Only 3 hours from Cancun and 24 kms from Chetumal (Quintana Roo’s capital) Bacalar is Mexico’s second largest fresh water lake and still one of its best kept secrets. I first went to Bacalar about 12 years ago and I try to go at least once a year.
Bacalar boasts beautiful lush scenery and of course its main attraction is its lagoon of seven colours..and there really are seven colours I counted :)Of course a trip to Bacalar is not complete without visiting the Cenote Azul which is a large sinkhole of about 182 meters deep—a favourite among scuba divers. You can find a small restaurant there to enjoy a leisurely breakfast or dinner and perhaps an afternoon swim.
For several years now my husband and I always stay at a family run hotel on the edge of the lagoon with breathtaking views called Hotel Laguna Bacalar http://www.hotellagunabacalar.com/home.php The accommodations are clean and simple that can accommodate from 1-10 guests and they have a nice restaurant with both outdoor and indoor seating. Make sure you try the conch steak—YUMMY!
We love to spend at least two days at Bacalar as we generally arrive in the afternoon after the drive from Cancun. After settling into our room we take our beach chairs out onto the dock and soak up the warm Caribbean sun and swim in the refreshing lagoon until the sun sets and then we enjoy a simple meal and play some cards until bedtime. The following day we often take a drive along the scenic coastline and then have lunch at the Cenote Azul and swim. http://www.cenoteazul.com/ On our last day we like to go to the “Balneario” which basically translates to public bathing area. It is located just below the San Felipe Fort that was built in 1733. There you can relax on the lagoon’s sandy beachside, eat in their restaurant, rent kayaks/canoes or take a small tour by speedboat. It is a very popular place and it can get quite crowded if you are there on the weekends. At the end of the day we pack up our stuff and bid farewell once again to Bacalar knowing that we will be there again soon.
Recently there has been quite a bit of talk that Bacalar will be the next “big thing” in the Riviera Maya. There are plans to build a Safari Park and several new hotels and condos. I can only hope that this doesn’t change Bacalar from the place that I have enjoyed visiting for so long into another typical tourist destination but I guess you can’t keep a beautiful place like that a secret forever.