In the south part of the Mexican Caribbean is Chetumal, the capital state of Quintana Roo, and the gateway to Grand Costa Maya. This destination has a great historical and cultural value, as well as impressive natural wonders. Dare to explore some of them and fall in love with this picturesque city.
This destination holds in its surroundings true hidden gems of unparalleled beauty —jungle, sea, lagoons, cays, springs, rivers, ridges, cenotes, among others— where you can experience days of total relaxation and inner peace.
Dare to Explore Chetumal!
Chetumal Bay is a good starting point for you to begin this amazing journey that will take you to discover sites that are a true gift of nature. This place has been declared a Manatee Sanctuary because it is home to a large population of this unique species. In addition, this beautiful bay has several islands and cays with virgin beaches of white sand and turquoise waters, as well as lush vegetation which is home to several species of flora and fauna. Immerse yourself in these natural sceneries, where you can swim, fish, snorkel or if you prefer, relax while enjoying some of the most breathtaking views of the Grand Costa Maya.
Following this route to the south is Calderitas; the ideal place to try the best seafood in the area. Here you will find several restaurants with picturesque palapa "huts", with majestic sea views. It is important to know that some coastal stretches in Calderitas have been enabled as artificial beaches. Next to Calderitas is Isla Tamalcab; habitat of many different bird species you can admire from strategic viewpoints. You can also snorkel or kayak in this beautiful place. On the way to Bacalar is Laguna Guerrero. This little town is named after Gonzalo Guerrero, father of the first mixed children born in the Americas. This lagoon stands out for being home to several endangered species such as the manatee. Here you will find a rehabilitation center of mammals where specialists take care of "Daniel", a manatee that was found at birth in September 2003. Take a boat ride around the lagoon to watch the different birds that live there.
In the town of Xul-Há, there is a beautiful lagoon called Xul-Há as well, which means "where the water ends". Featuring crystal-clear waters, the Xul-Há lagoon is perfect for snorkeling, kayaking or swimming. This lagoon connects directly to the Lagoon of the Seven Colors of Bacalar (another of the natural attractions that you can't miss when you visit Grand CostaMaya) by a canal known as Los Rápidos (The Rapids); a narrow channel where water flows quickly as it was a river. Let yourself be carried away by the infinite shades of blue of this place, or if you prefer you can paddleboard or kayak.
Along the Bacalar Rapids, you will find the earliest direct evidence of life on Earth: stromatolites. These mineral structures are of great importance to the marine life of the planet, so we ask you to be a responsible traveler by not touching, sitting or standing on them.
Heading to the south, we find the town of Huay Pix, where Laguna Milagros is located, which is part of the great lagoon system of the Hondo River. Its turquoise blue waters are the perfect excuse for performing all kinds of water activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking or boating. On the shore of the lagoon, there are several restaurants where you can indulge your palate trying local and regional dishes.
On the natural border with Belize is Cenote Cocodrilo Dorado, a place that will undoubtedly take your breath away. Close to the village of La Unión, this cenote is the perfect spot for adventure junkies, due the many different activities you can perform here such as kayaking along the streams, swimming in the springs, hiking, rappelling, biking and horseback riding. This cenote is 100 meters in diameter and its bright cobalt blue color is going to amaze you. Unlike other cenotes, the Cenote Cocodrilo Dorado is located at the foot of a small ridge. The wall that surrounds it on one side reaches up to 70 meters high and it is considered the best place in the entire Mexican Caribbean for rappelling. At sunset, you can watch a cloud of bats that come out of these walls to make their night tour; a unique spectacle!
These are just a few of the extraordinary hidden treasures you'll find along Chetumal and Grand Costa Maya.
Remember that now more than ever, it is our responsibility to take care of the places we visit. Help us preserve all these natural wonders, as well as the species that live there, so that future generations can continue to enjoy the Mexican Caribbean.
For more information on how to be a responsible traveler, download our guide