Costa Maya, Xcalak and Mahahual (Majahual) Visitors pages - Chetumal |

Chetumal used to be an important port for shipping many goods like gold, copper, feather by the Maya throughout the Yucatan, Belezan and Guatemalan area. The Costa Maya was part of this trade area. After the conquest by the Spanish the town was settled at 1898 and named Paya Obispo. The town was actually founded to try to stop the illegal trade in lumber and arms. In 1936 the name was changed to Chetumal. Chetumal and most of the Costa Maya was complete destroyed by Hurricane Janet in 1955. After the hurricane the city was completely rebuilt and now has a more modern atmosphere than most other Mexican cities.
Since the increase in tourism last ten years in the Riviera Maya and the development of the Costa Maya into a ecological tourism area Chetumals roles has become more important. Chetumal has grown to about 130.000 inhabitants.

Tourist office
To find out all the details about Chetumal you can visit the tourist Office on Avenida de Héroes at the eastern end. You can call them on 2-36-63.

Museo de la Cultura Maya

MuseoThis museum is famous for it's display of the Mayan culture of Mexico, Belize, Guatamala and Honduras.
The exhibition shows the daily way of life and the religions practiced by the Mayan's.
There are many scale models of famous archeological sites, reproductions of murals and many artifacts that were excavated on the Yucatan Peninsula.

Zoological museum

Zoological MuseumThe Zoological Museum Frontera Sur was founded in 1990. It was the first of it's kind in Yucatan. There is a collection of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals, butterflies, ants, spiders, bees, beetles, and scorpions. The museum altogether lodges 78.602 speciemen!

Carretera Chetumal-Bacalar Km. 2, Zona Industrial # 2
Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México. C.P. 77000
Phone: (019) 8321666, 8320115, 8320447 y 8320076
Fax: 8320240

Museo de la Ciudad de Chetumal

Museo de la Ciudad de ChetumalThe City Museum counts six rooms with a splendid decoration. It shows the history of Payo Bishop, the city of wood, with it's English colonial air. Further more it shows socialist and nationalistic influence of World War II on the city on Chetumal. Part of the museum explains the city's road to modernity after the destruction by hurricane Janet.

Av. De los Héroes No. 68
Col. Centro. C.P. 77000
Phone/Fax: 52 (9) 832 1350, 832 0223 y 832 3002
Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México

Maqueta Payo Obispo "Luis Reinhardt McLiberty"

Payo ObispoThe colonial romantic architectonic style was characteristic of Payo Bishop during it's first decades of existence. A diverse collection of precious wood buildings gave form to the rising city that in 1915 was promoted to capital of Quintana Roo and changed of name to the one of Chetumal. The scale model of Payo Bishop recreates the memory of Don Luis Reinhardt and many other distinguished payobispenses.

Av. Othon P. Blanco
Col. Centro.
Chetumal, Quintana Roo, México


If coming from Cancun or Cozumel take the highway 307. This highway is in excellent state. The highway 307 is being extended to a four lane road. If you are coming from Cancun, you should fill up your tank in the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. It is the last gas station before Xcalak. If you are coming from Chetumal fill up your tank in Chetumal.

In Xcalak the roads are unpaved. When entering Xcalak, the road curves to the left around the soccer field. Take the 2nd left and continue down this road. You are now in the center of Xcalak. From here you can drive to the hotels North and south of town.

  • You can rent cars in the following locations:
    In the airport of Chetumal in the souvenir shop cars can be rented.
  • Chetumal Continental Rent-A-Car has their rental desk in the lobby of the Holiday Inn. FAX: (983) 2-24-11. TEL: (983) 2-11-00 ext. 191.
  • Aventura Maya in Chetumal has a rental desk in the lobby of the Hotel Las Cocas. FAX: (91 983) 2-05-44. TEL: 2-09-20. You can also get a message to Aventura Maya by addressing it to the hotel's email address:

There is a daily bus from Chetumal main station to Xcalak. The bus leaves around 6:00 am and 14:00 pm hrs and takes about 3 hours to arrive in Xcalak. From Xcalak the bus returns around 10:00 am and 18:00 PM from the dock of Xcalak to Chetumal.

From Playa and Tulum South to Chetumal you need to get off in Limones (about an hour after Felipe Carillo Puerto) and catch one of the 2 buses/day from Chetumal to Xcalak (via Limones). The morning bus goes through Limones at about 7:30 and the afternoon bus goes through about 5:30 give or take 30 minutes.

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The dock in Chetumal Bay is on the south side of town. In the very near future there will be a daily service linking Chetumal to the Costa Maya within in a one hour reach. There are no other ferry services. Chetumal can be reached through the Bay of Chetumal. Taking this route means you are coming from Belizean territory. The port captain and the immigration officer can be found on the commercial pier.

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Chetumal has scheduled national flights from most Mexican airlines. It is about 3 hours by car to Xcalak. Amongst others Aeromexico and Mexicana have regular flights to Chetumal.

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Chetumal area map

Chetumal map

Hotels in Chetumal

Restaurants in Chetumal