February 29, 2020
Mahahual is a village on the Costa Maya in the municipality of Orthon P. Blanco on the Carribean Sea coast of the state of Quintana Roo. Previously a fishing village, it is now a cruise ship destination. We volunteered at the Travel Inn 6miles down the coastline. The owners Justa and Albert, a lovely couple from the Netherland, were our hosts. We helped with cooking in the restaurant, cleaning the casitas and general maintenance for 6hours a day in exchange for a hot meal, parking the LuvShk and using the facilities like the shower, water and the use of kayaks and bikes.
“As Aristotle said, ‘Excellence is a habit.’” – Criss Jami

Our stay for the next 3 weeks

everyday chores

We spend three weeks, five days a week helping out in the kitchen, prepare rooms for new guest, cleaning and maintenance of the grounds. The Travel Inn is mostly off-grid and collects rainwater for most of the water supplies. They offer two casitas to rent and also run a Restaurant offering European cuisine. The beach is only a few meters away, which makes this a great spot to visit. The only problem was that there was a lot of garbage on the beach, and even though Albert and Cliff tried their best to keep the beach clean, it was an endless task. The water was also not looking too healthy, and even though there was a reef further out, it was hard to find fish. We did talk to others who went snorkelling as well, and we kept hearing the same story. I am not here to make an environmental statement as I don’t know enough about it, but the garbage from all of us, including the cruise ships, sure showing a toll to the beautiful beaches around us. It is hard to comprehend how much garbage is floating out there until it starts washing up your back yard. Cliff and I made a pack if we can not clean up the ocean we sure can pick up garbage every time we walk by the sea. It is not much, but it is something.

helping in the kitchen 

Mahahual the village

The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.

Susan Sontag

The village of Mahahual is only about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) away from the Costa Maya cruise port, and cruise ships are visible from the town. Mahahual has sand beaches, grass thatched palapas, and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef that runs along the coast. Many hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops are found in this quaint tourist town. Lots of people come here for diving and snorkelling. There are many hostels and backpacker hostels.

In 2010, Mahahual had a population of 920. Since then, Mahahual has grown to become a more important tourist center with an airport and a large dock for cruise ships.

A new development called New Mahahual is built directly inland from the port. When ships are in port, the village is busy with cruise passengers. The small town has a lot of character and unique restaurants. With that said, it is a costly place to eat and stay as the cruise ships drive the prices up.

beautifying the town on slow days

We timed our visit for when the town was quiet, and people were relaxed, and you could see how this small fishing village got to be a destination. 

Welcome to Mahahual

the boardwalk in Mahahual

The village when no Cruise ships are here

In Memory 

The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.

Mark Twain

While we were staying in Mahahual, we had to say goodbye to our dog, Tessy. She was 16 years old and had a heck of a trip in her last six months of her life. We buried her at the beach where she can look out to the Caribbean sea and bark at the pelicans and seagulls.
This Blog is for you Tessy. Thanks for being a great dog and so loyal to us. We will miss you!