The seven-tone palette lake, Laguna Bacalar, is an unexplored place beyond the popular tourist spots of Mexico. Located on Mexico’s eastern coast, two hours away from Tulum, Bacalar is a town located in Quintana Roo State and has been part of the Yucatan Peninsula. This fishing village is home to this Seven Color Lake, which is a lagoon known for its various hues of blue. Nestled amidst the jungle, this 60 km long lagoon offers an opportunity to relax as well as visit the attractions around the town of Bacalar.
About Bacalar Lake
Known as the Maldives of Mexico owing to the wooden walkways atop the lagoon, Bacalar Lake has crystalline water and white limestone soil. Due to this, various shades of blue, from aquamarine to turquoise to deep azure, are reflected in this lake. The main source of lake water is the underground rivers, and the length of it has been 16 miles. After Lake Chapala, it ranks second in Mexico in its size.
It is also home to “Stromatolites,” i.e., the earth’s oldest fossils and only a few places on earth are deemed to have that. They are seemingly rocky formations with tiny algae which play a crucial role in our ecosystem. As per geology, the initial forms of life on earth visible in rocks have been recorded in stromatolites around 3.5 billion years old. The alkalinity of the water in this lagoon is a contributing factor for these cyanobacteria to survive, making it a rare phenomenon. Not only the lake offers plenty of activities but also the attractions in town. The main source
Things To Do In Bacalar
Kayak On The Lagoon
The best way to explore the lake is through kayak, paddleboarding, and boating. The kayaks range from 12 to 25 USD and can be rented by yourself or book a guided tour. There are several tours, such as Active Nature Bacalar, which offers kayak tours of lakes and mangroves, The Sailing Colibri, which offers snorkeling in lagoons; the Eco Experience, which arranges the tour of the lagoon at sunrise on an aqua bike, Eco Sailing Tours which manages eco sailing excursions to choose from. Kayaking is especially incredible during sunrise or sunset. The best parts of the lagoon include El Canal de Los Pirates, Cenote Negro, and Bird Island, where sailing trips are offered. Also, the popular spot, “Canal de Los Piratas,” should not be missed as the hues of the water are deemed to be pretty extraordinary. The boat tour in Laguna de Bacalar takes one to this spot.
Swim In Cenotes
Cenote Azul, near Playa del Carmen, is a family-friendly cenote in Yucatan Peninsula that offers opportunities from swimming and snorkeling to diving. With a sacred site for the Mayans, this cenote has turquoise water and is an untouched natural beauty. Being an open cenote and not unlike other cenotes in a dark cave, this place seems like a huge swimming pool. The kids can swim in the shallow areas of the cenote, whereas the deeper area of the cenote is perfect for diving. The pool in the middle of the area is perfect for cliff jumping as well. There are other cenotes such as Cenote Esmeralda, Cocalitos and Cenote La Bruja worth visiting as well
Strolling through the Fort
Bacalar town’s main historical attraction is the Fortress of San Felipe, dating back to the 17th century. This historic fort oversees the lagoon and takes us back to the age of pirates, who were a looming threat. It was built by the Spaniards in the 16th century to defend themselves from pirates. The museum is in Puerto Plata and opens around 9 am. Also, the museum of San Felipe has a collection of artifacts.
Visit a Mayan Site of Kohunlich
Mexico is particularly known for its Mayan history, and one such site is the ruin of Kohunlich. This site has a series of pyramids, courtyards, plazas, and palace platforms. This historical site is best known for the Temple of The Masks. An hour away from the Bacalar lagoon, this place has impressive buildings dating back to 200 BC. The Mayan site is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm.
Best Places To Eat In Bacalar
Bakal Art Cafe
The place is known for the best breakfast across town, which is located across from Zocalo and a few blocks away from Bacalar lagoon. Chilaquiles, Espresso drinks, or hotcakes with multiple toppings are a few recommendations to be tried here.
El Manati Bacalar
It’s a multifunctional shop over a restaurant that is a vegan-friendly restaurant. Not only the food is tempting, but it sells various forms of art, clothes, and other friendly souvenirs. Staple dishes such as deep-fried pork, rice, beans, and mofongo or Mayan omelets, pancakes, and vegan burgers can be tried here.
Nixtamal cocina a fuego y lena
The name is fancy, and so is the food outlet, which is located in a lush garden. There are vegan options available, but the menu comprises mainly meat and grilled fish. The guests are welcomed by black tortilla chips and shots of kombucha.
Stellar chilaquiles, pancakes, and coffee, this Bacalar restaurant is famous due to the chilaquiles baked in a clay dish, unlike others. There are traditional breakfast options like tortas, eggs, and toast, as well as pancakes with Oreo toppings.
Chipotle lovers should head to this place as Mi Burrito wrap their burritos twice: once in a tortilla and then in banana leaf.
How to Reach Lake Bacalar?
The easiest route to reach Lake Bacalar is Playa del Carmen. Twelve buses are departing from the bus station, ADO Tourist Terminal Playa del Carmen. It takes 3.5 to 4.5 hours to reach via bus, and the ticket costs around 16 dollars. Meanwhile, the closest airport to Playa del Carmen is Cozumel Airport which is at a distance of 12 miles. One can also reach Cancun International Airport and later access a bus. There are buses every hour from major cities such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum as well as Chetumal.
The overall distance between Bacalar and Nearby Places
Cancun to Bacalar - 4 hours 15 minutes
Playa del Carmen to Bacalar - 3 hours 15 minutes
Tulum to Bacalar - 2 hours 30 minutes.