Costa Maya

The Costa Maya is a tourist corridor that begins in Punta Herrero and goes down to the village of Xcalak. There are 190 kilometers of beaches of white sand and turquoise blue sea, protected by the Mesoamerican reef system, the second largest in the world. Sixty percent (60%) of the 19,400 hectares of the area is designated for ecological preservation. The Costa Maya has places of incomparable beauty. The flora, with its green mantle, covers the the earth that shelters hundreds of species of animals. Varieties extend from the jaguar to exotic birds of stunning plumage. There are also many aquatic creatures that guard the reef in its depths.

Mahahual

Majahual is the gateway to this wonderful world, and there is a modern highway that connects this coast to the state capital of Chetumal, approximately two hours of travel time away. The town originated as a fishing village, but now has the only cruise ship pier in the southern part of the state. In Majahual there are attractions for all tastes. You can practice jet skiing, diving, or simply swim in the calm waters protected by the reef that becomes a natural breakwater. You can go on the nature trails that go deep into the jungle, and see thousands of species of flora and fauna of the region, a unique experience for nature lovers. Or if you like a different type of excitement, you can rent a boat and head for the open seas and fish for marlin or swordfish.

Punta Herrero

If you are one of those people seeking a tranquil environment and direct contact with nature, you can travel a little over an hour to Punta Herrero, north of Majahual, on paths that go through both the forest and sandy beaches. You can also reach this resort by boat from Punta Allen, enjoying the beautiful Caribbean Sea, and also see many marine species of the area. Punta Herrero is an eco-resort located within the Biosphere Reserve Sian Ka'an, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You can experience the channels and mangroves in a kayak, or you can snorkel in the coral reefs. You can explore the Holy Spirit Bay and observe hundreds of species of waterfowl on Bird Island. Sport fishing is also available, offering catches such as barracuda and parrotfish, among others. After enjoying the fantastic flora and fauna, you can dine on great local dishes of the coast such as lobster and shrimp. At the end of such a fantastic day, you can sleep under a clear and starry night sky, camping on one the beautiful unspoiled beaches.

Banco Chinchorro

For lovers of deep sea diving and exploration, Banco Chinchorro is 20 minutes from Majahual by boat. Banco Chinchorro is an atoll reef, and in the center is a area where countless marine wildlife and birds of all kinds find refuge. In the surroundings here you will see hundreds of fish, turtles, and even dolphins and sharks living in the protection of the reef. An added plus is that you can also explore the many shipwrecks found in the surrounding waters.

Xcalak

But if you are not an expert diver, there is Xcalak, the southernmost town in Mexico. It is near the border of Belize, and here you find the Zaragoza Canal, an artificial waterway between the Caribbean Sea and the Bay of Chetumal. This is a quiet village that has been partially insulated from the bustle of big cities. Many of the traditions of local people are maintained. With the help of specialized guides, you can dive in the National Park Reef, and explore the many caves that surround the waters.

You can visit La Poza, a reef rock formation that is unique in the Great Mayan Reef, and it runs parallel to the coast for nearly a mile. The trench starts in a shallow area and gradually widens and deepens. On one side is a wall of coral and the other a sandy hill that descends gently.

Furthermore you will have the opportunity of visiting the Chimera. This site has a wall that drops from 12 meters (40 ft) to about 28 to 35 meters (90-110 ft) of sand flats that fall into deeper waters. You can submerge yourself at the wall to 18 meters (60 feet) and find an opening where you'll find "The Cathedral". This is a huge cavern with a big flat rock in the center, where large tarpon, barracuda and other fish move rapidly through the water.

From Xcalak, in a boat or kayak you can go to La Aguada, a beautiful mangrove area nesting migratory birds. And you can visit the observation tower of the Bird Island, where you can find more than forty species of birds.

Printed from chetumal.com (Costa Maya - Chetumal.com - Gateway to the Costa Maya, México)