Ultimate Travel Guide for Bacalar Lagoon
Bacalar Lagoon is an area of Mexico located in Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula. It’s also very close to Tulum and Playa del Carmen (two other popular tourist destinations).
Bacalar Lagoon is home to some pretty incredible views of nature-and, not just along the water. Some trees around that are genuinely giant (for example, one tree near El Eden has a trunk that measures over 32 feet wide!) Like all Mexican forests, they’re rich in wildlife, so bring your camera if you want any pictures! One of the most popular animals to spot in Bacalar Lagoon is the howler monkey, but you’re also likely to see many other remarkable species if you go exploring.
Best Time To Go to Bacalar Lagoon
Bacalar is a very popular destination, but there aren’t high seasons. The driest months are from January to April, but there’s no real rainy season. It can be cold in the evenings and even at night during those months. Going outside these months is best if you want a warm water beach vacation. Late May through mid-October is the best time for swimming as it gets very humid during those months.
The Best Way to Get Around Bacalar Lagoon
The only way to get around Bacalar Lagoon is by car or taxi. You can rent a scooter if you’d like, but the roads are very hilly, and you’ll most likely want to save money for exploring the area. Compared to other areas in Mexico that tourists visit, Bacalar has fewer options for public transportation; it’s private, mainly vehicles or taxis. Local shuttles take people from one beach to another (from El Eden to Playa Blanca, etc.), but visitors don’t typically use them.
Bacalar has no airport, so most international travelers will likely go through Cancun International Airport before arriving at the lagoon. If you travel from another location in Mexico to Bacalar, you’ll most likely do it by car.
Bacalar Lagoon’s Best Beaches
Although the lagoon is beautiful, this destination is impressive because of its incredible beaches. Bacalar has seven beaches that vary in size and shape, but they’re all just as stunning as the next! The main beach you’ll see when arriving at Bacalar Lagoon will be Playa Blanca, one of the few places where lifeguards are on duty during certain hours of the day. This stretch of coast gets busy during peak season (and pretty empty during off-peak months), although it’s still an excellent place for swimming.
What to do in Bacalar Lagoon
Bacalar Lagoon has a rich history in the area. For example, it’s named after “Cueva del Baku-ra,” an ancient Mayan word meaning “water with reeds.” The lagoon was used for salt production in pre-Hispanic times, although not many people know this fact when visiting Bacalar today! All existing lagoons are manmade, with some still containing salt deposits.
Bacalar has no special attractions since it’s all about enjoying nature and relaxing at the beach. That said, most visitors will enjoy eating seafood and exploring nearby ruins such as Chichen Itza.
There are several options for spending time in the Buckler Lagoon:
- Playa Norte is the main beach in town and one of Mexico’s best beaches! It’s pretty significant and has many restaurants along the waterfront. It also attracts people from Cancun who want to drive out for a day trip instead of public transportation to towns farther south like Tulum.
- Laguna Bacalar is a shallow lake within the lagoon itself, and it’s known for its unique colors and clarity, with an average depth of 26 feet. You can rent kayaks or even motorized boats to explore this lake if you’re adventurous! It has many small coves and beaches, and a resort hangs over the water on stilts here.
Parque EcoAlberto, which is 1km away from town, was once a limestone mine that operated in the 1930s! Now it’s open to visitors who can walk through several hundred meters (yards) of caves where they mined the limestone. There are many other activities, like zip-lining and rappelling, which you can do beforehand or combine with a park tour.
- X’canchi is a popular place among the locals that has a large Mexican fast-food restaurant along one side and a stage where they have concerts along the other. On weekends there’s also an area where musicians play on the street for tips from people walking by. It’s a fun place to go at night!
- The nearby cenotes are a fantastic place to swim and relax while being close enough for a day trip by car or bus. The most popular ones are Grutas de Loltun, Cenote Azul, y Cenario las Pailas. You can even arrange with some hotels in Bacalar to have them take you there!
Best Places to Stay in Bacalar Lagoon
There are few hotels in Bacalar, although a few nearby options exist. For example, plenty of people stay at Iberostar’s El Paraiso, the closest resort to the area. This hotel has almost 100 rooms, and most importantly, it’s on one of Bacalar Lagoon’s best beaches.
People who want to save money may consider staying in Tulum instead. It’s not far from Bacalar Lagoon by car or taxi but has more affordable accommodations since it hasn’t as many five-star resorts.
How long to spend in Bacalar Lagoon
One or Two days is enough to explore Bacalar Lagoon and its beaches (including Playa Blanca). It’s a great place to relax, swim in the warm waters, and see incredible wildlife.
Where is Bacalar Lagoon located?
Bacalar Lagoon is in Quintana Roo, Mexico’s southeasternmost state bordering Belize. It’s found between the Tropic of Cancer and the Yucatan Peninsula, so it has a tropical climate with warm weather year-round. Because of its location, Bacalar has access to Caribbean and Gulf currents (which makes for great beaches and fishing!).