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These 2 Destinations South Of Cancun Are Growing Wildly Popular, Here’s Why 

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It’s no big secret that Cancun is the most popular vacation destination in the Mexican Caribbean, but there are other nearby destinations growing in popularity.   

Two of these destinations south of Cancun, in particular, Chetumal and Bacalar, are growing wildly popular.   

Both places have a lot to offer, and there are a number of reasons for their growing popularity.   

Aerial view of bacalar in mexico

Location Matters 

Bacalar and Chetumal are only about a 40-minute drive from each other, allowing tourists to visit both places in a single trip easily.   

From Cancun International Airport, the most internationally connected airport in the region and one of the busiest in the world, it takes just over 4 hours to get to Bacalar.   

It takes just under 5 hours to get to Chetumal from Cancun Airport. 

@carlos_memories 🇲🇽❤️ #bacalar #mexico ♬ How deep is your love – tommasoreplica

Beautiful Bodies Of Water 

While both places might not have access to the Caribbean Sea, they do both have access to beautiful bodies of water.   

Chetumal is located on the Mexican Caribbean coast and has some beautiful white sand beaches.   

And while Bacalar doesn’t have a beach on the sea, it is home to a beautiful lagoon, the Lagoon of Seven Colors, or La Laguna de Los Siete Colores. 

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@nicelook_nikko Family Vacation to Chetumal. #MINDORDERING #vacation #family #fypシ #mexico #chetumalqroo #chetumal ♬ original sound – Yaahn Hunter Jr.

Nature Everywhere 

Bodies of water are not the only nature to be explored in either Chetumal or Bacalar.   

In Chetumal, you’ll have the opportunity to explore a thriving Manatee Sanctuary where you can feed this protected species.   

And in Bacalar, you’ll find underwater caves and one of the most beautiful cenotes on the Yucatán Peninsula, Cenote Azul. 

@photomanana #bacalar#bacalarmexico#losrapidos#traveltiktok#podrozemaleiduze#meksykanin#onewayticket#dronevideo#dji#dronelife ♬ Porcelain – Moby

History And Culture 

Both Bacalar and Chetumal have equally interesting historical identities to explore.   

Bacalar has a storied past involving Spanish and Mayan history, with ruins and a restored fort that are evidence of that rich history.   

And Chetumal, the capital city of the state of Quintana Roo, not only has Mayan history to explore but also more recent history as a city characterized by British influence as well.   

Chetumal Maya ruin with greenery

Adventure For All 

In each city, both Bacalar and Chetumal, you’ll find adventure for everyone around every corner.   

In Bacalar, visitors can enjoy a huge variety of boat, paddleboard, sailing, and kayak tours, and just beyond the limits of the city, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the jungle.   

Chetumal has just as much to offer in the way of adventure, with endless opportunities for horseback riding, hiking, biking, and kayaking, and you can even repel off of the wall of a cenote that sits at the foot of a mountain.   

Aerial view of Bacalar's colorful lagoons

The Surrounding Area 

Along with Bacalar and Chetumal, there are numerous amazing destinations to visit within just a few hours away.   

In addition to being steps away from all of the great cities and towns along the Mexican Caribbean, there is the entire Yucatan Peninsula to explore as well.   

Places like Merida, Valladolid, and Tulum provide amazing cultural experiences.   

And popular destinations like Playa del Carmen, Cozumel, Holbox, and of course Cancun, offer unbelievable beaches. 

Street in Merida with colorful colonial buildings and people walking around.

Bacalar or Chetumal – Which One Is Right For You? 

Bacalar and Chetumal both have similar experiences but with unique options as well.   

If you want to be just steps away from the Mexican Caribbean, then Chetumal may be the place for you.   

If, on the other hand, you want to experience nature on a deeper level, Bacalar might be the better choice.   

Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of these amazing, underrated Mexican Caribbean destinations.

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