Bacalar is a hidden gem in the southeast of Mexico, known for its stunning lagoon of seven colors. It is a place where you can relax, enjoy nature, and experience the culture and history of this region. But is Bacalar worth visiting in 2024?
In this guide, you’ll find the best things to do in Bacalar, how to get there, where to stay, where to eat, and more. Bacalar is worth visiting for young adult travelers.
Bacalar, Mexico Travel Guide
Is Bacalar Worth Visiting?
Bacalar is a small town on the shore of Bacalar Lagoon, a freshwater lake that has an amazing range of blue hues, from turquoise to navy. The lagoon is fed by underground rivers and cenotes.Iit is home to a variety of wildlife, such as birds, fish, turtles, and crocodiles.
Bacalar is also rich in history, as it was once a strategic point for the Mayan civilization. It was later a target for pirates and colonial powers. Here are some other reasons why Bacalar is worth visiting:
- It is a perfect destination for young adult nature lovers, as you can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the lagoon, explore the surrounding jungle, and visit the nearby cenotes and Mayan ruins.
- It is a great place for young adult adventure seekers, as you can try different water activities, such as boat tours, kayaking, paddleboarding, snorkelling, and diving.
- It is a charming town with a laid-back vibe, where you can wander the streets, visit the Fort San Felipe, see the San Joaquin Parish Church, and experience the local culture and cuisine.
- It is a budget-friendly destination, as you can find affordable accommodation, food, and transportation options. You can also save money by booking an all-inclusive package that includes your hotel, meals, and activities.
- It is a less crowded and more authentic alternative to other popular destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, like Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen.
Is Bacalar Safe?
Bacalar is generally a safe place to visit, but you should still be aware of some potential risks. The main threat in Bacalar is petty crime, such as pickpocketing, bag snatching, or scamming. You can avoid these by being vigilant, keeping your belongings close, and not flaunting your wealth. You should also be careful when driving.Tthe roads can be bumpy, crowded, or poorly lit. You should also avoid swimming in the lagoon or the cenotes during storms – the water can become choppy or murky.
Is Bacalar Worth Visiting? 21 Best Things to Do in Bacalar
Bacalar has something for everyone, whether you are looking for relaxation, adventure, culture, or history. Here are some of the best things to do in Bacalar that you should not miss:
1. Boat Tour of Bacalar Lagoon
One of the best ways to experience the beauty of Bacalar Lagoon is to take a boat tour! It will take you to the most scenic spots of the lake. Being on the lagoon makes Bacalar worth visiting. You will be able to see the different shades of blue, the white sandbanks and the mangroves. You’ll also see the stromatolites, which are ancient rock formations that produce oxygen and are considered the oldest living organisms on Earth. You will also have the opportunity to swim, snorkel, and sunbathe in the lagoon. There are many options for boat tours, from private to shared, from half-day to full-day, and from motorized to sailboats. You can book your boat tour online or through your hotel or a local agency.
2. Los Rapidos Adventure
If you are looking for some adrenaline and fun, you should visit Los Rapidos! It’s a natural attraction where you can float down the rapids of the lagoon and jump into the water from a platform. You can also relax in the hammocks, enjoy the views, and have a delicious meal at the restaurant. Los Rapidos is located about 20 minutes by car from Bacalar town, and you can get there by taxi, colectivo (shared van), or bike. You will need to pay an entrance fee of 150 pesos (about 8.5 USD) per person. You can also rent kayaks, paddleboards, and snorkel equipment for an extra fee.
I did this excursion and had a blast! It was better to swim outside of the tube in most of the areas, as the tube was tough to paddle.
3. Cenote Azul Excursion
Cenote Azul is one of the largest and deepest cenotes in the Yucatan Peninsula, with a depth of over 90 meters (300 feet). It is a stunning pool of blue water that is connected to Bacalar Lagoon by a narrow channel. You can swim, snorkel, or dive in the cenote and admire the underwater caves and formations. You can also enjoy the scenery and the wildlife, such as birds, fish, and turtles. Cenote Azul is located about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Bacalar town, and you can get there by taxi, colectivo, or bike. You will need to pay an entrance fee of 150 pesos (about 8.5 USD) per person.
Top pick from Jessica of Uprooted Traveler:
Cenote Azul Bacalar is a large natural pool that butts up against the shoreline of the Bacalar Lagoon. Like other cenotes in the Yucatan, it’s actually an underground cavern. It’s one of the deepest in all of Mexico, stretching over 300 feet underground! Due to its depth, the water is a stunning dark blue color.
Unlike some of the cenotes in Tulum and Playa del Carmen, Cenote Azul feels more authentic.Iit’s quite affordable, costing just 30 pesos, and most of its clientele are locals. It’s an excellent place to cool off under the Mexican sun, snorkel through its crystal clear water, or even go scuba diving.
Cenote Azul Bacalar is worth visiting!
Just remember to leave your valuables at home. Unfortunately, Cenote Azul doesn’t have any lockers and there have been reports of items getting stolen from bags left onshore while their owners were enjoying the water.
4. Discover Pirates’ Channel (El Canal De Los Piratas)
Pirates’ Channel is a narrow passage between Bacalar Lagoon and Chetumal Bay, where pirates used to attack and loot the town in the past. Today, it is a popular spot for swimming and snorkeling, as the water is shallow, clear, and warm. You can also see the remains of a pirate ship that sank in the channel. You can visit Pirates’ Channel by boat, as part of a tour or on your own.
5. Explore Cenote Negro
Cenote Negro, also known as Cenote de la Bruja (Witch’s Cenote), is another cenote that is connected to Bacalar Lagoon. It is called Cenote Negro because of its dark color, which is caused by the organic matter and minerals in the water. It is also said to be haunted by a witch who lives in the cenote and protects it from intruders. You can swim, snorkel, or dive in the cenote and see the underwater stalactites and stalagmites. You can also learn about the legends and stories of the cenote from the local guides. You can visit Cenote Negro by boat, as part of a tour or on your own.
6. Swim in Cenote Esmeralda
Cenote Esmeralda is another cenote that is connected to Bacalar Lagoon. It is named after its emerald green color, which is due to the algae and plants in the water. It is a beautiful and refreshing spot for swimming and snorkeling, as the water is calm and clear. You can also see the fish and turtles that live in the cenote. You can visit Cenote Esmeralda by boat, as part of a tour or on your own.
7. Visit Bird Island
Bird Island is a small island in the middle of Bacalar Lagoon, where you can see a variety of birds, like herons, egrets, pelicans, and cormorants. You can also see the stromatolites that surround the island and provide a habitat for the birds.
8. Try Stand-Up Paddleboarding
Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) is a fun and relaxing way to explore the lagoon and enjoy the views. You can rent a paddleboard from one of the many places along the shore, including Casa Lamat, Casa China, or Casa Tortuga. You can also join a guided tour or a class, where you can learn the basics of SUP and discover the best spots of the lagoon. The price for renting a paddleboard varies depending on the place and the duration. It’s usually around 200 pesos (about 10 USD) per hour.
9. Kayaking Adventure
Kayaking is another option for navigating the lagoon and getting close to nature. You can rent a kayak from one of the places mentioned above, or from your hotel, if they offer this service. You can also join a guided tour or a class, where you can learn the techniques of kayaking and visit the highlights of the lagoon. The price for renting a kayak varies depending on the place and the duration, but it is usually around 150 pesos (about 7.5 USD) per hour.
10. Tour Fort San Felipe
Fort San Felipe is a historical landmark that was built in the 18th century to protect the town from the pirate attacks. It is a well-preserved fortress that has a museum, a courtyard, and a watchtower. You can learn about the history and culture of Bacalar and see the artifacts, weapons, and paintings that are displayed in the museum. You can also enjoy the panoramic views of the lagoon and the town from the watchtower. Fort San Felipe is located in the center of Bacalar town, and you can get there by walking, taxi, or bike.
11. Explore Kohunlich Mayan Ruins
Kohunlich is an ancient Mayan city that dates back to the 1st century AD. It is located about 70 kilometers (43 miles) from Bacalar, and it is one of the most impressive and well-preserved archaeological sites in the region. You can see the temples, palaces, plazas, and pyramids that showcase the art and architecture of the Maya. You can also admire the famous masks of the Sun God that decorate the facade of the Temple of the Masks. You can visit Kohunlich by joining a guided tour or by renting a car and driving there on your own. You will need to pay an entrance fee of 75 pesos (about 3.75 USD) per person.
12. Relax on the Docks
One of the most relaxing and enjoyable things to do in Bacalar is to chill out on the docks that extend into the lagoon. You can find many docks along the shore, some of them belonging to hotels, restaurants, or private properties, and some of them open to the public. You can lie down on the wooden planks, swing on the hammocks, or jump into the water. You can also enjoy the views, the breeze, and the sounds of nature. Some of the best docks to visit are Casa Lamat, Casa China, Casa Tortuga, and Casa Wayak.
13. Wander the Town of Bacalar – it’s worth visiting
Bacalar is a charming and colorful town that has a lot of character and history. You can wander the streets and see the colonial buildings, the murals, the shops, and the markets. You can also visit the main square, where you can see the clock tower, the fountain, and the kiosk. You can also interact with the friendly locals and learn more about their culture and traditions. You can walk around the town by foot, taxi, or bike.
14. Visit San Joaquin Parish Church
San Joaquin Parish Church is the main church of Bacalar, and it is located in the main square. It is a simple but elegant building that was built in the 18th century. It has a white facade, a red roof, and a bell tower. You can enter the church and see the altar, the paintings, and the statues. You can also attend the mass and join the prayers. The church is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm, and the entrance is free.
15. Experience The Fair of San Joaquin
The Fair of San Joaquin is a traditional celebration that takes place every year in August, in honor of the patron saint of Bacalar, San Joaquin. It is a festive and cultural event that attracts thousands of visitors from all over the region. You can enjoy the music, the dances, the food, the games, and the rides. You can also see the processions, the fireworks, and the crowning of the queen of the fair. The fair lasts for 10 days, and it is held in the main square and the surrounding streets.
16. Savor at El Manati Bacalar
El Manati Bacalar is one of the best restaurants in Bacalar, and it is located on the shore of the lagoon. It is a cozy and rustic place that has a garden, a terrace, and a dock. You can savor the delicious dishes that are made with fresh and organic ingredients, such as salads, sandwiches, soups, pizzas, and pastas. You can also try the local specialties, such as cochinita pibil, pescado tikin xic, and sopa de lima. You can also enjoy the drinks, such as smoothies, juices, coffee, and tea. You can also browse the art gallery and the gift shop that are inside the restaurant. El Manati Bacalar is open every day from 8 am to 10 pm, and the average price for a meal is 200 pesos (about 10 USD) per person.
17. Dine at Kai Pez
Kai Pez is another excellent restaurant in Bacalar, and it is located on the main avenue. It is a modern and elegant place that has a spacious dining room and a terrace. You can dine on the exquisite dishes that are based on seafood and Mexican cuisine, such as ceviche, tacos, tostadas, and grilled fish. You can also enjoy the drinks, such as cocktails, wine, and beer. You can also listen to the live music and watch the sports on the screens. Kai Pez is open every day from 12 pm to 11 pm, and the average price for a meal is 250 pesos (about 12.5 USD) per person.
18. Try Los de Atlixco
Los de Atlixco is a popular street food stand in Bacalar, and it is located on the corner of Avenida 5 and Calle 22. It is a simple and casual place that serves the best tacos and quesadillas in town. You can choose from a variety of fillings, such as chicken, beef, pork, cheese, and vegetables. You can also add the sauces, the onions, and the cilantro. You can also order the drinks, such as soda, water, and horchata. Los de Atlixco is open every day from 6 pm to 12 am, and the average price for a meal is 50 pesos (about 2.5 USD) per person.
19. Discover Bacalar Cenotes
Bacalar Cenotes are natural sinkholes that create pools of crystal clear water that are connected to Bacalar Lagoon. They are amazing places to swim, snorkel, or dive and see the underwater caves and formations. They are also rich in history and culture, as they were considered sacred by the Maya and used for rituals and ceremonies. There are many cenotes in and around Bacalar, such as Cenote Azul, Cenote Negro, Cenote Esmeralda, Cenote Cocalitos, and Cenote La Bruja. You can visit them by boat, by car, or by bike. You will need to pay a fee of 10 to 25 pesos (about 0.5 to 1.25 USD) per person to access each cenote.
20. Enjoy the Sunset from the Docks
One of the most memorable things to do in Bacalar is to watch the sunset from the docks. You can see the sky and the lagoon change colors, from orange to pink to purple. You can also see the stars and the moon appear and reflect on the water. You can enjoy the sunset from any of the docks along the shore, or from your hotel or restaurant if they have a view of the lagoon. You can also take a sunset boat tour and see the sunset from the middle of the lagoon.
21. Day Trip to Mahahual
Mahahual is a coastal town that is located about 140 kilometers (87 miles) from Bacalar, and it is a great destination for a day trip. It is a laid-back and charming place that has a long and beautiful beach, where you can swim, sunbathe, and relax. You can also enjoy the water activities, such as snorkeling, diving, fishing, and sailing. You can also visit the nearby Banco Chinchorro, which is the largest coral reef in Mexico and a biosphere reserve. You can also explore the town and see the shops, the bars, and the restaurants. You can get to Mahahual by car, by bus, or by tour. You will need to pay a fee of 20 pesos (about 1 USD) per person to access the beach.
Mahahual is where the Costa Maya cruise port is, which services Virgin Voyages, NCL, Carnival, and other lines, so it does tend to get touristy.
Where is Bacalar and How to Get There?
Bacalar is located in the state of Quintana Roo, in the southeast of Mexico. It is part of the Costa Maya, a stretch of coastline that runs from Cancun to Belize. Bacalar is about 380 kilometers (236 miles) from Cancun, 260 kilometers (161 miles) from Tulum, and 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo.
There are different ways to travel to Bacalar, depending on your budget, time, and preference. Here are some of the most common options:
How to Travel to Bacalar by Plane
The nearest airport to Bacalar is Chetumal International Airport, which is about 30 minutes by car from Bacalar. However, this airport only has domestic flights from Mexico City and Guadalajara, and they are not very frequent or cheap. You can check the availability and prices of flights on [Skyscanner] or [Expedia].
Another option is to fly to Cancun International Airport, which is the largest and busiest airport in the region. It has many flights from different countries and cities, and they are usually more affordable and convenient. You can check the availability and prices of flights on Skyscanner or Expedia.
From Cancun, you can take a bus, a shuttle, or a car to Bacalar, which will take about 4 to 5 hours. You can read more about these options below.
How to Travel to Bacalar by Bus
Taking a bus is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to get to Bacalar from Cancun, Tulum, or Chetumal. There are several bus companies that operate daily services, such as ADO, Mayab, and Oriente. You can check the schedules and prices of buses on Busbud or Ticketbus.
The buses are comfortable and air-conditioned, and they usually have a bathroom and a TV on board. They also stop at some towns along the way, where you can buy snacks and drinks. The buses arrive at the Bacalar bus terminal, which is located on Avenida 5, near the main square. From there, you can take a taxi, a colectivo, or a bike to your hotel or the lagoon.
The bus fare from Cancun to Bacalar is about 400 pesos (about 20 USD) per person, and the journey takes about 5 hours. The bus fare from Tulum to Bacalar is about 300 pesos (about 15 USD) per person, and the journey takes about 3 hours. The bus fare from Chetumal to Bacalar is about 50 pesos (about 2.5 USD) per person, and the journey takes about 40 minutes.
How to Travel to Bacalar by Shuttle
Taking a shuttle is another option to get to Bacalar from Cancun, Tulum, or Chetumal. A shuttle is a shared van that can accommodate up to 12 passengers, and it can pick you up and drop you off at your hotel or the airport. It is more convenient and faster than a bus, but also more expensive. You can book a shuttle online or through your hotel or a local agency.
Some of the shuttle companies that offer services to Bacalar are Happy Shuttle Cancun (my top pick!), Cancun Shuttle, and Bacalar Shuttle. You can check their availability and prices on their websites.
The shuttle fare from Cancun to Bacalar is about 800 pesos (about 40 USD) per person, and the journey takes about 4 hours. The shuttle fare from Tulum to Bacalar is about 600 pesos (about 30 USD) per person, and the journey takes about 2.5 hours. The shuttle fare from Chetumal to Bacalar is about 200 pesos (about 10 USD) per person, and the journey takes about 30 minutes.
How to Travel to Bacalar by Car
Renting a car is another option to get to Bacalar from Cancun, Tulum, or Chetumal. It is the most flexible and independent way to travel, as you can stop whenever and wherever you want, and explore the places along the way. However, it is also the most expensive and challenging way, as you will need to pay for the rental, the gas, the tolls, and the parking. You will also need to drive on unfamiliar roads and deal with the traffic and the police.
You can rent a car from the airport or the city, and there are many car rental companies to choose from, such as Hertz, Avis, and Budget. You can check their availability and prices on their websites or on Rentalcars.
The car rental price from Cancun to Bacalar is about 1000 pesos (about 50 USD) per day, and the journey takes about 4 hours. The car rental price from Tulum to Bacalar is about 800 pesos (about 40 USD) per day, and the journey takes about 2.5 hours. The car rental price from Chetumal to Bacalar is about 600 pesos (about 30 USD) per day, and the journey takes about 30 minutes.
The Best Time to Visit Bacalar Mexico
Bacalar has a tropical climate, which means that it is warm and humid all year round. The climate makes Bacalar worth visiting. The average temperature is about 27°C (81°F), and the average rainfall is about 1200 mm (47 inches) per year. However, there are some variations depending on the season and the month. Here are some of the factors that you should consider when planning your trip to Bacalar:
- The best months to visit Bacalar are March, April, and May, which are the transition months between the dry and the rainy season. These months have the best combination of weather, water, and crowd conditions, as they are still sunny and dry, but not too hot or humid. The water of the lagoon is still clear and calm, but not too cold or warm. The crowds and prices are still moderate, but not too high or low. These months are ideal for enjoying the nature and the culture of Bacalar, and for having a comfortable and memorable trip.
- The high season in Bacalar is from December to April, which coincides with the dry season and the winter holidays. This is the best time to visit Bacalar if you want to enjoy the sunny and pleasant weather and the clear and calm water of the lagoon. However, this is also the most crowded and expensive time, as many tourists and locals flock to Bacalar. You will need to book your accommodation, transportation, and activities in advance, and be prepared to pay higher prices and deal with more people.
- The low season in Bacalar is from May to November, which coincides with the rainy season and the hurricane season. This is the best time to visit Bacalar if you want to avoid the crowds and save money, as there are fewer tourists and lower prices. However, this is also the worst time to visit Bacalar if you want to avoid the wet and stormy weather, and the murky and choppy water of the lagoon. You will need to check the weather forecast and the travel warnings, and be prepared to change your plans and activities accordingly.
Where to Stay in Bacalar Mexico
Bacalar has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget hostels, and from lakefront resorts to cozy cabins. You can find the perfect place to stay in Bacalar according to your preferences, needs, and budget. Here are some of the best places to stay in Bacalar Mexico that we recommend:
📍 Luxury Accommodation: Our Habitas Bacalar
Top pick from Annie of Your Friend the Nomad –
Our Habitas Bacalar is a gorgeous, serene eco-resort on the Bacalar lagoon of seven colors. Twenty minutes from Bacalar’s charming downtown area, Habitas’ lagoon-front property feels remote yet a visit to the town is easy. However, with on-site restaurants and bars, daily yoga classes, free-to-use paddle boards and kayaks, and lagoon boat tours, there isn’t any need to leave unless you want to. Habitats stays in line with nearby vegan-friendly Tulum with their vegan-friendly on-site restaurants. Whether you’re plant-based or a meat eater, you’ll find something delectable to enjoy everyday. Habitas Bacalar is perfect for anyone looking for a getaway where luxury meets nature in a private piece of paradise. Our Habitas makes Bacalar worth visiting.
📍 Luxury Accommodation: Khaban Bacalar Hotel Boutique
Khaban Bacalar Hotel Boutique is a 4-star hotel that offers a luxurious and comfortable stay in Bacalar. It is located on the shore of the lagoon, and it has a private beach, a pool, a spa, and a restaurant. You can enjoy the stunning views of the lagoon from your room, which is spacious, elegant, and well-equipped. You can also enjoy the services and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, free parking, free breakfast, and 24-hour reception. You can book your room at Khaban Bacalar Hotel Boutique on [Booking.com], where you can see the availability and prices. The average price for a night is 5000 pesos (about 250 USD) per room.
📍 Mid-range Accommodation: Hotel Makaabá Eco-Boutique
Hotel Makaabá Eco-Boutique is a 3-star hotel that offers a cozy and eco-friendly stay in Bacalar. It is located on the edge of the lagoon, and it has a garden, a terrace, and a dock. You can relax in your room, which is rustic, charming, and well-equipped. You can also enjoy the services and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, free parking, free breakfast, and bike rental. You can book your room at Hotel Makaabá Eco-Boutique on [Booking.com], where you can see the availability and prices. The average price for a night is 2000 pesos (about 100 USD) per room.
📍 Budget Accommodation: Cedro Rojo
Cedro Rojo is a 2-star hostel that offers a cheap and cheerful stay in Bacalar. It is located in the center of the town, and it has a kitchen, a lounge, and a patio. You can stay in a dormitory or a private room, which are simple, clean, and well-equipped. You can also enjoy the services and amenities, such as free Wi-Fi, free parking, free breakfast, and lockers. You can book your room at Cedro Rojo on [Booking.com], where you can see the availability and prices. The average price for a night is 300 pesos (about 15 USD) per person.
5 Best Restaurants and Cafes in Bacalar Mexico
If you are wondering where to eat in Bacalar, you will be happy to know that there are plenty of options for every taste and budget. From traditional Mexican dishes to international cuisine, from cozy cafes to elegant restaurants, Bacalar has it all. Here are some of the best restaurants and cafes in Bacalar Mexico that you should not miss.
La Playita is one of the most popular and charming places to eat in Bacalar. Located on the shore of the lagoon, this restaurant offers a spectacular view and a relaxing atmosphere. You can enjoy your meal on the wooden deck, on the hammocks, or on the swings over the water. The menu features a variety of dishes, such as salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, ceviches, and seafood. The portions are generous and the prices are reasonable. Don’t forget to try their signature cocktails, such as the mojito de maracuyá or the margarita de tamarindo. La Playita is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. every day.
Kai Pez is another great option for seafood lovers in Bacalar. This restaurant specializes in fresh fish and seafood, prepared with local ingredients and spices. You can choose from different options, such as grilled, fried, or baked fish, shrimp, octopus, lobster, or scallops. You can also order a platter to share, such as the parrillada de mariscos or the paella de mariscos. The dishes are served with rice, salad, and tortillas. Kai Pez also has a bar with a variety of drinks, such as beers, wines, and cocktails. Kai Pez is open from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and from 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Friday to Sunday.
El Manatí Bacalar is a cozy and colorful cafe that offers a delicious breakfast and brunch menu. You can find traditional Mexican dishes, such as chilaquiles, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, or molletes. International options, such as pancakes, waffles, omelettes, or croissants are available, too. You can also order smoothies, juices, coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. El Manatí Bacalar also has a small shop where you can buy local products, such as honey, jam, chocolate, or handicrafts. El Manatí Bacalar is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
Finisterre Bacalar is a sophisticated and elegant restaurant that offers a fusion of Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine. You can enjoy a fine dining experience with dishes such as carpaccio, risotto, pasta, steak, lamb, or duck. You can also order a tasting menu to sample different dishes and flavors. The restaurant also has a wine cellar with a selection of national and international wines. Finisterre Bacalar is open from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday.
Mango y Chile is a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that offers healthy and tasty dishes. You can find salads, wraps, burgers, tacos, bowls, and desserts, all made with organic and local ingredients. You can also order smoothies, juices, kombucha, or coffee. Mango y Chile also has a terrace with a view of the lagoon, where you can relax and enjoy the breeze. Mango y Chile is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day.
How Many Days Do You Need in Bacalar?
Determining how many days you should spend in Bacalar largely depends on your travel preferences and what you want to experience in this captivating destination. To strike the right balance between exploration and relaxation and to make Bacalar worth visiting, it’s recommended to plan for at least 3 to 4 days in Bacalar.
During these days, you can do many fun things like swimming in the pretty blue lagoon, exploring the town, and trying delicious food at local restaurants. You can also go see old Mayan ruins and visit other nearby places
Tips and Tricks for Visiting Bacalar
- Sun Protection: The sun in Bacalar can be intense, so ensure you pack and wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat to stay comfortable and safe. Sunburn is no fun.
- Swimwear Essentials: Don’t forget to bring your swimwear! With so many water-based activities, you’ll want to be ready for a dip at any moment. A swimsuit, swim trunks, and water shoes can be a game-changer.
- Reserve in Advance: If you plan to dine at a popular restaurant, consider making reservations beforehand, particularly during the high tourist season. It can save you from long waits.
- Basic Spanish Phrases: While English is not widely spoken, a few basic Spanish phrases can go a long way in communicating and showing respect for the local culture.
- Eco-Friendly Mindset: Bacalar’s natural beauty is its biggest asset, so be mindful of the environment. Dispose of your trash properly and consider using eco-friendly products during your visit.
- Stay Hydrated: With the tropical climate, it’s important to stay hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it throughout the day to beat the heat.
- Secure Your Belongings: Like in any tourist destination, keep an eye on your belongings. Use a money belt or a secure bag to safeguard your valuables.
- Local Currency: It’s a good idea to have some Mexican pesos on hand for small expenses and places that don’t accept cards. ATMs are available, but it’s better to be prepared.
- Relaxed Pace: Bacalar is about enjoying the moment. Slow down, take your time, and savor the beauty and tranquility the place offers. Rushing through won’t do it justice.
- Respect Local Customs: Bacalar is a welcoming community, so respect local customs and be polite. A warm “Hola” and “Gracias” can go a long way in making connections.
- Adaptable Attire: Pack light and comfortable clothing suitable for warm weather. Don’t forget to include mosquito repellent to keep those pesky insects at bay.
- Transportation: If you plan to explore beyond Bacalar, it’s advisable to arrange transportation in advance. Whether you rent a car, use a local taxi, or take a bus, planning ahead saves you time and effort.
What is so special about Bacalar?
Bacalar is special because of its lagoon, which is one of the most beautiful and unique natural wonders in the world. The lagoon is fed by underground rivers and springs, and has a variety of colors, from turquoise to emerald to navy. The lagoon is also home to a rare ecosystem of stromatolites, which are ancient rock formations that produce oxygen and host microorganisms. The lagoon is also rich in biodiversity, with many species of fish, birds, reptiles, and plants. The lagoon is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance.
Is Bacalar better than Tulum?
Bacalar and Tulum are both popular destinations in the Yucatan Peninsula, but they have different vibes and attractions. Bacalar is more laid-back and authentic, while Tulum is more trendy and hip. Bacalar is more focused on the lagoon and the nature, while Tulum is more focused on the beach and the culture. Bacalar is cheaper and less crowded, while Tulum is more expensive and more crowded. Bacalar is better for those who want to relax and enjoy the lagoon, while Tulum is better for those who want to party and explore the ruins. Both places are worth visiting, but it depends on your personal preference and budget.
Is Bacalar Mexico expensive to visit?
Bacalar is not very expensive to visit, compared to other destinations in Mexico or the Caribbean. However, the prices can vary depending on the season, the accommodation, and the activities. You can find cheap hostels and guesthouses for as low as $10 per night, or splurge on luxury resorts for up to $300 per night. You can also find affordable food and drinks, ranging from $5 to $20 per meal. The activities can also be cheap or expensive, depending on what you choose. You can rent a kayak or a paddleboard for $10 per hour, or take a boat tour for $50 per person. You can also visit the cenotes or the ruins for free or for a small entrance fee.
What language is spoken in Bacalar Mexico?
The official language of Bacalar Mexico is Spanish, but you can also find some people who speak English, especially in the tourist areas. You can also hear some indigenous languages, such as Maya or Ch’ol, spoken by some of the locals. It is recommended to learn some basic Spanish phrases before visiting Bacalar, as it will help you communicate better and show respect to the culture. You can also use a translation app or a dictionary to help you with the language barrier.
Is the water in Bacalar Lagoon saltwater?
The water in Bacalar Lagoon is freshwater, not saltwater. The lagoon is connected to the Caribbean Sea by a narrow channel, but the water is mostly fed by underground rivers and springs. The water is very clear and clean, and has a pleasant temperature. The water is also slightly alkaline, which helps to preserve the stromatolites and the colors of the lagoon.
Is Bacalar Lagoon safe to swim in?
Bacalar Lagoon is safe to swim in, as long as you follow some rules and precautions. You should always wear a life jacket, especially if you are not a strong swimmer or if you are going to the deeper parts of the lagoon. You should also avoid swimming near the boats, the docks, or the stromatolites, as they can be dangerous or fragile. You should also respect the wildlife and the plants, and not touch or feed them. You should also avoid swimming during storms, as the water can become choppy or murky.
Is Bacalar Mexico family-friendly?
Bacalar Mexico is a family-friendly destination, as it has many activities and attractions that are suitable for kids and adults alike. You can enjoy the lagoon, the cenotes, the ruins, the monkey sanctuary, and the beach club, which are all fun and educational. You can also find many hotels and restaurants that cater to families, with amenities such as pools, playgrounds, kids’ menus, and babysitting services. You can also find some tours and guides that are specialized in family travel, and can help you plan your itinerary and make your trip more enjoyable.
Final Thoughts: Is Bacalar Worth Visiting in 2024?
Bacalar is definitely worth visiting in 2024, as it is a stunning and unique destination that will leave you breathless. You can experience the beauty of the lagoon, the charm of the town, and the adventure of the nature, all in one place. You can also find a variety of accommodation, food, and transportation options that suit your budget and preferences. You can also learn more about the history, culture, and ecology of Bacalar, and appreciate its diversity and richness. Bacalar is a place that will make you fall in love with Mexico, and with yourself. Bacalar is worth visiting! Don’t miss the opportunity to visit Bacalar in 2024, and discover why it is called the lake of seven colors.