Costa Maya is a port stop on a number of Caribbean cruises. But if you step beyond the colorful port itself, and venture less than 10 minutes away into Mahahual, you’ll find an authentic Mexican experience and delicious fare at Fernando’s 100% Agave.
Fernando’s is located in Old Mahahual, on the second street. This palapa covered building is open-air and rustic. If you are looking for a high-end restaurant, then look elsewhere. Fernando’s 100% Agave is a fabulous choice for a laid back dining experience. The best part? It’s extremely affordable.
Once you are seated, Fernando will bring over a small pitcher of tequila cocktail, grapefruit juice, and a selection of salsa with chips. The salsa comes in three levels of heat. My favorite is “not for gringos” and makes you want to drink another margarita.
Fernando is the man who educated me on the correct way to enjoy tequila. As one who has never been a big fan of shooting tequila, I was pleasantly surprised by the buttery finish of the fine tequilas we sipped on. He also took the tequila education a step further, offering a selection of bugs. Yes. Bugs. I ate them and will admit that they weren’t too bad and had a similar taste of a beef jerky. He also makes his own tequila, which he will sell if you bring your own container.
The food was delicious at this restaurant. I opted for fish tacos, which were served with rice and local veggies. The menu offers so many things to choose from, and Fernando will let you make your own combo plate if you can’t choose. As we dined, I took in the atmosphere of the place which was totally laid back and relaxing. We ended our meal with a nice dessert tequila, made by Fernando himself.
Fernando’s 100% Agave restaurant in Mahahual, near the port of Costa Maya is a sure bet for a local experience. Plus, it won’t break the bank. Be sure to bring cash, in smaller bills. If you want to spend the afternoon at the beach, this restaurant is just around the block from all the beach clubs. The chairs at the beach clubs are usually free, with a one drink minimum. If you’ve been to Costa Maya before, or you aren’t into the group tour, then this is a good option for your port stop. Taxis are usually about $3 per person each way.
Tip: Fernando offers a variety of beers not available in the US, such as Leon and Montejo. I also suggest trying a micheladas, which is a beer cocktail made with lime juice and chili powder, kind of like a Bloody Mary but with beer.
Special thanks to locals Kevin, Nick, and Cesar who introduced Nancy Shretter and I to this fabulous restaurant while we were delivering donations to the Mahahual area schools. If you’d like to learn about how you can help schools in Mahahual, check out my post on Volunteering in Costa Maya.