Costa Maya x OOTD
Costa Maya was the second port of call on our Royal Caribbean adventure. It is located in Quintana Roo, Mexico: the only state surrounded by the Caribbean Sea on its eastern border. Upon our arrival in the port, we were overwhelmed by a sense that we had been dropped into a Disney pavilion at Epcot instead of a foreign land. We got wind of the fact that we would not have an authentic Mexican experience within the port area. In one of the ubiquitous souvenir shops selling repeats of the same ceramic goods found literally everywhere you go, a kind gentleman told us to leave the port area and travel into town for a small fee of $3.00. He mentioned many restaurants were located directly on the beach and that you can safely skip the beach clubs and head directly there. We took a sort-of-trolley-cart-thing that was attached to a car into town.
The town was one long strip of local shops, businesses, and eateries. I took some photos of the real Costa Maya, which in my eyes was beautiful. Some people prefer to hide from reality and accept the touristic idealizations of local life sold to them by the port image. The unfiltered local color is more my scene and I've never been one to fool myself into believing that if I don't see poverty it does not exist. The community thrives and depends on the business of tourism. Time and time again I hear tourists complain about being heckled by locals to buy their wares, eat their food, and use their services. But if no ships come to port that week, the locals can barely make ends meet. It's not a hustle to grab your attention and annoy you, it's a struggle to survive. I guarantee that if my job depended on attracting people to make small purchases and have them haggle the entire time for my goods and services (when I already sell them cheaply), I either wouldn't survive very long or wouldn't be so nice.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do, and when in Mexico, eat a mango. If you hate mangos, still eat a mango, unless you have a deadly mango allergy. I bought two from a small market I stumbled on at the end of the strip, but you can find them anywhere. I also found a juice shop where two ladies made me a fresh guanabana (soursop) juice, which happens to be one of my top favorite tropical fruits, probably second to mangos. Once we finished our shopping on the beach front we headed to the Tipsy Turtle and enjoyed Ceviche and Lobster tail with our toes in the sand. The restaurant had tables and lounge chairs on the beach where you can order anything you liked while gazing at the crystalline Caribbean waters.
Scroll to bottom for links on what I'm wearing
The only thing I would have done differently is buy my Zara pants in a smaller size. I bought a medium and they were both too large and long and I didn't have time to exchange them. I'm 5'4" so I'm used to hemming pants, but this pair couldn't even be worn with heels or wedges, they were longer than long. Zara sizing is very hit and miss, so I recommend trying on their clothing rather than shopping online. My hat and sarong wrap was purchased on the beach in Costa Maya, no links could be provided.