When you are on a cruise it is easy to be busy. Our Cruise in May was full of things to do. 10 days with 5 countries and 6 stops, leaves your dance card pretty full. It is easy to get caught up in doing as much as you can in the short time you are in port. Finding things to do and see in each port becomes a job in itself and you can easily return home not feeling relaxed like you should after a vacation. After this last cruise that we took we discovered that even on vacation, especially on vacation you need time to just do nothing and relax.
After hanging out with Mike and Debbie in Honduras all day, they mentioned a place they were looking forward to in a dew days on our second to the last stop in Costa Maya. Now the websites and the cruise boat tell you all about amazing things to do on shore in Costa Maya. Snorkeling, ATV rides and ancient ruins abound, but what Mike and Debbie were talking about was a place you will not find out about from your Cruise boat. A hidden gem for those in the know, Maya Chan Beach.
They told us how Mike’s brother had found this place and how they had been once before and were looking forward to returning. They described it as a private beach with limited access and was a great place to relax. We of course invited ourselves along and with some pricey on board internet we sent off an email to see if there was room on that day for 2 more. Reservations are required because they limit the amount of people at the resort every day.
Normally when we think of beach resorts, images of crowds, overpriced drinks and food and chairs that you have to pay for by the hour come rushing to mind. Maya Chan Beach is the exact opposite. After receiving our confirmation that there was room for us and forking over a piddly $59 USD per person we looked forward to another day with our new found travel friends, Mike & Debbie.
On the morning of the excursion we disembarked after breakfast and met Mike and Debbie on the dock. We walked through the carnival of souvenir shops on the dock and outside the controlled area to find our transportation, which by the way, was included in that $59 per person. As a matter of fact everything I am going to share with you is included in that $59. This is an all inclusive private beach resort. After a short, 20 minute air conditioned ride away from the hustle and bustle of tourism at the port, we arrived at a gate and a mailbox on a white sandy dirt road. It looked as if we were pulling up to someone’s home. Coconut trees and tropical vegetation filled the property and shielded the awaiting treasure from our view from the entry.
We were greeted by a friendly tall American who introduced himself as an Arkansas Mexican and checked us in. (Sorry Kevin I forgot your state) We were a party of four and had been assigned to our own private area (I think it was called Taco) and then we were shown around. We were taken to our area that included four over sized beach chairs in a shaded area with our own beach bed with linens if we wanted to take a siesta. We had a staff member that was assigned to us to make sure we received anything we needed, which of course at the time was a cocktail from the open bar (again included).
The resort as it turns out was the brainchild of Mark and Jane who had been on a ridiculous amount of cruises and wanted to create an oasis of relaxation from the busy itineraries of cruising. They purchased a piece of land right on the beach, added onto the existing structure that was there to accommodate the bar and kitchen area and then carved out mini oasis areas among the coconut trees for their guests. Each sitting area is semi private at least in the fact that you have your own spacious area for your party and do not have to worry about somebody walking over you every time they need to get up.
It was probably a little before 10am when we arrived and the crews were still hard at word preparing the beach. If you have been on a beach on the Yucatan coastline, you know there is sea grass that comes ashore. the staff spent all day managing and removing the dead sea grass that came ashore. While this is a very relaxing place, they do provide a lot of things to do if you so choose. From Snorkeling equipment and glass bottom kayaks to getting a massage or playing giant Jenga, maybe take a nap in a hammock,there is really something for everyone.
At around 11:00 they announce lunch and we were treated to an endless beach barbecue buffet. Skirt steak and chicken with local seasonings. Fish in butter and garlic. Oh and the star of course was the Cochinita pibil! A slow roasted pork dish that is marinated in citrus and baked in a banana leaf. So good! wrap up these delicious meats in a tortilla with fresh guacamole and your choice of fresh prepared salsa and you have a circus in your mouth. Did we mention this was also part of the $59?
Christy and David kept the drinks and cervesas flowing. They had a tropical rum drink of the day that was prepared and easily served. They provided mineral cucumber water to keep us all hydrated and the selection of the bar spirits and beers was impressive to say the least.
We sat and relaxed in the tropical afternoon and really felt like we re on vacation and relaxing. Mike grabbed one of the kayaks and explored a bit while we relaxed on a couple floaties about 25 feet from shore. Debbie got thirsty floating around and what should she do? No worries, raising an empty glass and a staff member will wade out to bring you another with a smile on their face.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was of course the giant Jenga game. After about 15 minutes I started filming because I wanted to catch a video of it crashing down. I ended up with over 45 minutes of video because it turned into an epic round where we actually beat the previous record at topped out at 38!
Sadly we did have a cruise boat to return to so at 3 o’clock we had to say goodbye to Maya Chan Beach. Hitting the “love” box on the way out we tipped out the staff for an amazing day and the most relaxing of the entire cruise.
If you find yourself on a western Caribbean cruise that takes you to Costa Maya, there is only one reservation you need to make.