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Why This Once-Unknown Magic Town South Of Cancun Is Becoming Wildly Popular 

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‘Magical Towns’ seem to be all the rage at the moment, with the coveted title being given to more and more incredible locations in order to attract more tourists.

One such town that strengthened its position as an internationally renowned tourist destination is the ‘Magical Town’ of Bacalar, which is receiving recognition for its stunning landscapes, its archeological sites and its incredible culture. 

The initiative, which has declared 177 towns as “magical” all across Mexico, has been a resounding success and brought much prosperity to once quiet, overlooked locations. 

beach lagoon in Bacalar with walkway to the ocean

This has certainly been the case for Bacalar, which was highlighted by Director of Tourism in the municipality, Edmundo Hiram Gómez Koyoc. 

He stated: 

“We managed to attract the attention not only of important market segments, but also of entrepreneurs in the tourism sector, investors and agencies from different parts of the world, guaranteeing tourism positioning and strengthening their position as an internationally renowned tourist destination; we fulfill the objecting of promoting the Magical Town and thus increase the arrival of visitors who generate a positive impact on the local economy and a better spill for the benefit of all. 

So what is it about Bacalar that is capturing the attention of absolutely everybody?

@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

Unique Accommodation 

Unlike its neighbor, Cancun, this magical town is not completely overrun by huge luxury hotel resorts and offers a far more quintessential Mexican experience. 

With it being not too far away from Cancun, it catches more and more travelers in the overspill who are looking for something a little more peaceful and a much more traditional feel of the Mexican Caribbean.  

@elyseelmer the last two are elite but honestly loved everything about bacalar 😮‍💨 #bacalar #bacalarlagoon #bacalarquintanaroomexico #bacalarqroo #mexicotraveling ♬ Paradise – TELL YOUR STORY music by Ikson™

Here you will find a ton of boutique hotels and guest houses, each offering something completely different, quite impressively holding out against the region’s recent luxury-resort boom. 

With a focus on eco-tourism, much like Tulum, Bacalar is all about promoting local and community tourism, which focuses on bringing money and business straight into the hands of the local people. 

bacalar sunset with water walkway

A More Traditional Experience 

Completely opposite to Cancun, if you are looking for a taste of more authentic Mexico, from the food to the lifestyle, Bacalar is going to give it to you. 

Local restaurants specialize in traditional Mayan delicacies, based on recipes that date over a thousand years ago, as well as some more modern Caribbean cuisine, and it will definitely be a completely unique tasting experience. 

bacalar port

New Openings 

Bacalar is expecting even more growth in the tourism sector due to the openings of new projects such as the Maya Train and the Ichkabal archeological zone. 

The latter was actually a site that was discovered in the 90s but has recently gained more attention in recent years. 

The site is home to many large buildings, with a pyramid that reaches 130 feet tall, and are expected to date some 2,400 years ago, during a seminal period in the history of the world, actually overtaking the infamous Chichén Itzá in size and maybe even significance. 

The Maya train, a hotly anticipated and somewhat controversial mega-project that looks to connect locals and tourists alike to all over the Yucatan Peninsula, will have its own stop in Bacalar, which means even more people will be able to experience the wonders of the ‘magical town’. 

aerial view of achkabal ruins in Bacalar

Things To See And Do 

Though obviously smaller in size compared to some tourist hotspots in the Mexican Caribbean, Bacarlar seems to have a never-ending list of things on offer for tourists. 

If you are a lover of the outdoors but don’t want the overcrowded beaches of somewhere like Cancun, you can spend a day visiting Bacalar Lagoon (Lagoon of 7 Colors), known for its incredible color-changing turquoise water, and Cenote Azul, a large body of natural water that some scientists argue could have been created from the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs… (!?)

If you are searching for more history, you can visit the Church of San Joaquin and the Fort of San Felipe, where you will be transported to the 1800s and be able to marvel at all its glorious architecture. 

With much more stunning natural beauty and a bustling, charming downtown area, Bacalar is sure to be a place you are going to fall in love with!

a view of bacalar with its overwater bungalows and blue waters

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