Nearly every local or backpacker we met travelling around Mexico advised us to go to Bacalar Lagoon in Quintana Roo. My friend Grecia, whom I met in Playa del Carmen, had recently visited Bacalar for her birthday and from what she shared, I was excited to see what all the hype was about. On the 1st of November I went to Bacalar and spent 5 days there.
Bacalar Lagoon, also known as the ‘Lake of seven colours’ is nothing but magical. It is situated inland further down the coast of Quintana Roo, close to the border of Belize and is still a secret paradise that’s not overrun with big resorts or tourists yet. You won’t find any big hotel chains, shopping malls, clubs or all-inclusive holiday makers here. Which is kind of surprising as the area around Bacalar is packed with so much natural beauty that it’s hard to believe that not more tourists find their way down here.
Bacalar is so serene and peaceful that one of the tops things to do there is to just relax. You can also watch the sunrise over the beautiful lake, go for a morning swim, and just relax in a hammock by the water while reading a book. The water is warm and beautifully crystal clear, morphing from bright turquoise to deep indigo colours as the depths of the lake change.
Fort of San Felipe
To learn about the history of Bacalar head to the San Felipe Fort, it is located in the center of town. You can’t miss this historic structure. The Fort of San Felipe is over 270 years old. There is a small museum detailing the history of the area that is worth a visit. The museum entrance fee is 60 MXN (R43) pp. The Fort is open six days a week from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm and is closed Mondays.
Things to do in Bacalar
The main attraction is the lake and there is a whole variety of different water sports that you can choose from. For visitors that prefer to explore the lake by boat, you can rent a private one or join a group tour.
- Kayak to Cenote Negro – This is one of the three cenotes located inside the lagoon.
- Visit the Island of Birds – This is the home of different types of birds, like parrots, sparrows, herons and even owls.
- Dive in the Cenote Azul – Situated in a tranquil scenery, this cenote is one of the deepest in the Yucatan Peninsula, being approximately 90 meters deep. Cenote Azul is open daily from 10am to 6pm and the entrance fee is to 25 MXN (R18) pp.
- Stand-up paddle-boarding – Start your day with a fun and memorable experience and paddle across the lagoon at sunrise. This experience will cost you around 450 MXN (R320) pp.
- Cocalitos Cenote – This is home to the ‘largest organism on Earth’, the stromatolites, also known as the ‘living rocks’. Entry to the park is 25 MXN (R18) pp.
How to get to Bacalar Lagoon from Playa Del Carmen
- Collectivo – costing around 200 MXN (R150) pp
- Bus – from about 290 MXN (R205) pp
- Car rental – from about 550 MXN (R380) per day
If you are passing by the Quintana Roo area and have a few days to spare, head to Bacalar! It is one of those places you dream you could go back to as soon as you’ve left – it’s SO peaceful!
Are you planning on visiting Bacalar? Remember to leave your thoughts in the comments section, I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading!