Discover what to do in Bacalar: Travel Guide

Bacalar guide what to do in bacalar Bacalar: Travel Guide

Welcome to the most complete travel guide to Bacalar! Get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure in this paradisiacal destination located in the heart of the Riviera Maya. Here you will discover important aspects about how to get to this corner of paradise, estimated costs, the best options to move around the area and where to stay to live an unforgettable experience.


Once you have prepared your itinerary, let yourself be amazed by the beauty of the crystal-clear cenotes, ideal for refreshing yourself and exploring nature in its purest state. Don’t miss the opportunity to navigate through the Seven Colors Lagoon, a visual spectacle that will leave you breathless and will give you moments of peace and serenity.


Get ready to live a trip you will remember forever!


The Best Cenotes in Bacalar


In Bacalar, the cenotes are true natural wonders that offer unique experiences to visitors.


Cocalitos Cenote


For those looking for a quieter and more familiar experience, Cenote Cocalitos with a depth of 90 meters is the perfect choice. With green areas, access to the lagoon and the possibility of activities such as snorkeling and kayaking, this cenote offers fun for all tastes. In addition, its characteristic of having stromatolites makes it a unique place to explore and enjoy in company.



Cenote Esmeralda


Located next to the Bacalar lagoon and near the Azul and Cocalitos cenotes. With a depth of 70 meters, this cenote offers a spectacular view that leaves visitors breathless.


Cenote Azul


One of the best cenotes in Bacalar, with a depth of 90 meters. Here, visitors can relax, kayak, swim and simply enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by the natural beauty of the area. Whether alone, with friends or with family, Cenote Azul is an unmissable stop in this region.



Discover cenote azul bacalar



Cenote La Bruja


Finally, Cenote La Bruja, also known as the Black Cenote, offers a completely different experience. With depths that contrast between blue and black, this cenote surprises visitors with a drop that ranges from 2 to 100 meters, its diameter can reach up to 130 meters. Diving into its dark waters is a fascinating experience that leaves a lasting impression on those who dare to explore it.



The Blue Lagoon is one of the best places to swim.


In addition to the impressive cenotes, Bacalar offers a variety of swimming spots that will delight visitors eager for adventure and relaxation. Among them, the Laguna de los Siete Colores stands out, a true natural treasure that captivates with its crystalline waters and unique turquoise tones. Swimming in this lagoon is a magical experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape and feel the freshness of the water.


The Blue Lagoon is the perfect setting to explore its calm and crystalline waters while practicing activities such as kayaking, which allows visitors to paddle at their own pace and discover the most beautiful corners of the lagoon. Those who prefer a more relaxed experience can opt for a boat, catamaran or sailboat ride, enjoying the panoramic views and the warm Caribbean sun.


Meet the la laguna azul Bacalar



The Best Hotels in Bacalar


With its natural beauty and relaxed atmosphere, Bacalar offers a selection of hotels that promise an unforgettable stay for all tastes and budgets. From all-inclusive hotels to lagoonfront hotels and 5-star options, here you will find a variety of choices to satisfy your lodging needs.



Hotel Casa Bakal – At the foot of the lagoon


With prices starting at $1931 mxn (116 USD) per night, Hotel Casa Bakal offers a luxury experience in front of the Seven Colors Lagoon. With 5-star accommodations, fully equipped rooms and an outdoor pool, this hotel is perfect for an unforgettable vacation. In addition, its restaurant, terrace and 24-hour front desk ensure comfort and convenience for guests. Rated 9.5 by travelers and located just 35 km from Chetumal’s international airport, it is the ideal choice for exploring Bacalar.


Discover the hotel casa bakal in bacalar



La Galuna Bacalar


Located in an idyllic setting, La Galuna Bacalar is a 4-star hotel with rates from $1336 mxn (80 USD) per night. It offers an outdoor pool, free parking and family rooms, some with balconies. Guests can enjoy a restaurant with an excellent breakfast and a bar for relaxing. With a 24-hour front desk, the staff is always available. Rated 8.1 by travelers and only 36 km from Chetumal International Airport, it is an excellent choice for exploring Bacalar.



Hotel Sun Ha Bacalar


Attractively priced from $1330 mxn (80 USD) per night, this 3-star hotel guarantees a pleasant experience. Highlighted with a 9.0 location rating by travelers, it offers an outdoor pool and family rooms. It also has amenities such as bicycles, a garden and a terrace to enjoy the outdoors. Rooms are smoke-free and the front desk is available 24 hours a day. Located only 34 km from Chetumal airport, its fabulous breakfast completes a pleasant stay in Bacalar.



Hotel Hacienda Bacalar


Located in Grand Costa Maya, Hotel Hacienda Bacalar is just 500 meters from the lagoon. With rates starting at $665 mxn (40 USD) per night, it offers a refreshing outdoor pool and comfortable family rooms. It also provides airport transfers for guests’ convenience. With an on-site restaurant and smoke-free rooms, it guarantees a pleasant stay. Its location, just a 40-minute drive from the city of Chetumal, makes it a convenient option for exploring the area. With a 7.8 rating from visitors, this hotel promises a satisfying experience in Bacalar.



Hotel Rancho Encantado


Immerse yourself in the beauty of Bacalar at Hotel Rancho Encantado, from $3440 mxn (202 USD) per night. Rated 9.0 for location, it offers an outdoor pool facing the lagoon and family rooms, some with lagoon views. Airport shuttle available and on-site restaurant. Also, tea/coffee maker in all rooms and bar for relaxing. Just a 15-minute drive from the airport, it offers free kayak rentals to explore the lagoon.



The Best Restaurants in Bacalar



La Playita


Enjoy a unique dining experience at La Playita, with prices from $166 to $331 mxn (10 to 20 USD). Recognized with Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023, this restaurant offers an exquisite selection of culinary food and a variety of wines and cocktails to accompany your meal. With an offering that includes Mexican dishes, seafood, healthy options and innovative fusions, La Playita is the perfect place to satisfy every palate. Located on the shore of the lagoon, at Avenida 1 26 Dos Cuadras Al Norte Del Fuerte De Bacalar, Bacalar 77930 Mexico.


Restaurant la playita at Bacalar





Discover Nixtamal, a culinary gem in Bacalar with prices ranging from $140 to $345 (8 to 21 USD). Ranked #11 out of 153 restaurants in Bacalar, this establishment offers a delicious variety of Mexican cuisine, seafood, barbecue and healthy options. In addition, its extensive beverage menu includes everything from natural and mineral waters to mocktails and soft drinks. Located at Avenida 5, 525, Bacalar 77930 Mexico, Nixtamal promises an unforgettable dining experience in a charming setting.



Los Hechizos


Discover the culinary charm of Los Hechizos, where prices range from $83 to $232 mxn (5 to 14 USD). Ranked No. 14 out of 153 restaurants in Bacalar and a recipient of the Travellers’ Choice Awards 2023, this restaurant offers an exceptional dining experience. With a culinary offering that includes Mexican, Latin, seafood and international dishes, Los Hechizos invites you to enjoy a variety of unique flavors. Located at Interior Hotel Rancho Encantado, Carretera Federal 307 Km 24, Bacalar 77500 Mexico, this place is the perfect destination to experience the true taste of Mexican food and make your vacation unforgettable.



Best Things To Do in Bacalar



Visit the Blue Lagoon


Explore the stunning Blue Lagoon of Bacalar, a warm and aquatic paradise that invites you to marvel at its sunset and sunrise views. Dive into its crystal clear waters while kayaking or snorkeling to discover the richness of its marine life. Embark on an exciting boat or motorboat tour to explore its most enchanting corners and visit the legendary pirate channel. Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear to make the most of this unforgettable experience.



To know and enjoy the Spas


Discover and enjoy the enchanting spas near Bacalar. Just 13 km away, visit Balneario Los Rápidos for a refreshing and exciting experience. Head to Balneario de Los Cocalitos to marvel at the stromatolites, a unique natural wonder. If you are looking for tranquility, visit Suhuy HA in XulHa, a place farther away from the lagoon known for its serene and ecological environment.


Los rápidos bacalar Quintana Roo Kayak



Enjoying the island of birds


Embark on an exciting adventure to enjoy the Isla de los Pájaros in Bacalar. This place receives its name due to the large number of birds that come to nest, creating an impressive natural spectacle. Observe this bird sanctuary from afar as you travel in a boat, admiring the diversity of species and the beauty of the surroundings, a unique experience that will connect you with nature in its purest state!



Visit to San Felipe Fort in Bacalar


You can’t miss a visit to the Fort of San Felipe in Bacalar, a historical treasure that will transport you back in time. Explore the museum that exhibits the caste war and immerse yourself in the stories behind this conflict.


Also, discover the fascinating stories about the presence of pirates in the region and how they influenced the history of Bacalar. An educational and enriching experience that will allow you to learn more about the past of this unique destination.


Channel of the pirates un hidden from Bacalar



The Best Events and Festivals in Bacalar


Get ready to experience the excitement of the Bacalar Carnival in February! This colorful event brings together people from all over, wearing colorful costumes and parading on impressive floats. With an atmosphere full of entertainment and music, the Bacalar Carnival is a celebration brimming with joy and fun for everyone. Don’t miss this unique party that will leave unforgettable memories, join the celebration and immerse yourself in the magic of the Bacalar Carnival!


Get ready to challenge your limits in the Bacalar Open Water Marathon in June! With categories ranging from 1250 meters to 5000 meters, this exciting competition offers you the perfect opportunity to test your endurance and swimming skills. If you are looking for an exciting challenge and want to be part of an unforgettable experience, consider participating in this one-of-a-kind sporting event in the beautiful setting of Bacalar!


Enjoy the San Joaquin Fair in Bacalar! This event, which honors the patron saint San Joaquin, is held in mid-July and early August filled with music, prayers and fireworks. Don’t miss the delicious food, cultural, livestock and sporting events, as well as the exciting dances. In addition, you can participate in water activities with boats and motorcycles, an experience full of tradition and fun in the beautiful surroundings of Bacalar!



The Best Tips for Visiting Bacalar


  • Explore the cenotes: Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the natural beauty of Bacalar’s cenotes. From Cenote Azul to Cenote Esmeralda, each one offers a unique experience not to be missed.
  • Enjoy the lagoon: Take time to relax and enjoy the crystal clear waters of Laguna Bacalar. Whether swimming, kayaking or just admiring the views, the lagoon is the heart of this destination.
  • Taste the local gastronomy: Delight yourself with authentic Mexican cuisine in Bacalar’s local restaurants. From fresh seafood to traditional dishes, there is something for every palate.
  • Explore history: Immerse yourself in Bacalar’s past by visiting historic sites such as the Fort of San Felipe. Learn about the caste war and the influence of pirates in this fascinating region.
  • Experience the local culture: Don’t miss the opportunity to participate in cultural events and festivals held in Bacalar throughout the year. From Carnaval to the San Joaquin Fair, each event offers a unique experience of the local culture.
  • Change your money into Mexican pesos: If you plan to stay in Bacalar for an extended period of time, consider changing your money into Mexican pesos. This will help you avoid possible inconveniences with fluctuating exchange rates and allow you to make local transactions more easily. In addition, by using the local currency, you may be able to get better rates for your money.



Prices in Bacalar





5 Star Hotel MXN (per night) USD (per night)
Blue Palm Bacalar From $2,708 From $164
Naya Bacalar Lagoon Front Hotel From $3,978 From $240
Puerta del Cielo Hotel Origen From $4,225 From $255


4 Star Hotel MXN (per night) USD (per night)
Hotel Rancho Encantado From $3,440 From $202
La Galuna Bacalar From $1,336 From $81
Naya Bacalar Lagoon Front Hotel From $4,712 From $285





Restaurantes A la Carta – MXN A la Carta – USD
La Playita From $166 From $10 to $20
Nixtamal From $140 From $8 to $21
Los Hechizos From $83 – $232 From $5 to $14





Snorkeling: By boat from $645 MXN (39 USD) per person with approx. 1 to 2 hours.

Tour: By boat from $729 MXN (44 USD) with approx 3 hours

Boat Tours: $4,000 MXN (242 USD) for 12 people or $400 MXN (24 USD) per person





Discover the best bars in Bacalar and live unforgettable moments! Immerse yourself in the city’s nightlife, dance to the rhythm of the music and enjoy delicious drinks while chatting with friends and locals. Enjoy the energy of live music and concerts in emblematic places such as Dolores, La Catrina, El Galeón Pirata – Centro Cultural Independiente and Barbanegra. Get ready for an experience full of fun, culture and good company in the bars of Bacalar!



Where To Stay


Bacalar, also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors, is located in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. It is located approximately 40 km north of Chetumal, which is the state capital. This picturesque town is located near the border with Belize and is famous for its crystal clear waters and incomparable natural beauty. If you are looking for a paradisiacal destination in the Mexican Caribbean, Bacalar is the perfect place to explore and relax.


Map of Bacalar



How to Get to and Around Bacalar


To get to Bacalar, from Chetumal airport, about 38 km away, you can take a cab or rent a car, with an estimated time of 52 minutes by car. From Cancun international airport, about 326 km away, you can choose to rent a car or take a bus, which takes about 4 hours by car. From Tulum, about 197.9 km away, you can get there in about 2 hours and 34 minutes by car. Once in Bacalar, you can move around on foot, by bicycle or cab to explore the town and its surroundings.



From Chetumal


To get to Bacalar from the Chetumal airport, located about 38 km away, taking a cab or renting a car is an option, with a drive time of approximately 52 minutes. Another alternative is to buy tickets on Mayab or ADO buses, with an estimated travel time of 1 hour and 20 minutes by bus.



Terminal de ado chetumal bacalar



From Mahahual


To get to Bacalar from Mahahual, you have several transportation options. By car, the trip usually takes about 1 hour and 18 minutes. If you prefer the bus, the price varies between $75 and $165 MXN, with a duration of approximately 1 hour and 43 minutes. You can also opt for a shared van, which can take around 1 hour and 30 minutes and can cost between $450 MXN.



From Tulum


To get to Bacalar from Tulum by car, the trip usually takes about 2 hours and 44 minutes, covering a distance of approximately 210 km, with an estimated cost of $343. If you prefer to travel by bus with ADO, the trip can take around 3 hours and 30 minutes. Another option is to take a shared van from Tulum to Felipe Carrillo Puerto for $80 MXN, with a duration of approximately 1 hour, and then take a shared combi from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to Bacalar for $170 MXN, with a duration of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.



From Playa del Carmen


To get to Bacalar from Playa del Carmen, you have several transportation options. By car, the trip usually takes about 3 hours and 41 minutes. If you prefer the bus, the trip can take approximately 5 hours and costs $510 MXN. Another alternative is to take a shared van from Playa del Carmen to Felipe Carrillo Puerto for $110 MXN, with a duration of approximately 2 hours, and then take a shared combi from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to Bacalar for $170 MXN, with a duration of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.



From Cancun


To get to Bacalar from Cancun, you have several transportation options. By car, the trip usually takes about 4 hours and 45 minutes. If you opt for the bus, the trip can take approximately 6 hours and 25 minutes, with a cost starting at $638 MXN. Another alternative is to take a shared van from Playa del Carmen to Felipe Carrillo Puerto for $110 MXN, with a duration of approximately 2 hours, and then take a shared combi from Felipe Carrillo Puerto to Bacalar for $170 MXN, with a duration of approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes.



Safety in Bacalar


Bacalar is generally a safe place to visit, however, as in any tourist destination, it is important to take basic precautions to ensure a safe and pleasant experience. Visitors are advised to be aware of their personal belongings in crowded places, avoid walking alone in poorly lit areas at night and follow the safety instructions provided by local authorities.


A recommended safety measure when visiting Bacalar is to use authorized local cabs to get around town. These cabs are usually a safe and reliable option for getting from one place to another within the town. When boarding a cab, make sure that the vehicle is properly identified as a cab and that the driver is licensed and authorized to provide the service. It is also advisable to agree on the price of the trip with the driver before starting the trip to avoid misunderstandings. By following these precautions, you can enjoy safe and comfortable transportation during your stay in Bacalar.



Climate in Bacalar


The climate in Bacalar is characterized by being warm and sub-humid, with a more notable rainfall regime during the summer season. This tropical climate favors the lush vegetation and natural beauty that characterizes the region.


The best season to visit Bacalar runs from January through May, and also includes the months of July, November and December. During this period, the weather is generally more pleasant and conducive to enjoy all the activities offered by the area.


The best weather for kayaking in bacalar



It is important to keep in mind that rains can occur at any time of the year in Bacalar. However, they tend to be more frequent and abundant between the months of June and October, which can influence the planning of outdoor activities during that period. It is advisable to be prepared for possible rainfall and adjust plans accordingly to make the most of your visit to this beautiful destination.





In summary, Bacalar emerges as a must-see tourist destination in the Riviera Maya, offering an amalgam of experiences ranging from exploring its magnificent cenotes and the fascinating Seven Colors Lagoon, to immersing oneself in its rich history and culture. With a variety of lodging options, from luxurious resorts to cozy hostels, and an eclectic gastronomic offer that satisfies every palate, Bacalar stands as a traveler’s paradise. In addition, its vibrant nightlife and the warmth of its people add a special touch to the experience, making each visit an unforgettable memory.


With a warm climate during most of the year and a strategic location that allows easy access from different points of the Riviera Maya, Bacalar presents itself as a versatile destination that promises to satisfy the expectations of all types of travelers. Whether you are looking for relaxation in its crystal-clear waters, adventure in its natural surroundings or immersion in its fascinating history, Bacalar offers a range of possibilities for all tastes.


In short, this enchanting destination invites visitors to discover the unique beauty of the Mexican Caribbean and immerse themselves in an unforgettable experience full of surprises and memorable moments.


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