If Bacalar isn’t on your Mexican bucket list, put it on there now. Bacalar is a magical, small town on the Yucatan Peninsula. There are many things to do in Bacalar. The freshwater lagoon is crystal clear and gorgeous, there are cenotes nearby on the edges of the lagoon, and there are many ruins to be seen. This little town offers many ways to relax and enjoy the lagoon and the sun. It was my absolute favorite place in Mexico, and I will definitely go back! While it seems like a place only the tourists with deep pockets can explore, this is completely untrue! Bacalar is cheap. Cheap food, cheap attractions, cheap accommodation – a perfect place for my fellow budget backpackers! Here are 5 things to do in Bacalar, Mexico.
Swim in the lagoon
This is what Bacalar is all about. Choose accommodation on the water, and start every morning with a swim in the lagoon! The water in this lagoon is some of the clearest water you will ever see! The water is much cooler than the Caribbean coast line, which is perfect for the extreme heat in Bacalar! Be sure to find yourself accommodation with a swing and hammock over the water. You won’t want to leave this place!
Hire a bike
If you like to get out and explore, hiring a bike is a great way to see Bacalar. While the road doesn’t follow right around the edge of the lake, it does follow a fair chunk of it. There are famous cenotes on the lagoon edge that can be reached by bike, like the Cenote Azul. Also, it is hot in Bacalar! It’s much easier and faster getting around by bike than walking.
Hiring a bike in Bacalar will cost you around 100-150 pesos for 24 hours. You can hire them from your hostel and from local shops in the town center.
Swim in Cenote Azul
Cenote Azul is the most famous cenote in this area. You do not have to take a tour to see it/swim in it. It is quite a hike to reach Cenote Azul, being about 4km from town, in the blistering heat. It is best to take a bike to Cenote Azul. Entrance to swim in the cenote is 10 pesos.
Kayak on the lagoon
Kayaking on the lagoon is one of the most popular things to do in Bacalar. You can hire kayaks to kayak around the lagoon by yourself. You can also join guided kayaking tours through your hostel/accommodation. The tours on offer take you to different parts of the lagoon. A popular area to go is the wetland across the other side of the lagoon, where people rub the mud over there bodies to exfoliate their skin.
It should cost you around 50-100 pesos per hour to hire a kayak.
A tour of the lagoon by boat is another one of the most popular things to do in Bacalar. The tour usually takes you around the lagoon, to the wetlands where you can exfoliate yourself with the mud, and to Cenote Azul. You can book a tour through your accommodation. You can also book tours in the plaza where people will be standing around advertising their tours. Walk to the lagoon from the central plaza and there will be a few people standing on the road trying to sell their tours.
The boat tours are usually around 200-250 pesos per person.
Bacalar has a pretty impressive fort. Much of Fort Felipe can be viewed from the outside, however, there is an exhibition inside. It costs 70 pesos to enter the fort.
You can sample all of Mexico’s best foods here in Bacalar! Elotes, tacos, marquesitas… You can get cheap food here, but if you fancy something more… fancy, you can get that too!
Make the most of the small town charm
There are so many things to do in Bacalar. Kayak, stand up paddle board, swim, bike, walk and wander until your heart’s content, and just relax and do nothing in the warm sun! The town is so quiet and barely touched by tourism, you can walk down the street without a glimmer of USD priced items, no one is hassling you to buy their goods, street food is still street food prices and accommodation is still backpacker affordable!! What more could you want?
Have you been to Bacalar? Let me know about your time there!