11 Unmissable Things to Do in Bacalar • Boats, Land & Meals

Bacalar, Mexico, is a dreamy pueblo magico (magic city) situated within the Costa Maya. It is thought for the gorgeous turquoise waters of its well-known freshwater Bacalar Lagoon!

Being situated on the Belize border means most vacationers don’t attain it, in order that they don’t even know what they’re lacking: boat excursions, unbelievable seashores, cenotes, watersports… It isn’t by likelihood that is my favourite place in Mexico!

Since I need you to have the identical nice expertise I had, I made a decision to write down this information to the greatest issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico. I’ve additionally included some helpful details about get there and the place to eat scrumptious meals.

Ready to discover the Maldives of Mexico with me and fill your Mexico bucket checklist?

Let’s begin!

If you’re in a rush 

If you must ebook shortly and don’t have time to learn the entire publish, take a look at the perfect excursions to do in Bacalar, Mexico:

Here are the principle issues to ebook upfront:

And listed below are the perfect accommodations: MBH Maya Bacalar (Luxury), Casa Chukum (Mid-range), The Yak Lake House (Budget)

1. Take a ship tour of the Bacalar Lagoon

1 Take a boat tour of the Bacalar Lagoon

The most important attraction of Bacalar is unquestionably its magical lagoon! Known because the “Lake of Seven Colors”, the Laguna Bacalar (Lake Bacalar) is an extended, slender lake with seven completely different shades of blue and a white sand backside.

Bacalar lake is definitely one of many most important causes Bacalar was proclaimed a Magic Town by the Mexican authorities (there are 111 magical cities in Mexico, on account of their cultural significance).

The Laguna Bacalar is likely one of the few locations on the earth the place stromatolites exist: limestone formations that perform photosynthesis. You will see it quite a bit on the underside of the Laguna Bacalar… don’t step on them!

Needless to say that in case you’re right here, you NEED to discover Bacalar Lagoon’s crystal clear waters and what higher manner to try this than taking a ship tour?

With this half-day boat trip on the Bacalar Lagoon, you’ll snorkel in its magical cenotes just like the Cenote Negro (or Cenote de la Bruja), cross by the Pirates’ Channel, and cease to make mud masks from sulfurous mud.

Before coming again you’ll additionally navigate to Bird Island, the place you’ll be fortunate sufficient to see the colourful migratory birds that flock to the Bacalar Lagoon. Another further? The excursions embrace snacks and a few drinks… isn’t it wonderful?

PRO TIP: I strongly counsel you apply tons of coral-friendly sunblock earlier than happening the tour… the solar is loopy robust and I bought actually burnt! If you’re tremendous sun-sensitive, I’d advocate sporting mild easy-to-dry garments (not bikinis).

PRICE: $40 

2. Have a refreshing dip in Cenote Azul

2. Have a refreshing dip in Cenote Azul

In case you didn’t know, Mexico (specifically the Yucatan Peninsula) brims with cenotes: pure sinkholes ensuing from the collapse of limestone bedrock, which get stuffed with water from underground canals. 

Bacalar, Mexico, hosts the largest cenote in the entire nation: the gorgeous Cenote Azul, the place you possibly can swim in blue glowing waters. No matter how many individuals you’ll discover, it can by no means get too crowded because it’s actually large!

The Cenote Azul is kind of deep, right here you possibly can discover its underwater caves, snorkel, or dive from pure platforms, and in case you can’t swim it’s not an issue, you possibly can ask for all times jackets (or you possibly can dive there too!).

Inside you’ll even discover a restaurant (proper on the most important entrance) in case you wish to have a refreshing drink or a scrumptious meal.

From Bacalar city, it’s round a ten min drive by rental car or taxi which can value ~60-80 pesos ($4). 

PRICE: 120 Mexican pesos ($6)

3. Snorkel at Los Rápidos

3 Snorkel at Los Rapidos

Located on the southern finish of the Bacalar Lagoon, a couple of half-hour drive from Bacalar, Mexico, you’ll find Los Rapidos: small river rapids the place you possibly can snorkel and see probably the most colourful and various fishes!

The rapids begin from a channel located close to a restaurant and in its surrounding space, you possibly can swim or simply sit down and chill out. 

Otherwise, from the restaurant you possibly can enter the water and let your self be carried away by the present, which is kind of robust. Remember that if you attain the top, you’ll must stroll again to the restaurant! 

NOTE: The space is filled with stromatolites so, once more, bear in mind to not step on them. 

Los Rapidos are excellent for some household enjoyable, and between stress-free, snorkeling, and consuming, you possibly can spend the entire afternoon there! And if you’re considering of happening an extended trip in Mexico with your loved ones, take a look at our publish on the perfect all-inclusive resorts in the Riviera Maya for families!

A single taxi experience from Bacalar city middle will value you about 250 pesos ($12). Let the motive force drop you off on the restaurant. To return, simply ask the restaurant to name you one other cab. 

PRICE: $7

4. Relax at Beach Club Blu

4 4. Relax at Beach Club Blu

If you wish to spend a day in full rest in Bacalar, there’s no higher place than Beach Club Blu, an incredible oasis of peace and calmness, proper on the waters of the Laguna Bacalar!

They have lounge chairs overlooking the Bacalar Laguna, a stupendous pool, a totally stocked bar, and a restaurant with an excellent menu if you wish to eat. And it’s not crowded in any respect, which makes it the proper place to disconnect from the world!

I completely LOVED that place and spent the entire day simply chilling and having fun with the image excellent view!

The entrance charge is 400 pesos however you should utilize 250 as credit score within the bar or restaurant. 

PRO TIP: Beach Club Blu opens at 11 am and if you wish to take the lounge chairs with the perfect views, be sure you go there within the morning!

NOTE: They host many marriage ceremony events, so I counsel you name beforehand to verify they don’t have one which day!

5. Visit Fort San Felipe

5 Visit Fort San Felipe

In the pure paradise of Bacalar, there’s additionally a historic landmark to go to: the 18th Century Fort San Felipe (Fuerte de San Felipe in Spanish). This is unquestionably a should in your checklist of issues to do in Bacalar!

Located within the coronary heart of Bacalar city, this spectacular stone fort was constructed through the Spanish period to defend the city and its individuals from pirates. 

Today, the fort provides the perfect panoramic views of the lagoon and of Canal de Los Piratas channel, the place you possibly can even spot the shipwreck (we’ll see it extra intimately in part 8)!

Fort San Felipe, surrounded by a deep moat, additionally hosts a museum that you may go to by paying an entry charge to be taught in regards to the native pirate historical past, in any other case, you possibly can simply stare upon its structure from the road.

The museum is open from 9 am to five pm and a go to takes round 1 hour!

PRICE: $2 

6. Take a siesta on the water hammocks of Laguna de Bacalar

6. Take a siesta on the water hammocks of Laguna de Bacalar

All across the Laguna Bacalar, you’ll find many docks with thatched palm huts and hammocks immediately within the water, the place you possibly can chill out, take a nap and sunbathe on the identical time. 

They are often supplied by accommodations, beachfront eating places, or seaside golf equipment just like the Beach Club Blue (that we noticed in part 4), so it’s often simple to discover a spot there. Since individuals can do different issues the place the hammocks are situated, they received’t spend the entire day within the hammocks so that you don’t have to fret about getting there early.

And all of this with probably the most unbelievable water views… what number of shades of blue are you able to depend?

Sometimes you additionally discover swings within the water, like those on the well-known restaurant Swing at Los Aluxes, the place you possibly can have a scrumptious waterfront meal (attempt the tacos!), chill out, and take a dip within the Laguna Bacalar… an important place to go together with the household.

Another good spot in case you’re searching for swings, hammocks, and stromatolite formations is the cenote Cocalitos, the place you possibly can enter for under 35 pesos ($1.5)!

7. Eat scrumptious meals at La Playita 

7 Eat delicious food at La Playita

You will agree with me that probably the greatest issues to do in Bacalar (and on a vacation normally) is… consuming! The greatest place to have lunch or dinner, or not less than my favourite one, is La Playita, situated proper on the shores of the Laguna Bacalar.

Here you should have probably the most scrumptious Mexican dishes and refreshing cocktails on a laid-back, lovely terrace with jungle vegetation. The menu provides seafood, vegan, and meat choices. Get able to attempt the perfect empanadas, ceviche, fish tacos, guacamole, and far more!

But aside from consuming, you possibly can truly hang around right here all day (the restaurant is open from 12 to 11 pm). Since it’s on the lagoon, you’ll discover kayak and paddle board leases, lounge chairs, and an outside bathe within the space!

I’ve heard that the service is often good, however ours was utterly terrible. Nevertheless, I nonetheless advocate this place hoping you can be extra fortunate because the vibe is fairly nice there! The meals was good too.

P.S.: If you’re searching for extra nice locations to eat, I’ve an important checklist for you within the sensible info on the finish of the publish. 

8. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard on the lagoon

8 Kayak or stand up paddleboard on the lagoon

Kayaking or going stand-up paddling on the lagoon is unquestionably some of the well-liked issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico, and the proper strategy to discover the lake waters by your self!

There are many kayak leases on the Laguna de Bacalar shores, and generally you possibly can even organize a kayak rental at your resort. 

PRO TIP: The smartest thing to do is to rent a kayak for twenty-four hours, so you’ve gotten on a regular basis to seek out the lagoon’s magical spots! 

Kayaks are appropriate for 1 or 2 individuals, and they’ll include paddles, life jackets, and directions, however don’t fear: the waters are tremendous calm so that you received’t danger any hazard.

This is the proper exercise for households, {couples}, and even buddies preferring to find Bacalar Lake at their very own tempo.

My suggestion? Go kayaking or SUP at sunrise… probably the most distinctive expertise!

9. Check out the shipwreck on the Canal de Los Piratas 

On the alternative aspect of the lake from Bacalar city lies the Canal de Los Piratas (Pirates’ Channel), which was as soon as the entry level for pirates who would battle and conceal round Lake Bacalar earlier than attacking the city.

The most important attraction at Canal de Los Piratas is the charming shipwreck, partially lined in timber. You can stare upon it from the water or climb onto the deck and wander round… to really feel like a pirate for a while! 

Another cool factor you are able to do within the space surrounding the shipwreck is given your self a pure exfoliation remedy with the mineral-packed sulfur clay simply beneath your toes… how cool is that?

There’s no entrance charge to go to the shipwreck… so you possibly can resolve to go there both with one of many many boat tours that cease at this spot or by your self with a kayak!

10. Explore the Mayan ruins of Kohunlich

10 Explore the Mayan ruins of Kohunlich

When it involves ruins close to Bacalar, Mexico, many individuals go to Chichen Itza, however they’re fairly removed from town (a 4-hour drive), so it could possibly be time-consuming, particularly in case you’re in Bacalar only for a number of days.

About an hour away from Bacalar you’ll discover the traditional ruins of the Mayan City Kohunlich, that are simply as attention-grabbing and delightful! The ruins are utterly nestled within the inexperienced jungle, which supplies them a magical ambiance with monkeys, snakes, birds, and bugs.

Here you’ll discover charming temples lined by moss courting again to 200 BC, so you’ll journey again in time as quickly as you see them!

Originally there have been eight, however immediately you’ll be capable to go to solely 5, every eight-feet excessive, amongst which probably the most attention-grabbing constructing is the Temple of the Masks (a pyramid): the oldest of the Kohunlich’s ruins.

This spot is ideal for a day (or half-day) journey: the ruins are open from 8 am to five pm (with the final entry at 4.30 p.m) and so they take 2-3 hours to go to them. 

PRO TIP: Remember to deliver water, mosquito repellent, sunblock, and funky garments: it’s tremendous scorching there and there’s no meals or drinks on the market. 

If you don’t have your individual automobile, it can value round $15 every manner from Bacalar by colectivo (shared van), or you possibly can discover the ruins with this tour which additionally contains the archaeological web site of Dzibanché and a scrumptious 3-course meal at an unique location in the course of the jungle, surrounded by birds and monkeys, for $170!

PRICE: 85 pesos ($4)

11. Stroll round Bacalar Town 

11. Stroll around Bacalar Town

Due to its unbelievable seashores alongside the Laguna de Bacalar, Bacalar city usually takes second place behind the lake within the issues to do in Bacalar, nevertheless it has truly quite a bit to supply!

The entire city appears like an outside artwork gallery, with all the colourful murals you will discover at any nook, so it’s excellent to simply stroll round its charming streets, and attempt to discover as a lot cool graffiti as attainable. 

And within the city sq., you possibly can take an image with the Bacalar signal, an important reminiscence of your journey to Bacalar!

Last however not least, close to the Plaza Principal you’ll find one among many landmarks within the city: the Parroquia de San Joaquin, a church constructed within the 18th century, surrounded by majestic timber… an important place to mirror and revel in some peace!

🤩 Range of actions: Average 
👪 Family-friendly rating: High
🏛️ Best museum: Fort San Felipe
🎢 Top paid attraction: Cenote Azul
🚶🏽‍♂️ Best free exercise: The Shipwreck
🥟 Must attempt meals: Aguachile
📅 How many days: 2-3
📍 Best Area: Laguna de Bacalar
✈️ Cost of touring: Low

Where to remain in Bacalar Mexico

Where to stay in Bacalar Mexico

The greatest place to stay in Bacalar, as you may need understood by now, is Bacalar Laguna, which provides many lovely accommodations. Just take into accounts that you must ebook manner upfront if you wish to discover a spot as they get booked out tremendous quick!

Otherwise, you possibly can both keep in Bacalar city or a bit outdoors the world across the Cenote Cocalitos/Azul the place there are a number of good accommodations with direct views of the lagoon!

Luxury (US$180 and up)
MBH Maya Bacalar Hotel Boutique – This boutique resort lies proper on the Bacalar Lagoon and is totally nestled in nature! The resort provides cool actions like biking, kayaking, canoeing, and wonderful non-public rooms, all providing a scorching tub and a sauna!

Mid Range (US$100 – US$150)
Casa Chukum – I personally stayed on this resort and so they supplied an important service. They even printed our pic and allow us to use the bathe after a tour regardless that we had already checked out from our room! Check out the wonderful critiques, they’re completely deserved!

Budget (as much as US$80)
The Yak Lake House – If you’re on a decent funds, you’ll love this beachfront hostel providing a shared kitchen, a terrace, and a number of actions to satisfy individuals… positively the perfect place to remain in Bacalar for funds vacationers!

Practical Information 

How to get to Bacalar

Now I gives you some extra sensible info that can aid you save money and time throughout your vacation in Bacalar, like get to Bacalar and the perfect eating places on the town. 

How to get to Bacalar, Mexico

First of all, you must know that there are no flights to Bacalar so that you’ll must fly to a close-by airport, after which get to Bacalar by rental automobile, shuttle, or bus. Let’s take a look at the steps one after the other:

Flight 
If you’re not already in Mexico, you’ll in all probability take a flight to get to Bacalar. The closest airport to Bacalar is Chetumal International airport. It’s situated round 45 minutes by automobile from Bacalar, however the draw back is that it doesn’t have many worldwide flights. 

So both you fly to Mexico City after which take a home flight to Chetumal, otherwise you fly to Cancun Airport after which take an ADO bus to Bacalar, (the bus will take you round 5 hours).

Public Transport
One of the most well-liked and least expensive methods of touring in Mexico is by ADO bus, which connects all of the vacationer locations. I Took the Ado Bus from Playa del Carmen: it was cozy, there was a TV (in Spanish), and a rest room and the journey lasted ~4h. 

Depending on the place you land, or the place you already are in Mexico, you possibly can take the Ado Bus from Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and many others… mainly, anyplace you’re staying on the Riviera Maya

PRO TIP: Try to ebook your ADO Bus online and upfront: there are sometimes specials and it’s cheaper to ebook there than on the bus station.

Car
The different strategy to get to Bacalar is by renting a car wherever you fly in; Cancun (4h), Playa del Carmen (3h), or Tulum (2h). Rental vehicles at Cancun airport will value you round €24 a day, however anyplace in Mexico is kind of reasonably priced!

Where to eat in Bacalar, Mexico

Where to eat in Bacalar

You will agree with me that the proper combo with a soothing seaside vacation is having fun with some scrumptious meals!

Good information: Bacalar has many nice eating places the place you possibly can take pleasure in contemporary fish, Mexican fares, and sipping tropical cocktails… more often than not with a view of the Bacalar Laguna! I gathered right here my favourite ones, test them out:

  • La Playita – Located proper on the lagoon, and that includes a stupendous ambiance, picket decorations, and water hammocks, this place is value visiting! They have a really large menu with veggie choices… however in case you like fish, you must attempt the coconut ceviche, merely scrumptious!
  • Mango y Chile – Mango y Chile is a vegan restaurant situated proper by the Fort, providing a really large alternative of scrumptious dishes like vegan burgers, falafel, salads, and plenty of drinks too! This waterfront restaurant is open all day from 9 am to 10 pm, so you possibly can take pleasure in an excellent breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
  • Kai Pez – Located just under the fort San Felipe, proper by the water you’ll discover this laid-back restaurant with a really cozy ambiance and nice meals! My suggestion? Try the scrumptious aguachile (shrimps submerged in a liquid made from chili peppers, lime juice, and spices) and pair it with a frozen margarita!
  • El Manati Bacalar – If you’re within the middle, you NEED to do that cool restaurant. To attain the consuming space (a backyard surrounded by wonderful graffitied partitions) you’ll cross by a multifunctional store, the place you’ll discover artworks, garments, natural washing soaps, muffins, and extra. The meals and low are completely wonderful!

Frequently requested questions on issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico

Frequently asked questions about things to do in Bacalar

🤩 What are the perfect issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico?

The greatest issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico, embrace happening a boat trip to Laguna Bacalar Mexico with a go to to the chook island, or exploring the Mayan ruins of Kohunlich, probably the greatest day journeys from Bacalar.

📅 How many days do you want in Bacalar, Mexico? 

If you’re visiting Bacalar, Mexico, it’s best to spend not less than 2-3 days there, so you’ve gotten on a regular basis to chill out, go to Lake Bacalar and discover all of the cool pure sights.

😎 Which is the perfect interval to go to Bacalar, Mexico?

The greatest interval to go to Bacalar, Mexico, is between December and March (the dry season) when the climate provides nice temperatures and is extra steady than through the wet season. 

👪 What are the perfect issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico, for households?

The greatest issues to do in Bacalar, Mexico, for households are swimming within the Lake Bacalar (Laguna de Bacalar) or going snorkeling within the Cenote Azul, probably the greatest Bacalar Cenotes.

📍Where is Bacalar situated?

Bacalar lies in Southeast Mexico, lower than one hour from the Belize/Mexico border, in Central America!

Conclusion

Amazing Bacalar lagoon things to do

Here we’re on the finish of this in depth information with the perfect issues to do in Bacalar Yucatan, an incredible magic city in Mexico. I’ve additionally included some sensible data about the place to eat and the place to remain in Bacalar that will help you create your excellent Lake Bacalar itinerary. 

This Mayan metropolis is ideal to spend a soothing time, discover the waters of the Bacalar Laguna, also referred to as the “Lake of Seven Colors”, or go to its pure sights just like the cenotes!

I hope you loved my Bacalar Mexico journey information and gives you some inspiration on the perfect issues to do in Bacalar in your vacation!

If you wish to share your expertise in Bacalar or you’ve gotten any questions for me, please do this within the feedback beneath and I’ll reply you as quickly as I can!

Have an incredible journey!

Yulia 


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