Welcome to Bacalar
Bacalar is a tropical destination you have to see to believe. This quaint Mexican town is famous for its otherworldly freshwater lake known as Laguna Bacalar or “La Laguna de Los Siete Colores” (The Lagoon of 7 Colors). The mesmerizing gradient blues of the lake and inlets are known to leave visitors awe-inspired. Bacalar is also quickly becoming one of North America’s adventure hubs. Come explore the magic of breathtaking Bacalar.
1. Take A Boat Tour of Bacalar Lagoon
Perhaps the single best way to explore Bacalar is by taking a boat tour of the lagoon. There are so many options when it comes to boat tours, but if you ask any of the locals you’ll find a hidden gem in the lagoon.
“Canal de los Piratas” also known as Pirates Channel was once upon a time thought to be a major trading channel within the Mayan Empire. Thanks to its location between the main lake and the Laguna Mariscal to the east, it’s a local favorite. It’s now a place where you can wade through the turquoise waters with a refreshing beer in hand.
There are so many options when it comes to Bacalar Lagoon Tours that you really can’t go wrong.
2. Relax in the Pools of Cenotes Cocalitos
At Cenotes Cocalitos you’ll be sharing the magical waters with one of the oldest organisms on the planet, Stromatolites. No need to worry, these won’t hurt you, they are giant and you can spot them emerging from the surface of the water in certain spots. It’s important not to touch them or swim in them but take all the pictures you want!
Other activities to enjoy at Cenote Cocalitos include swimming, boating and hanging out at the beach club. How does relaxing in a hammock and taking in the beautiful views sound?
The cenote is open from 10 am to 5 pm daily, and admission is about $3 USD.
4. Explore Fort San Felipe
You’ll find Fort San Felipe behind the colorful main square of Bacalar. The fort was built in the 17th century to protect Bacalar from endless pirate raids. It was completed in 1733 and enabled the Spanish to defend the area successfully.
While the fort isn’t large, it’s very picturesque due to the turquoise water shimmering in the distance. There is a small museum within the fort where you can learn more about the pirate history of Bacalar. The fort is closed on Monday and the entrance fee is around $5 USD.
5. Enjoy the Cenote Azul
Only 4 km from Bacalar, the Cenote Azul is a beautiful large open air cenote. Open air cenotes tend to look more like a lake than a cave and this particular cenote is stunning. Swim in the turquoise waters or grab a bite at the on-site restaurant.
They ask that you don’t wear sunscreen in this cenote (not even reef safe) so it’s best to swim here early in the day before the sun reaches its peak. The cost of visiting is about $1 USD.
For more cenote info and great local cenote recommendations, be sure to check out our Ultimate Cenote Guide.
6. Have a Blast at Los Rapidos
Los Rapidos is essentially a natural lazy river and is in a stunning location near Bacalar. In fact, this riverside club is perched on part of the river that feeds into Bacalar Lagoon. Lounge in a hammock, sit back and relax in a lounge chair, or grab a table and a bite.
The most fun and famous thing to do at Los Rapidos is to let the river take you downstream. You can either rent a kayak or life jacket, and there are ropes to catch you should the water become too fast.
7. Try Stand Up Paddleboarding or Kayaking
Bacalar is a fantastic place to try Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUPing) or kayaking. You can rent either a Stand Up Paddleboard or kayak at the Lake of 7 Colors.
Or take in a Bacalar sunrise on this Transparent Kayak Tour.
8. Check Out the Kohunlich Mayan Ruins
The Yucatan is full of Mayan Ruins, and you can visit some while visiting Bacalar. Kohunlich is the closest site to Bacalar and is just a one hour drive away. Visitors will discover the amazing Temple of Masks, an awesome pyramid that is flanked by human like mask carvings.
While they aren’t the most dramatic Mayan Ruins on the Yucatan, if you are looking for something fun to do and have a few days in Bacalar, Kohunlich is worth a visit. The cost to visit the Kohunlich ruins is $8 USD for adults, and children get free entrance.
Don’t want to explore on your own? Take a Guided Historical Tour At The Mayan Cities.