Chetumal is a relatively quiet city going about its daily life. The bayside esplanade hosts carnivals and events, and the modern Maya museum is impressive (though a bit short on artifacts). Excellent Maya ruins, amazing jungle and the border to neighbouring Belize are all close by.
Chetumal was my springboard into Mexico, specifically the eastern part – ‘The Yucatán’. Arriving here was a reverse cultural shock from the relative third world status of Belize; the contrast was incredible. Whilst Chetumal may well be classed as ‘quiet’ it was ‘loud and vulgar’ compared to Belize. Comercial ‘excess’ is everywhere – from shopping malls to high end restaurants.
I was lucky enough to find a private room in an excellent hostel – Hostelito Chetumal – for a little under £20.00, including breakfast. I was even able to book an online bus ticket to my next destination using the hostel’s super fast wifi.
I think I’m going to like Mexico.
What my research tells me about bus travel in Mexico – my transport of choice for the next 30 days.
Traveling by bus across Mexico is apparently a pleasant experience, exceeding most travellers initial expectations. Since the early 1990’s, Mexico has invested billions of dollars in new roads, including high speed toll roads, which connect all of Mexico’s major towns and cities.
In parallel with Mexico’s investment in its road network, Mexico’s bus companies invested heavily to create an extensive network of bus routes, offering passengers the opportunity to traverse the entire country by bus.
Although there are several classes of bus service the most popular among visitors (and those interested in traveling comfortably) are first and executive class, which transport passengers in comfort (and safety), on high specification, quiet, modern air conditioned buses. These buses only travel on the toll roads (where possible), and very seldom make intermediate stops, thus making the journey fast and efficient.
The ADO website is a great place to start planning and also to buy tickets.
Next stage: Mérida.