Mexico letters in Chetumal
Chetumal - The last stop of my Mexico trip. A country that impressed me particularly because of its cultural and culinary offerings
After saying goodbye to my Mexican friend in Tulum, my trip took me to Chetumal, a city on the border to the small Central American state Belize. Here I only made a stopover for 1 night to go by boat to the same country the next day.
I was accommodated at Downtown Hostel. It is within walking distance of the boat dock. It was a very good hostel. Good breakfast and pretty quiet, except for the noisy air conditioning. The Wifi was also so fast that I was able to call my family for the first time in a month. Surprisingly I met many, extremely experienced globetrotters here, among others:
a German girl - almost 2 years on the road (first 1 year with her boyfriend in Asia, then 1 year alone in Latin America)
a French couple, travelling together with their motorcycle, had sold all their belongings (but they were very unlucky, the Frenchman had a recurring purulent inflammation on his foot and was even in the hospital for treatment meanwhile and therefore could not continue his journey)
Waiting for the boat to Belize
In Chetumal you can take a water taxi to Belize or a bus to Belize. However, the water taxi costs about four times as much. Water taxis leave Chetumal at 3 p.m., with two companies, San Pedro Water Taxi and San Pedro Belize Express, alternating daily. A trip costs about 45 €.
Despite the higher price, I chose the water taxi because had never entered any land by water before.
For most travellers Chetumal only serves as a stopover, as there are not many sights here. You can take a walk around the pier, but that's about it. I felt tired from the unpleasant night before in Tulum anyway, so I spent my waiting time for the boat to Belize in a nice open-air bar directly at the pier. There I watched the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, which unfortunately Real Madrid won on penalties.
Past the border guard and the drug-sniffing dog
Before I could get on the boat, I needed to have my passport stamped at the Mexican border post. On the Internet, other travellers warn that Mexican border guards are demanding money for this, a kind of exit tax. Actually, this exit fee is already included in most plane tickets, but the border posts rarely let you by without paying this fee - even if you show them that you have the appropriate plane ticket. I also fell for it and had to pay about 500 Mexican Peso (about 25 €).
Afterwards, all boat passengers had to line up in a row and put their bags in front of them, just like in the military. Now we had to wait until the drug detection dog had inspected every single bag. He didn't find anything, so we finally were ready to go. Also this boat trip to Belize wasn't as smooth as I had hoped...
So that was the end of my four-week trip through Mexico. Estaba muy CHIDO, wey!!! (it was totally cool, buddy)
What sets Mexico apart from the other Latin American countries is its exquisite culinary offer. It is easy to find cheap, well spiced and especially hot dishes, apart from the tourist places. In addition, no other Latin American country can match the country's cultural wealth, at the most Peru and, in some cases, Guatemala and Bolivia.
I also liked that:
the excellent sunny weather (almost no rain)
the lively and hospitable Mexicans (like in Cuernavaca)
the gigantic Mexiko City with its many possibilities
the panorama from Hierve el Agua in Oaxaca
the crystal clear water in the Cenotes near Tulum
Of course, my Mexican friend also contributed significantly on improving my stay. All the concerns I had before my trip had vanished into thin air. I witnessed nothing of the much-discussed delinquency except increased security measures. What disappointed me against my expectations was the Atlantic coast at the Yucatan Peninsula, especially Tulum
As I was leaving, I was already thinking about how and when I would return. Not even two months later I returned for a big heavy metal festival.