Caribbean Coast: Places to Explore

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Chetumal

At times, Chetumal feels more Caribbean than Mexican; this isn't surprising, given its proximity to Belize. A population that includes Afro-Caribbean and Middle Eastern immigrants creates a melting pot of music (reggae, salsa, calypso) and cuisines (Yucatecan, Mexican, and Lebanese). Although Chetumal's provisions are modest, the town has a number of parks on a waterfront that's as pleasant as it is long: The Bay of Chetumal surrounds the city on three sides. Tours go to the fascinating nearby ruins of Kohunlich, Dzibanché, and Kinichná, a trio dubbed the "Valley of the Masks."

Because this is the closest major town to Bacalar, Majahual, and Xcalak, many neighboring residents come here to do banking and stock up on supplies. Traffic can get very congested. In the town of Chetumal itself, you will see very few tourists.

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