Travel guide to Bacalar and seven colors lagoon
We hadn’t heard much about Bacalar before our arrival. We only knew this place from Instagram and didn’t really know what to expect from. But we fell in love with it immediately upon arrival. The beautiful blue and clear water in the lagoon as well as the relaxed atmosphere just got us. We spent the first night in Bacalar at the Akalki Hotel, where we had a villa directly with the entrance to the lagoon, it was absolutely TOP. Plus we got to experience paddle boarding at sunrise, a romantic full moon dinner, and kayaking on the lagoon. All these activities were amazing . When we left the Akalki hotel, we went on a trip to Los Rapidos, the so-called rapid river, and enjoyed swimming in the lagoon. We’ll summarize it all for you below 🙂
Bacalar – best places to visit and activities
7 colors lagoon (Laguna de 7 colores)
Bacalar became famous mainly because of the beautiful blue lagoon, which is said to have 7 shades of blue. The best way to explore the lagoon is in a kayak, on a catamaran trip, or on a paddle board. A popular activity is also a boat trip to Canal de Los Pirates, which is a great place to swim and explore the lagoon.
This place cannot be missed. It’s a kind of wild river that’s part of a lagoon. The beautifully clear water here is due to the presence of stomatolites formations, which are, in short, living organisms and spherical deposits.
- How to get to Los Rapidos
We got here early in the morning on bike (they open from 9:00 am) from the city of Bacalar, but we really sweated because of the hot weather. If you have a rented car or motorbike, this is a much more convenient way how to get there. Some people have hired taxi drivers in town to take them there and back, but it is quite expensive.
- How much is the entrance fee to Los Rapidos?
The entrance fee to Los Rapidos costs 175 MXN + we also rented a kayak which cost 200 MXN/person (prices are from November 2022). The kayak was beneficial in that we could explore more places in the lagoon. If you just want to ride on the river, which is fun in itself because the water current is so strong that you don’t even need to swim and just let yourself drift, then I would probably skip the kayak.
- Best time to visit Los Rapidos
And what time to visit Los Rapidos? Everywhere they advise being here early in the morning. Total nonsense 😀 We were here right at the opening at 9:00 am and there were so many people that we stood in line for the payment. In the end, it happened that from 9 am -11 am everyone jumped into the water, and around 12 pm they were sunbathing or having lunch, so no one was in the water :D. It’s hard to say how it was in the afternoon because we had to leave, but the conclusion is that if you’re here at 9 am, expect a lot of people.
If you don’t have accommodation right by the water and want to enjoy the lagoon from the comfort of a sunbed, we recommend visiting one of the Beach Clubs. We wanted to go to Beach Club Blú, where you pay 350 MXN/per person, of which 250 MXN you can spend on food and drink consumption. However, there was a wedding on the day we went here, so we could not go inside. Bad luck 🙂
The city center of Bacalaru
Bacalar is a relatively small town, so visiting the center took us a maximum of 1 hour :D. The most interesting here is the fortress Fuerte de San Felipe de Bacalaror the sign in Bacalar Park, popular with tourists.
Cenotes close to Bacalar
There are several famous cenotes in Bacalar. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to any of them, in any case, the most famous ones include Cenote Cocalitos, Cenote Azule, and Cenote Negro.
How to get to the city Bacalar and the lagoon
The cheapest way is to get to Bacalar by ADO bus from Cancún, Tulum, Valladolid, etc. The ADO Bus stop is located here. From here it is a short walk to the center of Bacalar, or you can find a taxi here to take you to your destination.
Another option is to rent a car in any major city. We traveled around the Yucatan by bus, so unfortunately we have no tips regarding renting a car. We originally thought about it because we love road trips and one can be more flexible with a car. But the rental price was quite high (we wouldn’t fit it into our daily budget) and articles about the police stopping tourists and expecting bribes put us off.
The best accommodation next to the Bacalar Lagoon
We stayed 2 nights directly in the city of Bacalar. This accommodation was through Airbnb and I’m not putting the link here because we don’t recommend it 😀 We also spent the next 2 nights at the Akalki Hotel and this stay was really unforgettable. It was paradise, a peaceful place by the lagoon that offered several activities, the restaurant served ingredients straight from their garden and we have never met a more helpful and kind staff. The complex also includes a holistic temple with an interesting architectural piece. Perhaps every centimeter of the temple contains some symbol or idea.
Restaurants in Bacalar
We can recommend:
- Tacos El Socio –cheap and very good Mexican food, the menu has a wide selection
- Taqueria El Trompo de K´los –Tom had a very good burrito here. I had the nachos and I can’t recommend them unless you like a lot of meat 😀
Popular restaurants, but more expensive, so we didn’t go here:
- Mango and Chille – vegan and plant based food