Mexico’s Costa Maya port sits on the country’s Caribbean side, just north of the border with Belize. Built specifically for cruisers, the port facilities include pools, a beach club, shopping, restaurants and bars. It’s a bit theme-park-esque, so ... 

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Erika S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Costa Maya, in the village of Mahahual just 5 minutes free taxi druve from cruise ship dock, Diving school and shop Bucanera del Caribe. Owners and senior divers are Jorge and Arturo Barbabosa Jorge, the more senior one is also a unversity teacher, They are highly professional, very serious, responsible, patient and nice men, divers and trainers. They also speak good English.

Be aware that a dive can take many hours, especially if you are beginner as they insists, whilst still in the shop, on a meticulous process of instruction, selelcting and trying each piece of equipment and training you in their use as well as sign language/communication in the water. After that, for beginners, an hour long instruction and practice of breathing etc in chest high water. Jorge will also test if you are able and willing to carry out everything to safe standards and retains the right to refuse to take you out on the actual dive if he feels that inattentiveness, impatience or lack of discipline may endanger you or others. Safety and security is written large in their book :

After practice/instruction in the water comes a trip in a small power boat to the dive site and an hour or so long actual diving then the return trip with the boat, shedding of equipment, showering, changing. Our trip was to start at 9:30, we chatted in the shop then around 10am started the above process. My husband, who went diving, as a first-timer and being 70 years old, had long and very careful instructions and practice, finished at 2:30 pm. Of course, if you are experienced, in this timescale you can have 2 dives.

During the dive itself one employee stayed with the boat while two customers and two instructors went into the water descending on a bouyed rope slowly, in my husband's case to 41 feet. During the descent Arturo continuously watched my husband's reactions, eyes, breathing and reminded him to keep equalising the pressure in his ears by blowing out etc. He made my husband feel very safe constantly taking care of my husband individually watching, asking, helping with equipment, checking, pointing out beautiful things, almost touching my husband most of the time, giving him much reassurance and a feeling of safety also ensuring that nobody touched the coral or any creature. The other instructor went with the other more experienced diver at his own pace. They all had a fantastic dive, beautiful experience. The other customer-diver was an advanced, certified diver he has returned to the Bucanero shop many times and has always been very happy with them.

The ascent was so slow as to be imperceptible, all the way looking at gorgeous creatures. My husband never noticed that they were ascending until they saw the surface. When up, the instructor sent up a yellow ballon type marker that called the boat to them. The instructors helped the customers to take off the bottles, weights, flippers and stow them in the boat. There was a swimming ladder to board the boat.

The sea happened to be extremely lumpy high winds and waves, which also meant an uncomfortable boat ride, take your Sea-Bands if you tend to get seasick which made the water a little less clear than normal but they could still see everything very clearly. The dive site is an extremely clean and clear area, called 'aquarium'. Gorgeous corals and creatures of all kinds, colours, sizes and types.

This is the experience of a lifetime, very good value for the money, and we are very grateful to Jorge and Arturo for their kindness, professionalism, patience and for the whole wonderful time there.

We can highly recommend them for both novices and experienced divers.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Scuba Diving Beginner's Course

Barry S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

We sign up for the viator trip as a last minute excursion. The goal was to see the ruins with a smaller group then what the cruise royal Carribean offered. We walk off the boat and started to walk out of the village to find our tour company viator holding our names up. The day was an amazing day. We were driven to the ruins by Aaron in an air condition comfortable large van with 10 passenger. Aaron is a very safe drivier. We had a women guide driving with us. I can't remember her name but she spoke English very well. She narrated to us during the way over and also the way back to the ruins and answers lots of our questions about Costa Maya. We stopped at a butterfly farm on the way to break the long trip up. We arrived at the ruins and another guide informed us about these ancient pyramids that have been excavated and restored, and now stand as testament to the myths and rituals of the Mayan peoples. We arrived on the 21st of December to see the December Solstice. It was amazing. Hightly suggest this tour to anyone who is on a cruise to this port. They were always aware of the time and our needs such as water, soda, bathroom breaks etc. Thanks so much Charlie for our wonderful day adventure.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Neil P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2017

Very informative,educational and enjoyable. We enjoy the company of our driver/guide,Robert. We learned a lot from Luis, our tour guide. Other people from another group wished they were in our group. Robert and Luis are hiighly recommended. Thank you very very much for making our first trip to Costa Maya a memorable one.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Corinne B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Amazing tour!
Everything was perfect... except the butterfly farm which we didnt car much. But the ruins tours was awesome.
We stopped there with the Freedom Of the Seas in dec 2016, and that tour was well worth the price. Victoria, our guide at the ruins, shared her knowledge and showed us her personnal treasures.
Nice day, thanks Viator for the tour! I recommand, it's was cheaper than the same excursion booked onboard the cruise ship!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Chrissyshapiro

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

This tour was awesome! Our tour guide was Sitlolli. She said she also goes by lollipop. She is one of the most interesting tour guides we've had in a long time. She is full of knowledge about the entire region. She has Mayan culture info. She had butterfly knowledge. You ask her she had an answer. The van was a new one with great AC. We headed out to butterfly farm. We got to release some large beautiful butterflies. Then on to the ruins. On the way she informed us of the Mayan culture and everyday life in Costa Maya. We climbed the ruins with her. She pointed out interstate facts along the way. We got to see monkeys swinging in the trees. Did I tell you they provided bottle water, juice and soda? They do. On the way back we stopped for fresh pineapple for a snack. It was juicy and delish! If you can get on a tour with Lollipop jump at it. We left the tour feeling educated and entertained. We drove through downtown were the locals go shopping and eat at restaurants. She offered to let us out but we would have to walk the 45 minutes back to the pier. After the full day of climbing we just enjoyed the drive through of the town. Viator hold on to Sitlolli and her tour group they are real professionals and will do Viator good!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

vtrull1

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Cannot say enough good things about this tour. We just walked from the port and quickly found a sign with my name on it. Inside the office was very organized. Traveled to the ruins in a newer clean van. Our guide, Citlalli, was the best I have ever had. She obviously enjoyed her job and is extremely knowledgeable. The Chacchoben ruins area is large and much more visually appealing than Tulum. We stopped by a butterfly farm on the way back as well as getting a fresh pineapple snack from a roadside vendor.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

robert a

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

This was by far the most interesting tour. Our driver and tour guide were excellent. They went above and beyond excellent

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

pwcma

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

My husband, grandson and granddaughter and great granddaughter took this tour. My husband and grandson stated that the guide was one of the most knowledgeable they had ever seen. They were also very impressed with how she took the time to explain to the 9 and 12 year old on the tour. Both said they would love to have this person in their employ.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Gustavo V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Our tour guide, Citlalli, was amazing! She taught us so much and was passionate about the Mayan culture. She treated us like old friends coming for a visit. She took us to see the Chacchoben ruins and a butterfly garden. The trip was a lot of fun and full of surprises! My only regret is that I really felt like she deserved a better tip than I left her!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

dyalden1

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2016

Amazing pyramids- learned so much! Had a wonderful guide and driver. Very personalize tour! Such a perfect way to spend the day.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

susan m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2016

Highly recommend the excursion with Viator. They are trustworthy and I felt comfortable with the Bus driver. He came for us after the tour so that we did not have to look for the bus or the bus driver after the tour was over. Their location was only a two block walk past the gate from the cruise ship port. Also there were people to help direct you to the Viator location.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Scott M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2016

Amazing experience. Guide was very friendly and knowledgeable. Bus was cool and clean. I would highly recommmend.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Tina C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

Tour was very informative and excellent. Famliy of 4, with children 14 and 11.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

James H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2016

We had a great time! Our ship had switched port days so we were worried about our off ship excursions but the tour company once we found them was waiting on us as we were the last group to arrive. The one problem we had was identifying which tour company was the right one, like others have said the booking had Costa Maya Tours as the name of the tour operator, but the tour operator was Toucan. So keep that in mind, I had been aware of this before our cruise so it really wasn't that hard to find them, just look around and you will be fine. The Tour itself was great, bus ride was good and the tour guide was excellent and you could tell he really cared about the ruins and the people who live in the surrounding areas being a local himself. We had 4 kids ranging from 19-24 on the tour and they loved it. A bonus while on the tour a group of monkeys passed over us in the trees above.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

tb

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

Our guide Gus was a lot of fun and knowledgeable. We really liked the value for the price we paid and liked being in a smaller group. Great guide and tour!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Amy T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2016

We booked this as an excursion on a cruise. It was perfect. We LOVED the sample of the pineapple. I wish we could have brought some home. My struggle is always what to tip! Keep the cash handy!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Karen B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2016

Excellent small group tour with emphasis on personal attention. I don't know how you did it but we were almost alone at Chacchoben and were able to get photos without fighting with dozens of people in our pictures. At the end we were given the choice of going to a beach or returning to the dock to shop. Very enjoyable day.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Betti G

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2016

Best shore excursion yet! Clean buses, nice roads, excellent guides!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Diego B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

I was on a cruise vacation and decided to go scuba diving with Bucaneros instead of the shore excursions offered by the cruise line. We had a great experience and enjoyed it very much. Our instructor, Neto, was very patient and friendly. He also took our pictures underwater and made sure we were always safe. Highly recommended!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Scuba Diving Beginner's Course

Jennifer N United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2015

Great tour! Very informative guide and safe, comfortable transportation.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Sailor Canada

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

Highly recommended if you want to experience scuba diving in Costa Maya. The dive shop owner is Otto and he was very helpful and friendly and made the experience memorable. His instructor was very patient and made sure we were well instructed for our scuba experience. After the dive on the reef we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Karlita's Café which is also owned by the owner of the Scuba Diving Facility. Just make sure you know how to get to the dive shop location, we missed some communication so almost got lost.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Scuba Diving Beginner's Course

Debbie R

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2014

This experience with Viator was much better than I expected. We meet up with our tour guide Augustin. Along the way he would tell us the different sites. We arrived at the Chacchoben and met up with Diana (Family). She was excellent!! She kept everyone interested in the history. I really enjoyed the tour with her and with our driver Agustin. I asked to be dropped of somewhere to eat which he did. After two previous disasters with Viator this one was a huge success!!!

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Che Che

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

Our original tour company - Alto did not show, we had to make other arrangements to find where is office was located. With little Spanish experience, we managed to communicate our needs. In our voucher it indicated free YELLOW TAXI ride to the location. When we got to the location, no one could explain what was going on and our driver would not be paid by the tour company. We decided to pay for the fare on our own. The good part of all of this, another tour driver took us along with another family to the Chacchoben and they did a fabulous job. Our lemons of a trip turned into lemonade with the new company. All and all the trip and day was fun. - FYI - if you are cruising, you cannot confirm your reservation if you do not call.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Paolo B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2014

Out tour guide was Diana. She was great. Very informative and attentive to any request. Greatly Recomend it!
One minor note: meeting place info not accurate. Guide was waiting for us not at the pyramid, but half way from the port and and pyramid. Recommend Viator to coord. Better with local agency.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

Ananth

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
December 2013

The tour started a bit shakily. We had a wait at least an hour to start off. The tour operators were rounding up a lot of new customers to fill their buses as much as possible before starting off for the ruins. Also, the booking had Costa Maya as the name of the tour operator, but the tour operator was Toucan. We were a bit apprehensive!! But once it started, it was worth every penny. The ruins and place itself was fantastic. Nice surprise - the operator provided cold water throughout... they even brought it to the top of the sun temple platform.!! Absolutely recommend.

Doing what: Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip

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