By: Rebekah Mullinix
Just north of Belize is another secret spot of Mexico that is absolutely breathtaking: Bacalar. This city in Quintana Roo was dubbed a “Pueblo Magico” or magical town in 2006. This is a small town with wonderful restaurants and my favorite fresh body of water! The lagoon truly shows Bacalar’s magic through its beautiful array of colors and unique features.
1. Discover the Canal de Los Pirates
This little spot is the channel that pirates used to enter the lagoon in the 17th century. There is a boat-shaped structure, remnants of a failed restaurant, that sits where the channel meets the lagoon. It is interesting to explore the structure, see the murals, and get a great view of the channel.
Climb on the Old Structure in Pirate’s Channel to See the Some of the Best Murals in Bacalar
2. Sail the Lagoon of 7 Colors of Bacalar
The lagoon displays a gorgeous array of blues and greens. I love this lagoon for many reasons including the warm, fresh, seaweed-free water! Enjoy a wonderful ride on a sailboat through the calm waters of the lagoon.
3. Explore San Felipe Fort
This fort is beautiful and right on the water. It costs 110 pesos (about $5 USD) to enter. There is a watchtower you can climb to for a great view and see some original cannons. There is a small museum that explains the history of Bacalar, with amazing artifacts including a skeleton!
4. See the Stromatolites at Cenote Cocalitos
This was one of my favorite spots because you can see the stromatolites which are believed to be the first form of life on Earth. This is a great place to relax in a hammock or swing. There is a small restaurant to get food and drinks or bring along a blanket and have a picnic!
5. Sip a Craft Beer at Cerveceria Bacalar
This location is great to enjoy some craft beer and a gorgeous sunset. This is a little-known place to hang out during the day as well. With craft beer and wonderful food, you basically have a private place to lounge and enjoy the water.
6. Float down Los Rápids de Bacalar
The rapids is another favorite place of mine. I had so much fun floating down the rapids like a natural lazy river. It is actually a club that serves food and drinks right to your lakeside chairs. There are lockers to secure your belongings while swimming and a couple of hammocks to relax in. It is 150 pesos ($7.50 USD) to enter and comes with free life jackets.
7. Enjoy the Creative Murals
Mexico is well known for amazing murals throughout its cities; Bacalar is no exception. Creative murals decorate the streets of Bacalar.
8. Have Brunch at El Manali
This is a super artsy spot. As you enter, there is an exquisite art gallery of paintings, sculptures, and textiles made by local artists. In addition, there is an adorable brunch spot with an innovative take on common dishes.
9. Indulge Your Senses at La Cabanita
This restaurant is a delightful surprise! The chef uses artistry to create beautiful and innovative, not to mention delicious dishes! You definitely cannot miss this special spot.
10. Circle Cenote Negro
The Lagoon of 7 Colors has so many amazing features, one of them being Cenote Negro. This cenote has such a steep drop-off that you can actually see the water change colors from a light blue to a deep navy. There is no swimming allowed here as the dept (a whopping 90 meters!) makes it too dangerous, but it is a wonderful place to view from a boat or a kayak.
Check out other magical cities such as Holbox!