Chetumal: A Mexican farewell

We’d hoped that our brief stop in Chetumal would be fruitful, at the very least, from a final ruins visit perspective.

As we’ve mentioned in the past, we’d sought a trip from Campeche to Calakmul but it had ultimately proven too expensive.

Chetumal provided us with one final opportunity to reach this goal.

Our bus, despite being second class, didn’t however deposit us at Chetumals appropriate bus terminal (from where we knew how to locate our hotel).

After a little grizzling, we decided to try and find our way by foot, another hot and sweaty journey from which I’ll save you from further details.

We’d found a local hotel as opposed to trying Chetumals only hostel, both for geographical as well as price reasons, Hotel Ucum, a name perfect for any juvenile jokes that may spring to mind.

Not likely to get lost in the crowd… Hotel Ucum

Not likely to get lost in the crowd… Hotel Ucum

It may not have looked much, but it did have a pool, which we were rather appreciative later that afternoon.

We’d hoped being a coastal town it would have a nice waterfront scene in which we could find a good spot for another late lunch/early dinner as well as a cold beer.

The local tourist office was also in the same vicinity so it was rather handy for our main mission in town.

Crossing a busy intersection, we heard a kafuffle behind, turning in time to see the road give way beneath a passing truck!

Stopped in its tracks

Stopped in its tracks

We were as shocked as the driver by the sudden absence of road, and it was certainly a traffic stopper…

Incredibly, by the time we wandered by an hour or two later, the hole was already being seen to and by the following morning there was no obstacle at all!

Stopping in at the tourist office, it sounded as though we may be able to conduct a Calakmul visit ourselves, as he suggested it was only a couple of kilometres from the nearest town.

We resolved to check in at the second class bus terminal after settling business with our now ravenous stomachs.

This proved more difficult than we expected, as the waterfront dining and drinking establishments failed to materialise.

We eventually did settle on somewhere where we gorged on 2 for 1 pizzas and a few cervezas.

Some very non-Mexican looking buildings abounded in Chetumal

Some very non-Mexican looking buildings abounded in Chetumal

Making our way to the bus station, we were advised by the clerk at the ticket counter that our information was a little incorrect. Rather than 2 kilometres from the nearest town, the Calakmul ruins were actually 2 hours distant and it would not only require a taxi at a cost of $900.00 pesos, but also likely necessitate we conduct the trip over 2 days!

Somewhat disheartened, we resolved instead to abandon these plans, and arrange our transportation into Belize the following morning.

Only one ferry leaves the city headed for the Belizean island of Caye Caulker per day, so we rose fairly early to ensure we could grab ourselves tickets as soon as the office opened.

With this taken care of early and the ferry departure not until 3pm, we had some time to kill between then and now.

For our last Mexican meal we had hoped for some Al Pastor tacos, however luck was not with us. Instead we had to settle for what was still a pretty tasty lunch of Sopes from a little street vendor we found.

The last meal of our 3 month Mexican adventure

The last meal of our 3 month Mexican adventure

Fortunately for us, our hotel also had a generous 1pm checkout time, so we milked this to the last minute (I’m fairly certain the cleaning ladies were waiting for us to leave so they could finish up for the day), chilled near the waterfront for a bit with the aid of a final Elote Helados (Corn Ice cream).

Around 2 o’clock we were able check in, take care of business going through Mexican immigration and exchanging our last peso notes (with one of the ferry staff who offered a very decent rate) before it was time to board.

Adios Mexico!

Adios Mexico!

With a little sadness we pulled away from the pier and finally said our goodbyes to Mexico.



* Our 2nd class bus from Tulum left on the half hour and cost $170.00 pesos per person for the 5 hour journey.

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4 Responses to Chetumal: A Mexican farewell

  1. LaVagabonde says:

    That sucks about missing the trip to the ruins. Independent travel requires a lot of patience and flexibility, but even when you miss out on something it still seems to be a more rewarding way to travel. That corn ice cream sounds interesting.

    • Chris says:

      Frustrating to be sure, but in complete agreement, it is the best way to travel when you’ve the time to do so.

      The corn ice-cream is delicious stuff! 🙂

  2. Joella J says:

    Oh my gosh- that truck! I hate those days where you have to mill around waiting for a ferry/plane/train so a 1pm check out is pretty sweet!!

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