This is the first place I've been anywhere where I didn't see another dive boat. Beautiful spur and groove reefs that extend for miles. Saw turtles, stingray, moray eels, lots of fish and huge, I mean huge, barrel sponges. They were everywhere. We did 14 dives in fives days, including a neat little kayak dive from the resort to the first reef, about 400 meters off shore. We saw large schools of tangs on that dive in just 8 feet of water or less. We should've just brought the snorkels but it was fun diving.
The resort itself is near perfect. There were six people staying when we were there. It's secluded, safe and very quiet. The perfect getaway. The grounds are immaculately groomed, the pool a nice temperature and the dive shop was right next to our room.
The menu is prix fixe which is good and bad. I loved not having to decide what I wanted for dinner and every meal was delicious. They describe the food as Caribbean fusion. I don't know what that is but it was excellent. I could see how a really picky eater might not like not having a choice but the staff sends out questionnaires before arriving so you do have a chance to tell them what you like and what you don't. My travel companion isn't used to eating big breakfasts when she finally spoke up they gave her a selection of cereal instead and that made here happy.
The pace of the resort and diving is very laid back. The dive boat left only when everyone was ready to go so there was no rushing around. We took long surface intervals and generally ate lunch around 2 or 3, with dinner around 7:30 or 8pm. I'm not used to this but quickly came to like this slow pace. The reefs are in the 60-80 foot range so having a long surface interval really helped.
The dive staff was fun and made each dive different and special. And the resort staff took care of our every need.
The drive from Cancun was actually fun and we never felt like we weren't safe. This is the SAFEST part of Mexico and they take care of the tourists. I wish I had more than a week to hit more of the nearby Mayan ruins. We toured Chacchoben, about 45 minutes away, and Tulum, on our way back to Cancun. But this is deep in Mayan country and I really would've like more time for that. But the diving came first.
If you're looking for an all inclusive dive resort, where you feel like you're almost on a deserted island, this is the place. You will do incredible dives and won't be hassled by other travelers or people selling trinkets on the beach. I'll definitely be back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Secluded seaside resort 15 minutes south of Mahahual. Modeled on architecture of Mayan ruins. Air-conditioned seaside cottages, reverse osmosis water, hot showers, comfortable double beds, quality linens, internet access, freshwater pool, palapas all set within botanical gardens. 4 story pyramid bar, restaurant, and observatory with spectacular views of Caribbean. PADI Dive Center. World-class Scuba and snorkeling a 5 minute boat ride to the reef. Swimming, kayaking, fishing. Very private resort, within a gated walled compound. We have a three-night minimum stay requirement. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Maya Palms Resort And Dive Center
- Maya Palms Resort & Dive Hotel Mahahual
- Maya Palms Resort & Dive Center Mahahual, Mexico - Costa Maya