Plan A Relaxing Vacation At This Coastal Mexican Village

When you think of the Yucatán Peninsula, the vibrant cities of Tulum, Cancún, and Mérida probably come to mind. Along with the myriad activities and sites they each have to offer, you probably think of thousands of tourists bustling about, trying to do and see them all. While they're beautiful places most would say are worth visiting — over 8 million visitors alone passed through Cancún's airport alone in 2022 — you might want to go somewhere quieter.

If you're willing to drive a little bit, you can find a picturesque town with an uncrowded beach with white, sandy shores, clear blue skies, and water sparkling in the sunlight. We know, it sounds almost too good to be true. In Mahahual, Mexico, though, this scene is part of the ordinary. The town has a population of just over 2,600 people, which makes for a quiet, blissful getaway that offers all the benefits of the Yucatán Peninsula without all of the crowds.

Things to do in Mahahual, Mexico

Mahahual, Mexico, is located in Quintana Roo and is Grand Costa Maya's largest town. Though its population is small, its possibilities are anything but. You can lounge on the beach, of course, but if you're more of an adventure seeker, you can partake in activities like scuba diving — the world's second largest barrier reef, the Mesoamerican Reef System, is located only miles away — snorkeling, kayaking, and biking. They even have a water park with zip lines and waterslides.

For those who want to keep things relaxed, there's the Mahahual Malecon, a scenic promenade that's great for taking leisurely strolls. You can take in the sights of palm trees and white sand while listening to the waves crash softly on the shore. There are several vendors along the route, so you'll have plenty of opportunities to shop for jewelry, clothing, and other souvenirs. Restaurants and beach clubs are also nearby, making it a great place to wander through if you're looking for something to eat or a place to escape the heat. If you're into history, Mahahual is a great place to be. Its location in Grand Costa Maya positions it near archeological sites like Oxtankah and Kinichná.

Where to stay

Though the town is small, it can get busy when a cruise ship stops by and drops off its passengers. It'll be more crowded, but after they leave, it'll get quiet again. Keep this in mind if you're looking to avoid a swath of people. As for places to stay, you have some options. If you're looking for a space that's secluded, there's a resort — the Almaplena — with only nine rooms, all of which are located right on the beach. Otherwise, there are a number of hotels located throughout the town.

Next time you're looking for a spot to travel to, consider Mahahual, Mexico for a relaxing vacation on the beach. "Stopped in Costa Maya on a cruise and took an excursion to Mahahual and we loved it. We went back a year later to explore the town more and we will be back," one reviewer wrote on Tripadvisor. "It is a perfect location to get away from the crowds and snorkel, fish, and relax."