Frequently Asked Questions about Mahahual and Costa Maya Villas

What is the Costa Maya?

The Costa Maya is a marketing term assigned to the beachfront area that stretches from Xcalak in the south and north to the border of the Sian Ka'an biosphere in the north. Secondly it is the name of the pier where the cruise ships dock. Costa Maya Villas are located mid way between the Costa Maya Pier and Mahahual's lighthouse.

Transportation and "How far away..." Questions

How far are the Condominiums from Mahahual central?
Mahahual is a very small town that stretches along a Malecon or pedestrian walkway. The Condominiums are about a 10 minute walk, or 1/2 kilometer to the Lighthouse where the town begins.

What major city would we fly into?
There are four options with the benefits and disadvantages to each below. (Information about buses below in this section)

  1. Cancun International-- usually very competitive rates, easy to rent a car or take a bus from the airport. Plus there are some sights to see on the way down if you want to make a day of the drive (4 hour drive is the disadvantage)
  2. Chetumal -- One and 1/2 hours away. Currently there are no direct flights from the US to Chetumal but most flights originate from Mexico city. Easy to rent cars (reserved cars will be waiting for you at the curb) and taxi's in Chetumal are very cheap. You can take a Taxi here for $850 pesos plus gratuities.
  3. Merida International - 4.5 hour drive via 184 south out of Merida, but you will travel through quaint villages in the center of the peninsula. The drive has good roads and a variety of things to see. If you inadvertently take the wrong 184 south, it will add an extra hour to the drive as you will end up going through every small town south of Merida.
  4. Belize City International - only about 35 miles from the border to Chetumal. Prices can be competitive with Cancun airport and busses go from Belize City to Chetumal several times a day.

What are the road conditions like?
Road conditions are relatively good. There are some areas of road resurfacing projects going on, so be aware. roads are safe.

How late is the gas station open and is it open on holidays?
The gas station is open around the clock and on holidays. Sometimes, however they run out of gas or cannot operate because they are out of power. There is a gas station 5 km south of Cafetal junction in that event at the junction to Merida.

Can you rent a car in Chetumal?
You can rent a car in Chetumal from the following locations:

Continental Rent a Car
Av. Héroes 171-B. Lobby del hotel Holiday Inn
Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Phone:(983) 832-2411, 835-0400
E-Mail:continentalrentacar@hotmail.com
URL:http://www.continentalcar.com.mx

Vipsaesa
Av. Revolución No. 115
Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Phone:(983) 832-0092 y 832-2860
E-mail:vipsaesa@hotmail.com

Aventura Maya Car Rental
Av. Independencia No. 168 Entre Efraín Aguilar y Mahatma Ghandi
Col. Centro
Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Phone:(983) 285-5940
E-mail:aventuramaya@hotmail.com

Perico´s Tours (will deliver to Mahahual if you want to first take the bus)
Contact: José Alvaro Hoil Torres
Calle Manuel Acuña No. 109
Fracc. Cumbres
Chetumal, Quintana Roo
Phone:Tel:(983) 837-2503, (983) 839-1100 (cellular)
E-mail:pericos_tours_01@hotmail.com

Volkswagen Dealership - close to the airport
Chetumal (983) 832-37-57 or (983) 832-82-27
The Volkswagen dealership is located close to the airport by La Fuente Maya (Mayan Fountain).They are open until 6:00 PM for drop-ins but close in the middle of the day for Siesta (1:00 - 4:00 PM).

Is there any shuttle/public transportation available from Chetumal to Costa Maya Villas?
You can get a bus to Mahahual, but currently no bus goes directly to Costa Maya Villas. There are several busses that travel into Mahahual. You can buy tickets for specific travel dates and times at the terminals in Playa Del Carmen, Cancun and Chetumal. There are taxis in Mahahual that will take you to Costa Maya Villas.

Can you take a boat from Cancun to Costa Maya Villas
No, not one with regular service.

How do I get a taxi at the Condos
Please talk to Cesar, the facilities manager or Luis the maintenance man who can call a taxi for you.

Is there a bus from Cancun to Mahahual?
Yes, but not directly from Cancun airport . If coming from the Cancun Airport (which is south of the city of Cancun), you must change busses in Playa Del Carmen or from Cancun city terminal which is north of the airport. The ADO bus to Playa leaves every half hour during high season from the airport. The rate is $150 pesos. From Playa Del Carmen you can get either a MayaB bus to Limones and transfer to a Caribe or ADO bus that goes to Mahahual or take the ADO bus from Playa Del Carmen direct to Mahahual or Limones. The bus currently leaves Playa del Carmen at 8:15 AM and it leaves Mahahual at 5:00 PM from the Sindicado de Taxistas.

NOTE: The ADO bus is occasionally canceled, please check to make sure it is available.

Services

Do the condominiums have SPA facilities?
NO, Costa Maya Villas do not have SPA facilities, but we have arranged with a local massage therapist to come directly to the Condominiums. You can opt to have the massage in the privacy of your condominium, out on your deck or under the palapa by the pool. Upon request we can also arrange pedicures and manicures. Yoga facilities are in Mahahual along the Malecon.

Do you have a security guard at night?
Costa Maya Villas takes your security very seriously. There is someone on the grounds at all times . At night there is a security guard.

Do the Condominiums have a sandy beach?
The condominiums have a rocky beach, but there is a sandy beach only about 100 meters south where you can enter the beach and snorkel or swim. It is where most of the spear fishermen enter to fish.

Do you have phones?
There are no phones in any of the condominiums. If you want to use your phone in this part of Mexico, you will need a service that is partners with TelCel. Some services will not work in Mahahual. You may have to contact your provider prior to arriving in Mexico to be certain your cell phone will work. The Condominiums have Wireless service which is sufficient to make wireless calls with services such as SKYPE.

Can you tell me who the service provider is that has cell signals down there?
Telcel

Do you have laundry facilities?
There are no laundry facilities available for travelers at the condominiums. The units do not come equipped with washing machines with the exception of #101, which does not have a dryer. There is a laundromat just South of the lighthouse and the cleaning woman will also do laundry for you. Please let us know if you would like this service.

Do you have pool towels?
Every unit has 4 Beach towels that are provided.

What is Check-in and Check-out time?
Checkout time is 10:00 and Check-in is 3:00 . Please let us know if you need to change these times and we can work around your schedule. Failure to provide advance late check out notice will incur a checkout fee of $35.

If I arrive after 10:00, is there someone around? How do I check in?
We have a night watchman that is at the condos. If you have a reservation, he will be expecting you and will be happy to show you to your room. He does not speak English. If there are any problems, he will contact the site manager Cesar. You will be formally checked in the next morning.
Note: For your safety, please try to avoid driving south from Tulum to Cafetal junction after dark.

Money Questions

Where can I change money?
Most businesses along the Cancun corridor to Tulum will accept US dollars, but most only offer a 10-1 peso exchange. (See link below for the personal currency assistant) Banks offer the best exchange rate and most offer ATM machines. You may also exchange money at a bank in Felipe Carrillo Puerto and there are many ATM's at the bus station. The best exchange rates for your $ are normally given at a cash machine, a Bank, or at one of the money exchange booths in Cancun, Playa, Tulum, Chetumal or Felipe Carrillo Puerto. The money exchange rate at the airport is very poor. However, there are ATM's in Arrivals where you can get pesos at the bank rate. Please remember that $300 pesos is only about $25, so make sure you remember to factor in the neighborhood of a 12.5 exchange rate when using the ATM's

To find today's exchange rate for the peso, use the XE.com Personal Currency Assistant
NOTE: If you have a pop-up blocker, you will have to disable that feature to access the Currency Assistant.

Once I am at Mayan Beach garden, do you accept credit cards?
We have Internet connection at the beach, which is our only way of accepting credit card payments. If the Internet connection is working we can accept credit card payment via our Merchant account, or PayPal but there is always a chance that we may not have service, your credit card may not be accepted in Mexico or if you are an existing PayPal account holder you will forget your password. Please plan on either paying in advance or bringing enough cash USD or pesos to pay for your stay. If you plan to use an existing PayPal account, you must know your password. PayPal will only allow account holders to use their credit card under a password account - the credit card they have on record may not be used in a "guest" account.

Where is the nearest ATM?
There are several ATM's in Mahahual. The closest is an HSBC at the Mahahual gas station. There are several ATM's in Mahahual along the Malecon and even as far south as Luna de Plata.

Will they accept US dollars in Mahahual?
Yes. While most items are priced in pesos, all places will accept US dollars or pesos but not US coins. They will even accept them in the Gas Station. Plan on receiving a poor exchange rate when paying with dollars.

Do gas stations accept credit cards?
Gas stations in Mexico are just starting to take credit cards. The Gas station at the North end of Bacalar takes visa and MasterCard. The gas station in Mahahual recently started accepting credit cards - do NOT hand any attendant your card but walk with them to the machine where they run the card and make sure it is only run once. Also, the gas station in Mahahual has inconsistent phone service so it is common to be unable to accept credit cards.

Should we buy traveler's checks?
Traveler's checks are not readily accepted in the Southern part of the sate. They are viewed as third party checks and vendors are often charged to exchange them, can't get a very good exchange rate or are forced to wait 90 days for the money.

Can I exchange money at the airport?
Yes, but there is a Santander Serfin machine by the cash window at customs. Also, there are a couple of cash machines in arrivals and ticketing. The ticketing or departures area is to your left as you exit immigration and customs. Coincidentally - if you bank with Bank of America, there are no banking fees for using a Santandar Serfin ATM Machine.

Can you tell me how many pesos it will be to fill up a tank of gas?
The price of gas is similar to the price of gas in major cities in the US.

General Questions

Are there lots of mosquitoes?
Winter and spring months are traditionally the best time to avoid mosquitoes. At certain times of the year and depending on the amount of rain that comes during the rainy season, mosquitoes can be annoying at dusk. There is seldom a problem with mosquitoes close to the beach because they just can't fly around in the breeze that is most often present. The breeze has a tenancy to die down right at sunrise and again at sundown. You will notice an increase of mosquitoes at this time, so it is a good idea to bring mosquito repellent if you plan on A) being out at dawn or dusk B) wandering into the jungle away from the beach.

Do you have screens or mosquito nets?
All of the units have well maintained screens on the windows, so mosquito nets are not needed in the rooms .

Do you get many tourists from the cruise ships that dock at the Costa Maya port?
Mayan Beach Garden is far enough away from Majahual that you can avoid the crowds that accompany the huge cruise ships. In fact, even though there are tours that go to Uvero (4 km. north of us), you will seldom see anyone because the buses don't go down the beach road at El Placer. Occasionally a few wander in and we try to be friendly, but courteously remind them this is a private beach for Mayan Beach Garden guests.

You mention that there is construction going on -- is it noisy?
We do have minor repairs going on all the time in order to keep MBG in good shape. Any references to construction at Mayan Beach Garden property are out of date. We have tried to remove all traces from the Mayan Beach Garden web site, but there are other web sites who don't update their web pages very often so the information is several years our of date! Many people think we have something to do with that, but most often it is unsolicited. As in all small hotels, we are always fixing up, painting and improving so that your experience here will be one that you will remember.

Pet Policy

Do you allow dogs or other pets?
Yes. All units welcome dogs but not cats or other pets that could potentially cause allergies and asthma in other guests.

There is a $45 non-refundable cleaning fee plus a $100 refundable damage deposit in addition to the $200 general damage deposit. Because some guests are afraid of dogs, we ask the the animal be on a leash when on Costa Maya Villa grounds, that refuse be picked up and that you respect the quiet of others. Excessive barkers or dogs that bother other guests will be asked to leave.