Discover A Hidden Gem In The Mexican Caribbean

The Grand Costa Maya is a region located in the south of the Mexican Caribbean, composed of the destinations of Chetumal, Bacalar, and Mahahual.

Considered the hidden gem of Quintana Roo due to its peaceful atmosphere and the warmth of its citizens, Grand Costa Maya has a vast natural environment, including lush jungle, lagoon systems, serene beaches, and rich Mayan culture reflected in its many archaeological sites, museums and gastronomy.

Chetumal is a relaxing city, and one of its most notable activities is walking along its Boulevard Bahia surrounding the Bay of Chetumal, the perfect setting to enjoy the city’s sunrises and sunsets.

Another must-do is a ride on the Chetubus for a tour of the 14 most emblematic spots in the city. Chetumal’s gastronomy transports visitors through time with traditional dishes; over the years, locals have innovated with new culinary concepts and multiple restaurants with Italian influence have emerged, such as Sergio’s Pizza and El Patio Del 30.

For an unforgettable dessert and coffee, El Buen Pan is the right place to go. Off the beaten path, visitors can explore Xul Ha lagoon and stay at nearby Sujuy – Ha, which offers cabins ideal for an inspirational escape.

A few minutes from Chetumal is the town of Calderitas, where cozy hotels like Villa Marcela welcome guests with breathtaking sea views and activities including paddleboard and kayaking. Fifteen minutes away is the archaeological site of Oxtankah, which invites visitors to connect with nature and Mayan culture.

A former fishing village, Mahahual is now a growing cruise destination and offers multiple beach clubs, like Blue Kay Mahahual. Mahahual is also one of the most important diving destinations in Quintana Roo as home of the Great Maya Reef, the second-longest reef barrier in the world.

Visitors can explore the reef with Pepe Dive Mahahual, which guides divers through the 37 miles of virgin reefs, labyrinths, and marine life. Visitors can also explore The Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, the largest coral atoll in Mexico. For those looking to dig deeper into Mayan culture, the nearby site of Chacchoben is one of the most emblematic archaeological sites in the state.

Bacalar is popular for its distinct natural scenery, such as the Lagoon of Seven Colors. A number of companies offer visits to this unique lagoon. Bacalar Lagoon Tours offers sailboat rides, while Nimfa Tours Bacalar specializes in personalized, private experiences; travelers can also make the journey on a pontoon with Cucos Tours. Bacalar has an interesting history of visiting pirates, during which the Fort of San Felipe was built. The fort is now a museum where visitors can learn more about the destination’s past.

For foodies, Bacalar is a dream, with a wide variety of gastronomy from traditional to trendy. Popular eateries include Nixtamal Cocina a Fuego y Ceniza, which has an energizing vibe, and Macario Bacalar, which specializes in contemporary Mexican cuisine.

Amid a setting surrounded by native trees, tropical restaurant La Playita Bacalar tempts with its Latin fusion menu. In this pueblo mágico, most accommodation options have breathtaking views and a tranquil harmony with nature. Hotel Zensus Bacalar has 10 cabins perfect for disconnecting from the world.

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