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Chetumal, capital of the Yucatan state of Quintana Roo, is a small city (population: less than 150,000) that is growing in importance as a center for trade and education in the region.

Chetumal’s most important function is that of main trading port with the nation of Belize. Chetumal is linked to Belize via a road, and trade shipping is also important. The city has an interesting history: the region was populated by the Maya when the Spanish first arrived, and several decades of conquest were needed by the invaders to pacify the indigenous people. Even so, it was the site of a major Maya rebellion in the 1840’s. The city has been devastated by three hurricanes since the 1940’s, most recently by Hurricane Janet in 1955.

Although Chetumal has little to offer a visitor in comparison to other Yucatán cities such as CancĂşn or MĂ©rida, there are still things to see and do. It is the home of the University of Quintana Roo, there is an interesting zoo, and there is a new shopping mall. The most important visitor attraction, however, has to be the Museum of Mayan Culture. There is a small handicraft market adjacent to the museum. There is a small Mayan ruin, Oxtankah, not far north of Chetumal. Spanish missionaries built a church on the site, so it is possible to see an interesting contrast of styles and cultures at the site.  


Other places nearby Chetumal: San Felipe, Ciudad Del Carmen, Hopelchén, Oxkutzcab, Santa Elena, Kabáh, Progreso, Cancún, Escárcega and Xpuhil And Around .

By Christopher Minster
I am a writer and editor at V!VA Travel guides here in Quito, where I specialize in adding quality content to the site and also in spooky things like...
06 Feb 2007

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