Is Bacalar worth visiting in Mexico? This was a question I had seen that was asked many times online as we were discussing which places to include in our 12-day trip around Mexico. Having been there and back, I would say that it is!
We spent two nights in Bacalar, after visiting Mexico City, Oaxaca and Valladolid. As I reminisce about our time in Mexico, my favourite spots and best experiences keep changing! And as I write this article today, Bacalar is my current favourite stop! Partial, I know!
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How to get to Bacalar, Mexico
We travelled to Bacalar from Valladolid in our rental car in a little under four hours. The journey, like the previous road trips we made in the country, was pleasant and without incident. Several bus services, including ADO, also ply the same route. Tickets can be bought on the day of travel or preferably online through Busbud.
The Best time to visit Bacalar
The months of December through March are considered the best times to visit. Travellers can expect more pleasant weather conditions and less rainfall during these months.
I’ve read that the rainy and hurricane seasons start around May and last through November, with June being the rainiest month and August to October being the months with the biggest hurricanes.
We visited towards the end of May and I don’t recall the weather being too hot and humid. It did rain quite heavily during our commute from Valladolid but we had beautiful sunny weather the next day.
The Best things to do in Bacalar, Mexico
After travelling for a few weeks already in the US and Mexico, we spent our time in Bacalar quite leisurely and with no pressure to do anything. I’ll list what we did get up to below but if you’re interested, here are some tours available on Viator that will be worth booking.
On our first day, which was a Wednesday, there was a restriction on boats on the Lagoon. We learned that every Wednesday, this restriction is in place as a preservation initiative. It is not a rule that is enforced but all operators adhere to this restriction anyway.
As a result, we spent our downtime hanging out at the hotel, taking walks around the town, before heading out to La Playita for lunch and a swim in the Lagoon.
Dining at La Playita and Swimming in the Bacalar Lagoon
We dined in a few places in the town but La Playita was my favourite. This lagoon-facing restaurant was wonderful and I enjoyed our meals there and the service.
But what I loved most about our experience was the dips in the beautiful Lagoon. Swimming here reminded me of my time in Watamu, which I also absolutely adored! The water was warm and shallow, with beautiful shades of blue. I had a wonderful time here for sure!
Sunrise Stand-Up Paddleboarding
The next morning, before our drive to Tulum, we went stand-up paddleboarding (SUP). This was my first time trying it out and it was great fun!
Sunrise kayaking tours are also available but if you haven’t tried out SUP yet, I recommend giving it a go. It is fun and quite easy to do. Some hotels have kayaks and paddleboards which you can use on your own but tours like these are also available.
Where to stay in Bacalar – Hotel Aires
Bacalar has a range of accommodation options for every traveller. After a bit of research, we opted to stay at Hotel Aires Bacalar, a quaint boutique hotel located within a walking distance from the Lagoon.
This is a beautiful hotel with kind and friendly staff, therefore, I can recommend it for your stay as well.
How many days do you need in Bacalar?
Finally, I will recommend spending at least two days here. There’s not much to do in the town as it is quiet and sleepy, so if that’s not what you’re looking for, then it’s best to head somewhere else, like Tulum or Cancun.
In two days, you can fit in a day trip to Los Rapidos (be sure to read about it before you go), a sunrise or sunset SUP or a kayak experience and you will have enough time to simply relax and enjoy your holiday! Be aware of the Lagoon preservation exercise and plan your trip accordingly.
So, tell me. Have you been to Bacalar? Did you think it was worth visiting? If you haven’t, will you be including it in your Mexico itinerary?