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Quintana Roo

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Quintana Roo Travel Guide

Everything you need to know about traveling to Quintana Roo, Mexico


Quick Info | Map | Blog | Getting Around | When To Go | Budget | Things To Do | Hotels | Tours | Tips | FAQ

Quintana Roo is in the eastern part of the Yucatan peninsula. It has 11 municipalities, and its capital city is Chetumal. The state was named after Andrés Quintana Roo, a Mexican liberal politician. Cancún, one of the world-renowned destinations in Mexico, can be found in Quintana Roo. The state is also home to several Mayan archeological sites such as Coba, Kohunlich, Tulum, Muyil, Chacchoben, San Gervasio, Yo’okop, Xcaret, and Xelha.

🙋 Questions about Quintana Roo Mexico? Talk to a travel expert.

✈️ Quintana Roo travel guide: quick info

  • 🇲🇽 Capital: La Paz
  • ⏰ Timezone: Pacific Standard Time (GMT-7)
  • ✈️ Airports: Los Cabos International Airport, La Paz International Airport, Loreto International Airport
  • 🌆 Major Cities (population):  La Paz (219,596) San Jose del Cabo (164,162) Ciudad Constitución (63,830) Santa Rosalia (52,743) Loreto (11,839)
  • 🚩 Size/Area:28,369 square miles
  • 🧑‍🤝‍🧑 Population: 2,844,469 (2005 census)
  • 📅  Year of Statehood: 1974

🗺️ Quintana Roo Map

🧳 Quintana Roo Travel Guide by destination

  • Cancun Travel Guide
  • Tulum Travel Guide
  • Playa del Carmen Travel Guide
  • Chichen Itza Travel Guide
  • Bacalar Lagoon Travel Guide
  • Cenote Calavera Travel Guide

🚦 Quintana Roo transportation guide

  • 🚕 Taxi: Taxis are the perfect way to get around Quintana Roo, as they offer convenience and flexibility. And better yet, it won’t cost you too much either – most taxi rides cost between $10-20 depending on where you’re going. You can easily find taxis running all over Quintana Roo; hail one from the street or find them at designated taxi stands throughout the area.
  • 🚌 Bus: Discover everything Quintana Roo offers with one of its convenient bus services. The buses provide comfortable seating and often come equipped with air conditioning for a pleasant ride. Many routes are direct, so you can quickly get from point A to B without any extra stops or detours. Book your bus tickets in advance since Quintana Roo is a busy area.
  • 🚗 Rent a car: Exploring Quintana Roo by car is a great way to see everything this vibrant region offers. With average rental car prices ranging from $20-$50 USD daily, getting around by car is affordable! Check Discover Cars to see the best rental car deals in Quintana Roo.

☀️ Best time to visit Quintana Roo

The best season in Quintana Roo is usually considered winter, running from December until April. During this period, you can expect stable temperatures of 18-30 degrees Celsius with minimal precipitation. This makes it the perfect time to explore the region’s attractions and relax on its beautiful beaches.

For those looking for a more active holiday, summertime (May – October) provides warmer weather ranging from 25-35 degrees Celsius with occasional showers and thunderstorms that cool down the hot days. Whether your ideal vacation includes lounging at the beach or exploring historical sites, Quintana Roo has it all!

Below are some of the most important events in Quintana Roo, Mexico:

  • Cozumel Carnival (February)
  • Holbox Carnival (February)
  • Chetumal Carnival (February)
  • Playa del Carmen Carnival (February)
  • Riviera Maya Film Festival (April)
  • Mayan Opera Festival in Tulum (May)
  • El Cedral Feast (May)
  • Governor’s Cup in Mahahual (May)
  • Sacred Mayan Journey (May)
  • Chichen Itza Summer Solstice (June)
  • Bacalar Open Water Marathon (June)
  • Celebration of the Cross in Tulum (July)
  • Jat Sa Ja Festival in Mahahual (July)
  • International Whale Shark Day in Holbox (August)
  • Feast of San Joaquín in Bacalar (August)
  • Traditional Mayan Festival in Tulum (October)
  • Holbox Gastronomy Fest (October-November)
  • South Border Fair in Chetumal (October)
  • Caribbean Cultural Festival in Chetumal (November)
  • Iron Man in Cozumel (November)
  • Cancun Jazz Fest (November)
  • Mayakoba PGA Tour Golf Cancun (November)
  • Xel-Ha Triathlon (November)

💲 Quintana Roo Travel Budget

Suggested daily travel budget

If you are backpacking, you can spend $30 USD per day given that you’ll cook in your hostel or stay in a bed in a hostel dorm. Mid-range travelers can spend $75 USD per day (per person) which includes a stay in a boutique hotel.

Luxury travelers always prefer to stay in all-inclusive resorts as you don’t have to worry about anything. Just pay from $250 USD per day and everything is covered!


There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to lodging in Quintana Roo. Resorts can go up to $250 USD per night (for 2 people, all-inclusive), while hotels start at $75 USD. There are also lovely Airbnbs under $100 USD and glamping spots from $85 USD. A bed in a hostel dorm starts at $20 USD per night.


A typical plate of tacos al pastor costs only 20-30 pesos ($1-2 USD). Fresh ceviche is just as affordable and makes a great snack or light lunch. For something more substantial, try an entrée such as pollo en mole or huevos con chorizo — both are hearty meals that cost around 50-60 pesos ($3-4 USD).


Tours in Quintana Roo start from $35 USD and can go up to $300 USD. Again, there is no exact answer on how much you need for the tours and excursions – it will all depend on the activity that you want to do but group tours are always cheaper than individual tours.

  • 💳 Use of credit cards: Most establishments throughout this popular tourist area accept Visa, Mastercard, and American Express credit cards. With these significant cards are accepted nearly everywhere, from restaurants and hotels to souvenir shops.
  • 🏧 Cash/ATMs: The official currency in Mexico is the peso (MXN). Keep an eye out for fee-free ATMs that dispense MXN, as these will save you money. When withdrawing money at an ATM, choose to withdraw a large sum, so you don’t have to make too many trips throughout your stay. The best ATMs are usually in airports. In town, withdraw from big Mexican banks like BBVA, Banorte, or Santander. In Mexico, the daily withdrawal limit is about 9,000 pesos ($450 USD).
  • 💱 Money exchange: Exchange rates vary, but almost all locations offer competitive rates compared with other places in Mexico. Banks offer better rates than exchange houses but may not accept American Express or certain international currencies. In addition to banks and exchange houses, some resorts provide money exchanges. USD is widely accepted in Quintana Roo.
  • 💁🏻‍♀️ Tipping: Tipping is an essential part of Mexican culture, just like the USA. In Quintana Roo, it is common to tip between 10-15% of the bill in restaurants. Hotels may already include tips in the bill but if not, consider leaving 5-10% depending on how good the service was. Tour guides often expect around 100 pesos per person for each day of touring, and taxi drivers typically get 20 pesos per ride.

🛥️ Things to do in Quintana Roo

Visit Chichen Itza and Valladolid

Explore ancient ruins, swim in crystal clear cenotes, and learn about local history. All while enjoying views of lush jungles and vibrant villages. Visit the world-renowned Chichen-Itza archaeological site. You’ll have time to explore temples like El Castillo, one of the most significant Mayan monuments ever constructed. Next is a stop at Ik Kil Cenote for a refreshing dip into its beautiful waters surrounded by lush vegetation.

👉🏽 Check prices for this tour

Luxury cruise in Riviera Maya

Spend the day onboard a luxury catamaran, admiring the turquoise Caribbean Sea. Start your journey by sailing to the world’s second-largest coral reef system, where you can explore its vibrant underwater life. Enjoy an open bar with all your favorite drinks, and savor tasty snacks prepared by your friendly crew. Venture into shallow waters and swim among colorful tropical fish. Enjoy amazing views of Isla Mujeres from above and below the water’s surface.

👉🏽 Check prices for luxury cruise

Cenotes of Tulum

Explore the majestic ruins of Tulum and learn about its fascinating history. Then head to a cenote for some refreshing swimming or snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters. Finally, take a thrilling zip line ride across jungles and rivers for an adrenaline-fueled experience. With expert guides on hand for each activity, you can be sure that your safety is taken care of while enjoying all this incredible destination has to offer.

👉🏽 Check prices for Tulum cenotes tour

Sail through Bacalar Lagoon

Located on the Yucatan Peninsula, Bacalar is known for its stunning turquoise lake and natural wonders. This half-day sail takes you around the lake’s captivating shoreline, with plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife and soak up the sun.

👉🏽 Check prices for Bacalar Lagoon sailing

Spend the day at Isla Holbox

Spend the day on white sand beaches and vibrant turquoise water as well as get up close with local wildlife such as flamingoes, pelicans and more! You’ll also have plenty of time for swimming or snorkeling in some of the most beautiful spots on Isla Holbox.

👉🏽 Check prices for Isla Holbox tours

Discover the Mayan ruins

Visit notable cities such as Uxmal and Chichen Itza, where you’ll learn about their incredible architecture and significance in Maya mythology. Immerse yourself in fascinating conversations with local experts who will share their knowledge of ancient customs and beliefs. In addition, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, including spectacular views of cenotes (sinkholes) that were sacred sites for religious ceremonies.

👉🏽 Check prices for Mayan Ruins tours

Submarine ride in Cozumel

Visit notable cities such as Uxmal and Chichen Itza, where you’ll learn about their incredible architecture and significance in Maya mythology. Immerse yourself in fascinating conversations with local experts who will share their knowledge of ancient customs and beliefs. In addition, you’ll have plenty of opportunities for sightseeing, including spectacular views of cenotes (sinkholes) that were sacred sites for religious ceremonies.

👉🏽 Check prices for Cozumel submarine ride

Swim with sea turtles in Mahahual

Explore the spectacular underwater world of Costa Maya and swim with sea turtles! Go on a kayak ride through gorgeous mangrove swamps before snorkeling in the lush coral reefs of the Caribbean. Here you can come face-to-face with exotic fish, majestic sea turtles, friendly dolphins, and more. Enjoy captivating views and learn about local wildlife from your guide as you paddle peacefully along the shoreline.

👉🏽 Check prices for Mahahual excursion

🛏️ Quintana Roo resorts and hotels

Quintana Roo is a big state ranging from resorts, Airbnbs, glamping, hostels, and many more! Resort prices start at $250 USD per night while hotels can range from $45 – $85 USD. Budget travelers can also stay in hostels for as low as $18 USD per night. Below are the links to see the best accommodation options in Quintana Roo.

🧭 Quintana Roo tours


We live here and have traveled the Quintana Roo state. Get in touch with us, and we will customize an itinerary for you! No hidden costs, just simple prices.


Use the code MXINSIDER10 upon checkout on our website to get a discount on all our Quintana Roo tours!

Half-day sea turtle adventure

On this half-day sea turtle tour, you’ll witness unique marine life while snorkeling in lagoons and cenotes. These pristine waters are home to a wide variety of colorful fish and sea turtles that come up close to check out curious visitors. After swimming around these crystal clear waters, cool off with a delicious lunch on board your boat before heading back to shore.

Cozumel snorkeling tour

This snorkeling tour is the perfect way to spend your time in Cozumel! Get ready to explore two of Cozumel’s most iconic reefs, Palancar and Columbia, and a stunning sand bar called El Cielo. With this tour, you’ll snorkel through vibrant coral formations and observe an array of sea life, from clownfish to parrotfish. Afterward, enjoy a delicious lunch at one of Cozumels’s waterfront restaurants before returning to the mainland.

Chacchoben Mayan City and Bacalar Lagoon

Take a journey to the ancient Mayan city of Chacchoben and explore the area’s rich history on this 1-Day Tour. This tour is the perfect way to get an up-close look at this historical site and experience the beauty of the nearby Bacalar Lagoon. The tour includes a certified guide who will provide interesting facts about the ruins and deep history found in Costa Maya.

✨ Quintana Roo Travel and Safety Tips

  • Do a road trip: If you want to see all of Quintana Roo in one go, you can spend 2-3 days in each destination. Start in Cancun, then head to Tulum. Pass by Playa del Carmen, Chetumal, and end your journey in Bacalar. You can also take a ferry to visit Cozumel for a day! Quintana Roo has so many routes, so don’t focus on one area.
  • It’s a great destination for families: Quintana Roo is a kid-friendly state. Resorts have kids clubs and there are many things to do with kids. All the tours in Quintana Roo allow children (except those labeled ‘adults only.’).
  • Do not buy drugs at all costs: You can have fun in Quintana Roo without the drugs, but many foreigners get into trouble in Mexico from buying drugs. Quintana Roo is known to be a party spot, but buying drugs is dangerous, especially if you don’t speak Spanish.
  • It is the most-visited state in Mexico: Expect high volume of tourists in Quintana Roo. This is always a busy area and there aren’t low and high seasons anymore. Travelers love Quintana Roo all-year-round so you may want to check other destinations in Mexico if you don’t like crowded areas. Check our blog for more ideas!

⁉️ Quintana Roo FAQ

Quintana Roo is known for ancient Mayan ruins like Chichen Itza and underground cenotes. There are also many white sandy beaches and turquoise waters. The state is also known for the small town of Tulum as it’s become quite trendy amongst travelers seeking a vibrant nightlife. From the colonial city of Valladolid to the party-filled streets of Cancun, something special here for all types of travelers.

The name Quintana Roo is actually from Andres Quintana Roo, a politician, writer-poet, and journalist, born in Merida, Yucatan. He was the husband of fellow independence activist Leona Vicario so you’ll also see a lot of streets in Mexico called “Leona Vicario Street.”

Quintana Roo was one of the most influential men in the struggle for Mexican independence, and he served as a member of Congress until it was dissolved. He presided over the Chilpancingo National Constituent Congress, which wrote the Mexican Declaration of Independence in 1813.

Currently, there are seven major airports spread across the state, offering flights to nearly every major city in Mexico as well as many international destinations.

The busiest airport in Quintana Roo is Cancún International Airport which sees millions of passengers enter its doors yearly. Other airports in Quintana Roo include Cozumel International Airport, Chetumal International Airport, Holbox Island Airport, Playa del Carmen Regional Airport, and Isla Mujeres National Airport.

No, they are not. Quintana Roo is a state located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It is home to vibrant seaside cities such as Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and Cozumel.

Cancun, on the other hand, is a large city situated within Quintana Roo at its northern tip.

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