Bacalar is one of the few Magical Towns in the state of Quintana Roo. Its strategic location at the foot of the extensive and beautiful Bacalar lagoon make it a unique place thanks to its history and traditions. Know what to do in Bacalar to not miss the best.

Bacalar It is a town with a marked personality on a Caribbean coast that sometimes lacks cultural identity. Away from the great tourist masses of the Riviera Maya, this area is fresh air for the most adventurous, and the town of Bacalar is the most magical place to lose yourself for a few days.

Bacalar It is one of the coastal towns with stories of pirates: an XNUMXth century fortress at the foot of the current square endorses those times. The call Fort of San Felipe It is one of the recommended visits in Bacalar. It is in the center, next to the central square, the natural heart of the town where the locals gather to gossip, have an ice cream, go for a walk or show off their bride. The wonderful squares where you see life go by 🙂

Are you interested in the hotel guide in Bacalar?



The great charm of Bacalar is to be on foot of this wonderful natural space, the Bacalar lagoon. The lagoon stretches for 55 kilometers between a system of fresh and salty waters that communicate with the Caribbean. The lagoon has different accesses, public and private, either from one of the spas, restaurants or private houses and hotels. RECOMMENDED BALNEARIES IN BACALAR:

  • Municipal Spa El Aserradero: local atmosphere and free admission, you only pay if you park the car, about 20 pesos. It is central, 3 blocks from San Felipe fort, on 14 street. Open every day from 9 to 6 in the afternoon.
  • Balneario Mágico de Bacalar: the oldest and most popular among locals. On Sundays it's full, well, on Sundays they're all full 😉 At the end of 28 Street you find it. Good food and boat rides.
  • Cocolitos Spa: famous for its stromatolites (Take care of this being, thanks to them the Planet was oxygenated), it is one of the most beautiful in Bacalar. The entry is 50 pesos and the schedules from 9 to 18, like most.
  • Buena Vista Spa: It is located at km 57 of the Chetumal-Cancun highway. A place with a slide and children's games. You can camp, as in other spas.
  • Sac-Há Spa: It is located on the road from Bacalar to Chetumal, on the way to The Rapids. It is a quieter space, with good food.
  • Rancho Alegre Spa: this little hotel opens its facilities during the day so that visitors can enjoy the lagoon. close to Los Rápidos de Bacalar. 30 charges the entrance fee.
  • Xul-Há Municipal Spa: in the town of Xul-Há we find this spa, with an entrance fee of 10 pesos. A popular place among the local population.
  • Beach Club Manantial: Another restaurant facing the lagoon. Like the previous one, because it is further away, there are fewer people.
what to do bacalar lagoon


From Bacalar hotels and agencies offer various excursions around the lagoon. Broadly speaking, there are two types of boat excursion through the lagoon:

  • one is by motor boat,
  • Another possibility is by sailboat or catamaran. We recommend this option as it does not contaminate the natural space.

You go to the same places more or less, but by motor the circuit is cheaper and faster. The price of the catamaran is about 550 pesos and by boat about 250 pesos per person.

Some hotels are located at the foot of the lagoon, a highly recommended option to wake up with a bath at sunrise, pura vida.

Watch this paddle surfing tour around the lagoon

what to do in bacalar


In the very center square, where the local atmosphere and several restaurants and shops are concentrated, is this San Felipe fortress built in the XNUMXth century to protect the place from constant pirate attacks. Today it houses a museum of military history. It is a visit that gives you a different option in what to do in Bacalar.

SCHEDULES AND ENTRY: 20 adult weights, 10 pesos children. From Tuesday to Sunday from 9 to 6 in the afternoon.

Fort of San Felipe
Fort of San Felipe in Bacalar


The Blue cenote is the best known and most popular in Bacalar. It is a very nice space to swim and have a nice time. Its facilities have all the services and a good restaurant. The views from the heights are somewhat impressive in Bacalar. From a corner of the road that leads you to the Blue cenote you have a panoramic view where you can look out just before going down the hill to the cenote parking lot.

SCHEDULES AND PRICE: 30 pesos per person, open daily from 10 to 18 hours. Read more of Blue Cenote

The best time to see the colors of the lagoon are on sunny days at the zenith of the sun, from 12 to 2 in the afternoon depending on the time of year.


You are going to discover that the lagoon has several cenotes, I think there are 5 specifically, being La Brujita next to the Azul cenote the most popular. Al de la Brujita can be reached by the coastal avenue with 8th street, there is an access through the Javier Rojo Gómez school. You can also go kayaking, I can assure you that it is quite impressive to reach the middle of this dark blue.

Know 7 essential things to do in Bacalar 1
This photo of Bacalar is courtesy of Tripadvisor


One of the excursions in the lagoon are by those known as the rapids, a channel that connects the Bacalar lagoon with the Xul-ha lagoon. You can come here by taxi from Bacalar, it is about 15 kilometers. There are restaurants and accommodation, as we explain in the hotel guide in Bacalar. They also offer excursions to the area from Bacalar. For us it is one of the coolest things to do in Bacalar the rapids. If you come for free you can rent kayak in the area.

HOW TO GET TO THE RAPIDS: from Chetumal a collective taxi charges you 60 pesos per person, from Bacalar you can also take a collective taxi. On the way back you can ask at the Los Rápidos restaurant to send you a unit. The entrance is 100 pesos, rent a kayak about 200 pesos an hour.

baclar stromatolites
Bacalar Rapids Channel


The southern area of ​​Quintana Roo is full of archaeological surprises, treasures such as Kohunlich, Chacchoben, Dzibanché or the most remote and fantastic Calakmul or Becán in the state of Campeche. From Bacalar it is difficult to reach many of these cities by public transport, but they offer excursions to visit them. Without a doubt my recommended excursion is Calakmul, one of our unmissable tops of the Yucatan Peninsula.

You can BOOK from this link your excursion to Calakmul.

Kohunlich archaeological site, Quintana Roo

Bacalar is growing in tourism and its service offerings are expanding. For things to do in Bacalar I find a public viewpoint missing from where to contemplate the 7 beautiful colors of the lagoon, sometimes the lagoon remains too covered in the town.

How to get to Bacalar by car and public transport

For us The best restaurant at the foot of the lagoon is La Playita, a delicious space that opened in 2012 and has been growing. It is located on the coastal road with 26 street, only 200 meters from San Felipe fort. We leave you the La Playita website so you can browse

Bacalar is one of the places on your path that you fall in love with, it has magic. Most independent travelers end up wanting to know Bacalar, word of mouth is the best symptom of a place. Q

Know 7 essential things to do in Bacalar 2

Bacalar, towns

LOCATION:Bacalar is located on the federal 307, 45 km of Chetumal and 350 km of Cancun.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? There are departures from most towns along the coast. Official Web from the main bus company that operates the area. You can also arrive in combi (collective vans).
WHAT MORE TO SEE IN THE AREA?: Cenote Azul, Chetumal, Mahahual and the archaeological sites of Chacchoben or Dzibanché.

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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