noticed that there was not much information, so I decided to write this detailed guide based on my experience!

You will find everything you need to know: the what to do and see, the best beach clubs, my favorite restaurants and hotels for all budgets.

I have also included a section on money, my opinion about Mahahual and all the details on how to get there from Chetumal airport, Riviera Maya or Mexico City.

So, what are the best things to do in Mahahual, the hidden gem of the Caribbean?

All Must-See Attractions

Mahahual: All Must-See Attractions

1. Enjoying the beach

The main attraction of Mahahual -also spelled Majahual– is its lovely beach. 😎

The water is calm and very shallow: it is perfect for kids and anyone who is not very confident in the water.

You can access the beach by walking along the boardwalk, which has many beach clubs and restaurants to choose from.

Unlike Cancun or Playa del Carmen, the beach clubs here are usually small and cozy.

Here are my favorite beach clubs in Mahahual:

Yaya is a lovely restaurant on the beach, with the bonus of having double beds and lounge chairs.

The service was friendly everywhere in Mahahual, but at Yaya the waiter who served us was especially attentive.

  • My favorite dishes: the guacamole (the best in Mahahual!), their mezcal, the Santorini salad.
yaya beach club mahahual
yaya beach club mahahahual
ensalada yaya beach club mahahual
ensalada yaya beach club mahahahual

Malecon 21

Another beach club in Mahahual with a relaxed atmosphere. Perfect for breakfast (chilaquiles 120 pesos, eggs benedict 170 pesos, very good green juice).

The margarita is excellent, especially the spicy mango margarita with mezcal 🤤 (150 pesos)!

beach club mahahual malecon 21
beach club mahahahual malecon 21
desayuno mahahual malecón 21
breakfast mahahahual malecon 21

Pez Quadro

Pez Quadro is the beach club at the 40 Cañones hotel, where I stayed in Mahahual.

If you are not staying at the hotel, you have to pay 200 pesos to use the lounge chairs and umbrellas, as well as the shower and restrooms at the hotel.

It is the only beach club that has an entrance fee, but this helps the hotel to keep most of the space for its guests and ensure a quiet atmosphere.

It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the water, rent kayaks and get a massage.

And don’t forget the swings in the water, one of the best spots in Mahahual for a photo.

You can order food and drinks and they will bring them to you on the beach, but there is no proper table to sit at so I suggest going to the restaurant which is nice, comfortable and shaded.

  • One thing to note is that Pez Quadro closes at 6pm, unlike Yaya and Malecon 21 which stay open until around 10pm.
pez quadro mahahual
pez quadro mahahahual
beach club 40 canones mahahual
beach club 40 canones mahahahual

Other beach clubs

If you prefer a lively atmosphere with more affordable prices, you might like La Chilangaloense and Krazy Lobster.

To be honest, I didn’t enjoy them much because they were too big and crowded, with a beach that is not very nice. They are good for having beers with friends, but not for relaxing on the lounge chairs (I don’t think they have any, or very few).

I had also heard of Nohoch Kay, but I was disappointed by the loud place, the bland food and the slow service. Maybe I was unlucky?

You can go to the beach without ordering anything, but keep in mind that the clean parts of the beach are in front of the restaurants and beach clubs, and the rest is quite dirty (sargassum).

For a luxury experience, I was recommended to go to the Hayhu beach club, 30 minutes from Mahahual. The day pass (from 500 pesos per person) gives you access to a beautiful private beach, very quiet, with nothing else around!

On site you will find: restaurant, bar, lounge chairs, hammocks, kayak and stand up paddle rental, snorkeling equipment, kiteboarding lessons. A cab from Mahahual should cost 250 pesos.

2. Exploring Mahahual

Downtown Mahahual is very small and you can easily walk along the malecon, Calle Sardina and Calle Huachinango.

You can walk to the lighthouse, which is one of the landmark of Mahahual and offers a great view of the coast, and take a photo with its colorful letters.

You can also go a little further, to the new residential area of Mahahual, where the entrance to the port of Costa Maya is located. But, apart from the small replica of the Chacchoben pyramid, there are only houses, so I don’t think it’s worth it.

lighthouse mahahual
The Mahahual Lighthouse
letrero colorido mahahual
The colorful Mahahual sign, to take a picture

3. Snorkeling

Snorkeling is a great activity to do in Mahahual because it is close to the Mesoamerican Reef, and you will find many agencies offering tours along the boardwalk.

I chose Gypsea, which is located in the National Beach Hotel, run by a friendly Canadian woman and her Mexican husband.

I usually have some trouble breathing with snorkeling gear, and I had only done it a few times in the cenotes, so I was a bit nervous about doing it in the ocean with waves.

But he was very patient and attentive, making sure we were always comfortable in the water. He even found my ring that I had lost in the water… what an eagle eye 😲

He also used his amazing eyesight to show us different corals and colorful fish. Sometimes you can see turtles, but we were not lucky that day because the water was a bit rough.

Still, it was an unforgettable experience that I highly recommend!

My advice
 Depending on the dive site, the price can vary. For 400 pesos per person, we got to see some beautiful coral formations. I enjoyed the tour and the price was fair, however, I was left wanting more.

If you want to explore more of the reef, you can opt for tours that cost 500 pesos and take you further out. There, you have a better chance of seeing more corals, fish and even manatees. 

snorkeling mahahual
snorkeling mahahahual

4. Diving

If you are looking for more diving options, Xcalak might be a good choice for you.

It’s a small fishing village about an hour away from Mahahual, and it has several dive sites for different levels of experience. You can try La Pozeta (33-50ft) if you are a beginner, La Poza if you are intermediate, or La Chimenea (65-89ft) if you are advanced.

But if you really want to have an amazing diving adventure, you should go to the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve. It’s a bit further away from Mahahual, about an hour and a half by boat, but it’s totally worth it.

It’s the largest coral atoll in Mexico, and part of the second largest coral reef in the world!

You can see a multitude of colorful fish, rays, 3 species of turtles (hawksbill, green and loggerhead), crustaceans, dolphins, nurse sharks, crocodiles and manatees.

You can also explore several wrecks of Spanish and English galleons from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

Here you can see a multitude of colorful fish, rays, 3 species of turtles  crustaceans, dolphins,  crocodiles and manatees.

The only thing to consider is that it’s a bit more expensive to go there. But trust me, it’s worth every peso. You need to pay about 3000 pesos per person for the tour, plus 300 pesos for access to the reserve. Banco Chinchorro is really the best place to dive in the Mahahual area 😉

My advice
You don’t have your diving certification yet? Don’t worry, you can still enjoy the underwater world with a “discovery dive” tour. It’s a great option that will allow you to submerge with all the equipment for 1h30 (1600 pesos).

If you like the experience, you can then get your certification, with a 3 days training.

Gypsea offers this introductory dive experience and I imagine other agencies in Mahahual do as well.

buceo mahahual

5. Rent a bike

One of the fun things you can do in Mahahual is to cycle along the boardwalk and the Costa Maya. It’s a nice way to enjoy the breeze and see the different views of the coast.

You can go for about 6 miles, but I recommend going in the opposite direction of the lighthouse, which is more scenic.

There are several places to rent bikes along the boardwalk, but be careful and choose one with a comfortable seat.

Some of them are not in very good condition and can make your ride unpleasant. I learned that the hard way when I picked a bike that looked good but had a terrible seat. After a while on the dirt roads… my back was really sore, reminding me I’m not in my 20s anymore! 😅

  • It costs 50 pesos per hour or 150-200 pesos for the day (from 9am to 6pm)
  • One thing you should know is that it can get really hot and sunny in the middle of the day. We made the mistake of going at 1pm without planning ahead, but if I had another chance I would start around 9-10am.
  • They also have children’s bikes and tandems. I think I saw some electric bikes as well.
bicicleta mahahual
bicicleta mahahahual
alquilar bici mahahual
rent a bike in mahahual

6. Take an ATV tour

Another exciting activity that we did in Mahahual was a guided quad tour. We booked it with Tucan Tours, and they were very professional and friendly. Our guide, Alejandro, showed us some of the highlights of Mahahual.

He took us first to the lighthouse, and then to the entrance of the Costa Maya port, where there is a replica of the main pyramid of Chacchoben. This is the most important archaeological site in the area.

We then went back to the road on the other side for several kilometers. It was a lot of fun to speed up on the quad and feel the wind on our faces.

We had done the same route by bike the previous day, so we didn’t see anything new (although we went much farther of course!). If I had known, I would have chosen either the bike or the ATV, not both 😆

But hey, it was still a good way to explore Mahahual and have some adrenaline rush. If you like adventure, you should definitely try it.

  • You have to book in advance (Whatsapp 52 983 123 1436) and the meeting point is at the malecon, right next to the Aquastar hotel
  • 550 pesos per ATV (1 or 2 people), the tour lasts about 2 hours
  • You don’t need a driving license
  • They don’t provide helmets
  • If you share a vehicle with another person, bring a towel (to sit): it will be more comfortable for the person behind you!
cuatrimoto mahahual
cuatrimoto mahahahual
tour quad mahahual
tour quad mahahahual

7. Kayaking

Kayaking was my favorite activity in Mahahual! It was a relaxing way to enjoy the sea and the scenery before leaving for Bacalar.

We rented a double kayak (200 pesos for about 1h20) from Javier, a friendly guy who runs Lizeta Tours, right in front of our hotel 40 Cañones.

He gave us some tips and directions, and told us to go first to the lighthouse and then back, with the help of the waves.

The water level was quite low, it was clear and we could see some fish swimming below us. We also had a nice view of the coast from the sea!

  • Lizeta Tours also offers fishing trips in Mahahual, if you are interested in catching some fresh fish and having a fun time on the water!
kayak mahahual
kayak mahahahual

8. Relaxing in a temazcal

If you are looking for a unique and authentic experience in Mahahual, you might want to try a temazcal. It’s a traditional steam bath that has been used by indigenous people for centuries. It has both healing and spiritual benefits, as it cleanses your body and mind.

You can enjoy this experience at the Blue Kay Hotel, even if you are not staying there.

They have a special area where they perform the ritual, which lasts about 1h30.

Before you enter the temazcal, the shaman will purify you with herbs and incense.

The temazcal is only available from 6pm to 9pm, and you need to book it at least 1 day in advance. You also need to have a minimum of 5 people to do it.

temazcal mahahual
temazcal mahahahual

9. Lost Mayan Kingdom

If you are looking for a fun activity to do in Mahahual with kids, you should check out the Lost Mayan Kingdom. It’s a water park that combines thrill and culture, inspired by the ancient Maya civilization.

You can enjoy 9 slides, 12 zip lines, a river, two pools and a children’s section (mini slides and pool).

It’s perfect for a half day of adventure, as you can spend a few hours there and then explore the rest of Mahahual or relax on the beach.

  • You can check out their website for more information.
  • They are open from 8am to 5pm Monday to Saturday (temporarily closed for Covid)
  • The entrance fee includes access to restrooms, locker rooms and parking, but not lockers (5usd) or meals or drinks at the two restaurants

The water park is only 5 minutes walk from the port of Costa Maya.

Lost Mayan Kingdom mahahual
Lost Mayan Kingdom mahahahual

10. Enjoying a massage

A massage on the beach in Mahahual sounds like a wonderful idea, but unfortunately I got very sunburned on the first day and didn’t want to be touched.

  • Still, I asked for the price: around 500 pesos for 40 min.
masaje mahahual
masaje mahahahual

11. Go fishing

Whether you like spinning, trolling, offshore or on the beach, you can find your perfect fishing spot in Mahahual.

The best way to enjoy fishing in Mahahual is to rent a boat with a certified guide for half a day or a full day.

You can catch a variety of fish, such as dorado, barracuda, greater amberjack, grouper, snapper and mackerel.

  • Remember to bring your sunscreen.
  • Some trips include drinks and snacks, but others don’t.
pesca mahahual
pesca mahahahual

Other attractions in the surroundings of Mahahual

12. Rancho Km5

On our trip from the Chetumal airport to Mahahual, our friendly cab driver Gabriel suggested we make a quick stop at Rancho Km5.

It is a family-run business that has been making delicious sauces with habanero peppers for 10 years. They dry their own chiles and use them to create a dozen different flavors of sauces.

Their products are well-known and loved in the area for their quality and taste.

I personally enjoyed the mango and passion fruit sauces. They were so delicious and flavorful, with a sweet and tangy taste that balanced well with the spice!

My Advice
Another place that you can check out if you have some extra time is the Alas de Amor Butterfly Farm. It’s very close to Rancho Km5, just a minute drive away.

It’s a place where they breed and protect different species of butterflies. They also have some deer that you can feed and pet.

However, you need to book in advance to visit, as they don’t accept walk-ins. I tried to find their phone number online, but I had no luck. Maybe next time. 😊 

salsas habanero mahahual

rancho km5 mahahual
rancho km5 mahahahual

13. Bacalar

If you want to explore a stunning natural wonder, you should visit Bacalar, a town about an hour and 15 minutes away from Mahahual. Bacalar is famous for its Lagoon of the 7 Colors, a crystal-clear lake with different shades of blue and green.

You can discover the lagoon and its cenotes, which are natural pools of water with amazing underwater views.

You can also visit the Canal de los Piratas, where pirates used to hide their treasure and where you can have a mud bath. You can also see the Fort of San Felipe, a historical landmark that protected the town from invaders.

And you can enjoy a refreshing swim in the Rapids of Bacalar, where the water flows between two lagoons.

If you have some extra time, you can also check out the Xul-Ha Lagoon, another beautiful spot that is quieter and more relaxing.

You can either stay for a few days or visit Bacalar in one day from Mahahual.

If you want to spend a day in Bacalar, I recommend that you join the catamaran tour on the Seven Colors Lagoon (click here to book!) in the morning (it departs at 11 am and lasts about 3 hours). The tour departs at 11 am and lasts about 3 hours, and it includes snacks, drinks, and snorkeling equipment.

After the tour, you can buy a day pass to have access to the lagoon for the rest of the day. Several hotels and restaurants offer a day pass, but I loved Los Aluxes, which I highly recommend!

My advice
For more information on the best things to Do in Bacalar and How to Get There, check out My Definitive Guide to Bacalar!

How to get to Bacalar from Mahahual:

  • By public transportation: with Caribe, ticket for 90 pesos, departures at 6 am, 12 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm every day. I suggest you buy your tickets in advance. Keep in mind that the minibus will drop you off on the road and you will need to take a cab to your hotel.
  • By cab: with my trusted driver Gabriel Castañeda Whatsapp: 983 181 8348 (1000 pesos, 1h20 trip)
bacalar catamaran
Bacalar catamaran tour

14. Xcalak

If you are looking for a hidden gem, you should visit Xcalak!

It is a lovely fishing village on the Caribbean coast, with several lakes nearby. You can have fun with many activities here.

For example, you can go sport fishing (catch and release only), or snorkel and dive in the Xcalak Reefs National Park. This park is part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the second largest coral reef in the world.

You can also kayak to La Aguada and see the mangroves and the birds. There are up to 40 species of birds in this area.

You can rent a bike and explore the surroundings, or just relax on the beach.

How to get to Xcalak from Mahahual:

  • It takes about 1h20 by car. Take the Highway to Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahual then Q.ROO / Mahahual and at the end of the road, turn left (there is a sign for Xcalak).
  • You can also book a tour to Xcalak with one of the agencies in Mahahual.

15. Chacchoben

If you are interested in the ancient Maya culture, you should visit Chacchoben. It is the most important Mayan archaeological site in the region, only an hour away from Mahahual.

The city was mainly inhabited between 200 BC and the eighth century, but it remained a sacred place for centuries after its abandonment, as evidenced by ceremonial objects from the thirteenth and fifteenth centuries that have been found there.

You can explore, among others, Temple 24, the Great Plaza that was the center of the city, Gran Basamento (Great Basement) with the Temple of the Vases and Temple 1, and several smaller ruins.

And don’t forget to look around, because you might spot some toucans in the area!

  • Open daily from 9 am to 3 pm
  • Entrance fee 75 pesos
  • If you have a car and want to see more archaeological sites (a bit further away), you can also go to Kohunlich and Dzibanche, about 2h15 from Mahahual, passing through Bacalar.

My experience at Hotel 40 Cañones

I was lucky to find Hotel 40 Cañones for my stay in Mahahual, and I was very happy with my choice!

The hotel is cozy and charming, with lots of plants and a rustic-chic vibe. My room was very clean, with a comfy bed, TV and air conditioning.

It is in a great location, in the center of Mahahual, but on a quiet part of the malecon.

They have a clean beach, with a restaurant, beach club, massage tables, kayak rental and two ATMs. It is really convenient!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is the only beach club in Majahual that charges an entrance fee (200 pesos) for non-hotel guests, so you can enjoy some peace and quiet.

One of my best memories of Mahahual was having my morning coffee at the hotel’s oceanfront restaurant, with the calmness and a gentle sea breeze.

After walking around downtown Mahahual (only 8 corners 🙃) and seeing all the other hotels I had already checked on the Booking page, I can confirm that this is where I will come back next time because it has the best beach.

If you want to check out the hotel, you can book it here:

habitación hotel 40 canones mahahual
room hotel 40 canones mahahahual
baño hotel 40 canones
bathroom hotel 40 canones
hotel 40 canones mahahual
hotel 40 canones mahahahual

Where to stay in Mahahual?

Here are my recommendations for hotels in Mahahual, for different budgets:

  • Eco Cabanas Bluekay: The best option to sleep cheap in Mahahual. Small cabins with comfortable beds, a few meters from the beach, with shared bathroom, access to the beach with bar and lounge chairs, bohemian atmosphere, from only 33 usd per night!
  • Hotel Jaiba Mahahual- Adults Only: For more tranquility, it is a small hotel for adults only located 15 minutes walk from the beach, with pool and hammocks, from 90 usd per night!
  • Almaplena Boutique Hotel: Ideal hotel to relax located 30 minutes from Mahahual on a white sandy beach and surrounded by the jungle. With swimming pool and restaurant, rooms with sea view from 111 usd per night!
  • Hotel 40 Canyons: I spent 4 nights here and I recommend it 100%. Small hotel with a lot of charm, located in front of a well kept beach, with its beach club Pez Quadro, restaurant facing the sea, excellent service. Comfortable bed and air conditioning, from 132 usd per night!

My advice
I hesitated a lot between the 40 Canyons and Aquastar hotels, and fortunately I chose the former!

The pictures of Aquastar are very nice on the Booking website, but once there, I was surprised to see that although the building is nice with an outdoor pool… the beach is small, dirty, with rocks, and neglected. 🤔

hotel blue kay mahahual
hotel blue kay mahahahual

Party in Mahahual

Mahahual is a peaceful town where most places close around 6pm. It’s not a place for party animals who love the nightlife of Cancun or Playa del Carmen.

However, there are still some options for late-night fun. You can check out these two bars: Luna Roja and Pitaya. Or you can dance the night away at the new discotheque El Nido Nightclub.

Money in Mahahual

  • There is only one money exchange in Mahahual, located in the center. You can find it here.
  • There are a few ATMs along the main street, where you can withdraw either US dollars or Mexican pesos. The Hotel 40 Cañones has two ATMs.
  • There are no banks in Mahahual.
  • Many places (including the bus station) do not accept debit or credit cards, so it’s better to have enough cash with you to avoid paying high fees at the ATMs.
cajero automático mahahual
mahahahual atm

My opinion about Mahahual

Planning a trip to Mahahual can be challenging, because there is not much clear and reliable information about this destination.

I realized why when I got there. It is a small town that is quite isolated and has been hit hard by the pandemic.

The town center seems to have survived, but if you venture a bit further, you will see many small hotels that look abandoned (maybe for good, maybe not).

I think Mahahual is what Playa del Carmen and Cancun used to be like many years ago, but for now it is more of an off-the-beaten-path destination. ❤️

You can see why it is not very developed on a map:

  • It is almost 2 hours from Chetumal airport (the nearest one) and 4 hours from Cancun.
  • There is not much public transportation (bus, colectivo)
  • To get to Mahahual from highway 307, you have to drive 35 miles, so many people don’t bother to take the detour to explore a place they don’t know, instead of going straight to Tulum and Bacalar, which are popular destinations.

People don’t come here for an all-inclusive resort, but for a beach vacation with a local vibe, mostly visited by locals from Quintana Roo and some foreign tourists who like a laid-back pace.

If you like to see a lot of things in a short time (archaeological site, cenote and beach in the same day), I recommend you go to Cancun and the Riviera Maya, because Mahahual might seem too small.

But it is the perfect place to unwind for 2-3-4 days!

How to get to Mahahual?

From Mexico City

First you have to fly from Mexico City to Chetumal (2h15 direct flight with Aeromexico or Volaris), and then go to Mahahual (1h50) by car, bus, colectivo or private transfer.

  • My advice to get the best view from the plane: when flying to Chetumal, choose a seat on the right 😉

From Chetumal airport

  • By car: 1h50 from Chetumal airport, taking Av. Aarón Merino Fernández towards Av. Insurgentes/Lib. de Chetumal, then merge onto Mexico 307 towards Carretera a Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahahual, and Carretera Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahahual towards Calle Huauchinango in Mahahual.
  • By ADO bus: Monday to Saturday (not Sunday) with 1 departure at 9am, arriving at 11:45am.
  • By cab: cabs from the airport charge about 1800 pesos. If you want to pay less, you can walk to the traffic circle to take a cab (which then costs about 1400 pesos) or take a cab from the airport and ask him to drop you off at the point where the Chetumal-Mahahual vans leave (2h, 100 pesos) on Avenida Insurgentes.
  • By shared van: another very comfortable, convenient and affordable option, you can reserve your place here:

  • By private transportation: if you have the budget, the advantage of a private service is the comfort and time savings. At first the prices seemed very expensive, but I finally paid 1400 pesos from the airport to my hotel in Mahahual (1h50) with Gabriel Castañeda.

Whatsapp: 983 181 8348,, instagram @easytaxicostamaya

I recommend him 150%, he is very kind, patient and gives a lot of information!

taxi mahahual
cab mahahahual

From Cancun

  • By car: 4h30 following the Highway 307 Cancun – Chetumal/Carr. Tulum – Cancun/Mexico and then left on the road to Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahahual.
  • By bus: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday departure at 8h30 with ADO
  • By plane: no direct flight, takes at least 5h30 with a stopover in Mexico City – with Volaris, AeroMexico, Viva Aerobus

From Playa del Carmen

  • By car: 3h30 following Highway 307 Cancun – Chetumal/Carr. Tulum – Cancun/Mexico, then left towards Carretera a Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahahual
  • By bus: 3h55, departures Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 9.55h from the tourist terminal ADO ticket 378 pesos
    From Bacalar
  • By car: 1h15 by Highway Mexico 307 and Highway to Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahahual
  • By bus: departures Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 1 bus per day (12:20), ticket 90 pesos

From Tulum

  • By car: 2h34, via Mexico 307 and Cancun – Chetumal, then Highway to Mahahual/Quintana Roo El Cafetal-Mahahahual
  • By bus: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 1 ADO bus per day (departure at 10h50 and arrival at 13h45), ticket 296 pesos. There are also yellow vans that make the trip at 3:30 pm.

In the opposite direction

  • From Mahahual to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Cancun: ADO trips on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:30 pm. Yellow vans leave at 8 am for Tulum.
  • From Mahahual to Chetumal airport: 1 ADO bus at 3:30 pm Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
  • From Mahahual to Bacalar and Chetumal: with Caribe company, ticket 90 pesos, departures 6am, 12h, 16h and 18h daily. Keep in mind that the minibus will drop you off on the road at the entrance of Bacalar and then you have to take a cab to your hotel. So I decided to take the cab service with Gabriel (whatsapp: 983 181 8348) 1000 pesos from my hotel in Mahahual to my hotel in Bacalar.

ADO and Caribe share the same terminal, which is actually just one stop on Calle Cherna, at the corner of Calle Huachinango:

van caribe mahahual bacalar
Caribe vans travel between Mahahual, Chetumal and Bacalar
bus ado caribe mahahual
bus ado caribe mahahual

The yellow vans that travel from Tulum to Mahahual and vice versa are very close, in front of the soccer field:

van tulum mahahual
van tulum mahahual

My advice for the buses
Before going to Mahahual, I spent a lot of time researching the bus schedules, but I found them very confusing.

Getting to Mahahual by bus can be tricky, since it’s not as touristy as the Riviera Maya.

I recommend you do some research beforehand and confirm the times by visiting the bus station or calling ADO customer service: (0155) 5784-4652 or Mexico City 55 5784-4652.

Where to eat in Mahahual?

I had a great time at the beach clubs Pez Quadro, Yaya, and Malecon 21, where I enjoyed the sun and the sand.

I won’t go into too much detail about them, because you can read all about them in my section on Mahahual beach clubs 😉 .

But I also want to recommend two other restaurants in Mahahual that are worth checking out:

Tierra Verde vegan restaurant is a cozy place on the second floor of a house on the malecon.

tierra verde restaurante mahahual
tierra verde restaurant mahahahual

Also, don’t miss the tortas (sandwiches) at the restaurant on the corner of the bus station. I can’t remember its name, but you’ll recognize it by the smell of fresh bread and cheese.

The lady there will offer you a menu, but trust me, just ask her what tortas she has today. They are the best in Mahahual, and very affordable too!

tortas mahahual
tortas mahahahual

Rent a car in Mexico

The easiest way to visit Mahahual is to rent a car, as buses are limited and there is a lot to see in the area.

Renting a car is for sure the best way to explore Mahahual and make the most of your stay!

To rent a car, personally, I always use, for a few reasons:

  • You can easily compare the rental cars prices between all the agencies: for sure the easiest way to find the best rate!
  • Cancellation is often offered free of charge: no need to worry if you change your mind
  • Rentalcars offers full insurance coverage at a lower price than the rental companies, so it’s an instant saving with no effort

Simply click on the green button to find your rental car at the best price:

Find your flight at the best price

Chetumal is the closest airport to Mahahual (1h50 drive).

It’s a small airport that mostly has flights from Mexico City (2h), but you can also fly from other places like Guadalajara, Belize City, Merida, Cancun and (soon) Miami.

I flew from Mexico City to Chetumal with Aeromexico, which I think is the best airline for reliability and punctuality. But if you’re looking for cheaper options, you can also check out Volaris and Viva Aerobus.

To find the cheapest plane tickets to Chetumal, I recommend you use our flight comparator in collaboration with Skyscanner. It’s a great way to save money and time! 

aeropuerto chetumal
airport chetumal

When to go to Mahahual?

There is a simple rule to follow if you want to fully enjoy the beach in Mexico: avoid the rainy season from June to October.

  • In June, July and August: it is very hot and humid, and you might encounter more sargassum seaweed
  • In August, September and October, the rains are heavier and there is a chance of hurricanes.

But this is not a hard and fast rule. I visited Mahahual in October and the weather was lovely with no rain at all.

The best time to go to Mahahual is from November to March.

You can also try April and May, but it will be much warmer. It’s up to you! 😉

Tourist map of the Mahahual region

Here are the best things to do in Mahahual on a map:

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visit mahahual mexico


I have created this blog to give you all my best tips to plan your next trip to Mexico, regardless of your budget. I share detailed itineraries, advice about places to visit as well as recommendations for transportation, hotels and restaurants. I hope I will also help you to discover amazing off the beaten path destinations in Mexico!

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