40 km (24miles) north west from Chetumal (capital of Quintana
Roo), or about 100km (60miles) from Felipe Carrillo Puerto, at
the south of Sian Ka'an Biosphere, the main road leads to Bacalar
lagoon, a huge clear freshwater lake. Its beauty is due to the
different shades of blue. This lake, justifiably called "lagoon
of the seven colors”, is 50km (30miles) long and 2km (1.2mile)
33km (20miles) from Chetumal, a detour leads to the sublime blue
Cenote Azul, close to Bacalar. You can enjoy swimming in this
90m (295 feet) deep!
This is one of the most impressive cenotes after the one at Chichén
You can also look at the Milagros lagoon, close to Bacalar.
Right picture : laguna of Bacalar
A beautiful 4 minute video of the village
and lagoon of Bacalar.
(Comments in Spanish).
capital of the state
380 km (222miles) from Cancun.
This city has no interest except being the gate to Belize and
Guatemala. With 210,000 inhabitants, Chetumal looks like it is:
the most important eastern point and the furthest from Mexico
City. Since Quintana Roo is rich in precious tropical essences,
mahogany, “zapote”, etc. Wood is both the object of
the local industry and the main construction material. The wooden
buildings predominate in town ; most of them were built after
the 1955 hurricane but the dilapidated aspect reminds you that
the wood business is not the main activity of the city. Chetumal
was a tax free seaport, well located between Puerto Juárez
and the main entrance in Belize, on the opposite side of the river
Río Hondo but the city lost its statute of duty-free zone,
since1994, in favor of Belize.
If you have some time, go to the Museum of Mayan Culture at the
corner of Avenue Héroes and street Mahatma Gandhi. Many
models of cities and Mayan buildings are on display. (Open 9AM-7PM,
Tue-Thu and Sunday and 9AM-8PM, Friday and Saturday, MXN$50).
It is really a nice museum.
Map of the city :
The list of the hotels of this town is in the process of updating
Banco Chinchorro biosphere reserve
The reserve is located in the Caribbean Sea, 31km (19miles) east
of the coastal city Mahahual, the closest continental point. Mahahual
is located northeast of Chetumal. The reserve is separated from
the coast by a 100m (328feet) deep canal. It extends over a surface
of 144 360 ha (356,721 acre), with only 0.4% above water. It is
part of the Meso-American reef system. Located out at sea, it emerges
like a reef lagoon which, because of its low shallow and the coral
reef, provokes swell movements and processes of sedimentation. The
reef protects the coast from the tropical storms and cyclones. The
ecosystems, linked to fish breeding and reproduction and propagation
of economical and ecological value species, are made of coral reefs,
sea grass, sandbanks, rocky islets, lowlands covered with shrubs
and sandy beaches. The research made in the reserve allows to list
778 species: 58% belong to marine fauna, 14% to terrestrial fauna,
18% to marine flora and 10% to terrestrial flora. The marine fauna
comprises 95 coral species. Due to the coral topography, a large
diversity of habitats co-exists. Fishing is the most important economical
activity but it is under very strict regulations. You can find conch
(strombus gigas) and lobster (panulirus argus). This reserve is
also a big boat cemetery. There are 44 wrecks, among them 33 «
sunk » between the sixteenth and twentieth century, are listed
on a map based on bibliographic sources.