2 days in Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Bacalar was definitely one of my favourite spots in Yucatan. Not that many tourists and bus tours wander, probably too far away from the actual riviera maya … and I’m glad they don’t! Bacalar is what every Mexican Pueblo Mágico should be.

What to do in Bacalar?

  • Enjoy the seven-colour lagoon: take a boat tour, rent a SUP or a kayak, or simply go to a public muelle (muelle – my favourite one: the Muelle Ecologico)
    • Beware: the lagoon is (theoretically) closed on Wednesday to preserve it. May be useful for planning. 
    • Tips: Please avoid any sunscreen before going for a swim and don’t dig into the mud for a so-called Mayan exfoliation, this disturbs the whole ecosystem!
    • Los Rapidos also seems like a fun place to discover the lagoon: you just lazily float down a canal with a life-jacket.
  • Take a taxi to Los Cocalitos to discover stromatolites, these weird-looking formations are not rocks and are alive! They are actually living fossils made from and by bacteria and the oldest living lifeforms on our planet. You can only find them in a few places in the world, so do not touch or sit on them!
  • Visit the eighteenth-century San Felipe Fortress built in 1733 to protect the city from pirates
  • Stroll around the city to discover the many stunning murals from various street artists

Where to eat in Bacalar?

  • Breakfast at Madre Masa: delicious pastries, bread and juices 
  • Lunch at La Playita: a true Instagram place with original food and colourful seats. Also to relax with a good book or go for a swim.
  • Ice cream at Heladería Annie Delicias right in the center of town
  • Tacos and live music at Xoloitzcuintle north of the main square
  • Drinks and dinner at Patio de Aguacate: delicious cocktail and yummy burger

Where to sleep in Bacalar?

I stayed in a large wood cabin, found on Airbnb. I definitely recommend it, it’s pretty, comfy and very quiet. I also spotted a very nice hostel by the lagoon – the Yak House.

Useful tips in Bacalar:

  • I came with ADO from Puerto Morelos via Playa del Carmen (See: 2 days in Puerto Morelos). There’s a small ADO ticket office on the main road. ADO buses take about 3 hours from/to Tulum and cost MXN 324 and about 4 hours from/to Playa del Carmen for MXN 438.
  • There’s an ATM at OXXO’s on the main road but it seems it’s rarely working and/or empty. My Airbnb host recommended that I take enough cash with me just in case, also because many places don’t accept cards or ask for a 3% additional fee.
  • Read more about this pretty town in this very interesting New Yorker article: How a Mexican lagoon lost its colors 

All recommendations are mine, no ads. Prices from December 2021.
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