Costa Maya, Xcalak and Mahahual (Majahual) Visitors pages - Geography |
Topology - Demography - Geology - Climate - Flora and Fauna

Topology Goto top

Quintana Roo mapQuintana Roo is one of three states of the Yucatan peninsula. The Caribbean coast completely lies in this state. The northern part of the coast is called Riviera Maya, the southern part of the coast is called Costa Maya. Xcalak is a small fisherman village on the Costa Maya.
Quintana Roo Districts District District capital
Cozumel Cozumel
Felipe Carrillo Puerto Felipe Carrillo Puerto
Isla Mujeres Isla Mujeres
Othón P. Blanco Chetumal
Benito Juárez Cancún
José María Morelos José María Morelos
Lázaro Cárdenas Kantunilkín
Solidaridad Playa del Carmen

The distance from Xcalak / Mahahual (Majahual) to the following cities is:

Mahahual (Majahual) 55 Km
Limones 115 Km
Bacalar 163 Km
Chetumal 193 Km
Felipe Carrillo Puerto 186 Km
Tulum 180 Km
Playa Del Carmen 343 Km
Puerto Morelos 370 Km
Cancun 407 Kmd
Merida 436 Km

Demography Goto top
Demographical distributionAt this moment there are about 1.2 million inhabitants in Quintana Roo. In 1970 there were only 90.000 inhabitants in Quintana Roo. The current annual growth of the population is 6 % (in Mexico the overall growth is 2 %).
The high growth of the population is mainly due to the increase in tourism in the north of Quintana Roo (Cancan, Playa Del Carmen). The tourist industry and it's support industry causes inhabitants of other states to migrate to Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo has the highest migration of all Mexican states, followed by Baja California and Mexico D.F.

In the chart you can see the results of the large influx of young and middle aged people in Quintana Roo for the demographic pyramid of the state.
Geology Goto top

Elevation mapQuintana Roo is a fairly low state in terms of elevation. The elevation lies between 0 and 275 meters above sea level. Along the Caribbean coast the elevation is approx. 1 to 5 meters.

The ground is made up of lime stone covered with a thin layer of sand. The layer of sand is so thin that it lacks the ability to store water and form a buffer for the rain fall. This causes the rain to run through the top layer of sand and penetrate the soft lime stone quickly. Over the past hundred thousands of years this has caused erosion of the lime stone. Large underground rivers and lakes were formed. In some cases the roof of these underground lakes collapsed and a well or Cenote was formed.

Climate Goto top


During the fall , tropical storms, called hurricanes, often blow into the area, and during the winter and spring there is a constant battle between the hot and dry counter trade winds and polar air masses called nortes (north winds).

The average rainfall is approx. 1160 mm. There are large differences between area's in Quintana Roo. The average minimum is approx. 450 mm, The average highest is approx. 1660 mm. The average yearly rain fall distribution per area and average monthly rain fall is shown in the maps below. Dry season is from approx. January to June.
Rain mapRain chart

The average evaporation is approx. 1720 mm. There are large differences between area's in Quintana Roo. The average yearly evaporation per area is shown in the map below.

Evaporation map


The difference between winter and summer temperature is relatively small, about 5 degrees C. The maximum is around 28 degrees C and the minimum is around 23 degrees C. The average yearly temperature per area and average monthly temperature is shown in the maps below.

Temperature map Temperature chart


The Caribbean is well known for it's storms called hurricanes. Most hurricanes will start in the east part of the Caribbean and turn towards Florida, USA. The most likely route to follow is depicted below:
Hurricane path

There are 5 categories of hurricanes:

Category Wind force [km/h] Central Pressure [millibar]  
I 119 to 153 984 to 980  
II 154 to 177 979 to 960  
III 178 to 209 974 to 940  
IV 210 to 249 939 to 920  
V over 249 lower than 920 (Waves over 5.4 m)

From 1886 until 1996 there have been 85 hurricanes in Quintana Roo. This averages on 1.29 years between each hurricane. The chart below shows that the hurricanes are most likely to occur in September or October:

Hurricane frequency

Flora and Fauna Goto top

The flora and fauna on the Costa Maya is abundant.

Read more about the animals

To protect these precious area's there are several national parks:
- Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
- Banco Chinchorro Marine and Archeological Reserve
- Parque Nacional Arrecifes de Xcalak

Read more about reserves