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Mahahual (also Majahual) is a village on the Costa Maya in the municipality of Othon P. Blanco on the Caribbean Sea coast of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico, a short distance northeast of Belize.

The origin of name Mahahual could come from “agua de la majagua” or “place of mahahua”. The mahahua is a medium-sized tree planted in grass near water and native to tropical America.

Mahahual is only about 3 km away from the Costa Maya cruise port, and cruise ships can easily be seen from the village. Previously a fishing village, it is now a rapidly developing tourist center.

Many hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops can be found in this quaint tourist town.

One of the main attractions of Mahahual is its proximity to the Chinchorro Bank, a coral atoll declared a nature reserve, and the second-largest barrier reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia).

This reef is located in the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Quintana Roo and Belize and has a huge biodiversity, extremely attractive for diving in it. This underwater paradise promises an unforgettable diving experience.

Mahahual has soft sand beaches, grass thatched palapas. Mahahual is surrounded by a virgin jungle with spectacular biodiversity, making it a place of interest for ecotourists and divers from around the world.

Mahahual until the end of the twentieth century has been a small fishing village little known. Only people from the vicinity came to take advantage of its undeveloped beaches and recreational sites.

A large cruise ship docking jetty dubbed “Puerto Costa Maya” has been constructed just up the beach. Every day a couple of cruise ships dock and the occupants are disgorged onto the town to drink, shop, swim, and ride jet skis and quad bikes.

However the further south away from the cruise ship dock you go the quieter the town becomes, so it’s still possible to have a quiet time of it, especially at some of the hotels south of town.

In August 2007, Hurricane Dean landed just north of Mahahual. It heavily damaged the cruise ship dock and destroyed much of the small village. The village was rebuilt, cruise ships returned, and many nice hotels opened.

Mahahual is, to date, a reconstructed place and enabled to offer services for visitors interested in knowing this small town. A new development called New Mahahual is being created directly inland from the port.

When ships are in port, the village is busy with cruise passengers.

Although Hurricane Dean severely damaged the Mahahual, local residents worked hard to recover and lift the “New Mahahual,” which includes the largest public beach in Quintana Roo, and a walking promenade of around 1700 m.

This new seaside Malecon runs from the main road to the southern end of Mahahual Pueblo. The Malecon is a pedestrian walkway with the beach to the east and businesses to the west.

Many nice restaurants and shops line the Malecon.

Diving and sport fishing are the main economic activities. Tourists, attracted by the calm and tranquility, as well as its spectacular beaches and the coral reef, will be satisfied with the beauty of the place.

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