Are you backpacking in the Yucatan Peninsula and wondering if Bacalar is worth the visit? What is there to see and do here?
Bacalar – or Pueblo Magico, as they call it here – is a small village almost at the border with Belize, famous for its lagoon. This cute pueblo is very small and there isn’t much to do here. So, why go there? Being slightly off the tourist track, this place has an authentic Mexican vibe and you can enjoy more its breathtaking nature, far away from other people. Moreover, being a less known destination, prices for accommodation and activities are lower, making it the perfect stop for backpackers.
For the first time after the start of my adventure, during the three days I spent here, I was completely immersed into nature and I really got into the backpacking mood and started enjoying every moment of this amazing experience.
Things to see and do in Bacalar:
- Visit the Seven Colours lagoon;
- Swim in the Pirates Canal;
- Take a walk through the colourful streets of the village;
- Go canoeing at the lagoon Bacalar;
- Stay at Eco-Camping Yaxche.
Visit the Seven Colours Lagoon
One of the main attractions of Bacalar is the Seven Colours Lagoon. There are two ways of visiting this lagoon: you can take a tour – we booked one through our hostel for around 300 pesos (around €15) – or, if you are on a very strict budget, you can negotiate a boat ride with a local person. This last option is convenient if it’s a group of at least four people, otherwise you will end up paying almost the same price as an organised tour. The boat will stop in several points, including the Cenote Negro, a spot that owes its name to its dept, which reaches 90 metres.
Swim at the Pirates Canal
The most famous spot of the lagoon is the Pirates Canal, where you can spend some time in knee-deep crystal clear water and rub some mud on yourself, which – according to the locals – is miraculous for your skin!
Take a walk through the colourful streets of the village
Before heading to the lagoon, you can take a walk through the village. There isn’t much to see here, but you can get an authentic vibe off this place and you can find real Mexican and Yucatan food. If you are lucky, you can even spot iguanas sunbathing.
Go canoeing at the lagoon Bacalar
Being on one of the largest freshwater body in Mexico, you will be able to find plenty of places that offer water sport activities at very reasonable prices, including kayaking, jet skiing and scuba diving. We went kayaking on the lagoon at sunset and it was magical.
Stay at Eco-Camping Yaxche
Finally, since the place is so small, there are only a few hostels to choose from. We stayed in Eco-camping Yaxche. This camping hostel is located on the shores of the lagoon and is linked to another hostel with the same name –Yaxche Centro – located in the centre of the town. If you choose to stay in the one on the lagoon, every morning you can get a lift to the pueblo, and vice versa. While we enjoyed our stay on the lagoon, it gets dark very early, there are a lot of mosquitoes and after 6 pm you are stuck in the place. So, if you think you will want to go out in the evening or just try a local restaurant, I suggest you stay at the one in the town.
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