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4 incredible places you must visit in Quintana Roo

4 incredible places you must visit in Quintana Roo

The coast of Quintana Roo, better known as the Mexican Caribbean, is a world-famous place for its beautiful beaches and breathtaking nature. Read on to learn about our 4 recommendations for this wonderful destination! 

The Mexican Caribbean is located in the state of Quintana Roo, in southeastern Mexico. It is a coastal area of more than 80 miles long that is composed of diverse natural attractions, being the beaches, its main tourist element. 

Zona Arquológica frente al mar en Tulum

What places to visit in Quintana Roo?

Many people associate Cancun with the Mexican Caribbean. Yes, Cancun is in the Caribbean, and it is the most popular place on the list, but it is just one of the many beautiful places you can find here.

That's why, in this blog post, we will recommend 4 destinations (other than Cancun) that you can't miss in Quintana Roo.

Tulum: The archaeological zone in front of the sea.

Zona Arqueológica Tulum

Tulum, as a destination, began as a small town that developed alongside the archaeological site of the same name. Due to its location, these ruins were home to ancient indigenous people until the beginning of the 15th century and are currently the only Mayan city preserved on the seashore.

Tulum town is characterized by a Bohemian atmosphere that mixes Mayan and Mexican customs, with cosmopolitan and alternative influences. It is a destination for alternative tourism, wellness, relaxation, and disconnection.

Colloquially, we speak of the Tulum vibe or the (not self-proclaimed) urban tribe, Tuluminati. They are composed of a relatively young community, with expensive tastes, but at the same time attached to the spirituality of nature (for example, life coaches, yoga gurus, and lovers of the eco-chic movement).

Jóvenes disfrutando la vibra de Tulum

Pros of Tulum:

  • Tulum archaeological zone. 
  • Clean beaches.
  • Unique vibe.

Cons of Tulum:

  • It is small.
  • Increasingly expensive and unaffordable for locals.
  • Don't expect an authentic Mexican experience (unless you visit downtown).


Things to do in Tulum

  • Visit the archaeological site.
  • Live a Temazcal experience.
  • Cool off in a cenote (such as Santa Cruz or Dos Ojos cenote).
  • Relax on a beach (like Playa Paraíso or Xcacel).
  • Nightlife. Tulum is home to many raves and nightly beach parties.

Punta Maroma: Beauty, privacy, and luxury.

Punta Maroma is located in the Riviera Maya, 10 kilometers north of Playa del Carmen. At first glance, it might seem like just another beach on the coast of Quintana Roo, but it is much more than that.

Access to Playa Maroma can be a bit complicated since it requires a car (or a 35-minute walk), and there is an entrance fee. These conditions make it one of the best-kept beaches in the area.

Sebitas Trip in Playa Maroma

In Punta Maroma, you have the option of doing different water activities. You can bring your own sports equipment or rent it on site. You can also do land activities such as ATV rides and horseback riding (or even camel riding).

Pros of Punta Maroma:

  • Beautiful and well-kept beaches.
  • Private environment.
  • Variety of water and land activities.
  • Lodging and beach club options.

Cons of Punta Maroma:

  • Difficult access if you don't have a vehicle.
  • There is an entrance fee.
  • Most activities have an additional cost.


  • Water activities: snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, paddle surfing, jetpack, parachuting, and swimming with dolphins.
  • Horse and camel riding.
  • ATV rentals.
  • Spend the day at the beach club.
  • Celebrate events on the beach (like weddings or birthdays).

Mahahual: the underwater paradise

Mahahual Pueblo Costero en Quintna RooPhoto by Explor Mahahual

In the south of Quintana Roo is Mahahual, a beach destination that is part of the Grand Costa Maya. If you are looking for a quiet destination, where you can relax and isolate yourself from the big cities, the luxury, and the stress of everyday life, this is the place you are looking for.

What started as a fishing destination, gradually grew to become a port that receives world-class cruise ships. Although it is a small city and not as popular as Cancun or Tulum, its offer of activities and places to visit is just as wide.

Its most striking feature is its location in front of the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, the site that houses the largest reef system in Mexico and a marine cemetery with more than 60 sunken ships to explore.

Pros of Mahahual:

  • The best place to dive in the Caribbean.
  • Close to archaeological sites such as Chacchobén, Oxtankah, and Kohunlich.
  • Small and walkable town.

Cons of Mahahual:

  • It is a 5-hour drive from Cancun airport.
  • Sometimes, because of the sargassum, the smell is bad.
  • Being a small area, it can get crowded seasonally.

Things to do in Mahahual

  • Diving or snorkeling.
  • Walk along the boardwalk.
  • Taste the local gastronomy.
  • Visit nearby Mayan archaeological sites.
  • Rent water sports equipment such as kayaks.
  • Visit the lighthouse.

Bacalar: the 7 color lagoon

Bacalar is a city located 40 kilometers north of the capital of Quintana Roo, Chetumal. It is a town of 41 thousand inhabitants that is part of the Grand Costa Maya, whose main attraction, without a doubt, is the lagoon of the 7 colors. The lagoon is a natural wonder that merges several bodies of water in the same place, offering a wide variety of water activities to do.

Bacalar town is a fusion of history, culture, and leisure tourism. You can visit the Fort of San Felipe, a historic building dating back to 1725 that served as a defense against the English conquistadors, which currently houses the Caste War Museum.

If you like history, love the color blue, and love to relax in the water, this is your ideal destination.

Pros of Bacalar:

  • There are many water activities available.
  • It is inexpensive compared to other Caribbean destinations.
  • A historical site of great interest.

Cons of Bacalar:

  • It is a 5-hour drive from Cancun airport.
  • It is limited to water activities.
  • During the rainy season, the lagoon can lose its colors.
  • Most of the activities require the service of a tour operator, that is, you cannot do them on your own.

Things to do in Bacalar

  • Water activities in the Bacalar lagoon such as snorkeling, kayaking, boat rides, and paddleboarding.
  • Relax in the spas.
  • Visit Cenote Azul, Cenote Esmeralda, and Cenote Cocalitos.
  • Dive in Cenote Negro (always accompanied by an expert guide).
  • Visit the Fort of San Felipe.
  • Make a stop at the Pirates Channel.

These 4 stunning destinations, located in the Mexican Caribbean, are a reflection of the beauty that the state of Quintana Roo offers to its visitors.

Don't miss the opportunity to visit them and tell us how it went!

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