Tulum to Bacalar

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Overview Compare Bus Taxi To Stay

Bacalar is one of Mexico’s hidden gems that has somehow managed to escape the influx of tourists. It’s situated in the south of Mexico’s Quintana Roo District, not too far from Chetumal and Belize.

Why do we love Bacalar so much? Bacalar Lagoon!

Bacalar Lagoon or Laguna Bacalar boasts of mesmerizingly blue waters, a colour more commonly associated with a tropical island paradise. Surrounded by nature-themed resorts, it’s so easy to get lost in the moment here, tucked in a hammock overlooking the lagoon. Spending the whole day doing nothing isn’t such a bad idea in Bacalar.

If you’re not one for slow days, there are also plenty of activities available like kayaking, snorkelling, paddle boarding, and scuba diving in one of Bacalar’s cenotes. The town also has an interesting history involving pirates that can be fun to learn about during your visit.

How to get from Tulum to Bacalar?

The best way to travel the 215km (133 miles) distance from Tulum to Bacalar is via a 2-hour-50-minute bus ride, which costs around 360 MXN ($17.50). Alternatively, you can take a 2.5-hour taxi with fares from 3,500 MXN ($170).

2 ways to get from Tulum to Bacalar

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus2hr 50m360 MXN ($17.50)Check Bus Tickets
Taxi2.5 hours3,500 MXN ($170)Read article for more info

The bus goes directly to Bacalar from Tulum and is by far the most cost-efficient option available. The buses operating on this route provide a comfortable ride, and you can be flexible with your schedule, as there are bus trips from morning to late evening. The bus ride takes almost 3 hours with fares from 360 MXN ($17.50).

Travelling with a group? There’s also an option to grab a 2.5-hour taxi from Tulum to Bacalar. It’s a bit expensive though with rates from 3,500 MXN ($170). Taking a taxi might not be practical, as the buses are already efficient and very cheap.

Another alternative that has become popular with travellers is renting your own car in Tulum. Rates for a rental car start from 126 MXN ($6) a day. This option gives you the freedom to stop at any of the beaches or towns along the way, leave whenever you want, and indulge in a bit of car karaoke. The only downside is that you will need to return the car in Tulum to avoid paying almost $100 extra fee if you leave the car in Bacalar.

New to Bacalar? Our compact Bacalar guide shows you the best areas to stay, restaurants you don’t want to miss and many more tips for your visit to Bacalar!

Itinerary from Tulum to Bacalar

Tulum to Bacalar by Bus

Duration: 2hrs 50m
Cost: 360 MXN ($17.50)
Duration: 2hrs 50m
Cost: 360 MXN ($17.50)

Taking the bus is the most common way to travel from Tulum to Bacalar. The bus companies operating Tulum to Bacalar bus services are ADO and AU.

ADO has more departures throughout the day and offers a more comfortable ride with more legroom compared to AU.

AU bus tickets are cheaper at 360 MXN ($17.50), while ADO bus tickets cost 410 MXN ($20). The bus ride takes about 3 hours.

Departure station

Buses bound for Bacalar depart from Tulum’s main bus station, Terminal Autobuses ADO, located in the town’s centre. This bus stop is within walking distance from many hotels.

You can also take a taxi if you prefer, but note that taxis are not metered in Tulum. An average taxi rate from the beach area to the bus terminal is around 150 MXN ($7).

Bus schedule from Tulum to Bacalar

Bus OperatorSchedulesDurationCosts
ADO Bus9x departures a day from
09:00 to 20:00
2 hours 50 minutes410 MXN ($20)
Buy Your Bus Tickets
AU Bus4x departures a day from
18:55 to 23:00
2 hours 50 minutes360 MXN ($17.50)
Buy Your Bus Tickets

We highly recommend purchasing your tickets online beforehand to be guaranteed a seat on your desired date and time. We like booking with BookAway as they don’t add hidden charges and also offers great customer service.

If you prefer to buy your tickets at the bus station, make sure to be there at least 30 minutes before departure time! Otherwise, there’s a huge chance of tickets being sold out for your desired time and you’ll have to wait for the next trip.

Arrival station

Once you arrive in Bacalar, you’ll be dropped off at the ADO Bus Terminal, situated on the town’s main road. There is an option to walk if your accommodation is nearby.

However, if you’re staying closer to Laguna Bacalar, the best option is to take a taxi. Taxis here are not metered as well, so make sure to agree on the price before entering the taxi. Taxi fares for destinations within Bacalar range between 60 MXN ($2.90) and 130 MXN ($6).

Tulum to Bacalar by Taxi

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 3,500 MXN ($170)
Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: 3,500 MXN ($170)

If you prefer a private ride or are travelling with a group, you can also take a taxi from Tulum to Bacalar.

Since taxis in Tulum are not metered and you’ll be travelling long distance, it’s best that you first agree on a rate with the taxi driver beforehand.

The taxi ride from Tulum to Bacalar takes 2.5 hours and costs around 3,500 MXN ($170). You can hail one from the street or approach one of the taxis outside ADO bus terminal.


Our favourite places to stay in Bacalar

Agam Hotel - Treating Yourself

This place is just wow! Agam hotel boasts a bright and stunning decor that will make you feel like you’re staying in one of the fancy Tulum hotels. The difference is that the price tag is a lot lower!

There’s a swimming pool and a number of comfy loungers to spend the day on, soaking up the sun.

  • Stunning swimming pool
  • Delicious à la carte breakfast
  • Bike rental available
  • Beautifully decorated, modern rooms

Double rooms start from $80 per night

Check Latest Price

Casa Zazil - Mid Range

The ladies running this hotel provide a top service and are great at recommending things to do in Bacalar. The hotel feels brand new with light and airy rooms that boast a modern flare.

Extra plus: One of the hosts talents is preparing delicious vegan smoothies, coconut bowls and paninis. Waking up in the morning has never been so easy!

  • Attentive and friendly hosts
  • Delicious breakfast
  • Newly renovated rooms
  • Close to the bus stop

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Hotel Ma Alob Che Bacalar - Mid-Range

Enjoy spacious and modern private rooms that all offer private bathrooms as well. It’s slightly further out of town, though Bacalar is so small that you’re never far from anything.

This comes with the advantage that you’ll be surrounded by only peace and quietness. The large and lush garden in the hotel is the perfect place to relish in tranquility.

  • Large and modern rooms
  • Nice communal courtyard and garden
  • Peaceful and relaxing atmosphere

Double rooms between $40-$80 per night

Check Latest Price

Zayali - Budget Friendly

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.

  • Super friendly host family
  • Big and clean air conditioned rooms
  • Great location
  • Free water and coffee

Double rooms between $15-$40 per night

Check Latest Price

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