If you want to visit the hottest destination on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, head to Costa Mujeres. People are calling it the new Cancun. In less than ten years, ten new luxury resorts have opened in this new resort area located about 20 minutes north of Cancun’s Hotel Zone. Several more are planned or are already under construction. It’s a beautiful place to be and while you’re there, you’ll want to explore. Here are our suggestions for interesting and fun things to do in Costa Mujeres.
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Where is Costa Mujeres?
Costa Mujeres, also known as Playa Mujeres, is situated about 30 minutes north of Cancun’s busy hotel zone near Puerto Juarez. This means it’s close to shopping, restaurants and clubs, but far enough away to seem more tranquil. This accessible location also means there are plenty of things to do.
Visit Isla Mujeres
Costa Mejeres actually falls under the jurisdiction of nearby Isla Mujeres and ferries run several times per day from Puerto Juarez to Isla Mujeres. Once on Isla Mujeres you can rent a golf cart and explore the ruins, go on a snorkel tour and see the underwater art, relax on a beach or enjoy dining at one of several local restaurants.
Related: Check out our post about a do-it-yourself tour of Isla Mujeres.
Snorkel with Whale Sharks
From mid-June to mid-September, hundreds of whale sharks congregate in the waters near Isla Mujeres and Holbox Island. An organized tour to snorkel with these massive creatures is an experience of a lifetime. It’s definitely one of the most exciting things to do in Costa Mujeres.
Visit the Mayan Ruins of El Meco
Want to see Mayan ruins without the crowds? Consider a visit to El Meco, which lies north of Cancun near Costa Mujeres. These ruins are small, but they are inexpensive to access and you may just have them all to yourself. The structure known as El Castillo is the tallest Mayan pyramid in the region near Cancun. You can catch a cab or a colectivo to get there.
Play a Round at Playa Mujeres Golf Course
Golfers will want to put Playa Mujeres Golf Course at the top of their list of things to do in Costa Mujeres. The par 72, 18-hole course was designed by Greg Norman. Located on the Playa Mujeres Resort, the golf course has a club house, a golf shop, practice facilities and a lounge area.
Find a Pristine Beach
There are a number of nice beaches in the Costa Mujeres region where you can spread out your towel away from other tourists. You can rent a car or catch a bus or colectivo to explore. One of the well-known beaches is Isla Blanca. Despite the name, it’s not on an island – it’s on a peninsula. The white sandy beach is popular with locals – especially on Sundays. It’s also one of the best places to go kite surfing.
Go Shopping in Cancun
Whether you’re looking for high end brand labels or Mexican handicrafts, there are a lot of places to shop in nearby Cancun. Depending on where you’re staying, you might even get a voucher for a free shopping trip to Cancun. For shopping malls, check out La Isla Shopping Village, Malecon Americas, Plaza Las Americas or Puerto Cancun Marina Town Center. If you’re looking for Mexican handicrafts in a flea market, check out Coral Negro Flea Market or Mercado 28. If outlet shopping is your thing, Las Plazas Outlet is the place to go. Shopping in Cancun is one of the most popular things to do when you’re staying in Costa Mujeres.
Enjoy the Nightlife
There aren’t many clubs in Costa Mujeres, but you can party ’til the sun comes up in nearby Cancun. Coco Bongo is the most famous night club in Cancun. Other top spots include Manadala, The City, Palazzo and Dady’O. If you want to party hard, stay in Cancun and be closer to the action. If you just want to go out for a night on the town, stay in quieter Costa Mujeres and take a cab into nearby Cancun for an evening or night out.
Dine at Local Restaurants
There are many different dining options in Cancun, but there are also some good spots right in Costa Mujeres. If you want a nice dinner and a cabaret show, you’ll want to make reservations for Chic Cabaret at the TRS Yucatan Resort. For fine dining, check out Merotoro. Peter’s Restaurante is also a popular choice for foodies. For really good local Mexican food, check out one of the two locations for Taqueria Coapenitos.
Take a Tour to see Mayan Ruins
There are plenty of options for guided tours in this part of Mexico. If you want to see Mayan ruins, you can book a guided tour to Tulum, Coba or Chichen Itza. If you want to climb to the top of a ruin, Coba is the one to visit. It is the tallest pyramid on the Yucatan peninsula and the only one you are still allowed to climb. If you like history, visiting Mayan ruins with a guide is one of the best things to do when you’re staying in Costa Mujeres. A guide can provide real insights into Mayan history and culture that you won’t get when you visit on your own.
Related: For more great things to do in this region of Mexico, read our post entitled 5 Do-it-Yourself Riviera Maya Excursions.
Visit a Theme Park
There are many different theme parks in this region of Mexico. If you visit nearby Isla Mujeres, be sure to check out the Garrafon Ecological Park. The park is home to some of the best snorkeling in the region. Other popular theme parks we have visited in this part of Mexico include Xcaret Eco Archaeological Park. Xel Ha Ecological Park and Xplor Park, There are many more theme parks in this region of Mexico and most hotels offer tours to these parks that include transportation to and from the resort.
Our Fav Thing to Bring to a Beach Resort
We like to bring our Bubba Cups – even to all-inclusive resorts. The cups keep our drinks cold for hours. We forgot our cups on this trip and we were wishing we had them!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort. Opened in November 2018, the resort is big and offers a lot of services including the amazing Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy. It’s situated on a beautiful beach and has a number of excellent restaurants. We particularly enjoyed the steak house and the Japanese restaurant.
Related: Read our post Fabulously Fun Things to do in Cancun with Kids.