The lake of 7 colours
Visit Bacalar Mexico
Lake Bacalar is known as the ‘lake of seven colors’ due to the multiple hues of the water. The crystalline lake spreads out into the distance almost giving the impression that you are looking out of the Caribbean Sea. Visit Bacalar Mexico and you won’t regret the trip!
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Where is Bacalar?
The town of Bacalar is tucked away in the south of Mexico, less than an hour from the Belize border. This charming town is situated just 3 hours south of Tulum, 5 hours south of Cancun, and 5 hours south of Merida making it a great addition if you’re already planning a trip to either of these locations. Bacalar is home to the biggest and most beautiful lagoon in all of Mexico! Bacalar Lagoon is commonly referred to as Laguna de Siete Colores (lagoon of 7 colors), boasting 7 different shades of blue because of the white sandy bottom that gives the effect of having so many shades of blue, as you can see in the above photo. This is a fresh water lake feed by underground cenotes, but it does look like the ocean. The lake is about 55km or 34 miles from tip to tip and 2km or 1.2 miles at its widest point. This size makes it a huge place to visit and explore.
Considered one of the most beautiful lagoons in Mexico, the water is hot and brightly magnificent, morphing from bright turquoise to deep indigo colors since the depths of the lake change. So make the move and visit Bacalar Mexico, one the the most beautiful magic town in Quintana Roo.
How to get to Bacalar?
Cancun to Bacalar | 345 kms | Around 4 hours and 20 minutes by car
Playa del Carmen to Bacalar | 279 kms | Around 3 hours and 30 minutes by car
Tulum to Bacalar | 215 kms | Around 2 hours and 30 minutes by car
Chetumal to Bacalar | 39 kms | Around 40 minutes by car
BY PLANE: The closest airport to Bacalar is in the city of Chetumal, about 40 minutes away. While there are fun things to do in Chetumal, the capital city of Quintana Roo, it’s more likely you’ll be arriving to Bacalar lagoon via Cancun Airport.
BY BUS: The bus system in Mexico is incredibly convenient for travelling throughout the country. You can reach Bacalar via ADO bus from destinations like Chetumal, Playa del Carmen, Tulum and Cancun. These routes are well-serviced with several daily departures to Bacalar.
Most ADO buses in Mexico are very comfortable with A/C, washrooms, entertainment screens and (sometimes) even wifi. Second class buses in Mexico are not as efficient but will get you where you’re going at a fraction of the price. Buses serviced to Bacalar by the company Mayab have fewer amenities and are not as popular of a choice with tourists. We’ve literally crossed the country (from Cabo to Cancun) almost entirely by bus and would recommend it as a budget-friendly, comfortable and efficient means of transportation.
BY CAR: From Cancun, the drive is roughly 4 hours and pretty direct following highway 307 south. Roughly halfway between Cancun and Bacalar is Tulum and you’ll want to make sure to fill up on gas here before continuing. As with any road trip, avoid driving at night, follow the rules of the road, hide your valuables, make sure you have a spare tire and watch out for topes (speed bumps in Mexico are often bigger than necessary). If you’re on the fence about driving in Mexico, this guide for first-time drivers is an excellent resource.
BY GUIDED TOUR: One of the most popular question about visit Bacalar Mexico is about day trips to Bacalar. If you’re staying in Cancun and want to experience the magic of Bacalar in a day, this full day Bacalar tour includes transportation, a boat tour and boxed lunch. Given the distance between the two destinations, this would make for a very long travel day but the benefits include having an informed guide with you and hassle-free transportation.
Things to do in Bacalar
One of the many reasons to love the Lagoon of 7 Colours is its shallow, clear waters. Since this is a freshwater lagoon, you won’t find any beaches in Bacalar. Some may see this as a downside but we found swimming in the lagoon to be much more enjoyable than in the salty (and sometimes aggressive) waves of the ocean. Beside swimming in the lagoon, if you visit Bacalar Mexico, you will find many things to do during a visit Bacalar Mexico.
The Rapids of Bacalar
This is a narrow channel roughly halfway between both Bacalar and Xul-Ha Lagoons. In this transparent water river the water runs quite fast from south to north and all along the coast. Kayaks are available for rent or you can simply let the current take you as you float with a lifejacket. The present is stronger in the middle of the river and you will find just two cords where it is possible to hang on and resist the water stream, it’s not deep and for the majority of the moment, you are going to have the ability to stand on your own feet. From the rapids you can also admire the stromatolites, coral-like creatures found in only a handful of places across the globe. Like corals, the surface of the structures is delicate so please don’t touched or measure onto these.
Cenotes in Bacalar
Cenote Azul – Located 2.5 miles from Bacalar’s Down Town, it is a profound blue abyss, which connects with the Bacalar Lagoon. It is said to be the broadest cenote in Mexico, measuring around 200 meters (656 feet) across (it’s elliptical); beside it’s 90 meters (300 feet) deep, with translucent blue water, so it means one of those deepest cenotes on the planet. The heavy blue waters are enriched by the green tone of this mangroves and reed beds enclosing the cenote. The Cenote Azul is essential place for sailors who see the area reflects a true challenge as the walls of the cenote dropped down to 170 ft. You will see elaborate maze of roots and trunks intertwined and overlapping, holes of a variety of sizes along with stone formations on the walls.
The cenote has many caverns to research, but you will need a skilled guide and suitable training. The cenote can be suitable for swimming and canoeing. On the coast there’s a restaurant famous for its fish. You can arrive by ship, or pay a small fee to get the shore. It has a delightful place with swings and hammocks by the warmth to curl up. This really is one of those few places on earth where you can observe living stromatolites, and it is also known since the Stromatolites Sanctuary. An wonderful place to check out if you visit Bacalar Mexico.
Cenote La Bruja (Witch’s Cenote) Also known as Black Cenote, it’s a submarine fracture from its own depths. It is an open sky cenote having a diameter of 130 m. (427 feet). At a matter of foot, the water moves out of a tranquil turquoise to a inky black, where a limestone cavern has dropped right into it self to a depth of almost 100 meters. Here you will experience a powerful upward force. It is surrounded by lush green vegetation and the blue waters swiftly dropoff into a deep pit of pitch black magic. If you want to dip in this cenote you have to be accompanied by an instructor, however it’ll soon be an unforgettable experience where you will see unique formations, walls and narrow canyons.
Cenote Cocalitos It can be found approximately 2 3 kilometers out of the town and has a diameter of 230 m (755 feet). The water lagoon can be feed by four subterranean cenotes and Cocalitos is one of them.
Cenote Esmaralda It’s a small cenote with an average depth of 70 m (230 feet) and you will see the way a water gushes into the lagoon. Here you will be astounded by the diverse colors of blue.
Parque Ecoturístico Uchben Kah (Ecotourism Park)There’s also an exciting nighttime excursion, at which you are able to watch the crocodiles in the coast of the lagoon and the light by the headlamp may capture a surprised inhabitant.You will arrive at discover that the history of this town as told from the previous hamlets. Walk the street of this town towards the museum of chewing gum and mahogany wood, where you are able to learn about the history, habits and occupations of the city natives. The playground covers 90 hectares on the northern coast of Lake Bacalar. It’s excellent paths in the jungle including hiking and mountainbiking . They offers various activities like guided walks throughout the vegetation as well as interpretive trail to learn more about the local fauna such as birds, tapirs and crocodiles.
Additionally, there are camping areas and sections of the shore for aquatic recreations where you can stay while you visit Bacalar Mexico.
Fort of San Felipe
must-see if you visit Bacalar Mexico. It contains a tiny but fascinating collection of artifacts, including pre-Hispanic and historical pieces, paintings, city maps, even a beautiful mural and even the skeleton of a true pirate of the Caribbean. Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 to 20:00 hrs.
Integrated 1733 to defend the town against perennial celebrity strikes. It is really a formidable military structure with defensive walls, four corner bastions armed with 1 1 iron cannons (it used to have 3 4 originally) and also a moat that’s 4 meters deep. Back in 1983 the star-shaped stone edifice has been restored to its former glory, also boasts with beautiful gardens, murals, and also a museum.
Sunrise kayaking on Bacalar Lagoon
One of the top things to do when you visit Bacalar Mexico, is to rent a kayak and paddle out on Laguna de Bacalar (Bacalar Lagoon) in the early hours of the morning for sunrise. The sunrises in Bacalar are really something special and one of the best ways to experience it is from your very own kayak in the middle of the lagoon. Your options to go sunrise kayaking in Bacalar is to either book a tour online or rent your own kayak and DIY.
Visit the Pirates Channel
Nearly all tours in Bacalar include a stop at the ‘Canal de los Piratas’ and with good reason. The water is only waist-deep at some parts so you can easily pack a cooler, drop the anchor and relax. There’s also an abandoned structure near the channel that many visitors jump from.