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Off the Beaten Track in Bacalar

The Mayan's stretch of pristine beaches, lively city life, archaeological ruins, and endless outdoor activities are sometimes not enough for the intrepid traveller. If you're craving a little adventure further afield, consider visiting Mexico's largest body of freshwater. Discover the captivating allure of Lake Bacalar, famously known as the 'lake of seven colors' for its mesmerizing water hues. Gazing across the crystalline expanse, one could easily mistake it for the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Encircled by lush jungle mangroves and adorned with extensive fossil formations on its Southern side, Lake Bacalar is a true testament to unspoiled natural beauty and stands as a cherished gem in Mexico. When is the ideal time to explore Bacalar? This picturesque town welcomes visitors with near-perfect weather throughout the year. For consistently dry conditions and pleasant temperatures, consider planning your trip during December (a delightful place for a beachy Christmas!), January, February, or March.

How Long Should You Stay?

To fully immerse yourself in the charm of Balacar, I suggest spending 2-3 days here. This allows you to unwind, soak in the laid-back atmosphere, fill your belly with local eats, and snap enough photos to make friends and family home back wonder why they didn't join you! So what makes Balacar such a special place?

Affordable Paradise Bacalar's serene distance from the bustling tourist hotspots sets it apart, making it a hidden economic treasure within Quintana Roo. While it may lack a traditional beach setting, this secluded destination offers a pleasant surprise to budget-conscious travelers. Surrounded by awe-inspiring landscapes and a wealth of natural wonders, visitors can still find comfortable and affordable accommodations without compromising on quality. Additionally, Bacalar boasts a variety of restaurants that serve delectable cuisine at reasonable prices, ensuring that every penny spent goes a long way.

Laid Back Authenticity

Bacalar also retains a more traditional Mexican feel than many other destinations in the region. More popular with national tourists than foreigners, it is a great place to come if you are interested in local culture and traditions. If you visit during the first two weeks of August you will be lucky enough to enjoy the Festival of San Joaquin de Bacalar, which sees the streets come alive with dances, parades, games, and cultural events.

What Else is There to Do in Balacar?

Explore Cenote Azul An immense natural wonder, and ranking among the largest cenotes in the entire country, Cenote Azul boasts deep blue waters and offers the perfect escape to beat the heat on scorching days, allowing visitors to cool off with a refreshing swim. For those seeking a more immersive experience, the cenote is an ideal spot for snorkeling and scuba diving. Remarkably, the cenote reaches an impressive depth of 90 meters and hides numerous captivating caverns to be explored by adventurous divers.

What adds to the charm of Cenote Azul is its authentic local ambiance, providing a genuine and unpretentious experience. The entrance fee is incredibly affordable, costing just 25 pesos, slightly over a dollar, making it accessible to all. A quaint small restaurant on the premises offers a delightful range of treats, including cerveza and reasonably-priced guacamole, ensuring you can satiate your appetite between swims. Cenote Azul promises an unforgettable adventure amidst its vast blue expanse and hospitable atmosphere, inviting travelers to delve into the wonders of Mexico's natural treasures.

Paddle Boarding on the Lagoon Paddleboarding on Bacalar Lagoon ranks as one of the top activities in this beautiful destination. Whether you're an experienced paddler or a beginner, there's no need to fret as the lagoon offers incredibly tranquil waters, making it an ideal spot for learning and exploring. You can rent a paddleboard from one of the various vendors located in downtown Bacalar which allows you the freedom to venture out and explore the serene lake at your own pace, creating your personalized adventure. Alternatively, for those seeking a guided experience and a chance to discover all the lagoon's captivating highlights, consider joining a tour like the sunrise SUP tour. Guided tours provide expert insights, ensuring you make the most of your paddleboarding experience while basking in the beauty of the rising sun over the glistening waters.

How to Get There

As the title of this article reads, Bacalar is off-the-beaten-path, so you'll have to summon your adventurous spirit. I promise it's worth it. There are no direct buses from Cancun International Airport to Bacalar, but you can take a taxi from the airport and catch a bus from the Central Bus Station. The journey takes approximately 5-6 hours. Alternatively, you can book a private transfer which will be more costly, but quicker.

If you're booking an a la carte trip to Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, or Tulum, consider adding a few days onto the itinerary to explore this secluded paradise.




Jordana Manchester

Welcome to my passion project - the Storied Lands travel blog. Gather here for trip inspiration, stories, destination spotlights,  helpful tips, and thought-provoking discussions about important issues throughout the travel and tourism industry.

Posts on the Storied Lands Travel Blog may contain affiliate links which may result in a small commission generated from clicks that result in a purchase. Posts that contain such links will always disclose as such at the beginning of the post.

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