Chetumal, Costa Maya

Located in the south part of the state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula, the capital city Chetumal is a gorgeous small city surrounded by natural beauties. Just a few miles south of Chetumal is Belize. East of Chetumal is the Caribbean Sea, w

Coming north to arrive to Chetumal by car or by bus, highway 307 connects Cancun to Chetumal, whereas coming west, highway 186 links Chetumal with Escarcega in the state of Campeche. Chetumal features an international airport.

Chetumal was founded as a Mexican port in 1898 with the name of Payo Obispo. However in pre-Columbian times, the site was already inhabited and was the main center of a Maya controlled region, including the northern part of Belize. It was until 1936 when the name changed officially to Chetumal and since 1974 became a state of the Mexican republic.

Chetumal became with the years a mixture of Mayan, Mexican, and Caribbean cultures and traditions. Bright colors decorate the houses with Mexican Style, though wooden made houses are a sign of Caribbean culture presence.

Nowadays, Chetumal, as the capital city of the state of Quintana Roo, has an intense political and economic life. Besides, it features modern buildings and shopping malls, along with supermarkets, movie theaters, department stores, and Internet-coffee shops.

Lodging options are wide and go from 5 star hotels to ecologic-villages and inexpensive hostels. The city offers car rentals, travel agencies, consulates, financial services, restaurants, and nightclubs. In addition, in the early 1990´s, the public university opened its doors to offer an ample variety of subjects.

The traditional market of Chetumal, next to the Cultural Museum is a good place to get acquainted with local people and to buy from food to clothes to souvenirs. In addition, two interesting museums should be visited in Chetumal. One of them is the Mayan Culture Museum, which provides interactive experience to its visitors. And the City Museum, just a couple of blocks from the former, is a smaller place that focuses on Chetumal history.

Chetumal features a beautiful bay as well as some peaceful beaches to enjoy the turquoise-blue water of the Caribbean Sea. One of its most recognized beaches is named Dos Mulas (Two Mules); visitors should enjoy the sun here.

Nearby Chetumal, some destinations are still uncrowded and are worth visiting. Bacalar Lagoon and Mahajual are two gorgeous places where the beauty of this region can be appreciated. Besides, many interesting archaeological points within short distances can also be visited, such as Kohunlich, Dzibanche, Kinichna, Oxtakah, and Chakanbakam.