So what is the best way to vacation in the hotels and beach houses of Mahahual? Glad you asked! If you know how to get here, what we have here as accommodations and how to get around once you are here, this place can be the very best beach destination one could ever want. Beautiful beaches, great beach amenities and a friendly small town ambiance that allows you and, even your kids, to wander about and enjoy the local hospitality and innocence of this wonderful, undiscovered tropical destination. By the end of most guests stay, they have made many local friends at the restaurants, shops and stores, often calling each other by your first names, just like old “amigos”. Like we often tell people, Mahahual means Mayberry in Mayan!
The first thing you need to know are the three different sort of accommodations we have available in Mahahual, which are remote ocean front locations, in town ocean-front and in town off the ocean front. We have hotels and beach houses in the remote areas and mainly hotels and condos in town and on the oceanfront, with small houses and hotels off the oceanfront in town. Prices tend to be the highest for the oceanfront properties, with off the oceanfront properties going for 40-60% less as a general rule. An important thing to remember is that remote properties, hotel or beach houses, almost always require you have a rent car to get in and out of town in. In town vacationers can take the bus to Mahahual and easily get around town via taxi for a fraction of what a rented car costs by the day.
If you stay remote and choose to use a car, check the blog I published a while back with very specific instructions for driving from Cancun airport to Mahahual. https://ahhhmahahual.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/for-those-driving-from-cancun-to-mahahual/ Also, keep in mind that off the airport car rentals are usually around 35% less because of airport taxes. Another tip is that if you have a long travel day and do not plan to drive the long drive to Mahahual the first day, take an airport shuttle to Playa Del Carmen and spend the night there. It is a much more fun place to spend an evening. Rent your car there instead the next day. You save a day on the rental, but also if you rent away from the airport, so you save the airport fees and your rental rate will go down. If you spend your last night in Playa Del Carmen as well, you again can turn in your car a day early and then shuttle back to the airport the next day.
Some remote hotels and beach houses are close enough that a round trip taxi will cost less than the car rental, insurance and gas, especially if you figure the rental fee for the entire week versus the just a few days that remote guests actually come into town. Eighty dollars, the cost of a round trip taxi from some remote locations, a couple times a week is still cheaper than the rental, plus insurance and gas for the week. It is worth checking the cost on a round trip taxi before and comparing. Some places, especially those on the south side of Mahahual, where getting into the town is much faster and easier, the cost for a round trip taxi is as low as $30 USD.
But the original question was, how is the best way to vacation in Mahahual? For me, the answer is to stay in town, take the bus here and to enjoy some time along the way in Playa Del Carmen or Tulum. Use PDC as your “airport terminal” instead of Cancun, for the first and last days of your trip and use the easy airport shuttle on the day of your flights. The extra day is to have a little fun in that area, enjoying amenities we do not have here, like cenote dives, Tulum’s ruins or the night life and more cosmopolitan ambiance of Playa Del Carmen’s 5th Avenue. The bus system works well from the airport, with shuttles every hour to and from the 5th Ave terminal. You can access the water parks like Xel Ha or Xcaret, the Tulum ruins, or even Chitzen Ita from that same terminal, making the buses an easy option. Check this blog for a detailed explaination of how to take the “Fun Bus Trip”. https://ahhhmahahual.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/ado-bus-fron-cancun-airport-to-mahahual/
Once in Mahahual, just go everywhere by taxi or even better, by bicycle! Taxis are $2-$3 point to point for the entire car, so even if you stay off the beach, for a couple bucks each day, you can round trip taxi to any of the downtown beach locations. Same for dinner time. If you want to go to dinner, you can go anywhere, making the already very cheap food found in almost all places in Mahahual, just a couple dollars more with the taxi to and from. When the ships are in town for the few hours 4-5 days a week, the town is fully operational and all the tourist activities and vendors are up and running. If you want to go to places like the local ruins, just jump in the bus with the cruise ship passengers. Also, many of the shops that are not open otherwise, do so on cruise ship days. By mid to late afternoon on those days, the cruise ship passengers are all gone and the town is once again a sleepy little village, giving most the “remote” Caribbean ambiance many are looking for, even in town!
There are both hotels and condos located on the about 2 mile stretch of downtown oceanfront. About 3/4ths of that beachfront is on the Malecon, or the oceanfront “boardwalk” that Mahahual is becoming famous for, and the last 1/4th is on what will soon be the second phase of the malecon but is today, still a sand road. Hotels in this area range from $70-$125 US per night for nice tourist quality rooms with A/C, hot showers and internet. Condos, which are fewer, cost two to three times what the hotels cost. They are great for families but most couples or small groups can eat out and still save money in the hotels over the condos with the kitchens. Again, food is cheap in Mahahual!
Off the oceanfront is the very best value, especially if you are looking for the amenities of a condo but not the price. Nice fully decked out 2 bedroom casitas rent for as little as $600 US per week and are fully decked out with private gardens, equipped kitchens, with some even having bicycles to ride into town. No matter, at $4 a day to get to town and back, most can come and go all day and still save a bundle from the higher costs on the oceanfront. This area, located about a 5 minute walk to the ocean is where many locals live and has lots of nice and interesting places to eat and hang out. Small grocery stores are easy to walk to as well. If you want a kitchen and to stay in Mahahual on a budget, off the beach places are great and not to be overlooked.
So now you have the basics of how to vacation in Mahahual. If you need more info on how to get here, or what sort of accommodations might work best for your specific group, contact our Concierge Services. http://sandalsandskis.com/Concierge_Services.html The trick to enjoying a new and somewhat remote destination like this area, is to have either a local friend, or a good concierge to help with your planning. Most of the businesses here do a great job at what they do. Our hotels are usually very good hotels for example. Same for the restaurants, taxis and so forth. They are not, unfortunately, good at understanding the uncertainty most tourists have when traveling to this area, and therefore do a very bad job of helping guests with the details; like helping visitors make the trip from Cancun a fun and interesting part of the vacation, and how to use the local transportation. Knowing a few details like these, combined with finding the perfect accommodations that fit your group and what they want to do while here, is the difference between having just an okay trip, and having a vacation to remember and hopefully to return to again in the future.