7 Best Things to Do in Bacalar, Mexico
Bacalar is a magical town (Pueblo Mágico) in Mexico, famous for its beautiful crystal clear waters and the lagoon of seven colors. Bacalar is not usually part of the typical Yucatan Peninsula itinerary, but Bacalar Lagoon is well worth visiting.
Spend at least 3-days in Bacalar, take a sailing trip, kayak in the lagoon, and enjoy the Maldives of Mexico.
In our Bacalar travel guide, you will find practical information such as how to get there, when to go, and the best things to do in Bacalar.
- 7 Best Things to Do in Bacalar, Mexico
- Where is Bacalar
- How to Get to Bacalar
- How to Get Around Bacalar
- Best Time to Visit Bacalar
- Best Things to Do in Bacalar, Mexico
- 1. Kayaking at Los Rapidos
- 2. Take a Sailing Trip
- 3. Chilling Out at the Blú Beach Club
- 4. See the Best Cenotes in Bacalar
- 5. Spend a day relaxing at the Bacalar Lagoon
- 6. Discover a Hidden Gem in Bacalar
- 7. Visit the Fort San Felipe
- How many Days do you Need in Bacalar?
- Where to Eat in Bacalar
- Where to Stay in Bacalar
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Where is Bacalar
Bacalar is located on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, in the southern part of the state of Quintana Roo, not far from the border with Belize.
How to Get to Bacalar
There are several ways to get to Bacalar, by plane, bus, or car.
More about Mexico → Valladolid itinerary: How to Spend 3 Days
Getting to Bacalar by plane
The nearest airport is in Chetumal, the capital of Quintana Roo state, a 35-minute drive away.
Belize City International Airport is 3 hours away from Bacalar, and Cancun International Airport is 4.5-5 hours.
Getting to Bacalar by bus
If you can’t or don’t want to drive in Mexico, take the ADO buses, which run several times a day and connect most cities such as Cancun, Tulum, and Playa del Carmen. The bus is the cheapest way to get around, and ADO buses are air-conditioned, clean, and very comfortable.
The Bacalar bus station is located right on the main road. From here, you can take a short 15-minute walk or grab a taxi to the city center.
Getting to Bacalar by car
Car rental in Mexico is very simple and safe to drive in the Yucatán Peninsula. You can easily rent a car online, at the airports, or in major cities. The best way to get to Bacalar and explore the area is by car.
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Distances from cities by car:
– From Tulum, the journey time is approximately 2.5 hours.
– From Playa del Carmen takes 3.5 hours.
– Cancun to Bacalar is about 4.5 to 5 hours.
How to Get Around Bacalar
Bacalar is a quiet little town that you can easily walk around. However, if you want to visit nearby cenotes and popular places, take a taxi or travel by colectivo.
You can rent a bicycle, kayak, or stand-up paddleboard (SUP), which are popular activities in Bacalar.
Here’s a → 5 Best Cenotes near Valladolid, Mexico
Best Time to Visit Bacalar
Bacalar is a popular destination to visit all year round due to its tropical climate.
The best time to visit Bacalar is from December to April. During this time, there is little rainfall, and temperatures are pleasant.
The rainy season is between May and October when temperatures are also higher.
Read our → Ultimate Yucatan Peninsula Itinerary
Best Things to Do in Bacalar, Mexico
1. Kayaking at Los Rapidos
Visiting Los Rapidos is one of the best things to do in Bacalar. The crystal clear waters in different shades of blue and impressive stromatolites make it the best place to visit in Mexico.
You can swim in the beautiful blue lagoon, snorkel, and rent kayaks at Los Rapidos. There is a great restaurant where you can eat delicious Mexican food or reserve a sun lounger to enjoy the scenery.
Los Rapidos is open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM.
Read our → Best Things to Do in Valladolid, Mexico
Los Rapidos is about 15 minutes from the center, and you can easily visit it by taxi, colectivo, or car.
The entrance fee to Los Rapidos is 150 MXN for adults and 100 MXN for children.
Parking is free at Los Rapidos, and you can rent a locker (50 MXN), where you can leave your stuff while kayaking.
More about Mexico → Best Places to Visit in the Yucatan Peninsula
The current of the Los Rapidos river seems slow, but it is much stronger than you might think. So if you can’t swim, rent a life jacket!
At Los Rapidos, single kayak rental is 200 MXN, double kayak 400 MXN.
- When visiting Los Rapidos, don’t wear sunscreen or use biodegradable sunscreen.
- Bring water shoes.
- Please don’t touch or walk on the stromatolites.
- Visit in the morning or late afternoon when it’s less crowded, and you can get a sun lounger near the water.
2. Take a Sailing Trip
A sailing trip is the best way to explore the beautiful Bacalar lagoon.
The sailing tour takes about 3 hours, depending on the weather conditions. When we did the sailing tour, we had great windy weather, which was ideal for the activity.
The group tours are usually for 8 people.
The price for the sailing tour starts from about 650 MXN / person. You can book a boat tour in the city center, at the harbor, or online.
Don’t wear sunscreen to protect the fragile ecosystem of the lagoon. But you can use biodegradable sunscreen or wear anti-UV clothing.
We did the tour with Bacalar Sailing, which was a fantastic experience.
On the way, we stopped several times at beautiful places where we could swim, snorkel, or sunbathe on the boat.
The boat captain was very kind, gave us information about all the sights we visited and was happy to answer our questions. The tour included cold water, fresh fruit, a life jacket, and a dry bag.
Take a few bottles of chilled Corona beer with you and enjoy the lagoon of 7 colors.
3. Chilling Out at the Blú Beach Club
If you want to spend a perfect day in Bacalar, we suggest you go for a sailing tour in the morning and then visit the Blú beach club where you can spend a few relaxing hours.
At the beach club you can enjoy a delicious meal and a drink, swim in the crystal clear water and relax on the sunbeds.
The beach club offers fantastic photo opportunities, so bring your drone.
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The beach club is only a 10-minute drive from the port.
The entrance fee to the Blú beach club is 400 MXN, which includes a sun lounger. Of this amount, 250 MXN can be used to buy in the restaurant or bar.
Be sure to try the Blú smoothie and chicken burrito, which are amazingly delicious.
The Blú beach club is open from 11 AM to 7 PM.
More about Mexico → Best places to visit in Tulum
4. See the Best Cenotes in Bacalar
Cenote Azul is one of the deepest cenotes (90 metres deep) on the Yucatán Peninsula. Perfect place for swimming and snorkeling.
The Cenote Cocalitos is the most popular place in Bacalar, ideal for relaxing. Spend a few chilling hours here swimming and snorkeling, take some magical shots of the stromatolites, and enjoy hanging a hammock.
The entrance fee to the Cenote de Cocalitos is 50 MXN.
The Cenote Cocalitos is open from 9 AM to 6 PM.
Recommended Post → 5 Best Cenotes near Valladolid
Cenote Esmeralda and Cenote La Bruja (Cenote Negro) can be reached by boat, but most sailing tours stop here.
5. Spend a day relaxing at the Bacalar Lagoon
Go stand-up paddle board tour at sunrise.
Rent a kayak and paddle across the lagoon to the shipwreck at the Pirate Channel.
Chill out around the docks (balnearios) and see the sunrise or sunset. In Bacalar, most of the balnearios are located in hotels or beach clubs, and only guests can visit. But you can enjoy some wooden piers for free or for a small fee. Jump in and take a dip in the stunning crystal clear water.
Some wonderful piers to visit are Hotelito El Paraiso, Balneario Ejidal Mágico and Balneario Municipal El Aserradero.
You can rent a kayak for 150 MXN per hour at the Yak Lake House.
6. Discover a Hidden Gem in Bacalar
Laguna Bonanza is a less popular spot in Bacalar, but it was one of the most beautiful places we visited in Mexico. It is located about 15 minutes drive from the center, not far from Los Rapidos.
At Laguna Bonanza, you can picnic, sunbathe, swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters. If you want you can kayakig from Laguna Bonanza to Los Rapidos.
The Laguna Bonanza is open from 10 AM to 5 PM.
Read more → Best Places to Visit in the Yucatan Peninsula
You should avoid visiting on weekends when the place is crowded with locals.
The entrance fee to Laguna Bonanza is just 50 MXN.
7. Visit the Fort San Felipe
At Fort San Felipe, you can learn about the city’s history and enjoy the fantastic views of the Bacalar lagoon. Fort San Felipe is located in the city center, opposite the main square. It was built in 1733 to protect the town from Caribbean pirate attacks.
The San Felipe Fort is open from 9 AM to 7 PM and is closed every Monday.
The entrance fee is 60 MXN.
Don’t miss taking a photo of the colorful Bacalar sign near the fort.
How many Days do you Need in Bacalar?
Spend at least 3-days in Bacalar, and you can do everything on the list.
If you want to take day trips to nearby Mayan ruins, plan your Bacalar itinerary for 4-5 days.
Where to Eat in Bacalar
There are many great restaurants in Bacalar. You can try authentic Mexican food, eat some international dishes, or delicious vegan food.
Best restaurants in Bacalar
- Mango y Chile is one of the most popular vegan restaurants. Be sure to try the burgers.
- Enamora Bacalar is a perfect breakfast place.
- At Mr. Taco, you can eat some traditional Mexican food.
- El Manati is a popular restaurant with a charming atmosphere and delicious food.
Where to Stay in Bacalar
You can easily find cozy apartments, budget hostels, and luxury hotels.
The accommodation near the Bacalar lagoon is more expensive, so stay in the center or further away from the city.
- Luxury: The Carolina Bacalar is one of the most impressive hotels, with fantastic views of the lagoon.
- Mid Range: The Yak Lake House Hostal is offering private or shared rooms and many activities for its guests.
- Budget: Yaxche Centro Hostal y Camping is a budget-friendly accommodation in Bacalar with dormitory rooms and camping sites.
We stayed at the Hotel Balché during our stay in Bacalar. The Hotel Balché is in a quiet area, with beautiful rooms and friendly staff.
We loved that it was so close to the harbor and docks where we spent our evenings chilling.
We hope our list of the best things to do in Bacalar, Mexico will inspire you to visit the city.
If you have any questions or thoughts, let us know in the comments below.