Some years ago we made a stop in Costa Maya on another cruise. I remember booking a dive excursion and experiencing one of the more scary dive trips we've had. Not because of what we encountered below the surface but rather what happened along the way. The dive boat didn't have all of their tanks secured and they were rolling around in the bottom of the boat. Add to that instructions difficult to follow and we vowed never to do that again.
We did enjoy the crazy little fishing village that we explored after the dive however and on this last cruise decided we would visit there again. The port of Costa Maya has been built by the cruise companies. It has a nice dock, albeit a very long one to keep the ships out of the shallows. There is a nice tram that runs back and forth from the ships to the shopping area.
What a change though! The little shopping area has expanded with restaurants and bars and at least double the shops or more. The one swimming pool has turned into three and an area built right against the sea has several dolphins that you can pay to swim with. Once we began walking through the port area, I began to wonder how our little fishing village had fared in the economic boom that the cruise industry brought.
You guessed it. The changes were amazing. We were corralled onto an open air trailer that seated about 20 people and was pulled by a pickup. We didn't know it would cost $3/person rather than the $2 the taxis charged. But there was a system. Take the trailer to the town. Take the taxi back. It was all explained when we were dropped off.
First up, I noticed that instead of the dirt and gravel roads to the town, everything was paved or cobblestoned. Then as we got to town I was amazed at its growth. The town had lengthened and widened to double its size. The beach was covered with tables and chairs from a slew of restaurants. And of course there were tons of souvenir shops and hawkers with home made gifts moving between all the tables. Endless massage tables lined the boardwalk/street along the beach. I'm guessing the price was right for those who enjoy that.
We lingered long enough to enjoy a cold beverage on the beach under the trees and watch all the activity. Lots of locals were there as well since it was a holiday week and I'm sure they were vacationing.
I'm happy for the economic boom for the area but I kinda miss the sweet little fishing town we first encountered.