I will miss Mahahual, Mexico, when we leave tomorrow. There are so many reasons I love the Costa Maya region – which is still not overdeveloped, like Playa del Carmen, and which still has easy access to most of the beach for everyone, unlike Tulum.
We lived in the village, at the beach. Our rent was basically $450 USD a month at an exchange rate of roughly 18 pesos per dollar.
We lived in a one bedroom, one bath apartment. Steps outside our door is the malecon, or beach walkway, and on the other side of that is the Caribbean Sea.
This building has an amazing rooftop deck. We spent a lot of time up there.
It’s technically low season now, and our rent was basically $15 a day. The price for this place is much higher during the traditional high season months (December – March, including Mexico’s Semana Santa holiday.)
Here are pictures of what the apartment looks like inside.
We had to pay our electricity use, which cost us roughly $2 a day. The bill comes every two months. We ran the air conditioner (not pictured, near the ceiling in the bedroom) only at night for a few hours. In Mexico, you are charged a higher rate per kilowatt the more electricity you use.
Our total living cost has been $17 a day since April 2, the day we moved in.
Wifi was included, but often the service was spotty or not working because the provider needed to strengthen the service into town. There were a few days we had no wifi at all, and one day the whole town also had no phone service. They are hoping the recent repairs will make it so the wifi is stronger for everyone in Mahahual, especially on days when the cruise ships are here.
My husband got lucky finding this place in the village to rent. If you rent an apartment for a slow travel stay in Mahahual, be aware that most of what’s available is found in The Casitas neighborhood. If you rent there, a bike will make life much easier to get to the village if you do not have a car.
I will miss the Caribbean, the reef, the malecon, the beautiful, laid back vibe that permeates this area. I will miss the friends we’ve made. I will miss people calling my name on the malecon as I jog, walk or bike by. “Hola Elena!”
I will miss my bike. I bought it in August 2015 back in Tulum, and it’s been around Central America with me. I’m giving it to a friend before I leave. I know she’ll make good use of it. My husband’s bike, which I had built from scraps back in Tulum as his Christmas present, will be given to another friend – a young father who works hard and could use a break.
Everything else we bought in Chetumal – the fan, the pots and pans, also will be donated to people we know here. (Those kinds of supplies need to be gotten in Chetumal – there is not big box store in Mahahual – another reason to love it.)
I will miss the people here, as much as I will miss its geographic beauty. We definitely will come back, at some point on our travels.
Mexico City is next for a few days, and then we are headed back to Cleveland for a couple of months to wrap up some business matters and visit with family for the summer. Then we’ll hit the road again – possibly heading to Mexico’s west coast. So, I’m excited for what’s ahead for us.
But, I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Mahahual.
Side note – if anyone is interested in buying property on the Costa Maya, I have met a few Americans who have navigated into ownership here, and I can point you in the right direction. Just contact me and I’ll put you in touch with them.
Bye for now, Costa Maya!!
- First month’s digs in Tulum
- Living continuously in Airbnb rentals
- Video: our rental on Lake Atitlan, Guatemala