What to do in Chetumal

South of the Mexican Caribbean you will find Chetumal, Quintana Roo’s capital, and the entrance to the Grand Costa Maya, an area that is home to Bacalar and Mahahual as well. 

Chetumal is rich in historical and cultural significance and its beautiful natural settings have a type of magic that makes everyone who dares explore it fall in love. 

Exploring Chetumal’s History

Every trip to Chetumal should start by visiting Boulevard Bahía, which is where most of the city’s historical monuments are located. Some monuments that you cannot miss include the "Monument to Mestizaje," "Monument to the Rebirth," "Obelisco a la Bandera," and "La Fuente del Pescador." Here you can also find the sign saying, "Chetumal, Mexico begins here." It is the perfect place for a souvenir photo. You can also visit the Sculpture Corridor which exhibits pieces by international artists. The iconic boulevard surrounds Chetumal Bay, which has been declared a manatee sanctuary.

A few steps from the state capitol is a model of Payo Obispo—the name with which the old city of Chetumal was known—that shows the colonial architectural style of the 20th century, which consisted of English-style wooden houses with bright colors and dirt roads, similar to those that some Caribbean countries still have.

For those interested in the indigenous peoples of the capital, there are several museums where you can learn more about the Mayan culture and the history of this beautiful city considered the "Cradle of Mestizaje." The must-sees include the City Museum, the Chronicle House, and the Museum of Mayan Culture, which is one of the most thorough museums in the entire Yucatan Peninsula.

Chetumal’s Great Outdoors

Outside the city, you will find some of the most impressive natural settings you’ll ever see. These true hidden treasures are wrapped in dense vegetation, including lagoons, islets, rivers, small hills, cenotes, natural spas, and more. These gems will take your breath away, as is the case of Calderitas, which is located 8 kilometers from Chetumal. It is the ideal place to taste the best fish and seafood in the area as it is home to several restaurants with ocean views.

Calderitas is also a natural spa and some coastal sections have been set up as artificial beaches. From there, visitors can head to Tamalcab Island which is home to various types of birds for birdwatchers to see. Visitors can also snorkel or kayak here.

Among the lagoons that surround Chetumal are the Guerrero, Milagros, and Xul-Há lagoons. Considered a manatee sanctuary, Laguna Guerrero houses the Center for Care and Rehabilitation of Aquatic Mammals, whose main objective is to protect manatees and other endemic species. This beautiful lagoon is where "Daniel," a manatee in semi-captivity that was rescued and cared for in that center, calls home.


One of the most awe-inspiring places in the entire Grand Costa Maya is undoubtedly the Cenote Cocodrilo Dorado, located on the natural border with Belize. A perfect place for adventure lovers, you can do a variety of activities while here such as hiking, kayaking in the streams, swimming in the springs, mountain biking, rappelling, camping, and horseback riding, among many others. Unlike other cenotes in Quintana Roo, the Cenote Cocodrilo Dorado is located at the foot of a small mountain range. The wall that surrounds it reaches 70 meters in height and is considered the best place in the entire Mexican Caribbean to practice rappelling.

Cenote Cocodrilo Dorado

Get to know Chetumal, the capital of the state of Quintana Roo,
and let yourself be enveloped by everything it has to offer.