The number of Americans choosing to explore destinations outside of Cancun and Playa del Carmen is climbing at a huge rate, with destinations south of these two tourism powerhouses now offering amazing experiences for those willing to try somewhere new.
And while the past decade has been dominated by the now world-famous Tulum, further south is another amazing destination fast becoming a favorite for Americans chasing a relaxing vacation with beautiful surroundings.
Located a four-hour drive south of Cancun and just a short hop to the Mexico-Belize border, Bacalar is a world away from Cancun in all the right ways.
This amazing destination is also known as the Lagoon Of 7 Colors. A name it has received due to the amazing lagoon it sits beside, which shines multiple shades of blue, turquoise, and green.
@travelsbytash Make sure to visit Bacalar on your next trip to Mexico! The colour of the water here is insane 😍 #backpackingmexico #solofemalebackpacker #bacalarmexico #visitmexico🇲🇽🇲🇽🇲🇽 #mexicotips ♬ Walking On a Dream – Empire of the Sun
A Hidden Gem
The term hidden gem gets thrown around a lot, but Bacalar truly meets the standards for this title.
Tourism is still in its infancy here, mainly due to the distance from Cancun, and the area has been developed in a much more controlled way than its sister destinations.
Additionally, crime levels here are very low; it’s an unfortunate truth that the biggest issues in the Riviera Maya’s tourism hotspots come from the nightlife and party scene, which inevitably brings with it the sale of narcotics and its associated issues.
Bacalar, on the other hand, is a low-key and relaxing destination with a focus on the breathtaking nature that occurs in this magical corner of the world.
@jb_aguiirre 📍Laguna 7 colores ✨ Mexico #bacalarmexico #mexicocheck #tulum #quintanaroo #cancunmexico #cancunmexico #playadelcarmen #vibes #flyyyyyyyyyyyyy #parati #belice #mexico🇲🇽 #flypシ #viral ♬ coldplay x quevedo – tommasoreplica
A huge positive travelers may discover in Bacalar is just how budget-friendly it is. The businesses here, for the most part, haven’t inflated their prices at the same rate as bigger destinations like Cancun.
Taxis, entrance fees to attractions, as well as restaurants and bars are far more forgiving on the bank balance.
Things To Do In Bacalar
There is a whole host of awesome activities to do in Bacalar, and travelers will notice there’s a heavy focus in this part of the Riviera Maya on experiencing natures beauty.
The following are just a few of the many fantastic things for travelers to do in Bacalar.
@pictureperfectwrld Three reasons you must visit Bacalar on a trip to the @Mexican Caribbean #travelwithme #tiktoktravelgoals #mexicancaribbean #travelmexico ♬ Sunny Day – Ramol
Take To The Water
What better way to experience the Bacalar Lagoon than to take to the water and explore?
There are many different kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals for travelers to choose from, all of which are very budget-friendly.
Kayaks can be rented for as little as $5 per hour, and there are even guided stand-up paddleboard tours that leave at sunrise.
@traveldivingwoman 📍 Bacalar – Mexico Tag the person you want to travel with! 🌏👏 #bacalar #fy #fyp #fypage #traveltiktok #travel #viral #bacalarmexico #mexico🇲🇽 #crystalclearwaters #boattour #sunrise #solotravelwoman ♬ Paradise – TELL YOUR STORY music by Ikson™
Fort San Felipe
This 18th-century star fort was originally constructed by New Spain (the Spanish Empire’s name for Mexico) to protect the local area from constant attacks by European and African pirates.
Travelers shouldn’t miss the chance to experience this well-preserved piece of colonial history, which is a rare sight in this part of the Americas.
Furthermore, Fort San Felipe is more than just a well-preserved piece of history; it is also home to the Piracy Museum, an educational and extremely interesting insight into the world of piracy in the Caribbean.
@cancun__tours Museo del Fuerte de “Dan Felipe Bacalar” #bacalar #pueblomagico #quintanaroo #quintanaroomexico #bacalarmexico ♬ Forever – Labrinth
Explore Cenote Azul
Located right next to the Bacalar Lagoon, this cenote is one of the largest in all of Mexico.
Travelers can swim in the cool and clean water to cool off from the hot sun, or for the more adventurous travelers, both snorkeling and scuba-diving are also available to explore this 300-foot (90m) deep natural marvel.
@trendywanderer The Maldives of Mexico: Is Bacalar worth visiting? 🇲🇽 #mexico #bacalar #bacalarmexico #mexicotiktok #traveltiktok #travellife #bucketlist #travelbucketlist #bacalarlagoon #viajestiktok #traveler ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
How To Get To Bacalar
The trade-off for a vacation in this quiet paradise is its distance to Cancun International Airport.
Flights are available to the nearby town of Chetumal from Cancun, although they run a notoriously odd schedule.
The best way to reach here is by taking an ADO bus from Cancun central bus station. These buses are all modern with great air-conditioning and serve as a vital link for all the tourist destinations in the Riviera Maya.
Alternatively, another great way to reach Bacalar, as well as explore the wealth of beauty in the area, is by renting a vehicle.
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