75.2 F
Mérida
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
###

Mexico’s new frontier is south of Tulum

What's up in Bacalar, Mahahual and Chetumal

Latest headlines

Another bus catches fire in Mérida, raising safety concerns

A short circuit in the electrical systems of a passenger bus has been blamed for yet another fire on Mérida’s roads. 

Horse collapses from exhaustion in ‘Magical Town’ of Izamal

The collapse of a horse pulling a tourist carriage in Izamal has reignited the debate surrounding animal welfare in Yucatán. 

Journalists under siege in Mexico, demand action from authorities

Journalists across the country joined coordinated demonstrations to protest the murder of their colleagues.

Moving to Mérida has changed my relationship with color

Photo: File I’ve always had a strange relationship with color. It’s not a thing our family embraced when...
Yucatán Magazine
Sign up to get our top headlines delivered to your inbox twice a week.
Sunrise at a pier on Bacalar Lagoon. Photo: Getty

The decision to develop Cancun as a Mexico tourism beach destination was famously determined by computer in the late 1960s.

Cancun’s success inspired further development south along Mexico’s Caribbean coast.

First, there was the Riviera Maya, which was conceived as a nature-based destination to complement the glitz and gloss of Cancun. Further south was the stunning archaeological site of Tulum, which eventually developed into an overnight destination in its own right, with shops, restaurants, and eco-chic hotels.

The next step continue south, all the way to the country’s border with Belize.

The main highway south of Cancun is Route 307. It’s a well-maintained road with excellent signage. Stick to the main highway as you motor south and you’ll find it easy to stay on course.

Even if you’re based in Cancun, Riviera Maya or Tulum, day trips here are feasible.

The three main tourism destinations south of Tulum are the small towns of Bacalar and Mahahual, and the larger city of Chetumal, which is near the Belize border.

Bacalar

At first glance Bacalar looks like a beach destination, although it’s actually 16 miles inland on the shores of the Lagoon of Seven Colors. Bacalar attractions include the 18th-century Fort of San Felipe, which contains a pirate museum complete with ship models, weapons of the day, and an unearthed pirate skeleton. Another notable sight in town is the colonial-era San Joaquín Parish Church, beautiful in its unadorned simplicity.

Overnight travelers in Bacalar looking for an upscale experience should opt for a stay in the Mía Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa. The resort’s Je’ex Suites have such luxe amenities as Jacuzzis, and the Saasil Rooms feature private rooftop terraces with impressive views of the colorful lagoon.

The Hotel Aires Bacalar is more rustic than Mía Bacalar, and more whimsical in its design. Hotel Aires Bacalar is located within town a block from the lagoon, and also provides water views from its rooftop terrace and select rooms.

Directly south of Bacalar is Cenote Azul. Grab a meal at the palapa-roofed restaurant on the edge of the cenote.

Mahahual

The beachfront village of Mahahual is smaller than Bacalar. The town has a malecón, or beachfront promenade, a large coral reef with great conditions for divers and snorkelers, and a laidback ambiance.

A popular choice for lodging is the Blue Kay Beach Club, which offers affordable beach cabins.

Chetumal

Chetumal is a border port city that thrives on business rather than tourism. For some travelers, that makes Chetumal more authentic. See the Museum of Mayan Culture, the city’s waterfront boulevard, the Manatee Sanctuary, and the nearby Mayan archeological sites of Dzibanché, Kinichná and Kohunlich. Hotels in Chetumal are four-star and below; a hip choice among them is the centrally located Urban 101 Hotel.

Wherever you go, don’t miss the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. This is a protected area of 1,080 square miles of wetlands, coastal areas, mangroves, savannahs and tropical forests. Birders will be especially intrigued, since the reserve is home to 300 species of birds.

The Maya archaeological site of Muyil is situated on the western edge of the reserve, adding a cultural component to a visit.

A vacation on the Costa Maya is going to be a more serene experience than points north.

Source: USA Today

- Advertisement -

Subscribe Now!

More articles

10 arrested in Valladolid after illegal cockfights are busted up

Ten people, including at least one minor, were arrested in Valladolid for their involvement in organizing illegal cockfights. 

Rails for the Mayan Train are being laid near Chichén Itzá

Rails are now being laid near Chichén Itzá for the first tests of the Mayan Train.

The story of the “many Méridas”

Many people living in Mérida, Yucatán are vaguely aware that the city shares its name with other communities around the world. But the specifics surrounding how and why Yucatán’s capital got its name are unknown to most. 

A leak in a Tabasco Pemex oil pipeline causes disastrous fire

A massive fire sparked by a leaking oil duct has created massive environmental damage in Huimanguillo, Tabasco. 

Untrained tour guides compete for tourist dollars in Chichén Itzá

Arguments between tour guides at Chichén Itzá have on rare occasions even resulted in fights and physical violence. Photo: Carlos Rosado...

Joya de Cerén — The Pompeii of the Americas

The volcano which stood less than one mile from Joya de Cerén, sent huge amounts of debris flying through the air. It ultimately buried the village under four to eight meters (13 to 26 feet) of ash and rock. 

A stunning 5,425 new COVID cases in a week

Residents make use of a hand-washing station installed in the Centro. Photo: Artur Widak / NurPhoto via Getty Images

Booster shots arrive for Mérida residents between 40-59

Booster shots for Mérida residents in their 40s and 50s arrived Friday. Photo: Courtesy A military plane with...

Mexico celebrates International Mariachi Day

Mariachis in Mexico and around the world celebrate International Mariachi Day observed every Jan 21. 

Marines to take over security at Mérida and Cancún airports

Mexico's Marines will be taking control of seven airports across the country, with  Mérida and Cancún among them.