8 julio, 2024

The 12 Most Famous Tourist Places in Quintana Roo

The tourist places in Quintana Roo they include beautiful beaches and ancient ruins. It offers more than 15,000 square miles of jungles, white sand beaches, archeological sites, and a wide variety of marine life.

This state is part of the Yucatan peninsula and has a coastline along the Caribbean Sea. The most popular tourist places are divided into these destinations: Cancun, the Riviera Maya, the Zona Maya and the Gran Costa Maya.

The Riviera is a corridor that goes from Puerto Morelos to Tulum; its heart is Playa del Carmen. The Mayan Zone includes some small cities and the Great Mayan Coast is made up of Chetumal, Bacalar and Mahuahual.

Main tourist places in Quintana Roo

1- Playa del Carmen

It is one of the most popular vacation destinations, especially during the summer. It is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya, it has white sand and blue-green beaches.

It is located one hour from Cancun. In this place was the ancient city of Xaman Ha. On its main avenue, Fifth Avenue, there are a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. It is also known for its brilliant nightlife.

Playa del Carmen offers the use of kayaks, jet skiwindsurfing and diving in the Mayan coral reef.

Every year there are concerts by Mexican musicians and jazz festivals, such as the famous Riviera Maya Jazz Festival.

2- Cozumel

It is a small island off the coast of the Riviera Maya. This island has increased its popularity as a tourist attraction in the last 5 years, although it is usually calmer than Playa del Carmen.

In Cozumel you can explore the small town on the island. It is also possible to observe the Mayan sites and relax on its white sand beaches.

One of the most popular activities is diving in the Mesoamerican Great Barrier Reef, which stretches from Cozumel to Central America.

The oceanographer Jaques Cousteau proclaimed it the best place to dive; its barrier reef offers 30 different places to dive on the entire east coast.

Other main attractions include the Chankanaab Park, where you can practice diving and snorkeling. Also noteworthy are the Punta Sur park, with exotic animals; and the Country Club of Cozumel with a great golf course.

To get to Cozumel you must take a 45-minute ferry from Playa del Carmen.

3- Isla Mujeres

It is located right in the center of the beaches of Cancun. Despite being small, this fishing island contains all the popular elements of the Riviera Maya: beaches, Mayan archeological sites, and an infrastructure designed for tourism.

It is only 7 kilometers long and less than 1,000 meters wide. Initially it was a sanctuary for the goddess Ixchel, but today its archaeological sites are among the most popular in all of Quintana Roo.

The main attractions of this place include the El Farito reef, the Isla Contoy National Park, the underwater sculptures near the Manchones reef, cycling and swimming with whale sharks and dolphins, among others.

4- Xcaret

This ecological park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Riviera Maya. Here are the remains of reconstructed Mayan building pyramids. You can also observe dolphins, butterflies and beautiful beaches.

In Xcaret you can enjoy various cultural activities and ecotourism; it is even possible to plunge into an underground river.

Xcaret was very important to the Mayan trade and was still inhabited when the Spanish arrived on the peninsula.

The defensive wall located in the inlet served to protect the dry soil from the swamp areas and to protect from the settlement of the sea and possible invaders.

5- Xel-Ha Park

It is the largest natural aquarium in the world. Xel-Há’s biggest attraction is its large cove, where seawater meets freshwater.

The giant aquarium in this park is home to 70 different species of aquatic fauna. Additionally, this place offers activities such as swimming, snorkeling and diving.


It was declared a UNESCO Cultural Heritage. One of the most important sites in Tulum are its Mayan ruins located on a cliff above the Caribbean Sea. The Tulum ruins are the only archaeological site located on a coast.

Below this cliff is Paraíso beach, considered one of the best beaches in the Riviera Maya.

The most outstanding Mayan ruins are the Archaeological Site of Coba and the Archaeological Zone of Tulum. These sites are located a few kilometers from the city.

Another main attraction is the Cenote Dos Ojos, one of the many found in the Riviera Maya.

Cenotes are only found in this part of the world, and are a combination of geographical events: it is a cave with a crystal clear underground river. The cenotes are interconnected through passages that measure more than 300 miles.

Tulum is characterized by its numerous beach cabins.

7- Chetumal

Chetumal is the capital of Quintana Roo. It borders Belize and is the political and administrative center of the state.

Like most things in this region, this city has its roots in the Mayan culture. Here carnivals and events of great tourist interest are held.

It is also home to the Modern Museum of the Mayas. This region is a mix between the ocean, the jungle and the mangroves.

8- Sian Kaan Biosphere

It means «place where heaven is born» and was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987.

It is of great importance due to its great diversity: there are more than 1,048 plant species native to the Gulf of Mexico, 103 mammal species, 339 bird species, 90 native bee species, 318 butterfly species, and 86 types of barrier reef.

It also contains some endangered species such as the ocelot, puma, jaguar and a local pheasant.

Additionally, you can practice kayaking in Punta Allen or sport fishing in Boca Paila, both located within the ecological reserve.

9- Bacalar

It is a city with picturesque fishermen’s houses where the Uchben Kah Ecotourism Park is located. In this park you can swim, go boating, snorkeling and diving.

It is home to the famous Lake of Seven Colors; In addition to its great beauty, it is a place that contains some of the oldest organisms on the planet.

10- Cancun

It is the most important tourist center. This area is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and crystalline blue beaches. The Mayan culture can be observed in every corner. The El Rey archaeological zone and the Temple of the Scorpion stand out.

The Secret River offers a glimpse into the “xibalbá” or Mayan underworld. Cancun is home to the most important eco-archaeological parks in Mexico

From here you can take boats to nearby islands, swim with sharks, visit the many underground cenotes and adventure parks, among other activities.


Akumal is located 20 minutes by car from Playa del Carmen. It is a natural environment that stands out for its spectacular coral reef, which makes it an attraction for lovers of diving and marine life.

It is an area where many turtles live, so there are many tourists who dive to observe them and even swim with them.

12- The Lighthouse

Located in the port area, it is characterized by the fact that it is inclined and in disuse due to a hurricane that hit the Yucatan peninsula in 1967. In its surroundings you can also find the immense Alfredo Barrera Marín Botanical Garden, a place where nature is intertwined with the local cultural and archeological zones.

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