BacalarQuintana Roo, Mexico. This area, anchored by the stunningly azure blue Lake Bacalar, has a Yucatan small-village feel and is absent of busloads of tourists.
By carHighway 307 has two lanes on each side for traffic. There are no tolls to pay. The exit for the city of Bacalar is on the left. The scenery is through the Sian Kaan Biosphere for part of the trip. The driving time from Cancún is 5 hours; from Tulum, two hours and a half. Well worth the drive.
By busYou can take the bus in ADO bus station from Cancún, Tulum or Playa del Carmen.
On foot or bicycle would be very doable if you are staying in the city of Bacalar, as well as taxis, which are not expensive.
The water of Lake Bacalar is among the most pale and gemlike blue that could possibly exist. The main attraction of traveling to this area is the lake, whose beauty could easily induce one to sit and read for a few days without regret. The lake is somewhat shallow at the shores, except where there are sinkholes commonly known as cenotes. It is well seen by kayak or sailboat. The sand when disturbed smells strongly of minerals or sulfur, though sitting by the lake or even being on the water certainly carried no odor whatsoever.
The Fortress de San Felipe Bacalar, in the center of town, represents one of the bastions used by the Maya before they were overrun by the Spanish, it has a small but modern museum inside, if you are in town it´s worthwhile visiting.
On Sunday night, there may be music and dancing in the city square.
Active Nature Bacalar offers guided kayak/canoe trips, bicycle tours and jungle walks to explore the beautiful lake and its surroundings. They are located 5 km north of Bacalar at Villas Ecotucan which is also a really nice place to stay.
Ramón Aguayo is the certified scuba instructor in town, if you´d like to get certified. Ask for him at the front desk of Villas Bakalar or at the chinese house on the costera. Sailing boat rentals or instructor, as well as boat excursions are also available.
The mayan ruins nearby that are worthwhile visiting are Chacchoben, Dzibanché and Kohunlich. They don´t have a lot of people and the jungle surroundings are magnificent. Contact the front desk of Villas bakalar for birdwatching among jungles and ruins.
To learn more about Bacalar and what to do, where to buy stuff, where to eat, where to stay, what is going on around town and what has been happening, as well as articles about the fort and danzon, visit the Bacalar Mosaico web site at
Cafe OrizabaHas excellent Yucatan/Maya meals for an unbeatable price.
Los AluxesGood view of the lagoon and excellent food.
Los Aluxes has a nice little bar with swings instead of stools. Though the closing hours are early (see above)
There are many hotels along the Western coast of the lake. Amigo's B&B is nice. Casita Carolina also appears very nice and has a great beach.
5 km north of the town you will find Villas Ecotucan, a little oasis with lovely cabanas and a campground with beach and a lot of activities.
There is a new Backpackers in town "Ximbal Li" on Avenida 3 number 33.
Three blocks walking distance from the Fort is the recently opened Las Villas Bakalar, the suites are comfortable, stylish and big and have air conditioning and internet. The pool is not enormous but has a nice view of the lagoon as well.
phone: +52 9838342134address: Avenida 5 # 830offers seven rooms with amenities like free WiFi, cable TV, hot water, stove and refrigerator, shared dining room and foyer area, garden areas, and small pool. Central location, right by the town square, easy short walks to Laguna Bacalar, restaurants, and all attractions. Swim in the lagoon and its clear waters, kayaking, windsurfing, catamaran rides or boat, or visit the nearby archaeological ruins. Ask for tourist information.
- Tulum village is north of Bacalar