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3 Reasons Why This Destination South Of Cancun Is About To Explode In Popularity 

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Chetumal is the capital city of the state of Quintana Roo, which is home to popular vacation destinations like Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cancun.   

While it doesn’t get as much attention as the aforementioned Mexican Caribbean destinations, Chetumal really has a lot to offer.   

And there are 3 reasons why this destination south of Cancun is about to explode in popularity. 

Aerial View of the Coast of Chetumal, Mexico

Maya Kaan Ecotourism Project 

Introduced recently, the Maya Kaan ecotourism project will give visitors the opportunity to explore the diverse nature of Chetumal and the surrounding area.   

In the announcement about the project, Governor Mara Lezama pointed out that the Maya Train will open up opportunities for rural tourism in the area.   

Chetumal is a place surrounded by jungle, the sea, lagoons, and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.

@cesar_barragan Chetumal Quintana Roo 🇲🇽 #chetumal #quintanaroo #mexico #maya #belice #vivaaereobus #caribe ♬ sonido original – Marca Perú Oficial

Yum Kaax Commercial Tianguis  

The most recent project announced that will advance Chetumal as a tourist destination is the Yum Kaax Commercial Tianguis.   

A tianguis is an open-air market, similar to a flea market in the U.S., where artisans, crafters, and food vendors gather to offer their products.   

The difference with this tianguis, though, is that it will cover a massive plot and include outlet stores, offices, and even hotels in addition to its 50,000 spaces for vendors outdoors. 


Tianguis Comercial Yum Kaax Chetumal Agencia Inmobiliaria Bienes Raíces Quintana Roo Real Estate Riviera Maya

♬ sonido original – Bienes Raíces Quintana Roo

Chetumal And The Maya Train 

The Maya Train will make these new attractions in Chetumal much more accessible.   

This should ultimately lead to a huge increase in the popularity of the destination.   

In fact, the Yum Kaan tianguis project is set to be inaugurated around the same time that the Maya Train project is projected to be completed, in December.   

Once completed, the Maya Train will be able to take visitors from Cancun Airport directly to Chetumal, thanks to an on-site Maya Train station at the airport. 

@chepe.ct ¡El tren maya está cerca! #TrenMaya #Chetumal #QuintanaRoo #fypシ゚viral #CapCut ♬ Einaudi: Experience – Ludovico Einaudi & Daniel Hope & I Virtuosi Italiani

Tulum Airport To Benefit The Region Too 

While Cancun Airport is the airport that travelers who want to visit Chetumal would currently have to use, soon there will be another, closer option.   

Cancun Airport is just under 5 hours from Chetumal, but the new Tulum Airport is only about 3.5 hours from the destination.   

The Tulum Airport is also scheduled to be completed by December and will have a Maya Train station on site.   


Sobrevuelo en el Nuevo Aeropuerto de México en Tulum

♬ sonido original – TOMMY MARTINEZ 🇲🇽

Other Things To Do In Chetumal 

The new attractions being highlighted in Chetumal are not the only reasons to visit the up-and-coming destination, as the historic city already has much to see and explore.   

The largest Museum of Mayan culture in the state, charming examples of English-style architecture, an artistic corridor featuring sculptures and monuments, and nearby archeological sites tell the story of the city.   

And for nature lovers, there is a manatee sanctuary, the Payo Obispo Zoo, and the Yook’ol Kaab Planetarium that are all worth a visit too.   

@sagh1985 Algunos ejemplares que vimos en el Zoológico Payo Obispo en #chetumalqroo #jardinzoologicopayoobispo #tortugas #mapaches #cocodrilos #renacuajos #camello #capibara #flamingos #peces #zoologico #gecko #boldaction #noanimalswereharmed #subground ♬ No Animals Were Harmed – Pro Mix – Geck-o & Bold Action

Getting To Chetumal 

Currently, the best way to get to Chetumal is to fly into Cancun and then hire transportation to take you the rest of the way.   

Chetumal has its own Airport, but there are no direct flights from the U.S. at this time.   

Hiring a private car can cost up to $300 each way, and a bus would start at around $30 one way.   

ADO Bus at Cancun International Airport

Accommodations In Chetumal 

In Chetumal you won’t find the large luxury all-inclusives like those you’ll find in Cancun, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.   

Instead, you’ll find smaller properties and boutique-style hotels.   

These more minimalist offerings are perfect for those looking for a more relaxed Mexican Caribbean vacation.

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