The Coastal Landscapes and Natural Heritage of Chetumal Bay

Coastal lagoons, islands, and extensive mangrove swamps are found in the beautiful Chetumal Bay. It is home to rich wildlife in its emerald green waters. Vestiges of the Mayan culture can be seen along the bay, as well as buildings from the colonial era.

The Coastal Landscapes and Natural Heritage of Chetumal Bay
Chetumal Bay, a paradise to take care of. Photos: Carlos Joaquín

The beautiful Chetumal Bay has coastal lagoons, islands, and extensive mangroves. Its emerald green waters are home to rich wildlife. Along the bay, you can observe vestiges of the Mayan culture, as well as constructions from the colonial era. There is also a pleasant seaside resort with restaurants offering exquisite seafood dishes and a beautiful spot where a stream feeds the impressive Milagros Lagoon.


Only 15 minutes (8 km) from Chetumal is this picturesque town with a bird observatory and where you can enjoy exquisite seafood dishes. The area also has a hotel, trailer park, boat rides, and kayak rentals.

Tamalcab Island

The island, 9 kilometers long and a few hundred meters wide is located 2 km from Calderitas. It has white sands and calm waters ideal for water sports. Fishing and snorkeling lovers consider it one of the best places in the region. The island is the habitat of spider monkeys, coati, osprey, and several varieties of herons. It also has Mayan vestiges.


It is located only 3 kilometers from Laguna Guerrero. With a beautiful creek that comes from the Bacalar Lagoon, it is ideal for camping and several restaurants operate on weekends and during vacation periods. You can also rent kayaks and take boat rides. Ideal for birdwatchers.

A family of dolphins in Chetumal Bay, in front of Calderitas.
A family of dolphins in Chetumal Bay, in front of Calderitas.

Guerrero Lagoon

Beautiful body of brackish water that extends in its main part for almost 10 kilometers. Next to the lagoon is the " Center for the Attention and Rehabilitation of Aquatic Mammals of the State Protected Natural Area "Manatee Sanctuary-Chetumal Bay", a protected natural area of 281,000 hectares that encompasses the Hondo River, Chetumal Bay, and Guerrero Lagoon.

Since 1996, various governmental agencies, as well as higher education institutions, private institutions, and international conservation organizations have joined forces to help sustain this sanctuary. It is estimated that of the 200 manatees that live in the state of Quintana Roo, some 80 to 90 reside in the sanctuary.

The area is also home to other endangered species such as the swamp crocodile, river turtle, and jaguar. Manatees are giant mammals that weigh between 300 and 500 kg. Their diet consists of seaweed and other seagrasses, and they can hold their breath underwater for up to 20 minutes.