The state of Quintana Roo is located on the Caribbean coast of the Yucatan Peninsula in southern Mexico. It borders with Belize and Guatemala. It is often one of the main access doors for Mexico thanks to the Cancún airport. Here you have something for everyone! Here, there are also great beaches of fine sand filled with hotels "all inclusive" as in Cancun or Playa del Carmen as small paradise islands bathed in turquoise waters such as Isla Holbox and Isla Blanca. The diving enthusiasts, meanwhile, will direcly go on Isla Cozumel and Tulum. Fans of the "lazy" will rather seek to relax in Bacalar. The Mayan culture is not to be denied in Quintana Roo and sites like Tulum, Cobá or Chacchoben are real open books. Its capital Chetumal, located at the southern tip, is not very attractive. It is often used as a stopover to go to Belize or Guatemala. The Quintana Roo is the gateway to a real paradise sometimes sacrificed in the name of mass tourism mainly North American. However, it is still possible to escape and enjoy a virgin beach area.
Isla Holbox sunset
Isla Holboch is my one of my favorite place to go in the Quintana Roo! Isla Holboch is a boomerang-shaped island located north of Quintana Roo in the Yum Balam Ecological Reserve between the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. This old fishing island has transformed into a paradise for travelers. On the island, you will not find any cars (or at least very few) and only good golf carts, scooters and bicycles. The city center is charming with its colorful wooden buildings. Beautiful graffiti cover some walls for the greatest pleasure of our eyes. The long beach is just as sublime with its fine golden sand, coconut palms and this despite a slightly turbid turquoise sea. To discover this island, take the ferry to Chiquila. Here time slowly flows between "idleness" and discovery.
The perfect place to rest and take your time! Bacalar is a small village on the side of a sublime lagoon 30 kilometers north of the Capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal and the Belize border. The "idleness" is the main activity of Bacalar. The lake of 70 kilometers is a place of peace. The lake must be discovered at sunrise and deposits its beautiful reflection: magic! The lagoon is composed of fresh water and salt water. It is nicknamed the "lagoon with seven colors". Go kayaking, boat or paddle you will not be disappointed! Some cenotes are in the lake. As for the village, the central square has something atypical not unpleasant. "Chiller", "idleness" and relaxation are the key words of Bacalar which becomes more and more touristy over the years.
First, Tulum are Mayan ruins on the edge of the Caribbean Sea that gives it an undeniable charm. What's more beautiful than a Mayan site at the
edge of a beach licked by turquoise waters? The only problem ? An armada of tourists during the high season takes place with their selfie-stick spoiling a little the character of the place.
Go between 16h and 17h to have a beautiful light and less people! In second The city itself has nothing special to offer and it is cut in two by the main avenue. The beach of Tulum is
beautiful. A fine sand and turquoise sea, as well as hotels and bar-restaurants that are touching each other and blocking the same time access to the beach. You can also browse the few
cenotes in the region that are more or less expensive and more or less beautiful. Tulum is a magical place and different from all that the Costa Riviera has to offer. A place of life, culture,
history that we advise you greatly!
The largest Maya archeological site in Quintana Roo is on the border of Yucatan State and about fifty kilometers from Tulum. These ruins are surrounded by several lakes, cradle of crocodiles and mosquitoes. A tip, do not try to dive at the risk of serving them dinner. The archaeological park is quite big and you have the possibility at the entrance of the site to rent a bike or a bicycle taxi. Cobá was one of the most powerful Mayan cities on the peninsula between the year 600 and the year 800. The site is scattered in a thick and shady jungle (nice when the sun is at its zenith). The most famous pyramid of the site is the "Nohoch Mul pyramid". From its height of 42 meters, it overlooks the surrounding rainforest. The rest of the ruins is well preserved and very interesting to discover. Like many archeological sites on the Yucatan Peninsula, we recommend going early in the morning or late at night (1 hour before closing time) to avoid tourist buses.
Playa Del Carmen is the economic center of the region, located right in front of Cozumel Island and just an hour's drive south of Cancun. It is an attractive tourist city by these surroundings composed of fine sand beaches, cenotes and Ibiza-style festivities.Playa del Carmen live mostly from tourism. Playa del Carmen remains a city to see, unless you cross the Atlantic to party and sunbathe on what is left of the Playa del Carmen beach. For our part we spent our way after one night to discover other facets of Quintana Roo.
Playa del Carmen Beach
Akumal is a small, ultra-touristy sandy bay located about twenty kilometers north of Tulum. People come here mainly to see the sea turtles wandering the bay. Many vendors will offer you a tour to see the turtles but we advise you to rent masks and snorkels in Tulum or Playa Del Carmen and to jump into the water without being influenced by a seller before the beach. Of course, avoid disturbing the latter, which are unfortunately fewer and fewer. Some fishermen are still in the middle of its hotels that denature this beautiful bay. You are also advised to visit every tourist spot on the Costa Riviera early in the morning or in the evening. Otherwise good luck to find some shade in the middle of this crowd!
There are three types of people who go on Isla Cozumel. First, there are North Americans who land from their udges ferries to spend their dollars. Secondly, there are diving lovers who have
moved to admire the most beautiful reefs in the country. Third, people like us who will stay there for 3 nights with just one or two snorkeling trips. I admit that we have searched for the best
spots to discover on the island without spending our entire budget. The end result: we spent a lot of time leaning on small restaurants selling "tacos" and "empanadas".
Discover the Ecological Reserve Caro Celarain with its lighthouse and beautiful white sand beach located on the southern tip of the island. At the opposite of the island on the northern tip is "Isla de la Passion". A small paradise difficult to access. Go there with caution because to access it you will have to drive on a long dirt road sometimes (often) submerged by the water of the mangrove. At the end of the road is a pontoon with some fishermen who offer their services to transfer you to Isla de la Passion. Otherwise, the city of San Miguel de Cozumel is alive and nonchalant to perfection. You just have to find a reason to visit Isla Cozumel!
Ecological Reserve Caro Celarain
parque de las Palapas
I would tell you to flee as quickly as this city divided into three parts between sanitized hotel zones and full of disproportionate hotels for North Americans who come during their weeks of vacation with their tour operators to spend evenings well watered with alcohol served in plastic pitchers. Ok the beaches are beautiful (difficult to access because of hotels) but it is especially a place of transition mandatory to visit the Yucatan Peninsula. This city was created in the 80s to relieve Acuapulco. The second part is the city center focusing around the "Parque de las Palapas". Finally, there is the suburb which is the place of residence of the employees of the hotel zone. If you came to Cancun to take your daily "selfie" next to the sculpture named "Cancun" with the Caribbean Sea in the background to have some "likes" on your Instagram account, then yes! You are in the right place! Otherwise, spend a day judging for yourself and discover the real treasures hidden in Mexico.