Gran Costa Maya


History of Quintana Roo:

One could assume that the south of Quintana Roo, is where the birth of miscegenation took place and gave way to the distinct features of our country, this is one of the most well known parts of Mexico. However, the region has been a frontier for centuries, and up until now showers us with the great surprises of the riches it holds.

What is now known as Othon P. Blanco and corresponds to the south of the state was a territory that was long ignored. It was not until mid XVIII century, that the Spanish crown finally decided to defend it from English pirates and built the enigmatic San Felipe Fort in Bacalar.

Over the next century, the Mayan rebellion turned the zone into a dark stain on the sunny map that was this country, entering the XX century, Porfirio Diaz decided to reintegrate the territory with civilized Mexico.

In 1893, Mexico and England signed a treaty that established the present day borders with Belize.

The lack of knowledge of the territory in the area was such that the Mexican negotiators accepted San Pedro( which is referred to by Madonna in the popular song “La Isla Bonita”) as an island apart from the peninsula and they ceded it to the English. Not until later did they realise that the channel that separates the peninsula was artificial and just a few feet wide.

The 5th of May 1898 a group of scouts, commanded by Lieutenant  Othon P. Blanco, founded Payo Obispo which is now known as Chetumal, a modest settlement that in its first months of life was used as a war room against the Mayan Indian.

In 1901 this small settlement was used as a capital of the recently created Quintana Roo territory, their new range did not make them less accessible, For decades the best way of arriving was by ship and later on by plane.

Until the 1970’s with the establishment of the state of Quintana Roo and the development of the tourist zone towards the northern area of the state, the large highways were brought.

The new economic era in the second half of the twentieth century have not completely abolished the idea of “ new land” related to this area. There are still discoveries such as large archeological sites, some of which are Chacchoben and Kohunlich, which were opened to the public as soon as the last decade of the XX century and the archeologists admit that the most imposing was Ichkabal around 20 kilometres from the west of Bacalar, it will be open to the public in the twenty first century.