Dutchie and I left Tulum (Mexico) at 9:30 am by ADO bus to Chetumal, where we supposed to take a boat to San Pedro (Belize). The bus ride took 3.5 hours with a short stop at Bacalar. Bacalar is famous for its lagoon, but we did not go there.
Arriving at noon in Chetumal, we had two hours extra time for lunch before our boat’s departure time. Using my broken Spanish, I asked a taxi driver to bring us to a restaurant near to the port. He looked like that he understood to my Spanish and drove us to the seaside area. He asked something like where were we planned to go – (but now I think he actually asked for which restaurant we wanted to go) – then I told him that we would go to Belize. He immediately said something in Spanish, a very fast one, the words that I caught were, “No embarque. No hoy. No. Mañana…tada..tada…“
How clueless I was, after months of Spanish course. Then using my broken Spanish and his broken English, we came to an agreement to visit the port instead of going to a restaurant. The taxi driver was right. There were no boats leaving the port on that day. Our boat to San Pedro was canceled due to the sea condition after the Earl Hurricane, and the earliest boat would be on the following day at noon.
We were unexpectedly had to stay over in Chetumal. Thankfully we got a good last minute deal hotel price from a third party hotel reservation website to stay at a hotel in the center of Chetumal. It was less than 40 bucks; we had a deluxe room with view to swimming pool and breakfast. We were clueless what we would do in Chetumal but thanks to the internet, we found information about Chetumal. Let me share what you could do if you had to stay or spend long hours at Chetumal:
Visit the Mayan Museum -Museo de la Cultura Maya
The museum is located at the center of Chetumal. It has good air conditioning rooms – a perfect place to rest from the heat (and learn about the Mayan’s history and culture). We spent couple hours inside the museum; it’s an impressive museum with numerous collection of Mayan’s artifacts.
Enjoy the colorful Mural by Elio Carmichael
This special mural called as the Shape, color, and history of Quintana Roo. A beautiful mural located at the lobby of the lobby at Congress in the city of Chetumal.
Shop or just Window-Shopping
It’s not a huge mall but in case you wish to shop last minutes item in air conditioning building, then Plaza de las Américas is a good place to go. If you can handle the heat, then go to Chetumal’s Mercado at the center of town, the price is certainly lower than the Plaza. Well, you have to bargain there 😉
Exploring the Chetumal’s Monuments
Chetumal has numerous monuments scattered around the city. We did not explore all of them but it’s worth to check the monuments in Chetumal if you can handle the heat during the day or you’d like to stroll around the city at night.
Lastly, if you think you still need more things to do, play Pokemon and walk around the city. Some of the Poke Stops in Chetumal include touristic attractions. I am not sure if this game is still being played nowadays. I did play it when I was in Chetumal but recently it looks to me the Pokemon hype is gone. In case you wish to play Pokemon in Chetumal, just stay cautious and watch out for your phone bills 😀
Tips: Taxi in Chetumal is less than five dollars to most destinations in Chetumal. We did not bother to look for public transport but kept taking taxi everywhere in Chetumal. But do not get surprised, sometimes you have to share the taxi with other passengers.
More about Chetumal, please visit: TuChetumal.com