Cancun hotel zone
Mexico Quintana Roo

Quintana Roo State In Mexico/ Things To Do and See 2019

March 6, 2019

Quintana Roo used to be part of the Yucatan Peninsula, but now they finally made their territory. Under the leadership of President Porfirio Diaz on November 24, 1902. They got their statehood within the United Mexican States on October 8, 1974. Quintana Roo is the youngest State in Mexico. As the latest State in Mexico, Quintana Roo makes it be the 32nd Federal State in the country. With 11 total municipalities and the capital city is Chetumal. The states of Yucatan border Quintana Roo in the northwest and to the west is the states of Campeche. It is on the eastern part of the Yucatan Peninsula. The Supreme Court of Justice tried to resolve the boundary between the disputed area. On 1997 the Municipality was siding Campeche, and it benefited Yucatan.

Quintana Roo is one of the famous tourist’s destinations in Mexico. Travelers in all walks of life can enjoy this place as it has a lot to offer. From luxury travel to the middle class and ordinary life. This State is home to a lot of Tourists spots that are world class and is famous to other countries including Sian Ka’an biosphere reserve. The house of the renowned city of Cancun and the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. The town of Akumal, Playa Del Carmen, and Bacalar as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Coba, Kohunlich, Muyil, and Tulum.

Quintana Roo Xelha

The colorful birds in Xel-Ha

The following are the famous stop for visitors to visit:


Cancun is a 15-mile long sand bar with a number seven shape off the mainland and connected by the causeways. There are many accommodations to choose from along the strip is a hotel zone.  A single, couple and family travelers have many choices in visiting Cancun. Kukulkan Boulevard is the only road that runs the length of the hotel zone. The tourism infrastructure concentrate in this area from restaurants to food stools. From upscale shopping to Walmart and nightlife to pure Mayan culture.

Some of the workers here aren’t fluent in speaking English so you might have a hard time communicating. However, most of the time we don’t have any problem getting around the hotel and in the city.

It’s one of the famous tourist spots in Mexico and one of the favorite places for young ones to visit. However, this place is also right for a family with younger kids. I traveled here when I was almost five months far for my second child, and I don’t have any problem getting around.

Quintana Roo in Cancun

Cancun Mexico beach

Riviera Maya

Riviera Maya is for travelers who enjoy eco-tourism activities. The favorite activities in the Quintana Roo region for snorkeling and diving is here. Riviera Maya is home for Xel-Ha and X- Caret where everyone can enjoy and have a lot to offer and can make your vacation memorable. There are lots of accommodation in the area from world-class to the simple way of life of the Mayan culture. It takes you a total of 1.5- 2 hours travel from Cancun to get here.

  • Xel-Ha – is on the Caribbean coast of the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. A commercial aquatic theme park and ecotourism development. There are many wide varieties of flora and fauna including dolphins, birds and many more. They also offer some of the exciting activities like zip lining and riding a bike along the jungle. One of the many water activities you can do is snorkeling. After your adventure, if you wanted to relax, you can find an empty hammock that is set up around the area. Whenever you like you need a boost to your adrenaline and need some drink and food to eat you can get any time. Xel-Ha will make your vacation an unforgettable and memorable experienced. Whether your traveling solo, a couple and or as a family this park need to be in your lists. Read more here about Xel-Ha.



Nate poses for Xelha remembrance.

 Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen is in the municipality of Solidaridad located along the Carribean Sea. Because of their geographical location, Playa Del Carmen is famous to tourist. They offer a wide array of tourists activities.

  • X-Caret– is an archaeological and ecological spot that is in Playa Del Carmen. There are lots of things to do here, but unlike Xel-Ha, they have more animals to see and experience. Perfect for a family especially if you are traveling with small children, who are not very keen on water sports yet. There are lots of things to do in X-Caret, but it comes with costs including their food. Read more about X-Caret here.



Resting in the hammock


Tulum is in the state of Quintana Roo which serves as a major port for Coba. It is the ruins site of the ancient Mayan walled city that situated on a 12- meter ( 39 ft ) tall cliffs. Along the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea. After the Spanish occupied Mexico, Tulum managed to survive for 70 years between the 13th and 15th centuries. The large stoned structure building is called El Castillo meaning the castle. It is known for its pristine white sand and turquoise sea water. It is also near the coastal area of Parque Nacional Tulum where there are mangroves and cenotes.

  • Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve– is in the municipality of Tulum and only a few hours travel from Tulum. You can go and rent a vehicle yourself. Alternatively, use the many tour guide from Tulum. Some fishermen live inside, and they can provide information about the area. It is one of the UNESCO world heritage site and the largest protected area in the Mexican Carribean. It is home to thousands of species including fauna and flora, wild dolphins and so much more. The tourists can explore by boat to see the various reefs and crystal clear, blue-green lagoons.

Cozumel is a municipality and the largest island in Mexico under the State of Quintana Roo. Scuba diving is the main tourists’ activities in the island due to its coral reefs on the western side. However, it doesn’t limit the laid back atmosphere in Cozumel. The following listed below are the things you can do in Cozumel.

  • San Gervasio archeological site is worth a visit.
  • Swimming to a cenote.
  • Snorkeling in the coral reefs.
  • Going and riding a boat to the rainforest.
Norwegian Cruise

Norwegian Cruise duck in Cozumel photo credit to my friend Cherly Ann Sedazo

Isla Mujeres

Isla Mujeres is a perfect day getaway from the bustle and hustle of the city of Cancun. Scuba diving and snorkeling are one of the favorite things to do here. There are many accommodations to choose from luxury hotels to simple Mayan living. There is a turtle protection center. Mayan ruins, beaches in the northern Playa Norte, and the southern tip of Punta Sur you can find a lighthouse. This small town is worth a visit and here are the lists of things to do.

  • Visit the El Meco archeological site.
  • Garrafon Park
  • Dolphin Discovery
  • Parque Garrafon
Isla Holbox
Isla Holbox– this small island is in the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula and the last hidden gem of State. It is a 3-hour ride from the city of Cancun and is worth every minute of the way. The island is rich in marine life and is home of the flamingos and pelicans. Holbox is separated from the mainland by the Yalahau Lagoon and part of the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. Visitors can enjoy the Punta Coco Beach and the laid back life of Holbox Village. More things to do on the island are the following:
  • Snorkeling, Swimming and watching Whale Shark in Cabo Catoche.
  • Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of Playa Holbox, Punta Cocos, and Punta Mosquito. You can lounge on the beach away from the hustle and bustle of civilization.

Chetumal is the capital city of Quintana Roo and is situated on the western side of the State. The political and administrative side of the state is the border in Belize. Exploring the city will make you understand the history of the Mayan culture.

The Landmarks Are:
  • The Flag Promenade obelisk
  • Dot waterfront Boulevard Bahía.
  • In the North of Chetumal Bay, is the Manatee Sanctuary is home to manatees, crocodiles, and turtles.
  • To the west are the Mayan ruins of Kohunlich, Dzibanché, and Kinichná.
Things To Do In Chetumal:
  • Museum of Mayan Culture
  • Museum of Chetumal
  • Zoo Payo Obispo
  • Planetario Yook’ol Kaab
  • Oxtankah


Quintana Roo road sign

On our way to Cancun Mexico

When is the best time to go?

I would recommend visiting the area during the high season of November to April. The sea current of the Carribean Sea can be strong even in regular days how much for the rainy and moon-soon season. The two peak periods that attract visitors to come to visit the area is during Winter and Spring Break. Both international and domestic tourists love to visit during this time of the year. For the winter time, it is during Christmas and New Year Eve, and in the Springtime it is the week before and after Easter. If you like to visit during rainy and moon soon season because that’s the only time you can travel it’s ok but be warned that the hurricane season is June to November. However, most hurricanes come from August to October. We can’t predict the weather, so it’s risky to travel during these months.

Note: Please try to allocate at least one day each attraction Xel- Ha, X-caret, X-Plor so you can fully enjoy them. There are many things to do in each place, so nothing to hurry and waste your money.
Day 1
Arriving in Cancun and long strip beach then head to Coco Bongo, and Grand Mambo cafe for nightlife if you love jazz head to El Pablo.
Day 2
You can visit Garrafon National park a favorite park with swimming on the beach. Or head to Isla Mujeres to enjoy the beauty of nature in a peaceful and quiet environment. This two is nearby Cancun. Buses run the area all the time, and when you get back in the city, you can walk around the mall. Try some of their local food in the area you can choose from high-end restaurants to food stools.
Day 3
A day trip to Playa Del Carmen or spend a night there. Book accommodation if you want to do more activities in the area. X- Caret is near in this area and if you plan to travel around this will be an excellent place to visit while you’re nearby.
Day 4
You can either stay another day in Playa Del Carmen and do one of the attractions mentioned above. However, if you choose to move out, then you can take a boat and head to Cozumel.
Day 5
A full day tour in Cozumel diving, swimming, and snorkeling in the coral reef area. Swimming in a cenote and or riding a boat visiting the rainforest. If time permits were visiting the archeological sites, San Gervasio would be a blast.
Day 6
Enjoy your 2nd or 3rd day in Cozumel, and you can ride a ferry back to Playa Del Carmen. You might want to stay in Tulum so you can ride a bus or arrange transportation for you to go to Tulum.
Day 7
A full day in Tulum seeing the ruins, snorkeling, diving, and swimming.
Day 8
You can go to Xel-Ha either half day or full day. If you decide to do half day you can head to Coba. Or go to Chichen Itza, Valladolid, and the nearby cenote.
Chichen Itza

Chichen Itza in the Yucatan Pene

The itinerary above I based it on the map and if you plan to travel around the Quintana State. The last day can be arranged and opted; it’s up to what you like to see and visit. You can do it all in one day if you want and then head back to Cancun and catch a flight on the next day. Or you can go directly to Isla Holbox as it is in a different direction a 3-hour boat ride from Cancun. The three places mentioned in the last part Chichen Itza, Valladolid and the Cenote nearby is part of the Yucatan Peninsula but it’s nearby the area of Playa Del Carmen and Tulum.



  1. Reply


    May 19, 2019

    Fun post with some great information. I’d love to hear about where you ate and what was the easiest way to get around!

    • Reply


      May 20, 2019

      Hi Lisa, when we venture Cancun we ride a bus every couple minutes they’re a bus running along the highways. We ate mostly in the hotel as we were staying on an All-Inclusive Stay but the reason I didn’t mention it as we were not happy with the quality of the food. We’re on tour most of the days. Our tour package included lunch and breakfast. Senior Frogs is one of the best in Mexico but never tried it instead I tried the cheaper version across the street it’s called the Surfin Burrito is my favorite in Mexico, and I even look for it and make a special trip in Los Cabos to find a Surfin Burrito. 🙂 It’s a simple place, but the food is excellent! I hope this helps.

  2. Reply

    Laura Pedlar

    May 27, 2019

    The only place you mentioned in this post that I’ve visited before is Cozumel. It’s a busy cruise port but I really liked it and would definitely return. I’d like to visit Chichen Itza as I would really love to see some Mayan ruins on my next trip to Mexico.

    • Reply


      May 28, 2019

      I love to see Cozumel…Our next trip I plan to stay in Tulum area and make it to Cozumel. Thanks for visiting Laura.

  3. Reply

    Evan Petzer

    May 28, 2019

    Seeing new places full of history is definitely a must when it comes to traveling. Love your blog and always enjoy reading your #content. Mixico is on my bucket list, the list just keeps growing thanks to you. 🙂

    • Reply


      May 28, 2019

      It’s true! Thanks for the sweet comment Evan and I’m glad I helped you make your bucket lists grow! So is Mexico is in the top 10 for International travel?

  4. Reply


    May 28, 2019

    Ahhh. Mexico. Where do I start with you? he he. I havent been to the country yet but the more and more I read different regions, its getting harder and harder for me where to decide and you have given me some more food for thought. Would love to check out the temple but I also like to chillout on the beach also.

    • Reply


      May 28, 2019

      Mexico is love! Too many to explore! I’m glad I helped narrow the option!

  5. Reply

    Nitin Singhal

    May 28, 2019

    Thank you for creating the guide and sample itinerary, It would be helpful to me when I decide to travel to Mexico.

    • Reply


      May 28, 2019

      You’re very welcome, Nitin. I’m glad I can help someone!

  6. Reply


    May 28, 2019

    I’m glad to see there’s so much more to do in the area than just Cancun! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply


      May 29, 2019

      Yes, there are, and you’re welcome!

  7. Reply


    May 29, 2019

    Mexico is so climbing my charts to visit! This is lovely post with a great itinerary.

    • Reply


      May 29, 2019

      Thank you, Ketki glad you find it helpful and can’t wait what you come up with for Mexico!

  8. Reply


    May 29, 2019

    Ah love Mexico and love the Yucatan especially Tulum and Chichen Itza. Not made it to Cancun yet though so will add it to the list!

    • Reply


      May 29, 2019

      Quintana Roo is an excellent State and has a lot of things to do and see! I wish this article able to help you with your planning itinerary! Thanks, Laura!

  9. Reply

    The Holidaymaker

    May 29, 2019

    I have been to this area many times over the past decades. It brought back some wonderful memories. Thank you.

  10. Reply


    July 14, 2019

    Weve been to this area at a resort three times BUT we have not actually ventured out. You’ve got some great suggestions for really enjoying the area!

    • Reply


      July 16, 2019

      Thank you Jamie for reading it! I’m glad you find it helpful.


April Key Rode
New York, USA

April Key Rode is a Bachelor graduate of Hospitality and Tourism Management. One of the researchers in Tabuelan "As An Eco-Tourism Destination." She loves to do research, writing, cross-stitching and dancing. Her favorite sports are badminton, biking, soccer, basketball, and bowling. She is a mother of two, and she loves traveling with her own family and friends.