Chetumal and sorroundings for New Year
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Dec 2, 2012 9:58 PM Last Post By: mmoritzono
Nov 25, 2012 9:52 PM
Chetumal and sorroundings for New YearI'm going to Chetumal for seven days, from Dec 29th to Jan 4th. What do you recommend me to visit? I know I must go to the Mayan Museum an Bacalar lagoon. Anything else? Is it worth to go to the border with Beliza? What about the beaches? Is it possible to visit Sian Kaan? Is there lodging at the Reserve?
Thanks to all in advance.
Nov 26, 2012 5:42 AM
1You can enter the sian ka'an preserve on rough road to punta herrara on the south, or the easier route, punta allen on the north out of Tulum. Accomodations are rustic at best and maybe a hammock hung on palms in more remote villages. Take cash - ATMs far and few between.
If you are in Chetumal for a week, you could take a two or three day side trip to Xpujil and see the ruins at Rio Bec and Calakmul.
If more touristy and nightlife is your thing, then head to Playa del Carmen or even up to Cancun.
Nov 26, 2012 8:34 AM
Nov 26, 2012 8:35 AM
3To stay in Sian Ka'an, look at Cesiak, the ecotour operator. Pretty rustic, though.
Nov 26, 2012 9:33 AM
4I like Chetumal, but there isn't a lot for the average tourist. It was mostly destroyed by hurricane Janet in 1955, so the city is quite new & modern. I find it pleasant & friendly; not really "colonial".
On weekend evenings at the south end of the main street (Av. Heroes), near the big government building, Palacio Gobierno, families are out walking around until late in the evening, and food vendors line up their carts and sell food. There's one that sells salbutes, garnaches, nachos (and lot more -- the food is displayed so you can just point to order) -- that's the place to eat -- it always attracts the most people. Sometimes on Saturdays, a couple of clowns entertain the crowd. A double-decker bus takes people for a ride around the city for about 10 pesos.
A bit further along on the waterfront, there's a tourist information office and a scale model of the city.
The School of Arts building, near Hotel Cocos, often has some sort of cultural event (music, dancing). That looks like one of the few buildings that survived the hurricane.
Along Av. Heroes, notice the small plaques placed on some buildings at street corners indicating the water depth during the hurricane.
Plaza Las Americas is a huge air-conditioned shopping mall on the west side of the city -- department stores, electronics, movies, food, etc. There's also a Walmart and a Sam's Club if you're into shopping.
Near the ADO bus terminal, there's a zoo and a planetarium.
I feel quite safe walking around the downtown area late at night. You will see police officers on patrol. If you don't feel safe, taxis are everywhere; they're clean, modern vehicles and cheap (15 pesos within the city).
For beaches (not the best beaches or swimming), go to Calderitas, about 8 km north of the city. There are hotels & restaurants. You can take a modern air-conditioned bus from behind the Maya Museum for 5 or 6 pesos. Just ask the driver to let you off at a beach (how's your Spanish?).
If you want a budget hotel -- Hotel Ucum. It's nothing special, but it has a swimming pool.
You might want to visit Mahaual or Xcalak. There are a few daily ADO buses from Chetumal; they depart from the terminal on the west side of the Maya Museum. Small colectivos depart from the main ADO terminal.
Corozal is not worth a visit. It's a small town with not much to see or do. There is a small Maya ruin.
Ambergris Caye and/or Caye Caulker would be nice places to visit -- they are quite different and you will probably like one more than the other. I don't know which one to recommend. AC attracts more tourists & retirees; it has more shops, restaurants, bars, nightlife, etc. CC is smaller, quieter, more laidback -- it attracts more backpackers.
Something to keep in mind when travelling to Belize...
When departing Mexico, you might be asked to pay a fee (approximately US$20) to the Immigration Officer (there is an official fee but there is also a scam at the border). And you will have to pay to get out of Belize (BZ$37.50). Then you'll have to get a new FMM tourist card when you re-enter Mexico and pay the fee of 294 pesos for that.
Nov 26, 2012 11:31 AM
5I would not exactly call Cesiak at Sian Kaan "pretty rustic." We loved it. The tents are large and well equipped, even if they do not have electricity or their own bathrooms. The communal bathrooms are clean and have hot showers. The restaurant is very good and not overpriced, and we enjoyed all the excursions we did. The rate seems like a lot until you see the amazing views in both directions, sea and lagoon.
Nov 26, 2012 1:23 PM
Nov 26, 2012 1:55 PM
Nov 29, 2012 5:22 AM
Dec 2, 2012 9:58 PM
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