Bacalar is located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, about 25 miles north of Chetumal, and roughly a two-hour drive from the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. The city hosted a former Mayan civilization in pre-Columbian times, which was incidentally the first city in the region that the Spanish conquistadores succeeded in taking in 1543.
However, today, in addition to its seven-colored lagoon, many cenotes, hammocks and straw huts surrounded by legendary jungles, the village is also known for its adrenaline-filled land activities and exciting water sports.
When visiting, be on the lookout for the San Joaquin Parish Church where you’ll find an image of the saint which, according to record, existed even before the famous Caste War. Make a stop at the Pirate Museum, where swords, telescopes, ship logs, and much more, from real Caribbean pirates, can be found.
Any diver visiting the area should not leave without stopping at Cenote Azul. Even those who do not practice the sport will marvel at its beauty. Located on one side of Laguna Bacalar, the open cenote will offer a new discovery every time, whatever your diving experience.
In the jungle you’ll find one of the most impressive archaeological sites of the Mayans. The Kohunlich ruin, includes many structures of note, including the Temple of the Masks, the Plaza and the Palace of the Wakes, as well as some residences. Among its historical importance and natural beauty, the site is a must see.
If you have exhausted the many things to do in Tulum, and its surrounding area, or you are simply looking to escape this popular tourist resort, take a drive to Bacalar, where you can get up close to authentic Caribbean culture.