Ancient Mayan temple stairs close up view with three pyramids in Xpujil, Mexico

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The capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal is a relatively quiet city going about its daily paces. The bayside esplanade hosts carnivals and events, and the modern Maya museum is impressive (though a bit short on artifacts). Excellent Maya ruins, amazing jungle and the border to neighboring Belize are all close by. Though sightings are rare (there are no tours), manatees can sometimes be seen in the rather muddy bay or nearby mangrove shores. The lagoon should not be used for swimming, as there is a risk of crocodiles, despite the locals' joke that there's only one (named Harry) and he's tame. It may be their way of getting rid of pesky tourists, so swim in your hotel pool to be sure.


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