Located just seven kilometers (4 miles) north of Chetumal, Calderitas is a bayside town known for its seafood restaurants (8 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, US$4–10)—most along the waterfront across from the main plaza—and its public beaches. During the week it’s a mellow scene, but on weekends locals descend upon the town for a day of R&R and some revelry, too.
Boat rides can be arranged at many of the bayside establishments to explore Chetumal Bay (US$150, up to 8 people) in search of manatees, which were once abundant in these waters, or to visit Isla Tamalcab (US$30, up to 8 people), an uninhabited island with white-sand beaches and good snorkeling, and home to spider monkeys and tepescuintles (pacas in English).
If you want to stay overnight, the best place in town is Yax Há Resort and RV Park (Av. Yucatán 415, tel. 983/285-0196, www.yaxha-resort.com, US$8.50 pp camping, US$42–58 s/d with fan, US$125 s/d with a/c and kitchenette). Located on a verdant property on the water, it offers everything from campsites to bungalows. The bungalows themselves range from simple one-room units with a minifridge and microwave to two-bedroom structures with fully equipped kitchens; all have porches with chairs that overlook the bay. There also is a pool on-site (complete with dilapidated Grecian columns) and a restaurant, too.
Getting to Calderitas
Calderitas is a quick bus ride from downtown. Combis leave from Avenida Cristóbal Colón, behind the Museo de la Cultura Maya, roughly every half hour from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily (US$0.35, 15 minutes).
If you’ve got a car, head east out of Chetumal on Boulevard Bahía, which becomes the main drag in Calderitas. Alternatively (though less scenic), take Avenida Insurgentes east until you get to the turnoff, and follow the signs from there.
© Gary Chandler & Liza Prado from Moon Yucatán Peninsula, 9th edition