Los Aluxes Bacalar

The Ultimate Bacalar Lagoon Mexico Travel Guide for 2023

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Do you want to visit Bacalar Lagoon Mexico? You’ve come to the right guide!

I’m a travel blogger that lives in Playa del Carmen and have been lucky enough to visit the magical town of Bacalar more than once!

Known as the “Laguna de los Siete Colores” (Lagoon of the Seven Colors), Bacalar Lagoon is a simply stunning lake located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast offering visitors a truly magical experience.   In fact, it’s one of my favorite places in all of Mexico!

In this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about Bacalar including how to get there, where to stay, top things to do, best restaurants, tips for visiting, and more! 

Read on for my ultimate Bacalar Lagoon Mexico travel guide.

Bacalar Lagoon Mexico

Where is Bacalar Lagoon Mexico?

Laguna Bacalar is located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast in the state of Quintana Roo, about 3 hours south of Playa del Carmen and just north of the Belize border.  The closest major city is Chetumal, which has a small airport. 

Why visit Bacalar Lagoon?

Officially designated as a “Pueblo Magico” (Magic Town), Bacalar is one of Mexico’s hidden gems and one of those beautiful places in the world that really resonates with you.  

✨ What is a Pueblo Magico? Mexico created the “Pueblos Magicos” program to recognize and promote small towns all over Mexico that offer visitors a magical experience from their natural beauty, culture, traditions, or genuine hospitality.  There are over 100 magic towns in Mexico but a few other can’t miss ones are Isla Mujeres, Valladolid, Tequila, and Tepoztlán near Mexico City. 

Laguna Bacalar Mexico definitely lives up to “Pueblo Mágico” standards with its stunning natural beauty and lack of mass tourism.

A visit to Bacalar is truly a magical experience where you can relax on wooden docks, hammocks, and swings that project out over unbelievably bright turquoise water–far different from most lakes around the world!

Bacalar is a simple, quiet, and tranquil lake town that hasn’t yet been tarnished by crowds and overtourism like in the nearby towns of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, or Tulum. 

If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway in a beautiful natural place, then Lake Bacalar Mexico is the perfect destination.

Laguna Bacalar Mexico Quintana Roo

What is Bacalar known for?

Bacalar is known as the Laguna de los Siete Colores (Seven Color Lagoon), due to the varying depths and different shades of turquoise blue.

It’s even been referred to as the Maldives of Mexico with its overwater structures, bungalow-like accommodations, and striking blue water.  

Laguna Bacalar Mexico

What is Bacalar like?

Bacalar is a small town located on a large lagoon. You’ll find numerous docks and narrow piers along the lagoon, as well as many lakefront restaurants, hotels, homes, and vacation rentals.

Many of the businesses in Laguna de Bacalar have overwater hammocks and wooden swings for guests to enjoy while swimming in the water–these are where you’ll see the most Instagram pictures!

In addition to the expansive lakefront, Bacalar also has a town square that is small but lively! The main plaza is home to the San Felipe Fort, the Bacalar sign, and surrounded by a variety of restaurants, shops, and cafes.

Bacalar Lagoon Dock with Hammocks

How long should you stay in Bacalar?

I would recommend staying in Bacalar for at least 2 nights. Since it takes several hours to get there from most destinations in the Yucatán peninsula, you’ll want to leave at least one full day to enjoy the lagoon.

If you really want to relax and explore, stay longer to enjoy all of the best things to do in Bacalar–there is plenty to keep you busy!

Is Bacalar safe?

Bacalar is a small, quiet town and is a safe place to visit. You won’t find a wild nightlife scene in Bacalar and the overall vibe is very low-key and laid-back.

As long as you stick to the main areas, the streets are well-lit and it feels safe to walk around during the day or at night.

However, as with any place, it is always wise to use precautions such as carrying only what you need and being aware of your surroundings. Petty theft is not uncommon, so it’s best to keep a close eye on your valuables at all times.

Overall, Bacalar is very safe compared to other cities in Mexico and is a perfectly safe destination safe for females and solo travelers.

🚨 Do you need travel insurance for Mexico? Yes! Most insurance plans in your home country will not cover incidents abroad. I recommend using Travel Insurance Master, which is a handy travel insurance marketplace where you can compare policies. Get a FREE quote by clicking here!

Laguna Bacalar Mexico

Bacalar Mexico Weather

The town of Bacalar has a warm tropical climate year-round. The average high temperature is around 89°F (32°C), with slightly cooler temperatures in the winter months.

Rainy season runs from June-October when chances of rain are higher but there will still be plenty of sun.

Here is a chart of the Bacalar average monthly temperatures:

Bacalar Average Monthly Temperatures Chart

Travelista Tip: It’s best to check the weather before planning your trip to Bacalar. When it’s sunny, you’ll get to experience the brightest shades of turquoise of the lagoon.

Bacalar Lagoon Wooden Swings

Best Time to Visit Bacalar

If you want to enjoy some of the sunniest skies, the best time to visit Bacalar is during the dry season from December to February, when temperatures are slightly lower with less humidity.

Although this is considered high season and it does tend to be more crowded during this time, you’ll have lower chances of rain and be able to enjoy the lagoon’s best activities like swimming and sunbathing.

The Bacalar rainy season runs from June to October, where chances of rain will be higher. However, that doesn’t necessarily make it a bad time to visit–there will still be sun and it’s common for storms to pass quickly.

Basically, Bacalar is a great place to visit any time of year!

Los Aluxes Bacalar

How to get to Bacalar Mexico

There are a few different ways to get to Bacalar depending on your budget and car situation:

Drive to Bacalar

The easiest and most common way to get to Bacalar Lake is by driving or renting a car.  Driving times from nearby destinations are as follows:

  • Cancun to Bacalar: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Cancun Airport to Bacalar: 4 hours
  • Merida to Bacalar: 4 hours
  • Valladolid to Bacalar: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Playa del Carmen to Bacalar: 3 hours
  • Tulum to Bacalar: 2 hours
  • Mahahual to Bacalar: 1 hour
  • Chetumal to Bacalar: 40 minutes
How to Get to Bacalar Mexico

The route to Bacalar is very easy going directly southbound on the main highway.  You’ll primarily be driving on major highways and well-maintained roads, but you’ll want to be prepared for occasional tolls and periods with no cell service.

👉 For a hassle-free experience, book your car through my favorite rental service Discover Cars by clicking here!

Tips for driving to Bacalar

Follow these tips for a safe drive to Bacalar:

  • Fill up with a full tank of gas: There are very few gas stations on the route to Bacalar so you’ll want to make sure you start the trip with a full tank.

  • Have change on hand for tolls: Depending on the route you take, you will likely have to pay a small toll (around $30 pesos). Be sure to have some change on hand. 

  • Start your navigation before leaving: You will lose cell service on the way to Bacalar so be sure to start your GPS navigation before setting out.

  • Watch out for speed bumps (topes): Mexico is notorious for speed bumps! Be on the lookout for warning signs that say “Tope”– they can sneak up on you!

  • Be prepared for no cell service: Cell service is very spotty throughout the drive and there may be long periods with no service. I would recommend downloading your favorite Spotify playlist to your phone!
Mexico Tope Speed Bump

Book a Private Transfer to Bacalar

If you’re not comfortable driving on your own, consider booking a private transfer to Bacalar. While this is the most expensive option, you’ll have your own private van and local driver for a hassle-free ride.

👉 Book a private transfer to Bacalar by clicking here!

Laguna Bacalar Mexico

Take the ADO Bus to Bacalar

If you don’t have a car, the cheapest way to get to Bacalar is by taking the ADO bus.

This large, charter-style bus is very comfortable and can be taken from Playa del Carmen, Tulum, or Cancun.  The cost is around $40 USD roundtrip depending on where you’re leaving from and there are several departures each day.

Tickets for ADO buses can be booked directly on the ADO website (Spanish only) or through BusBud, which is a handy online booking tool (in English).

👉 Book ADO bus tickets to Bacalar on BusBud by clicking here!

ADO Bus to Bacalar

Fly to Bacalar

The closest airport to Bacalar is Chetumal International Airport, however this is a small airport mainly serving regional flights.

Most people will fly into Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is about 4 hours away. Then you can rent a car, book a private transfer, or take the ADO bus to Bacalar.

Bacalar Map

Here’s a close-up Bacalar map of the town center in relation to the lagoon and surrounding area. Use this as a reference when planning your trip to Bacalar!

Bacalar Mexico Map

How to Get Around Bacalar

Once in Bacalar, the town is fairly small and mostly walkable.  I would recommend staying close to the Bacalar town center where most of the restaurants are within a 10 minute walk.  The lagoon is also within easy walking distance.

If you need to go further distances, taxis are available and can be arranged by your hotel or hostel.  Just make sure to plan ahead as it can take a long time for taxis to arrive.

If you plan to do any day trips around Bacalar, then I would recommend booking a rental car, which will give you the freedom to explore some more off-the-beaten-path attractions. Plus, free street parking is available around town.

🚲 Bike rentals are also common in Bacalar and are offered at many of the hotels to make getting around town easier.

Street Art Bacalar

Where to Stay in Bacalar

There are many different accommodation options in Bacalar including boutique hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals.

Basically you can choose to stay directly on the lagoon (which will cost more) or stay in the center of town to be close to shops and restaurants.

🏩 Check out my Bacalar hotel guide here for a full list of the best hotels in Bacalar!

Best Bacalar Luxury Hotels

These are the best luxury hotels in Bacalar:

  • Mia Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa: As a 5-star lagoon front resort, Mia Bacalar is consistently rated as one of the most luxurious hotels in Bacalar. Guests can enjoy a swimming pool, on-site restaurant and bar, and some seriously cool bungalow accommodations with unique architectural features.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Mia Bacalar

Bacalar Lagoon of the Seven Colors
  • Habitas Bacalar: As one of the newest luxury hotels in Bacalar, Habitas Bacalar is a high-end lagoon front jungle oasis. With unique A-frame tented rooms, guests are treated to luxury amenities with a holistic focus on wellness and restoration.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Habitas Bacalar

Best Bacalar Mid Range Hotels

These are the best mid-range hotels in Bacalar:

  • Hotel Eco Boutique Makaabá: This newly-opened Bacalar eco-hotel has a stunning outdoor pool, second-level hammocks, and an on-site restaurant. I stayed here the very first time I visited Bacalar and was impressed by the hotel’s environmentally-friendly design and central location. The loft-style rooms are small and cozy so you’ll want to upgrade to a King room if you prefer more space!

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Hotel Eco Boutique Makaabá

Hotel Eco Boutique Makaaba Bacalar Pool
Hotel Eco Boutique Makaaba Bacalar
  • Agam Hotel: This boutique Bacalar hotel has modern rooms and a great central location–plus a beautiful outdoor swimming pool. I personally stayed at Agam Hotel and would definitely recommend it–you can check out my full review here! The hotel is cute, quiet, and safe and just a 5-minute walk to the lagoon.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Agam Hotel

Agam Hotel Bacalar Pool
Agam Hotel Bacalar Guestroom
  • Hotel CasaBakal: This lagoon front property features thatched-roof bungalow-style accommodations with vaulted ceilings, hammocks, and some rooms with private pools. Guests can also enjoy an enticing outdoor swimming pool overlooking the lagoon.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at CasaBakal

Best Bacalar Budget Hotels

These are the best budget-friendly hotels in Bacalar:

  • Hotel Aires Bacalar: This central Bacalar hotel has modern and trendy rooms at an affordable price. The guest rooms are boho-chic and some have balconies, hammocks, and lagoon views. Plus, the hotel offers a beautiful outdoor swimming pool and hot tub in a jungle oasis, as well as free breakfast.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Hotel Aires Bacalar

Hotel Aires Bacalar
  • Casa Chukum: This budget-friendly Bacalar hotel features clean, colorful, and modern accommodations at an affordable price. Guests can also enjoy an eclectic outdoor swimming pool and colorful garden with lounge beds and hammocks–all just 1 block away from the lagoon.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Casa Chukum

Casa Chukum Bacalar
  • Yak Lake House: As one of the most popular hostels in Bacalar, Yak Lake House is a lively hub for young social travelers. Live DJs, boat tours, water sports, and fun social events keep guests entertained during their stay at this vibrant Bacalar hostel. Both shared and private rooms are available.

👉 Click here to check rates and availability at Yak Lake House Bacalar

Yak Lake House Bacalar

Top 10 Things to do in Bacalar

Here are some of the top things to do in Bacalar. Check out my full list of 25 things to do in Bacalar for more fun activities!

1. Go on a Bacalar boat tour

Going on a boat tour of the lagoon is pretty much the top thing to do in Bacalar! Bacalar boat tours come in two basic forms: pontoon boats and sailboats.

I would recommend opting for a sailboat tour if possible, as non-motorized boats have less of an environmental impact on the lagoon.

Most boat excursions will include a full guided tour of the lagoon, with stops at the main sights and most popular places – Cenote Negro, Canal de los Piratas, Cenote Esmeralda, and Cenote Cocalitos.

🏴‍☠️ The highlight of sailing in Bacalar is definitely a visit to “Canal de los Piratas” (Pirates’ Channel), where you swim in crystal clear waters – it’s kind of like a party cove!

Prices for Bacalar boat tours are very affordable, and the tours usually last around 3-4 hours with some snacks, beers, and life jackets included.

👉 Book the best Bacalar sailing tour by clicking here!

Bacalar Sailing Tour

2. Go kayaking on the lagoon

The best way to explore Bacalar Lagoon on your own is by renting a kayak. There are many kayaking rentals available from Bacalar tour operators, which gives you the freedom to explore the lagoon at your own pace.

Kayaking is a peaceful and relaxing activity, and you can visit many of the lagoon’s popular sites on your own. Plus, you stay at “Canal de los Piratas” for as long as you want!

I went kayaking the very first time I visited Bacalar and it was so memorable! It’s the perfect way to get an up close view of the lagoon and customize the day’s itinerary to your personal preferences.

Travelista Tip: Be sure to bring plenty of biodegradable sunscreen and a waterproof dry bag to take on the kayak.

👉 Book a Bacalar kayaking tour by clicking here!

Bacalar kayak
Bacalar Kayak

3. Go standup paddleboarding on the lagoon

Another fun way to explore Bacalar Lake Mexico is on a standup paddle board. With calm waters and gorgeous views, the beautiful lagoon is the perfect place for it–even if you’re a beginner!  

There are many Bacalar standup paddleboarding (SUP) tours available, including sunrise sessions for early risers. It’s best to go early in the day when the water is calmest and before the lagoon gets busy with boat tours. 

I recommend going on a small group paddleboarding tour, which is a great way to meet people in a relaxed environment. And be prepared for a killer workout too!

👉 Book a Bacalar standup paddleboarding tour by clicking here!

Bacalar Paddle Boarding

4. Visit Los Rapidos Bacalar

Another one of the best Bacalar attractions is Los Rapidos, which is a restaurant and fun excursion where you can float down the rapid canals of the lagoon.

This popular spot looks similar to a cenote but has rivers and narrow channels with natural currents flowing through them.

Visitors to Los Rápidos can float down the rapids and channels, relax in hammocks, or dine at the on-site restaurant.

The Los Rapidos entrance fee is around $300 pesos (~$15 USD) per adult. Be sure to bring water shoes as the site can be very rocky!

Travelista Tip: Bring some inflatable pool floats for a little more fun!  When I visited, we brought this large inflatable unicorn, which was a fun way to float down the canals. 

Los Rapidos Bacalar
Los Rapidos Bacalar

5. Tour the San Felipe Fort

Located right in the main town square, a visit to Bacalar’s San Felipe Fort (Fuerte de San Felipe) is perfect for history buffs.

Originally built in the 18th century to prevent against pirate attacks, the San Felipe Fort is now a popular destination for tourists. Visitors can take a tour of the fort’s many rooms and learn about the history of Bacalar at the fort’s museum.

The Fort of San Felipe is open Monday-Sunday from 9AM-7PM. The entrance cost is $55 pesos for Mexican nationals and $110 pesos (~$5.50 USD) for foreigners.

🏴‍☠️ Even if you don’t want to pay to go inside, you can still see the fort’s cannons and fortress structures from the outside–along with beautiful views of the lagoon!

Bacalar Fort San Felipe
Fuerte de San Felipe Bacalar Mexico

6. Visit Cenote Negro (Black Cenote)

Also known as “Cenote de la Bruja” (Witch’s Cenote), Cenote Negro is a deep cenote that is located just off the main Bacalar lagoon and can be reached by boat or kayak.

🧙‍♀️ Local legend says that a witch used to live on the property here, which is where the cenote gets its name.

Cenote Negro is about 15 meters (50 feet) deep, which makes the water the darkest shade of blue. It’s remarkable to see the sharp contrast in the color of the water once you reach the cenote–it can’t be missed!

👉 Book a boat tour to visit Cenote Negro by clicking here!

Cenote Negro Bacalar
Cenote Negro Bacalar

7. Explore ancient Mayan Ruins

If you want to see some Mayan Ruins, you’re in luck because there are several impressive Mayan ruins near Bacalar! Note Chichen Itza is a bit far at about 4 hours away!

Here are the most popular ruins near Bacalar that make for an easy day trip:

  • Chacchoben Ruins: These Costa Maya ruins are the closest to Bacalar at only 35 minutes away. Visitors to Chacchoben (pronounced “Chak-cho-ben”) can see impressive pyramids, unique curved architecture, and the site will likely have fewer tourists and crowds!
Chacchoben Mayan Ruins
  • Kohunlich Ruins: The Kohunlich (pronounced “Koe-hoon-leech”) archaeological site is about 1 hour from Bacalar and its most notable feature is the Temple of Masks, which is a pyramid with a large mask on its front facade. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for howler monkeys in the trees!
Kohunlich Mayan Ruins
  • Oxtankah Ruins: Located near the Belize border, the Oxtankah Ruins (pronounced “Osh-tahn-kah”) are about 1 hour from Bacalar. This smaller archaeological site features several pyramids, temples, a Spanish chapel, and ancient burial tombs.

  • Dzibanche Ruins: Located a little over an hour from Bacalar, the Dzibanche Ruins (pronounced “Zee-ban-che”) are some of the most impressive and least visited Mayan ruins in the Yucatan peninsula. The site consists of two different remains (Dzibanche and Kinichna) where visitors can see pyramids, ceremonial centers, and stone masks, as well as the impressive ‘House of the Sun God” pyramid, which is still climbable.

👉 Book a Dzibanche Ruins tour by clicking here!

Dzibanche Mayan Ruins

8. Visit Cenote Azul Bacalar

Located just outside of the city center, Cenote Azul is one of the most visited cenotes in Bacalar. At about 90 meters (295 feet) deep, Bacalar’s Cenote Azul is one of the deepest cenotes in Riviera Maya

It’s a large, round open cenote that looks more like a lake and is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking. You’ll want to wear a life jacket as the swimming areas are extremely deep!

There is also a restaurant on-site where visitors can dine after exploring the cenote. The Cenote Azul Bacalar entrance fee is only $25 pesos (~$1 USD), which makes it one of the cheapest things to do in Bacalar! 

Cenote Azul Bacalar

9. Relax at Cenote Cocalitos

For some Instragram-worthy shots, head to Cenote Cocalitos, which is a tranquil swimming lagoon with overwater hammocks, swings, and an on-site restaurant. 

Cenote Cocalitos is a popular stop on a boat tour, but you can also enter directly from the beach. It is actually more of a shallow lagoon rather than a cenote!

The most unique feature of Cenote Cocalitos is that it is home to fossilized stromatolites, which are layered rock formations and one of the earliest forms of life on earth–they are pretty cool to see!

The Cenote Cocalitos entrance fee is around $50 pesos (~$2.50 USD) per person and it’s open daily from 10AM-5PM.  It’s fun and one of the most beautiful places to spend the day–and one of the most popular things to do in Bacalar!

Cenote Cocalitos Bacalar

10. Hang out at Los Aluxes

Los Aluxes is one of the best places to hang out in Bacalar!  This restaurant is located right on the lagoon and is the perfect place to relax and enjoy some good food and drinks. 

Similar to a beach club, visitors can get in the water and they also have fun wooden swings, day beds, water sports, and small boats available for rent, so there is plenty to keep you entertained. 

Plus, the whole scene at Los Aluxes is so fun and colorful–you’ll get to see some stunning views of the brightly colored lagoon!

Los Aluxes Bacalar
Los Aluxes Bacalar

Where to eat in Bacalar

Here are some of the best restaurants in Bacalar:

🌮 Check out my full Bacalar restaurant guide for even more recommendations!

Best Breakfast Restaurants in Bacalar

Start your day at one of these best Bacalar breakfast restaurants:

  • El Manati: Located in an outdoor garden setting, El Manati is a breakfast restaurant that serves traditional American and Mexican breakfast dishes using fresh and locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is also home to an art gallery and gift shop, featuring some incredible artwork from local artists.
El Manati Bacalar Restaurant
  • Enamora: This is the happening breakfast spot in Bacalar with colorful picnic table seating. Menu options at Enamora Bacalar include omelets, egg dishes, tartines, french toast, and fresh fruit salads.
Enamora Bacalar Best Breakfast Restaurant
  • Ixchel: This laid-back breakfast restaurant gets its name from Ixchel, the Mayan goddess of love and fertility. Ixchel house specials include chilaquiles, omelets, and Oreo pancakes.
Ixchel Bacalar Restaurant

Best Lunch Restaurants in Bacalar

These are some of the best spots for lunch in Bacalar:

  • Mango y Chile: This vegan restaurant sits adjacent to the San Felipe Fort and offers some stunning views from its terrace seating area overlooking the lagoon. All menu items at Mango y Chile are vegan including waffles, burgers, hot dogs, smoothies, and fruit dishes.
Mango y Chile Bacalar Lagoon
  • Mi Burrito Bacalar: This casual Bacalar food truck serves up some of the best burritos in Bacalar! Mi Burrito Bacalar serves many different burrito options including meat, Spanish sausage, shrimp, chicken, eggs, veggies, and more.
Mi Burrito Bacalar Food Truck
  • La Playita: La Playita is one of the most popular Bacalar restaurants located right on the lagoon and is perfect for lunch or dinner.  It has a great ambiance and the menu offers a variety of delicious food including tacos, empanadas, burgers, and flatbreads. 
La Playita Bacalar

Best Dinner Restaurants in Bacalar

Head to one of these Bacalar restaurants for dinner after a day on the lagoon:

  • Finisterre Bacalar: Serving brick oven pizza and Mediterranean cuisine, Finisterre is a more upscale Bacalar restaurant with an open-air patio overlooking the lagoon. It’s a great place to enjoy pizza, pasta, and wine after a day on the lagoon–the lasagna is delicious!
Finisterre Bacalar Restaurant
  • Barbanegra: An upscale taco restaurant accented with red lighting, Barbanegra is a mood. These gourmet tacos will come at a higher price but with tortillas made by hand they are #worthit–Don’t miss out on the 2×1 drink special!
Barbanegra Bacalar
  • Nixtamal: Only open for dinner, Nixtamal is an upscale restaurant serving seafood, fresh fish, steaks, and ribeye dishes. The plates are creative and beautifully- presented in a trendy outdoor setting.
Nixtamal Bacalar Restaurant

Best Cafes in Bacalar

These are the best cafes in Bacalar:

  • Yerbabuena: A colorful cafe and juice bar adorned with cute wooden swings, Yerbabuena serves coffee, smoothies, and agua fresca. Food items include pancakes, sandwiches, salads, and poke bowls.
Yerbabuena Bacalar

Bacalar Nightlife

Bacalar does not have a wild nightlife scene and you won’t find any late-night clubs or party spots. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely dead in the evenings!

There are still plenty of lively bars and people will be out and about around the town square at night–simply walking around, dining at restaurants with outdoor seating, or sampling some of the Bacalar street food from local vendors.

Here are some of the most popular bars in Bacalar that get pretty lively in the evenings:

  • La Catrina: This bar mainly attracts locals with its live music in the evenings. Head to La Catrina for a laid-back bar and pizzeria with a mix of salsa music and Mexican classics–the dance floor will be busy!
La Catrina Bar Bacalar
  • I Scream Bar: Located close to the town center, I Scream Bar is a lively bar and restaurant with tons of eccentric decor including an ice cream bar and car parts in the ceiling. The last time I was in Bacalar it was packed!
I Scream Bar Bacalar

What to Pack for Bacalar

Here are some essential items to add to your Bacalar packing list:

Tips for Visiting Bacalar

Follow these tips to make the most of your visit to Bacalar:

  • Check the weather: It’s best to check the weather before planning your trip to Bacalar. When it’s sunny, the colors of the lagoon are the brightest and most impressive.

  • Stay on the lagoon if you can: If your budget allows, I would definitely recommend staying on the lagoon. Nothing beats waking up and walking out right onto the lagoon in the early hours!

  • Bring biodegradable sunscreen and bug spray: Be sure to bring plenty of biodegradable sunscreen as there is little shade once you’re out on the lagoon. You’ll also want to bring bug spray as mosquitos can be intense in the dense jungle environment.

  • Book boat tours in advance: Boat tours can fill up quickly so you’ll definitely want to book your Bacalar boat tour in advance. There are usually only a few departure times each day. Make your reservation by clicking here!
Bacalar Lagoon Mexico

FAQs about Bacalar Lagoon Mexico

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Bacalar Lagoon:

Is Bacalar Lagoon worth visiting?

Yes, Bacalar is definitely worth visiting! This charming town is officially designated as a “Pueblo Magico” (magic town) because of its natural beauty and magical atmosphere.

Bacalar offers a relaxing lakeside retreat and is much less commercialized than the nearby tourist destinations of Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun–and much more affordable!

Can you swim in Bacalar Lagoon?

Yes, you can swim in Bacalar Lagoon and there are many restaurants and hotels on the lake offering direct lagoon access.

Visitors can also book Bacalar tours in boats, rent kayaks, or go standup paddleboarding to enjoy the lagoon.  

Los Rapidos Bacalar

What airport do you fly into for Bacalar Mexico?

The most common airport to fly into for Bacalar is Cancun International Airport (CUN), which is about 4 hours away.

The nearest airport to Bacalar is technically Chetumal Airport, but it is a smaller airport mainly serving regional flights.

Is Bacalar a party town?

Bacalar is not a party town and does not have a wild nightlife scene. There is still nightlife and some bars that are open late but it’s best suited for those looking for a laid-back and relaxing getaway.

Is Bacalar touristy?

Tourism has grown in Bacalar in recent years but it’s still nowhere near Tulum, Playa del Carmen, or Cancun levels. The town still caters to tourists but it feels much more authentic and less commercialized.

Is Bacalar Lagoon freshwater?

Yes, Bacalar Lagoon is a freshwater lake.

Bacalar Laguna de los Siete Colors

Conclusion: Bacalar Lagoon Mexico Travel Guide

Are you ready to visit Mexico’s Bacalar Lagoon of Seven Colors!?  I hope this ultimate Bacalar guide was helpful in planning your visit!

While Bacalar is a little more off-the-beaten-path, it’s definitely worth a visit for its stunning natural beauty–I have never seen a lake quite as beautiful as Bacalar!

Bacalar is such a special place and is one of my favorite destinations in Mexico–I hope you love it as much as I do! ❤️

Traveling to Mexico soon?

These are the Mexico travel resources I use and recommend:

🏨 Hotels: I always find the best deals for Mexico hotels and resorts on Booking.com. If you prefer a vacation rental, check VRBO as they are often cheaper than AirBnB’s added fees!

✈️ Flights: I recommend using Skyscanner for the best Mexico flight deals. Be sure to sign up for their price alerts for your preferred travel dates.

🚗 Rental Cars: I like to use Discover Cars because you can compare multiple car rental companies and see detailed ratings for overall value, ease of pick-up, efficiency of agents, car condition, and overall time spent.

🚙 Cancun Airport Transportation: I recommend booking a private transfer with Cancun Airport Transportation for the quickest and most hassle-free option!

🤿 Tours & Activities: I always use Viator or GetYourGuide for booking tours and activities in Mexico. You can cancel up to 24 hours before the tour for a full refund, plus they have excellent customer service if you were to have any issues.

🚨 Travel Insurance: After my Dad broke his hand in a taxi accident in Playa del Carmen, I always recommend buying travel insurance before your trip for added peace of mind! I recommend Travel Insurance Master for short trips or Safety Wing for digital nomads.

☀️ Biodegradable Sunscreen: Don’t forget to add biodegradable sunscreen to your Mexico packing list! Regular sunscreen is prohibited when swimming in the ocean and cenotes in Mexico, so you’ll need to pack some biodegradable sunscreen for sun protection. I recommend Sun Bum Sunscreen, which is reef-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free.