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What To Do If You Have 48 Hours In Bacalar

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Bacalar. It’s the pueblo magico of southern Quintana Roo that’s exploded in popularity over the past few years.

As a quieter, smaller, and cheaper alternative to Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Bacalar is a great spot to set up camp for a few days and take in the sights of the beautiful lagoon along the coast.

If you find yourself in the Riviera Maya, why not plan a little getaway to this unique magic town? Here’s what to do if you have 48 hours in Bacalar. 

The lake is seven shades of blue in Bacalar.

Boat Tour Of The Lagoon

The highlight of Bacalar is undoubtedly the lagoon. Lots of the hotels, including some restaurants and bars in town, are right by the water, so views of the lagoon aren’t hard to get.

It’s also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colors – meaning at least 7 different shades of blue and green could be seen in the lagoon. 

While the colors have changed over the past few years – more so than over the previous century – tourists can still take a trip to see the crystal clear, turquoise waters just a mile or two away from the town square.

Book a boat trip with one of the many tour operators (some are linked with a local business, like a hotel or restaurant) and you’ll jet off to explore the magical waters of the area.

swimming in Bacalar lagoon

Sunrise At The Pier

Apart from the lagoon views, one of the most picturesque parts of town is the Bacalar pier.

You’ve seen it in travel images (including this post) in blogs and on social media, and it really is a wonderful spot to sit and take in the views.

If you can get up in time, walk to the pier for an epic sunrise and contemplate this little wonder of the world.

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Bacalar town sign lit up in town main square at night.

Hit Up The Best Bacalar Restaurants

Being a seaside town that’s made for tourism, you can bet that there’s amazing food in Bacalar.

Along with some great cheap eats in the center of town, you can also splurge at some of the best restaurants in this magic town, including Ixchel Bacalar, Picaflor Bacalar, and Mi Burrito Bacalar.

Color graded picture of a pier with clouds and blue water at the Laguna Bacalar, Chetumal, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

Enjoy The Bacalar Night Market

Usually open (and bustling) during the evening on weekends, save those pesos for some souvenir shopping here at the night market in the Bacalar main town square.

You’ll find handmade (and quality!) jewelry, honey products sourced from the local Yucatan bees (even honey beer), homemade soaps and beauty products, and more.

On a Saturday or Sunday night, you might even catch some live music and dancing. 

Colourful tropical views of Bacalar

Cenote Azul

About a 20-minute drive from Bacalar is one of the more unique cenotes in Quintana Roo – Cenote Azul.

Come with your cenote swimwear (remember, no sunscreen) and a few hundred pesos for the entrance fee and food, and enjoy this sparkling, deep blue open-air cenote.

It’s not your average cenote, and it takes a real swimmer to get from one side to the other, so wear the life jacket provided. The rope laid out in the middle of the cenote really helps if you want a break and just feel like lingering in the water. 

A wooden swing in a Bacalar beach with colourful water

Where to Stay In Bacalar

Budget-friendly places in Bacalar: On a budget? Book your stay at Cabanas Alma Verde, a cozy little family-run guesthouse where you can get a double room for less than 50 bucks.

The only thing is that it’s about a 15-minute walk from the center of town, but it’s also a great choice if you’re looking for something quiet and close to the bus station. 

Mid-range to luxury hotel stays in Bacalar: For a luxurious hotel splurge with sea views to boot, you’ll have a lot to choose from in Bacalar.

One of them is Villa Marilu B& B, where you’ll get lake views in a chic and clean setting, just a few steps from restaurants and bars. If you want to browse more hotel options, check out this post on the top-rated boutique hotels in Bacalar.

Palapa and Bacalar lagoon at sunset.

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