The town of Bacalar is one of Mexico’s hidden gems that has somehow managed to escape influxes 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?
The water is mesmerizingly blue, a colour more commonly associated with a tropical island than a lagoon. The place offers the perfect spot to relax, with lots of the hotels and hostels backing onto the lagoon itself. You could spend your entire time there tucked in a hammock overlooking the lagoon if you wanted to!
That would be a shame though, as there’s so many water based activities available on the lagoon including kayaking, snorkelling, SUP or scuba diving in one of Bacalar’s cenotes. The town also has an interesting history involving pirates which can be fun to learn about during your visit.
The most popular way to reach the lagoon paradise and cover the 215 km (133 miles) from Tulum to Bacalar is a 3-hour bus ride. Fares range between 258 and 340 MXN ($12 – $16).
The bus goes directly to Bacalar from Tulum and is by far the most cost-effective option available.
Private shuttles are also available but although they are convenient, they can be expensive. If you’re travelling as a group, you can share the price between you all, making it a more reasonable option. You can book this service via BookAway where rates start at 3,360 MXN ($159).
Another alternative that has become popular with travellers is renting your own car in Tulum. Rates start from 210 MXN ($10) 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.
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.