Bacalar is a Magic Town that is located in the southern part of the state of Quintana Roo, at a short distance before reaching its capital, Chetumal, and near the border with Belize. The town is located on the banks of an astounding lagoon that surprises locals and strangers with its incomparable colors, and attracts more and more visitors for its beauty.
It is the only colonial town in the Mexican Caribbean. Most of the cities in Quintana Roo are of recent foundation, however, Bacalar is a treasure in the state has been a haunt of pirates during the 17th and 18th centuries.
It is almost impossible not to fall in love with Bacalar, with the picturesque fishermen's houses framed by the surprising hues of the Bacalar Lagoon. Also, it is a perfect place for rest, delicious food, and water activities.
The main attraction is the Seven Colors Lagoon of Bacalar, so-called colloquially because you can clearly distinguish the shades of blue and green on the horizon. These features make this site an excellent place to take pictures and marvel at nature, or even rent equipment to practice a water activity like paddleboard in Bacalar.
The Bacalar Lagoon has shallow waters and white sand with light waves in most of its extension. The lagoon is part of a system of around 34 mi (55 km) in length that flows into Chetumal Bay through the Hondo River, and an area called the Chaac estuary. It has a growing hotel infrastructure, looking for having a balance to affect the ecosystem as little as possible.
Many small hotels or cabins are located on the banks of the lagoon and are a great getaway to get in touch with nature, enjoy spectacular sunrises and take a refreshing dip in the waters of the lagoon. In some areas of the lagoon, it is possible to dive, and it is very recommended to choose a snorkeling tour in Bacalar.
The Cenote Azul of Bacalar is perhaps the most famous in the southern area of Quintana Roo. It is striking, having a diameter of almost 1,000 ft (300 meters) and reaching depths of up to 292 ft (90 m). It is very popular for snorkeling, swimming in its calm waters, and coming into contact with nature.
Cenote Cocalitos in Bacalar is famous for being the home and sanctuary of stromatolites, which are layered living structures that are rare in nature. Scientists consider stromatolites as one of the oldest signs of life on the face of the Earth. We recommend you observe them and avoid touching, since they are of enormous wealth for Mexico, and we must contribute to their conservation.
They can only be seen in a few places around the world and appear to be moss-covered rocks that sometimes stick out of the water, however, they are very fragile. In the Cocalitos area, you can relax and eat at one of the restaurants and even go kayaking in Bacalar, as there are several options for rent.
In one of the sectors of the Seven Colors Lagoon, you will find the Cenote Negro at Bacalar. It is one of the best-kept secrets in the region. You have to be careful to visit since it is a precipice of approximately 292 ft (90 m) deep. However, the buoyancy is sometimes limited by the pressure of the water, and a person can sink. It is a very good place to take photographs, and some adventurers even have a diving session with a guide, to observe the rock formations below the surface.
An area within the lagoon known as Rapidos de Bacalar (rapids) is a perfect place to enjoy the natural wonders of this tourist destination. It has a restaurant and some water channels. It stands between the limits of the Bacalar Lagoon, and the Xul-Há Lagoon, right where a stream is formed that allows you to experience an unforgettable kayak session in Bacalar.
Bacalar, due to its strategic location and the difficulty of accessing it from the Caribbean Sea, it became a den for pirates between the 17th and 18th centuries. The first to settle in the area was Peter Wallace from Scotland. Later, Diego el Mulato ravaged the region, although, he and the pirates who arrived in the following decades, faced powerful resistance from the Mayans of the region.
The Bacalar Pirates Channel was the gateway, and today, it is one of the main tourist attractions for its spectacular panoramic view and crystal-clear waters. At the end of the 18th Century, and due to the traffic of the dye stick, it was decided to fortify Bacalar, and the Fort of San Felipe was built.
Bacalar Fort or San Felipe Fort in 7 colors lagoon was built as protection against recurring pirate attacks. It was built in 1729 and is the only colonial vestige in the state of Quintana Roo. In addition to its thick walls, there are four bastions at each corner and a moat that, nowadays, is a garden with Maya and Spanish details. Also, it is now the seat of the Piracy Museum, a place you cannot miss on your visit to Bacalar.
Come to Bacalar, spend a few days surprising yourself with nature and pirate stories of this iconic place in the southern area of Quintana Roo. Besides swimming in the lagoon, practicing water sports, and taking a boat ride, you can have a restful rest and eat delicious food.