One of the least touristy places in Quintana Roo, there are lots of things to do in Chetumal.
This hidden gem has lots of things to offer for travelers as well and it’s a good base for other interesting locations in Quintana Roo.
I used to come often in Chetumal to shop. I used to live in Belize City and Chetumal is the nearest Mexican city from me to get cheaper clothes and other stuff. This town has become my second home in Central America so read on to find out my favorite things to do in Chetumal.
Things you'll find in this article
- 10 Best Things To Do In Chetumal, Mexico
- 1. Learn history in the Museum of Mayan Culture
- 2. Hang out in Boulevard Bahia
- 3. Flag Promenade
- 4. Take day trip to Bacalar
- 5. Visit the City Museum
- 6. Biouniverzoo
- 7. Check Out Oxtankah, an Ancient Mayan City
- 8. Spend the afternoon in Calderitas
- 9. Meet the Manatees in Chetumal
- 10. Eat some authentic Mexican food at the Mercado de Chetumal
10 Best Things To Do In Chetumal, Mexico
So if you don’t know where to start yet, here are the best places to see and things to do in Chetumal, Mexico.
1. Learn history in the Museum of Mayan Culture
The Museum of Mayan Culture showcases the tradition, knowledge, and the legacy of the Mayan world in Mexico.
The 3-story museum is located inside former Federal Electricity Commission building and it covers over 10,000 sqm.
The museum is divided into eight sections – detailing everything about Mayans. The first section showcases the history of the Mayan and how they spread in Guatemala, Belize, and Mexico. Followed by the second section which showcases how the Mayans interact with nature.
The third section shows the Mayan cities and their architecture while the fourth section shows how the Mayan conducted their economic activities.
The fifth section showcases the relation of the Mayans to the rest of the world. Followed by the science section. Probably, the most notable works of the Mayans, the sixth section in the museum shows how the Mayans developed their calendar and it also explains the astronomy, physics, and the writing system of the Mayans.
The seventh section showcases the relationship of the Mayans with other Mesoamericans civilizations. And lastly, the eight section tells the story of how the Mayan civilization disappeared.
Probably, one of the most extensive Mayan museums in Mexico, Museum of Mayan Culture is one of the top attractions in Chetumal.
Hours are Sunday through Thursday from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm.
62 MXN (around US$3)
Address: Av de los Héroes S/N, Centro, 77000 Chetumal, Q.R., Mexico
Phone: +52 983 832 6838
2. Hang out in Boulevard Bahia
One of my favorite places in Chetumal, Boulevard Bahia is a lively avenue along the coast. It has a nice area where people can enjoy the nice view of the ocean, watch the sunset, bike around, enjoy street food, or simply to people watch.
During the evening, this little plaza/ boulevard becomes lively with a lot of food stalls set up for the night.
3. Flag Promenade
Flag Promenade is also located along Bahia Boulevard.
From here, you’ll find the Palace of Government (Palacio de Gobierno) built in 1936, the giant flagpole with the flag, the town clock, and the Obelisk monument with four clocks that marks the center of the city.
The government offices in this area have pretty interesting architecture so if you’re into architecture, you might enjoy walking around this area.
And even if you’re not, Chetumal is one of the main cities in Quintana Roo that still feels very Mexican.
4. Take day trip to Bacalar
Bacalar is a Mexican town in the state of Quintana Roo near Belize border. It is known for its beautiful lake called Laguna de Bacalar but there are also several things to do in Bacalar other than the lake.
Bacalar is only around 30-minute taxi ride from Chetumal and it’s a good day trip from the city if you want something different to do.
Aside from the lagoon, you can also visit the Fort of San Felipe, the Canal De Los Piratas, and few cenotes in the area.
5. Visit the City Museum
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The City Museum is one of those places to visit in Chetumal for history buffs. It is actually like a huge history book, presented in galleries and displays.
The museum contains furniture, historic documents, photographs, weapons, and other that showcases Chetumal’s intriguing past.
Situated within the grounds of the Instituto Quintanarroense de la Cultura (Quintana Roo Cultural Institute), which is among the oldest buildings in Chetumal, this is a definite must-visit.
If you are looking for a fun and unique activity to do in Chetumal, head towards the Biouniverzoo.
Located in the northern part of the city, this nature reserve is a great place for a relaxing walk. Take in the lush scenery, marvel the variety of plant species, and meet the animals that call this place their home.
There are no cages or enclosed spaces here, just enough free space to run free and enjoy their natural habitat.
A visit here is also one of the best things to do in Chetumal at night because you’ll also meet some nocturnal creatures.
7. Check Out Oxtankah, an Ancient Mayan City
Less than fifteen minutes from Chetumal is the intriguing Oxtankah ruins. These are remnants of the Mayans, one of the most fascinating ancient civilizations.
A walk among the ruins will tell you stories of a powerful city, as well as the impressive craftsmanship of the Mayans. The architecture is quite a sight, bearing elements that were distinctly both Mayan and Catholic.
If you want to see ancient ruins in the Yucatan without traveling too far from Chetumal, Oxtankah is the best place to visit.
8. Spend the afternoon in Calderitas
The picturesque village of Calderitas is just 15 minutes away from Chetumal. This is the perfect place to enjoy some seafood while enjoying the scenery.
There are no actual beach resorts here but visitors can still set up umbrellas and blankets in the sand to relax. There are plenty of trees close to the sea which are perfect for tying hammocks.
Calderitas is the perfect place to escape to if you want to get away from the more crowded Chetal even for an afternoon.
9. Meet the Manatees in Chetumal
Chetumal is home to a manatee sanctuary and it’s one of the best places to visit there.
These large yet gentle, sea mammals are endangered, and a visit to this sanctuary will make you understand the importance of these species.
Situated in the Chetumal Bay, the manatee sanctuary is one of those attractions that are unique to the city and a must experience.
Taking photos are not allowed but being there, closer to the manatees already makes this a worthwhile activity.
10. Eat some authentic Mexican food at the Mercado de Chetumal
When you’re in any place in Mexico, it is a must to enjoy their hearty, savory cuisine. One of the best places to visit in Chetumal for authentic (and inexpensive) Mexican fare is their public market.
Located in Avenida Los Heroes, Mercado de Chetumal is one of the busiest places in town – and it’s mostly because of the food!
This place is indeed a haven for foodies and while you’re here, eat as much Mexican food as you can. Some of the best foods to eat while in Chetumal are quesadillas, tamales, tortas, and the hearty soup pozole.
So, that’s our list of the best things to do in Chetumal, Mexico. I hope this helps if you’re planning a trip to Chetumal. Do you have any other suggestions for Chetumal? Let us know in the comments below!