22 Best Things To Do In Bacalar, Mexico In 2024

bacalar things to do lagoon

I’ve been to many places in Mexico by this stage but I have to say Bacalar is a firm favorite. For starters, it’s unbelievably beautiful. There aren’t so many things to do in Bacalar that you’re rushed off your feet but that’s a good thing: you can explore the lagoon at your leisure while enjoying a slow, relaxing vacation.

The sublime waters of Bacalar are somewhere you simply have to see to believe. The Lagoon of 7 Colors is no exaggeration: the shades of blue and turquoise change before your eyes as you move across them. I also like that Bacalar isn’t as expensive and overrun with tourism (at least yet) as some places in Quintana Roo.

I have a LOT to say on this idyllic destination but let’s start at the very beginning (I hear it’s a good place to start)…

BACALAR mexico things to do
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How to get to Bacalar

By air: the nearest airport is Chetumal, a 40-minute drive away. Options for getting from Chetumal Airport to Bacalar include:

  • Hiring a rental car – I recommend Rentalcars.com for hiring cars in Mexico and around the world. Driving in this area is safe but best avoided at night. Car hires start from 900 pesos ($50) a day; book yours here.
  • Catching a taxi, but if doing so, I recommend walking up the road from the airport to this point where cheaper local taxis wait. Just follow the locals who know this trick and are walking the same way.
  • Getting a shuttle bus from Chetumal Airport to. I booked this in the airport after landing but in peak season, you might wish to book in online in advance.
  • Taking the local ADO bus by catching a taxi from the airport (the end of the road where the cheap local ones wait) to Chetumal bus terminal then boarding a bus to Bacalar. It’s a 15-minute walk to Bacalar town center from the bus station and slightly longer to the lagoon.

Getting to Bacalar from Cancun: rent a car or book an ADO bus (5 hours) for around 600 pesos ($35).

Getting to Bacalar from Playa del Carmen:
rent a car or take a bus (4 hours) for around 500 pesos ($28). ADO and their cheaper service, AU, make the journey. AU is slightly cheaper but ADO is nicer.

Getting to Bacalar from Tulum: drive or take the ADO bus (2.5 hours) for around 400 pesos ($23).

Do you need a car to visit Bacalar? No, the top things to do in Bacalar are close together (and most involve the lagoon where you definitely don’t need a car!). It could be useful to have one for Los Rapidos/Cenote Azul and any inland Mayan ruins you want to visit, but not essential – there are taxis and colectivos for nearby places and Viator for further afield day trips.

Headed to Central America next?

You can get a ferry from Chetumal city direct to Caye Caulker or Ambergris Caye, islands off the coast of Belize. This is what I did and it went perfectly smoothly.

I booked a journey with Water Jets International that cost ($80 US) and took around 90 minutes.

Note – I didn’t get charged a Mexico exit fee but some other travelers told me they did. Apparently, it’s $28.50 (USD). Best to have it in case!

Because the ferry departed at 10am and you’re meant to arrive 1.5 hours before for customs, I decided to stay the night before in Chetumal at Downtown Hostel. It’s a small and not very exciting city but at least my hostel was close to the ferry port. It’s easy to get to downtown Chetumal by getting an ADO bus from Bacalar and then a taxi from the bus station.

If you stay over in Chetumal, eat at Mantura Bistro Garden. It’s a great restaurant that manages to do various cuisines well. I loved the Greek platter with pita and halloumi (it was on the breakfast menu but they let me have it for dinner).

Bacalar info

This small town is located beside the ultimate Bacalar attraction: the striking Lagoon of 7 Colors (La Laguna de Los Siete Colores). This spectacular natural feature is what earned the town Pueblo Magico (‘magic town’) status, awarded by the tourism board.

The word Bacalar translates in Mayan as b’ak halal and means ‘surrounded by reeds’.

Bacalar Lagoon is 42km long and 2km wide with most of the hotels and restaurants on the long side. It’s mostly shallow apart from the cenotes attached (more about these to come) and I could stand up pretty much everywhere. There are no waves in this still body of water apart from when a boat passes.

Why so many colors? The seven colors are no lie! They come down to the different depths of the lagoon and the various cenotes attached. The crystal clear waters are the shallows while the deeper sections can look anywhere from deep blue to almost black. It’s truly incredible!

The town is nothing to write home about, although it’s a pleasant place to base with good tourist infrastructure. I’ll discuss what to do in Bacalar as we go.

Note – there are no beaches in Bacalar! I think some travelers hope to lounge on sandy shores beside the waters. It’s not actually that easy to get IN the lagoon unless your accommodation has lagoon access or you visit a beach club or waterfront restaurant.

Just something to be aware of! I felt it was worth splashing out to stay beside the lagoon.

Where to stay in Bacalar

Yak House with lagoon access

Hostel: I stayed at Yak House which is a fantastic option if you want the luxury of a beach club (there’s a decking area with loungers beside a bar and a jetty into the lagoon) and you’re happy to compromise by staying in a dorm room. They do regular events like cocktail classes and movie nights, for free! Plus, the food and drink is excellent. Book from $25.

Note – they have a big party on Wednesdays that can be quite loud if you’re trying to sleep.

The other popular hostel is the Che Hostel which is cheaper with bunks from $12. This is a real party hostel with an early 20s crowd so be aware if you choose to stay! Another highly-rated budget hostel is Black Jaguar, a short walk from the town center.

Browse all hostels in Bacalar on Hostelworld

The best things to do in Bacalar in 2024

With no more ado, let’s dive into what to see and do in this wonderful pueblo magico. I’m not saving the best for last: the first entry is by far the highlight, in my opinion!

Explore the Lagoon of 7 Colors by boat

Undoubtedly my favorite day in Bacalar was spent cruising the famous lagoon, swimming in the crystal clear waters, and learning about the various cenotes nestled below the surface.

Boat trips (small boats also called lanchas) offer a mixture of relaxation and sightseeing, or there are larger sailing tours (pontoons) that focus less on sightseeing with more time relaxing on deck.

Notable places of interest on Bacalar Lagoon that you’ll see during a boat trip include:

  • Isla de los Pajarosa (Bird Island) – this island covered in greenery is a hub for local birds. Although you can’t set foot on it, you might be lucky and spot some birdlife. However, don’t get too hopeful because many of the birds come here for the night, journeying elsewhere during the days.
  • Cenote Negro (more on this place to come).
  • Cenote Esmerelda – slightly further from the town than Cenote Negro, this large underwater cenote is best cruised through by boat. The Emerald Cenote is 70m deep and adds unique hues to the already captivating lagoon.
  • The Pirates Channel (more on this place to come).
Swimming in lagoon

This is really the #1 thing to do in Bacalar! If you just have one day, I would prioritize this above all else. Not only do you get to see the sights of the fabulous lagoon that’s earned the town Pueblo Magico status, but it’s also a relaxing excursion… and a sociable one for solo travelers like myself!

The boat trips include the services of a tour guide who will help you understand the history of the lagoon and offer insights into the flora and fauna.

Best boat excursions on Bacalar Lagoon

Boat tour by small boat including all the top sights, guide, safety equipment, and 3 beers per person! Book with Viator from $36.

Sailing tour by catamaran – a more relaxing option with less sightseeing allowing you to cruise the lagoon at your leisure, with snorkeling equipment provided. Book with Viator from $40.

You can find even cheaper boat tours in Spanish! But the lagoon is a fascinating place so I would recommend paying more for an English tour if you’re not fluent in Spanish.

Important note – to protect the lagoon, you must NOT wear regular sunscreen in the water! The only type you should wear is reefsafe sunscreen which can be found in several shops in the town. If you don’t have any, simply wear a hat and cover your body with a sarong or another type of coverup.

Pirates channel and shipwreck

Pirate channel

This is one of the best places to visit in Bacalar, not just for its sublime views but also its history. The channel connects the lagoon with the Hondo River, thus connecting Mexico with Belize. It was used as far back as Mayan times, creating trade routes between different groups.

But it wasn’t just merchants who used the canals. European conquests and pirate voyages (led by legendary pirates such as Francis Drake) took place via the canal, despite the locals trying to defend themselves.

You arrive by kayak, paddleboard, or boat trip. Disembark (the water comes up to around your waist) and relax in the sublime shallow waters around the wreck. This section of the lagoon is an almost unbelievable turquoise!

This area of the lagoon is always open and free to visit, but you’ll want to do so before it gets dark and potentially avoid the middle of the day if you’re not great with heat.

Cenote Negro

The Black Cenote (Cenote Negro) is an intriguing enclave off Bacalar Lagoon that can be visited in several ways. Contributing to the 7 colors of the lagoon, its waters aren’t a bright shade of turquoise but a dark hue representing the 300 feet (90 meters) of water below.

Whether you visit by canoe or paddleboard, you’ll cross a sharp drop-off where the lagoon ends and the cenote begins.

Fun fact – it’s also known as the Witch’s Cenote (Cenote de la Bruja) after a Mayan witch who apparently once lived on the shores. Spooky!

How to visit Cenote Negro: As there’s no area to visit from the shores, the main way to see Cenote Negro is from the lagoon. The best way to visit is by hiring a canoe or paddleboard because they’re small enough to enter the enclave. Boats, in particular large sailing boats, can’t squeeze into the area.

Cenote Azul

Cenote azul bacalar attractions

Another fun thing to do in Bacalar is head over to Cenote Azul. Unlike the other Bacalar cenotes, this isn’t one you can visit from the lagoon: a thin strip of land covered in trees separates the striking dark blue cenote, so it’s a separate excursion rather than a boat trip stop.

Cenote Azul is an ‘open cenote’ meaning no caves conceal it. Thus, the color difference between it and the lagoon looks particularly striking from above but, if you don’t have a drone, it’s still just as impressive from the banks. Aside from taking photos with the Instagrammable ‘Cenote Azul’ swing, there’s little to do but lounge in the cool waters measuring 300 feet in depth.

It’s possible to snorkel in Cenote Azul but the visibility isn’t fantastic so I’d recommend just swimming and relaxing instead.

Visitor details: Entry is just 25 pesos (around $1.30). You can hire a life jacket for 50 pesos which I chose to do because it’s nice to just bob around in the water without making any effort to keep yourself afloat.

There are bathrooms, changing facilities, and a restaurant on site but I chose to eat back in town where there are better – and cheaper – restaurants in Bacalar.

Cenote Azul

Getting to Cenote Azul: I paid 70 pesos for a taxi but you can also hop on a passing colectivo and pay far less. Because it was a nice day and not too hot, I decided to walk back to town but I regretted this when it took almost an hour! However, I did stumble upon a cheap lagoon boat trip on the way, half the price my hostel was charging.

Watch sunrise

The sun rises across the lagoon from the town, meaning waterfront hotels and restaurants get a spectacular show. If your hotel isn’t on the water, don’t worry because there are several public docks at Calles (streets) 14, 16, and 18 where you can see sunrise for free.

Bacalar isn’t a place for late partying, so it’s easy to wake up early and enjoy the lagoon. Since the weather can get very hot, the early hours are the best time to swim, do watersports, or simply soak up the views.

Go paddleboarding

Paddleboarding bacalar what to do
A fun activity in Bacalar!

I had a great time doing this and can easily vouch for it as one of the best things to do in Bacalar. However, the one thing I’ll say is that you should go early because otherwise you’ll be completely exposed to the sun, and it does involve some exertion especially if you’ve not tried the sport before.

That’s why it’s best to combine the two points above (watching sunrise and paddleboarding) by taking a sunrise SUP excursion!

One option is to hire your own board but I enjoyed joining a guided tour since it was my first time paddleboarding. The instructor’s tips were useful and I relaxed in the knowledge someone would help me if I fell off, which luckily I didn’t!

The highlight was sitting down on our boards on Cenote Negro and watching sunrise after paddling there across the lagoon. We had clear weather and sublime views. I’ll remember this forever!

Book your sunrise paddle excursion for $25

Try kayaking on Bacalar Lagoon

The other popular watersport on the lagoon is kayaking. After a boat trip and paddleboarding, I didn’t do it myself but everyone out on the waters looked like they were having fun. Any tourism agency in town can loan you a kayak and, if you’re staying in waterfront accommodation (like I was at the Yak House), you can hire one without going anywhere!

Los Rapidos

If you have two days in town, spend at least half of one at Los Rapidos. Despite the name translating as the rapids, it’s anything but an adrenaline-fuelled adventure! Floating down this picturesque lazy river is a relaxed thing to do in Bacalar. Simply lie back and slowly bob along.

Although I had a great time at Los Rapidos, I was expecting the route you float down to be slightly longer. It’s only a short stretch of water so you’re done in 10 minutes… But you can just walk down the boardwalk and do it again, as many times as you want.

There are also submerged hammocks where you can sit and relax in the water. The restaurant is somewhat overpriced but if you want to relax in the shade, buy a drink. I just had a coffee but my friend ordered fish tacos and said they were tasty but pricey.

Entry fee: 200 pesos.

Getting there: It’s 7 miles (11km) from Bacalar and a taxi costs 200 pesos each way. If you’re on a budget, get a colectivo down the highway to the turn-off for Los Rapidos then walk the final 2km.

Note – don’t step on the ancient stromatolites! This is so important because these ancient organisms have survived not millions but billions of years and don’t deserve to die being kicked by a tourist! Be really careful when getting in and out of the river, and keep your feet up while floating along.

Another thing to note is that you have to get out of the river where the signs signify it’s the end of the line. If you go further, it’s hard to get back due to the current, plus there may be crocodiles!

Learn about – and see – stromatolites


Did you know the earliest lifeforms on our planet can be seen in Bacalar? Stromatolites are layered rock formations thought to be 3.5 billion years old! Scientists even say they may be partly responsible for the world we know today because they helped add oxygen to our seas, encouraging life to flourish.

There are just a few places in the world where you can see stromatolites. One of the most popular places in Bacalar to see them was Cenote Cocalitos but this has sadly closed for visitors. Another place to see them is Los Rapidos. Just make sure not to touch or kick them when in the water.

Spot street art

Street art
Turtle mural bacalar what to do

If you know me, you know I’m constantly on the hunt for street art! There’s plenty in numerous Mexican cities from San Cristobal to destinations in Quintana Roo like Isla Holbox. Bacalar doesn’t have as much urban art as some places but there are still some fantastic pieces to find such as this turtle I spotted on the walk back from Cenote Azul.

Keep your eyes peeled!

Wander downtown Bacalar

El Manati cafe
Cool venues in the downtown

Bacalar won’t make any lists of the coolest cities in Mexico; people come for the lagoon and boat trips. However, it’s still a pleasant pueblo and there are some cool things to do in Bacalar city center. The Zocalo (main square) becomes atmospheric at night with buzzy restaurants and street food stands serving typical Yucatan snacks like marquesitas.

If you have spare time between your lagoon adventures, there are lots of cute shops and cafes where you can while away time. I especially liked El Manati, a vintage and sustainable store with a cafe and a garden area with colorful murals. However, the most famous attraction in Bacalar center is…

Visit San Felipe Fort

San Felipe fort things to do Bacalar

Dating back to 1733, the Spanish Fortress of San Felipe (Fuerte de San Felipe) is one of the oldest features of Bacalar… Apart from the ancient stromatolites, of course!

The fort was constructed by Antonio de Figueroa y Silva, the governor of the Yucatan at the time. Its primary purpose was to protect against invasion from pirates and British, Dutch, and French ships who would utilize the safe harbor of Bacalar’s calm waters.

Head to the small museum to learn more about the fort and the Yucatan’s history of piracy. Entry is 110 pesos for foreigners (55 pesos for Mexican nationals) and it’s open from Tuesday-Sunday, 9am-7pm.

Grab a photo at the Bacalar sign

Bacalar letters

If you’re visiting the fort, you can tick another item off your list of things to do in Bacalar. These colorful signs are visible in most Mexican towns and cities and I must have snapped photos of hundreds now!

Find the Letras sign just to the right of the fort when facing away from the Zocalo.

Have a beach club day

If you have a spare day and you’re finished with the typical activities in Bacalar like cruising the lagoon and visiting Los Rapidos, it’s time to relax and do nada! If your accommodation has lagoon access, you may want to relax there. But these accommodations can be pricey so many travelers prefer to stay in the town (where the hotels are typically cheaper) and visit a beach club.

It’s worth noting that, apart from a few jetties, there aren’t abundant public access areas to the lagoon so heading to a beach club is your best bet!

Some of the best beach clubs are:

  • Bacalar Beach Club – probably the most famous of the lot with lagoon access, loungers, lockers, Wi-Fi, and parking. There’s an upmarket, international food and drink menu comprising seafood and cocktails. It’s not cheap but, with cocktails from 120 pesos, it’s not too bad either. Entry is 150 pesos; closed Wednesdays.
  • Bertilla – this is a small, idyllic club with loungers and swings on a deck suspended above the lagoon so you see it all around you! Day passes cost 300 pesos but that includes 250 worth of food and drink. The pizza is highly recommended.
  • Beach Club Blu – over by Cenote Azul, this is a fantastic spot away from the crowds of the town. You feel you have the whole lagoon to yourself! Grassy banks are covered with loungers and there’s a jetty into the lagoon. Entry is 150 pesos and there’s an additional minimum spend of 250 pesos.

Budget beach club day at La Playita

If a full beach club day isn’t your thing (I know it’s not mine, I get easily bored and prefer exploring), you might prefer visiting a restaurant with lagoon access. This is also a good option if you’re visiting Bacalar on a budget because you only need to pay for what you consume rather than a club entry fee.

On my first day, I visited La Playita for lunch. This restaurant is an atmospheric dinner spot in the evenings but a relaxed spot during the daytime with a jetty leading the whole way to the lagoon. Bring your swimwear and, before or after you’ve eaten, go for a dip.

It’s not the cheapest spot (I paid 315 pesos for a poke bowl and sparkling water) but a bargain when you consider the location and lagoon access!

Find some hammocks


Picture this: lounging in the crystal-clear waters of the lagoon, supported by a hammock so you don’t even need to make an effort to keep afloat! These hanging hammocks can be found dotted around the lagoon and over at Los Rapidos for those who’ve finished with the various things to do in Bacalar and just want to relax. Heaven!

Note – there was an era of hammocks at Cenote Cocalitos that has recently closed down; any sources that tell you to go here are outdated.

Blue Lagoon Fest at Yak Lake House

Yak house wednesday party what to do bacalar

Bacalar isn’t known for nightlife but there’s one place to party every Wednesday: the Yak House Lake House, an upscale backpackers hostel located right on the waterfront. They have a spacious deck area overlooking the lagoon and a well-stocked bar with cocktails, beers, and the like.

It’s 300 peso entry if you’re not staying there and cocktails cost between 100-200 pesos.

If you ARE staying there (which I was), it’s free entry and you get a free drink with your wristband. I arrived solo on a Wednesday so headed to the party but I didn’t meet many people I clicked with, and it can be overwhelming approaching pre-formed groups, so I don’t think I got the best of this party… but at least I tried!

Explore the Bacalar restaurants

Yerbabuena Smoothie Bar
Healthy breakfast at Yerbabuena Smoothie Bar

For a small place, Bacalar has an amazing range of restaurants from fine dining to cheap eats. Given its coastal location, you can expect plenty of fresh seafood (fish tacos, come at me!) and there are even some good options for vegans now, something my vegan friend tells me there weren’t when she visited back in 2018.

For a full list, read my guide to the 20 best Bacalar restaurants

Pictured above is a delicious falafel veggie burger at Mango & Chile and chilaquiles at Picaflor, a cute brunch cafe.

Try a famous Yucatan marquesita


When traveling in the Yucatan Peninsula, you can’t miss marquesitas! These tasty delicacies are rarely found in other parts of Mexico. Although they’re thought to have originated in Merida, they’re found as far down the peninsular as Bacalar.

Just head to the Zocalo in the evening and you’ll find several stands serving marquesitas. They’re made fresh in front of you when you order using crepe mix and a waffle iron. There are endless filling combos to choose from such as jam, cajeta, chocolate, and fruits, but the OG combo is chocolate with bolo de queso (Edam cheese).

It’s a bizarre sweet and savory combo but the locals love it! I have to admit I’m undecided but you should certainly give it a whirl.

Mahahual day trip

Mahahual day trip

If you’ve ticked off the top things to do in Bacalar and still want to stay busy rather than lay by the lagoon, there are several options in the surrounding region. An idyllic beach town to have on your radar is Mahahual, a jewel of the Mexican Caribbean. It doesn’t attract visitors due to the town itself but the spectacular waters.

Although Mahauhual has beautiful beaches, the real appeal is snorkeling and diving. You can snorkel right off the shore (or book a boat trip) but the highlight is diving. Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve is one of the best dive sites in Mahahual known for pristine coral reefs, tropical marine life, and rainbow sponges.

Getting to Mahahual: it’s easy by public transport. Get a colectivo for around 80 pesos or book a seat on one of the three daily ADO buses. The drive takes around 1 hour so it’s possible to visit as a day trip (although be sure to check return transit times so you don’t get stuck).

Take a trip to Dzibanche and Kohunlich Mayan ruins

Dzibanche places to visit near bacalar

The Yucatan Peninsular is rich with Mayan ruins and the state of Quintana Roo is no expectation. If you’ve finished sightseeing in Bacalar, you can pay a visit to these two nearby sights…

Dzibanche translates as writing in wood, referring to the panels with written symbols found around the site. Several palaces and temples also characterize this ancient Mayan site around a 1.5-hour drive from Bacalar.

Kohunlich ruins are named after a derivative of a Spanish word meaning ‘Cohune palm trees’. It’s little wonder why: this Mayan site is nestled in the jungle! Wander the ancient site and listen to the calls of howler monkeys who call it home.

Driving between the two sites takes around 45 minutes.

The easiest and most affordable way to visit these Mayan ruins is by car but, if you don’t have your own set of wheels, take a tour with Viator including a 3-course meal in the heart of the jungle!

Zipline at Tirolesas

Maybe lounging around the lagoon is exactly what you need from your vacation. But if you’re craving a little more adrenaline, there’s a jungle zipline center where you may be lucky to see monkeys and birdlife as you zip between the treetops.

Tirolesas Kan Kin Bacalar has 5 stars on Trip Advisor with reviews mentioning the professional guides, quality safety equipment, and fantastic views. There are five towers connected by ziplines of varying lengths, suitable for kids and adults.

What about Cenote Cocalitos?

Before visiting, I noticed many blogs listing Cenote Cocalitos as a place to visit in Bacalar due to its many water hammocks and amazing stromatolites that you can view up close from the shore.

However, during my 2023 trip, I learned it’s closed and not reopening. Although the cenote is still there (connected to the lagoon and accessible by boat), the visitor’s area with the hammocks is boarded up.

Bacalar itinerary

To work the various things to do in Bacalar into an itinerary, I suggest the following…

1 day – take a half-day boat trip on the lagoon then wander the town and see the Fort. Head over to Cenote Azul if there’s time.

2 days
– for the second day, float down the lazy river at Los Rapidos.

3 days –
after the 2 days listed above, have a beach club day (or simply visit a restaurant with lagoon access).

Costs of visiting Bacalar

Bacalar is far more affordable than other destinations in Quintana Roo like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun (these are some of the most touristy places in Mexico and the prices reflect this). But Bacalar is becoming touristy, too, and isn’t as cheap as it once was.

Still, Hostels start from $12 (use Hostelworld to compare prices) while meals at modest restaurants in the town won’t break the bank. I found tacos for as little as 22 pesos in sit-down restaurants. A meal of three will cost less than $4!

To summarize, you can easily visit on a budget. The only issue is that the cheaper accommodations don’t have lagoon access which means paying to visit a beach club or waterfront cafe. It might be worth splashing out $30 for the waterfront dorms at the Yak House.


What’s the best time of year to visit Bacalar? November to March is peak season because the temperatures are cooler and there’s little rain. In December, temperatures range from 60 to 86 °F (18-30 °C). If you only have a few days, this is the best season because one rainy day could derail your plans.

Saying that, this is the most expensive and crowded time to visit. I visited in September (peak rainy season) and still managed to explore around the heat and occasional shower. I wasn’t pushed for time so, when my boat trip was canceled due to rain, I could reschedule for the next day.

However, the risk of serious hurricanes is increased between August and October so you take more of a risk by visiting in this season. Luckily, I didn’t experience any.

How many days to spend in Bacalar? I would suggest at least 2 days so you can spend one day doing a boat trip on the lagoon and another visiting Los Rapidos; in my opinion, these are the two best things to do in Bacalar. I’d also suggest another day to chill at a beach club or waterside cafe (or your accommodation if it has lagoon access) to enjoy and soak up the beauty.

Is Bacalar safe? Absolutely! This town is tranquil with no crime that I’ve ever heard of.

Is English spoken in Bacalar? In tourist accommodations and restaurants, yes! But a little Spanish goes a long way so brush up before your trip.

Are there ATMs in Bacalar? Yes, but sometimes they’re out of cash. It’s advised to bring enough money with you. Luckily, lots of restaurants are taking cards these days, and you can also book boat tours online.

More places to visit in Quintana Roo

Mahahual: this popular diving destination is a wonderful place to experience the underwater world. Like Bacalar, it’s not yet overrun by tourism.

Isla Holbox: this island is one of my favorite places in Mexico. It’s a car-free, walkable island with a relaxed, boho feel that’s best explored by bicycle or golf buggy. It’s a fantastic place to see flamingos at Punta Mosquito, whale sharks (between May and September), pods of wild dolphins, and other marine animals.

Some of the best things to do in Holbox include a 3-island boat trip to Yalahau cenote, Isla Pájaros (Bird Island), and Isla Pasión (Passion Island), and a separate boat trip to Cabo Catoche, the idyllic northernmost point of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Final thoughts on what to do in Bacalar

I loved my time in Bacalar. It’s truly one of the most beautiful and idyllic places in Mexico. The lagoon is so unbelievably spectacular with the range of colors in its sparkling waters. I also liked that, although there are some wonderful attractions in and around Bacalar, there’s not so much to do that you’re rushing around. It’s the perfect place to relax.

Also, it doesn’t feel overly gentrified or touristic. Yes, it’s becoming a popular destination but hopefully it will never be Cancun or Tulum. Finger’s crossed!

Thanks for reading!

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