Chetumal, Mexico

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Chetumal, Mexico

Region: Quintana Roo

Geographic Coordinates: 18.503600, -88.305300
Temperature Range: 24.0°C to 32.0°C (75°F to 90°F)
Climate: Tropical climate with high temperatures and humidity year-round, with a rainy season from May to October.
Population: 169028
Language: Spanish

Chetumal is a city located in the southeast of Mexico, On the coast of the Caribbean Sea. It is the capital of Quintana Roo state and serves as a gateway to Belize and Guatemala. Chetumal has a rich history that dates back to pre-Columbian times when it was an important trading center for the Mayan civilization. The city has undergone several transformations over time, From being a small fishing village to becoming an important commercial and cultural hub. One of the main attractions in Chetumal is its beautiful waterfront promenade, Known as Boulevard Bahia.

This scenic walkway stretches along the coast for several kilometers and offers stunning views of the turquoise waters of Chetumal Bay. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks or bike rides while taking in breathtaking sunsets over the bay. Another must-see attraction in Chetumal is its impressive Museum of Maya Culture, Which showcases artifacts and exhibits related to Mayan culture and history. The museum’s collection includes ancient pottery, Sculptures, Jewelry, Tools, Textiles, And other artifacts that provide insight into this fascinating civilization’s daily life.

For nature lovers visiting Chetumal, There are plenty of options for outdoor activities such as birdwatching at Laguna Milagros or exploring Bacalar Lagoon’s crystal-clear waters just 30 minutes away from downtown by car. Foodies will also enjoy discovering local cuisine in Chetumal with distinctive flavors influenced by Maya culture mixed with Caribbean spices like coconut milk or habanero chilies. Some popular dishes include cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), Ceviche (seafood marinated with lime juice), Sopa de lima (lime soup), Among others.

visitors can take advantage of shopping opportunities at Plaza Las Américas mall or visit local markets where they can find unique handmade crafts like hammocks made by Mayan artisans using traditional techniques passed down through generations. Chetumal offers a unique blend of culture, History, And natural beauty that makes it an ideal destination for travelers seeking to explore the Caribbean coast of Mexico. With its rich Mayan heritage, Stunning waterfront promenade, Outdoor activities, Delicious food scene, And shopping opportunities – there is something for everyone in Chetumal.

Important Landmarks

  1. Museum of Maya Culture
  2. Bacalar Lagoon
  3. Chetumal Bay
  4. Santa Rita Archaeological Site
  5. Oxtankah Mayan Ruins
  6. Calderitas Beach
  7. Boulevard Bahia
  8. Chetumal Market
  9. Cenote Azul
  10. Payo Obispo Zoo and Botanical Garden

Primary Industries

  1. Tourism: Chetumal is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to the Caribbean Sea and several archaeological sites such as Kohunlich and Dzibanche.
  2. Agriculture: The fertile soil of the region is ideal for growing crops like corn, beans, fruits, vegetables, and livestock.
  3. Fishing: The city has a thriving fishing industry due to its location on the coast.
  4. Retail: There are several shopping centers, supermarkets, and local markets that sell goods ranging from clothing to electronics.
  5. Education: Chetumal has several universities and colleges that attract students from all over Mexico.
  6. Government services: As the capital of Quintana Roo state, Chetumal is home to many government offices including the governor’s palace.
  7. Manufacturing: There are factories in Chetumal that produce products such as textiles, plastics, and electronics.
  8. Transportation: Due to its location near the border with Belize and Guatemala, there is a significant amount of cross-border trade which requires transportation services such as trucking companies or shipping agents.

Noteable History

  1. Chetumal has a rich history as part of the Mayan civilization, with many ruins and artifacts found in the area.
  2. The Spanish conquest led by Juan de Grijalva took over Chetumal in the 16th century.
  3. Chetumal played an important role during the Mexican Revolution as a strategic location for military operations.
  4. Hurricane Janet caused widespread destruction and loss of life in 1955, devastating Chetumal and its surrounding areas.
  5. Jaime Torres Bodet, a Mexican diplomat who served as Secretary-General of UNESCO from 1948 to 1952, is associated with Chetumal.
  6. Rafael E Melgar fought for Mexico’s independence from Spain in the early 19th century and has a statue honoring him in downtown Chetumal.
  7. The Museum of Maya Culture is one of Mexico’s most important archaeological museums located in Chetumal that features exhibits on Mayan history and culture.
  8. Bacalar Lagoon is known for its crystal-clear waters and stunning natural beauty located just outside of Chetumal.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Museum of Maya Culture
  2. Chetumal Bay Crocodile Sanctuary
  3. San Felipe Fort and Museum of Naval History
  4. Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
  5. Bacalar Lagoon Natural Reserve
  6. Oxtankah Mayan Ruins
  7. House of Culture
  8. Municipal Palace
  9. Calderitas Beach
  10. Payo Obispo Zoo

Cultural Events

  1. Carnaval de Chetumal is a colorful and lively carnival that takes place in February or March, just before the start of Lent. The celebration includes parades, music, dance performances, food fairs and drinks.
  2. Festival de la Cultura Maya is an October event that celebrates the rich Mayan culture of the region with traditional music and dance performances, art exhibits, food fairs and workshops on Mayan history and traditions.
  3. Fiesta de San Juan Bautista is a religious festival held in June to honor St. John the Baptist with processions, masses, fireworks displays and street parties.
  4. Festival Internacional del Caribe (International Caribbean Festival) takes place annually in November or December to celebrate Caribbean culture through music performances from various countries across Central America & The Caribbean.
  5. Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) is celebrated on November 1st & 2nd to honor deceased loved ones with elaborate altars filled with offerings such as flowers & food -and traditional dances- to help guide their spirits back home for a brief visit.
  6. Feria del Libro (Book Fair) is a week-long event held every year around April featuring book launches by local authors; literary workshops; book sales; talks by renowned writers from Mexico & abroad about literature-related themes among other activities related to books & literature.


  • Marisqueria El Taco Loco is a seafood restaurant that’s famous for its fresh ceviche and shrimp tacos.
  • Taqueria La Lupita is a popular spot for traditional Mexican street food, such as tacos al pastor and carne asada.
  • La Parrilla de Juan is a steakhouse that serves grilled meats and traditional Mexican dishes.
  • Los Arcos is an upscale seafood restaurant known for its lobster and shrimp dishes.
  • El Fogoncito is a casual eatery that specializes in tacos, quesadillas, and other Mexican snacks.
  • La Casa del Pescado is another seafood restaurant that offers fresh fish, octopus, and other local specialties.
  • El Gran Taco Express is a fast-food joint that serves affordable tacos, burritos, and other Mexican favorites.
  • Pizzeria Italiana Il Forno de Chetumal is an Italian-style pizzeria with wood-fired ovens and homemade pasta dishes.
  • El Tucanazo Grill & Bar – A lively bar serving up classic cocktails alongside tasty grilled meats like arrachera (flank steak) or chorizo (spicy sausage).
  • La Cueva del Pirata – A pirate-themed restaurant with live music serving up delicious Caribbean-inspired seafood dishes like coconut shrimp or conch fritters.

  • Parks and Recreation

    1. Parque Ecoturistico El Encanto: This park offers hiking trails, a zip line, and a cenote for swimming.
    2. Parque Ecológico Caña Hueca: This park has walking paths, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
    3. Malecón de Chetumal: A popular waterfront promenade that is perfect for strolling or jogging.
    4. Museo de la Cultura Maya: A museum dedicated to the history and culture of the Mayan people.
    5. Santuario del Manatí: A sanctuary for manatees where visitors can observe these gentle sea creatures up close.
    6. Laguna Milagros: A lagoon with crystal-clear water that is ideal for swimming and kayaking.
    7. Mercado Viejo Chetumal: A bustling market where visitors can shop for local crafts and taste authentic Mexican cuisine.
    8. Bacalar Lagoon: Located just outside of Chetumal, this stunning lagoon is perfect for swimming, boating, and relaxing on the beach.


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