This coastal city is the capital of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, and makes a good base from which to explore the region. You’ll find a range of accommodations including cottages, hotels and hostels with prices to fit all budgets.
At a Glance
- The main drag is the Boulevard Bahia and here you’ll find monuments commemorating Mexi-can independence and other historical events, a sculptural corridor known as Chactemal, and stalls selling food as well as local handicrafts and art. The Fisherman’s Fountain is a favorite spot for selfies.
- The nearby archeological sites at Dzibanché and Kohunlich preserve the remains of ancient Mayan cities. Kohunlich is famous for its stone carvings of masks and the natural world. Un-like other Mayan sites, these are very quiet and there are days when you can have the place al-most to yourself.
- The entire bay of Chetumal has been declared a sanctuary for manatees. The Santuario del Manati is a short taxi ride from downtown and here you can meet the manatees close up, on a good day, and feed them healthy vegetarian snacks. This is a sanctuary, not a zoo, and the manatees come and go as they please.
- Check out the two major museums. The Museo de la Cultura Maya introduces Mayan culture and provides the context you need to understand the archaeological sites. The courtyard has sa-lons for exhibiting work by contemporary artists. The Museo de la Ciudad showcases the histo-ry of the region from pre-Hispanic times to the present day.
- If you enjoy exploring local markets, you’ll find plenty of color and food, fruit and flowers at the Lázaro Cárdenas del Río and Andrés Quintana Roo markets.
- Enjoy regional foods at the Manuel Altamirano market.
- Plan a visit to the planetarium (Planetario Yookól Ka) for an awe- inspiring experience.
- MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS: If you’re planning to get married here, make sure you meet all legal requirements. You’ll find all information on marriage regulations here (link: https://www.mexicancaribbean.travel/weddings/requirements/)
- GETTING THERE: The best way to reach Chetumal is to fly into Cancun or one of the other cities of the Mayan Riviera and then get a rental car or bus to complete your journey. Chetumal Airport (CTM) has limited connections to other Mexican cities.
- CURRENCY: The peso. U.S. dollars are accepted everywhere but change will likely be in pe-sos.
- ELECTRICITY: 110 volts, 60 cycles. Bring a power surge protector for your computer.
- AVERAGE YEAR ROUND TEMPERATURE: 80 degrees F.
- WHEN TO GO: With a comfortable tropical climate, the Grand Costa Maya is a year-round destination. Hurricane season is in the fall, so make sure you check the forecast and keep track of any storms.
- WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES: The small towns and cities of the Grand Costa Maya are very walkable, and your feet will thank you for wearing comfortable shoes.
- BRING SUNSCREEN & TOILETRIES: The sun is very strong and you can get a bad burn in a short time, even in the winter.
- DON’T LOSE YOUR TOURIST CARD: The remainder of the Tourist Card you receive upon arrival has to be turned in when you leave the country. Keep it safely with your passport.
- HEALTH: International travel to Mexico was never shut down due to Covud-19, but each re-gion, most hotels and tourist attractions have their own guidelines that must be followed by visitors. When planning your trip, check these guidelines in advance. Travelers to Mexico should also keep themselves updated on the status of the Zika virus.