Day Three - Costa Maya, Mexico

Costa Maya Travel Blog

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Long Pier

Costa Maya was devastated by Hurricane Dean in 2007.  Clearly, the area is rebuilding as the pier and welcoming center are new.  One can only imagine the beautiful sandy beaches before, but now are rocky and gone.  Also from the view on our balcony, not all structures are being rebuilt.  The pier and shops are all new construction.  You can see where the storm swept onto the shore from the lack of large trees and the amount of debris still present.  But, the day dawned sunny and warm, and we booked a Mini Rhino Adventure, so it was off to greet our guide.

There was a trolley offering those wishing a ride the length of the pier.  We chose to walk and compare the size of our ship to RCCL's Grandeur of the Seas docked beside the Independence.

Receiving Instruction
  What a comparison, and just looking at these ships made us realize just how much larger the Independence is over the others! 

The walk on the pier to the mainland takes just a few minutes.  From the pier, it was apparent the amount of damage Hurricane Dean left behind.  The beaches were replaced by rocks, and a delapidated building was abandoned.  All this was in stark contrast to the new construction welcome and shopping area.  There everything has a fresh, colorful coat of paint.  Since the beaches were gone, the new shopping/entertainment district has a large, salt water swimming pool for visiting guests.  Mammasita's, a restaurant/bar, has a pool bar for refreshments. 

Our tour group met just outside the shops.

Off Roading
  Our guide, Juan, gave us safety instructions along with driving lessons for our trip into the jungle.  Once the helmet, goggles, and bandana were put on, it was time to head out.  We followed the guide a short distance down the road to the jungle area.  I let my husband do all the driving - we would still be there if I were behind the wheel.  What a great experience!  This trip was definitely not for those with back problems as the trail was very rutted and bumpy with very tight turns.  The dirt/mud trail was just as wide as the Rhino with follage surrounding the vehicle.  Along the way, the guide would stop and bring everyone back together.  Since we were the first vehicle following the guide, my husband took it as a personal challenge to keep up with him!  At every stop, he would turn and tell Bill - "You're a very good driver!"  I think the two of them worked off each other along the way!  The faster the guide would go to shake us off, the more determined my husband was to keep up!

About midway through, the guide's vehicle broke down.

I Spy This Guy!
  The mechanic brought along to bring up the rear exchanged vehicles so the trip could move forward.  Somewhere after that, another broke down, and our guide was forced to use a 4 wheeler ATV the remainder of the trip.  The route was pretty brutal on the machines as well as the occupants!  Just before the end of the trip, a tree fell separating us from the rest of the group.  To remove the tree, the guide and his companions had to pull out the chain saw and cut the tree into managable pieces to toss to the side.  This took between 30 and 40 minutes.  Since we were the only ones to make it through, the photographer was sent to "entertain" us while in this jungle setting.  She knew of some Mayan ruins along another path, so off on foot we treked to view the ruins and experience other sights in the jungle including the biting flies and mosquitos!  Definitely not a trip for the glamorous!  Soon, we were back on the way.
Hat Dance?
 

Upon exiting the jungle, the guide took us to a small beach break location.  Here we could take a dip in the water, purchase refreshments (great guacamole and chips and my husband reports great tequilla), and use the restrooms before heading back to the shopping area.  There were several iguanas sunning on the rocks near the entrance of the beach.  Because of the tree, we were limited to only 30 minutes here instead of the scheduled hour.  So, it was back to the shopping village.  Before going back to the village, the guide took us to the lighthouse on the coastline. 

Thank heavens we were docked!  A quick trip back to the ship and a good shower was needed to revive me.  We decided to taste the local food at Mammasitas.

The sun sets over Costa Maya
  We ate in the main restaurant on the second floor under a huge thatch roof.  I highly recommend the quesidillas and the pina colada wasn't bad either.  There were shops selling everything under the sun.  We picked up our typical souveniers, and stopped to watch some local dancers performing in the central area of the village.  All too soon it was all aboard to head off to Cozumel.  In a few years, the remnants of Hurricane Dean will be but a memory and the beauty of the area will shine through.  A great port - Costa Maya will recover. 

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Long Pier
Long Pier
Receiving Instruction
Receiving Instruction
Off Roading
Off Roading
I Spy This Guy!
I Spy This Guy!
Hat Dance?
Hat Dance?
The sun sets over Costa Maya
The sun sets over Costa Maya
Look at the Difference
Look at the Difference
Another creature!
Another creature!
Cant forget the day of the week!
Can't forget the day of the week!
Looking down at the pier from our …
Looking down at the pier from our…
The coastline at Costa Maya
The coastline at Costa Maya
Can you see the damage left behind…
Can you see the damage left behin…
Goodbye, Sun!  Until tomorrow!
Goodbye, Sun! Until tomorrow!
Big Ship - Baby Ship
Big Ship - Baby Ship
Bill is ready to go!
Bill is ready to go!
Choose One!
Choose One!
Leaving the shopping area
Leaving the shopping area
Hurricane Dean Destruction
Hurricane Dean Destruction
Heading to the Beach Break
Heading to the Beach Break
Long Walk on a Long New Pier
Long Walk on a Long New Pier
Remnants of Hurricane Dean
Remnants of Hurricane Dean
Photo Shot
Photo Shot
Wheres the beach?
Where's the beach?
Welcoming Committee
Welcoming Committee
Local Entertainment
Local Entertainment
Shops at Costa Maya
Shops at Costa Maya
Mayan Fountain
Mayan Fountain
Lines!
Lines!
Costa Maya Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Mamsitas
Would you like good local food while in Costa Maya?  Check Out Mamasitas.  Located under a big thatch roof in the shopping area just off the cruise … read entire review
Costa Maya
photo by: tropiksun