Most travellers tend to visit Tulum as their last destination in the Quintana Roo region, but they’re the ones that are missing out.
Continue south and you’ll stumble upon the Lagoon of 7 Colours, also known as Bacalar. The lagoon’s turquoise hues and crystal clear waters is what attracts most people to the area. It’s perfect for those looking for the chance to laze in a water hammock or paddle in its shallow waters.
A great thing about Bacalar is that it’s not on most people’s radars yet. This means the town allows you to escape the craziness of the rest of Quintana Roo and experience a more traditional Mexican town.
Apart from water-based activities around the lagoon, there’s not much else going on in Bacalar, but this just makes Bacalar the perfect place to relax and enjoy the tranquility of the area.
For such a small town, the selection of food and quality is both surprising and outstanding. Some of the best dishes in Mexico can be found in Bacalar. Continue reading this post to find out about the restaurants you can’t miss!
How many days should you spend in Bacalar? Bacalar is the perfect place to spend 3-4 days, exploring the lagoon by boat, kayak or paddleboard and visiting some of the surrounding attractions like the nearby rapids.
Alternatively you can just grab a book and a hammock and just relax. Sounds pretty perfect doesn’t it?
To help you make the most of your time in Bacalar, we’ve put together a list of the Top Things to Do.
Note: Unfortunately, a big proportion of the lake has lost its turquoise colour that Bacalar is famous for due to the hurricane in July 2020. Despite this, we still think it’s worth the trip, as there are still spots that have managed to maintain its spectacular colour.
Where to stay in Bacalar
Bacalar is essentially a small lake town, so picking where to stay is a relatively easy decision. Exactly what we all love to hear!
If you stay in the centre of town or in one of the accommodations set on the lake, you can’t go wrong.
We’d recommend finding accommodation on the lake as the sunrises are indescribable. The sun rising up above the lake creates a tranquil atmosphere that sets you up perfectly for the day.
In Bacalar you’ll be able to find a range of accommodation options from hostels to homestays and Airbnbs.
If your budget allows it, there are a number of stunning boutique and luxury hotels that will make you feel like you’re in the Maldives. The docks stretching into the water, are already a sight by themselves.
How to get around in Bacalar
Getting around Bacalar couldn’t be easier. The small town is centred around a main square, commonly called a zocalo in Mexico, meaning that when it comes to amenities, everything is within walking distance.
If you’re staying on the lake, you’re only a short walk from this too!
If your accommodation is within the town then you’ll be able to walk everywhere you need. There are a number of supermarkets, fruit and vegetable markets and pharmacies scattered throughout the town.
A short walk to the main square and you’ll also find a selection of great food spots which we talk about in our Things to Do in Bacalar blog post.
The great thing about walking is that you get to see the town, it’s free and it helps to burn off all of the tacos you’ve been eating.
Like we said above, all of the amenities you could possibly need are within town, but if you want to explore further afield then you may have to hop in a taxi.
There are a number of attractions a short taxi ride away, Bacalar rapids for example. To give you an idea of price, a taxi ride from the centre of town to the rapids should cost around 150 MXN ($7).
Taxis are always roaming around the town, so you won’t have a problem trying to find one. They also cluster around the main square, or you can ask your accommodation to order one for you.
Hiring a bike allows you to cover more ground than walking and it’s also a fun way to explore the town and surrounding areas. Some areas of the town will require you to go uphill slightly, but don’t worry the hills don’t last long.
Hiring a bicycle should cost around 35 MXN ($1.70) per hour, but you may be able to haggle a better price if you’re looking to keep the bikes for a longer period of time.
Some accommodations also include bikes in the price of your stay which is a nice added bonus.
Where to eat in Bacalar
When travelling to such a small town like Bacalar, many travellers won’t have high expectations for food. Bacalar defies this assumption.
There are so many amazing restaurants that you’ll want to extend your stay just to visit more of the restaurants.
Mango y Chile – the best vegetarian burgers around
One of our favourites is Mango y Chile, a vegetarian/vegan burger restaurant that makes the best burgers and huge portions!
Mr Taco – unique tacos you won’t have tried before
Another one not to miss is Mr Taco, who doesn’t just serve your standard taco. They have 15 different filling options from mole to chorizo and potato.
Enamora – healthy and delicious brunch spot
For those who love a good brunch to set them up for the day, head to Enamora. The cafe is the epitome of health, offering great smoothies, delicious sandwiches and bowls packed with goodness.
The owners of Zayali homestay welcome you as if you’re part of the family and make you instantly feel like you’re at home. The rooms are clean, spacious and well air-conditioned, guaranteeing a great night's sleep.
The rooms also include a fridge, microwave and coffee-making facilities. Plus, there’s also a great communal hangout area with hammocks and a rustic bar.