Don't Go Straight to Bacalar, Check out Chetumal, too!
Chetumal is the often-overlooked capital city of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. The up-and-coming touristic destination of Bacalar, is 24 miles away, and often draws tourists straight from the airport, but don't miss out on Chetumal's fun places and great food!
Chetumal offers several budget-friendly activities for families. Chetumal has many attractive sights and things to do, tons of wonderful restaurants of all price points (from tiny taquerias to fancy fine dining locations), plus a beautiful bay and literally hundreds of off-the-beaten path swimming spots that your kids will love (our kids did!).
The Water is Warm and Great for Swimming!
As for the weather, we visited in July this year. The nights are usually pleasant and you can enjoy a comfortable breeze if you are close to the bay, even in the summer. If it starts to rain, it usually only lasts a few minutes. Although it is hot during the day, the nights are very nice. The best thing to do in the daytime is swim! We rented a small car and found multiple swimming spots just by driving around. Many spots have an attached restaurant where you can buy drinks and food, but they will often just rent a table for a nominal amount, and people often bring their own food.
The little swimming spot in a small village about 10 minutes outside of the main city of Chetumal. Parking and the entry fee cost less than 200 pesos for all of us (small children enter free, so our youngest was free) and although they did not offer food, we bought some bottled water, chips and snacks from a nearby convenience store and brought that in with us. The kids loved it! There were tons of other children there, (mostly locals) and we spent the entire afternoon there and it cost us less than $30 for the parking, snacks and drinks.
The second picture is a swimming spot is in Laguna Guerrero, also very close by. Dozens of these little swimming spots can be found all around the region.
Chetumal offers affordable options for accommodation and dining, so you can make the most of your budget while enjoying all that the city has to offer. We were able to find Airbnbs for less than $50 a night, although if you want a view of the bay, expect to pay significantly more. Make sure that whatever place you decide to rent has A/C as well as a place to park, if you decide to rent a car, which we recommend if you want to explore this bustling capital city.
We suggest you visit the Chetumal Malecon (the main Boardwalk) in the warm summer evening. Take a stroll along the Malecon de la Bahia, the boardwalk in Chetumal, to enjoy the beautiful waterfront views and experience local culture. You'll find various monuments and sculptures along the way, showcasing the city's heritage.
On the evenings and weekends, the main plaza is filled with little food stands, jumping houses, rides, and other games for small children. Dozens of vendors sell all types of things: toys, food, ice cream, pastries, etc.
There are also tons of restaurants, cafes, and shops, for any budget! Don't be afraid to explore! These are just a few of the fun activities and experiences you can enjoy while exploring Chetumal, Mexico. We hope you have have a great time!
No website or company has paid a fee to be mentioned in this blog. Any suggestions you see are based solely on our own experiences and personal preferences.
Just a middle-class family with three young kids, looking to escape the rat race. This is our journey!
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