During our cruise of the Western Caribbean on the Norwegian Jewel, we participated in the ATV Jungle Adventure and Beach Break in Costa Maya. It was an excellent choice.
The ATVs are automatic and super easy to navigate. The course starts off straight and simple (to help beginners get acclimated) and then escalates in difficulty. Check out our video!
Midway through the ride, we had a water break at a pretty outlook area. Our tour guide Daniel told us a bit about Costa Maya and life in the area. Costa Maya is what Cancun was about 30 years ago. Aside from a shopping center at the port and a few private beaches, it’s quite underdeveloped. That’s a good thing for locals who don’t want to be flooded with tourist yet not so great for the economy. As development moves forward, they’re playing a balancing act, trying to keep a small-town feel while fueling the economy.
|Even bandits need water breaks|
Daniel is incredibly kind and helpful so I recommend working with him if you have the option to take the tour.
After the water break we continued the tour. Along the way, one passenger’s ATV broke down. It was a minor hiccup. The assistant tour guide switched ATVs with her and he waited for the repair crew to arrive while we continued the tour. Surprises happen so it’s nice when the crew is organized enough to handle them.
Overall, the ATV excursion lasts for about 45 minutes. There is a straight paved section, a winding sand track, a bumpy section similar to a pump track for bikes, and then an overgrown jungle and winding trail towards the end. That’s where the most photos are taken, so you look all hardcore on your ATV busting through the jungle, hahaa.
There are a few things that you should know to get the most out of your adventure:
- Be sure to wear sunglasses. Aside from blocking the sun, they will keep dust and sand out of your eyes. Oh, and tree branches.
- The little bandanas that Daniel gave us are optional. After rain, the sand doesn’t blow around as much. We didn’t really need to wear them. But I imagine that bandanas are really helpful in drier conditions where kicked-up sand could irritate your nose and throat.
- Wear shorts! Some ads for the ATV ride recommended wearing pants. Those who did were hot and miserable.
- Bring a video recorder like GoPro so that you can make your own videos. The pictures that the tour company took came out blurry and were $16 each. Safeguard your memories and save money by taking your own videos and pictures.
|I heard saltwater helps locs tighten…?|
After the ATV ride we were dropped off at a private resort just for cruise members. The service is exceptionally good (the bathroom attendant was like a second mother, haha). The open bar proved to be a much needed relief from the $12 cocktails on the cruise ship. Drink up!
Note: Food orders do take a while (since large groups arrive at once) so don’t wait until you’re famished to order. Order ahead and enjoy the beach while you wait.