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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

One Day in Bacalar, Mexico: Itinerary to Transform and Travel

Bacalar, Mexico may not be on your or others radar yet. That is likely to change very soon. This hidden gem, the Lagoon of Seven Colors, is said to possibly be the next Tulum.


Many around the world have named Bacalar, Mexico the Maldives of Mexico due to the multi colors of Bacalar Lagoon. If you didn't know, the colors change due to sunlight, depth, and color of the sand at the bottom.


Bacalar Lagoon, aka Lake or Lagoon of Seven Colors, turns up the notch when it comes to pristine perfection when it comes to nature. Bacalar means surrounded by reeds.


Paradise, and the adventures that you will find in and near Bacalar, Mexico, attract many from all

7 Continents. While the town has a population of about 11,000; In 2019, over 200,000 people visited Bacalar. Im comparison, over 2 million tourists visited the Tulum Ruins alone in 2019.


That's one of the reasons why I decided to spend not just One Day in Bacalar, Mexico but about two weeks! If you are curious about my creating and adventuring, check out my second month in Tulum, Mexico.


If you don't know where to start with your time at and near Bacalar, Mexico, I am here to help you #createit! Traveling helps you transform in more ways than one when you travel globally.


While there is plenty to experience one day all around Bacalar to transform and travel whether you come solo, with family, or with a group, you will definitely want to consider staying longer.


Follow this One Day in Bacalar Mexico: Itinerary to Transform and Travel. It will help you make your travels transformational even it's a short trip. These are my recommendations for the top experiences for your one day in and around Bacalar, Mexico.


My recommendations for a day include sunrise at the pier and/or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, visiting the Fort and Bacalar sign, Cenote Cocalitos, Sailing at Sunset, and my favorite foodie spots in Bacalar!



Bacalar, Mexico at Cenote Cocalitos


One Day in Bacalar, Mexico

Getting to Bacalar, Mexico

You may find flights to Cancun Airport, the closest airport to Bacalar, from most Southern states in the USA directly. I flew to Cancun from Guatemala via Volaris Airlines in May 2021. There are plans underway for an airport in Tulum, which would be closer, as well as a train in the Yucatan Peninsula.


Bacalar, Mexico is about 5 hours south of Cancun, Mexico or 3 hours south of Tulum, Mexico making it easy to get to from the airport.


For a short trip, you may decide to rent a car. It is easy to take an Ado Bus to either Playa Del Carmen or Tulum and transferring via another bus to Bacalar.


In 2019, I visited Mexico with a hosted Airbnb Adventure visiting Cancun, Holbox, and Valladolid. At the time, Uber operated fully from Cancun Airport.


As of July 2021, there is no Uber at Cancun Airport. You may get one from within Cancun. I found the Taxi being 3 to 4x more than Ubers.







Picaflor in Bacalar, Mexico


My Experiences with Bacalar, Mexico

This is my first time in and near Bacalar, Mexico. While I have visited Mexico over 4 times before, this is my first time in Bacalar, Mexico. Thanks to my experiences in Bacalar, Mexico, it will likely not be my last.


There is so much to experience in and near Bacalar in Mexico including the nature, adventures, and food! Bacalar is divided into what seems like the center of Pueblo Magico, or Magical Town, hotel zones on one side on the freeway about 3-5 miles from town, and the coast.


In the center, you will find Fort, Bacalar Sign, What SUP Bacalar in YAK Lake House, Bacalar Cafe, Mango y Chile, and nearby Picaflor, To the right of Picaflor, you will find some hotels near the lagoon, and the public pier at Calle or Street 36. The opposite direction from YAK Lake House, you will find Cenote Cocalitos, Cenote Azul, and further Bacalar Rapids.


Although I stayed in Bacalar for about two weeks, I love to create adventure days to share for myself and others whether you are somewhere short or long-term and want to create adventure days too. That's why I created One Day Travel guides. In my Top 10 Things to Do, you will find even more reasons to experience the cities and countries I share on my travels to 7 Continents.




Bacalar Lagoon Sailing at Sunset


My travels and experiences in and near Bacalar, Mexico included nature, adventures, community, and food! Travel fills me up. New people, adventures, and experiences are something I love.


My story includes being conceived in Bulgaria, born in Poland, and in 4 countries by the time I was 2 (including a refugee camp in Italy.).


I am in awe of the transformation from the inside out of my life in every area including health, wealth, business and travel.



Bacalar, Mexico Stays

For my first visit to Bacalar, Mexico, for my first five days from July 26-30, I stayed at an efficiency apartment via a press trip and digital marketing project I did with Picaflor via WorkAway. I loved sharing the apartment with Jenn, my roommate!


Due to miscommunication on roommates with the host who tried to have me share with a guy with no reviews, we mutually decided to end earlier amicably on July 30th. I completed all work with the website, digital marketing, wellness recommendations with Herbalife, and business plan and loyalty program suggestions.


For my second stay, I stayed at an Airbnb from July 30 - August 6 with private access to the lagoon. The host, Luz is amazing!





Airbnb in Bacalar, Mexico

The Airbnb in Bacalar is a house is two story with a private entrance on the second floor to a living room area, mini snack and coffee space, and your own private room. I loved my private access to the lagoon most of my mornings and afternoons, and a beautiful swing!


Ivanka, and her mom, Luz co-manage the property and rooms. They are both super sweet!


For my third Airbnb in Bacalar, I decided to get an Airbnb with a kitchen to be able to cook again, as well as be closer to the Cenotes, town, and Beach Club. I found Maria and Daniel's adorable tiny house on Airbnb in Bacalar! From the moment, I reached out Maria and Daniel were super helpful, and private great recommendations right away like Mr Taco, Manati and more!







All shots are my own on Canon EOSM100, Sony A330, and/or my iPhone 12 Mini or Airbnb photos.




Fun Facts About Bacalar, Mexico

The town of Bacalar was raided by pirates in the 17th Century via what is now called the Pirates Channel. When you sail through the channel, you are literally sailing through historical moments. With the completion of San Felipe's fort, the Spanish Crown finally was able to defend Bacalar.


In 2006, Mexico Tourism Board designated Bacalar as a Magic Town. New York Times has speculated that Bacalar may be the next Tulum. While I do hope Bacalar grows in tourism over their average of 200,000+ visitors annually from 2019, I hope they uphold the protection of the lagoon, the environment, and the peaceful sanctuary in nature.


In and near Bacalar, you may find the lagoon access points, Cenotes, and adventures to enjoy.


I love visiting Bacalar, Mexico and enjoying the nature and adventure that surrounds the town.





Bacalar is filled with awe and wonder, natural immersion, and tasty treats that delight.



Shot on my iPhone 12



Bacalar in Under 60 Seconds

No amount of time may capture a location or city.






One Day in Bacalar, Mexico

Let's explore the experiences I recommend for one day in and near Bacalar, Mexico.

Depending on when you arrive, and where you stay, feel free to modify your experiences!


If you read my One Day in Tulum, Mexico guide, you know there are some things I didn't like about Tulum. What is interesting is that everything I didn't like about Tulum, completely reversed in Bacalar.


For example, in Tulum, I didn't like the prices of Taxis, relative high minimums and loud beach clubs, seaweed at the beach, relatively high priced stays, and increased pricing at many Cenotes in and near Tulum.


In comparison, in Bacalar, Mexico, the taxis cost 20-50 pesos for the most part as of July 2021, low minimums for beach clubs, lower rates for stays overall, and rates as low as 25 pesos for a Cenote.


I'm sharing here a full 24 hours for your one day in and around Bacalar, Mexico from morning to night! If you haven't yet, check out my other One Day and Top 10 Guides like One Day in Antigua, Guatemala and Top 10 in Antigua, Guatemala as well.


My recommendations for One Day in Bacalar, Mexico includes sunrise at the pier and/or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, visiting the Fort and Bacalar sign, Cenote Cocalitos, Sailing at Sunset, and my favorite foodie spots in Bacalar! Not to mention, Bacalar Rapids nearby or visits to a Beach Club!



Bacalar, Mexico Aerial View by Getting Stamped


 

Sunrise in Bacalar, Mexico

A great way to start your day in Bacalar, Mexico is to go to one of the public piers for sunrise. Anywhere on the lagoon, you will catch the sunrise right in front of you!


One of my favorite places is Public Pier 36 at the end of the lagoon street close to Picaflor. Use Picaflor in your Waze or Google App. When you are facing Picaflor, walk to to the right to the end of the street. Ask any local too!


Although Sunset is beautiful, it will be behind you when sitting at the Pier.









 

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding is the best way to experience sunrise in Bacalar! With What SUP Bacalar, Stand Up Paddle Boarding at sunrise takes on a whole new level! I went paddle boarding across the lagoon to Cenote Negro and Pirates Island for over 4 miles with Jenn and her sister!


After sunrise paddle boarding, you will be hungry! Definitely check out my foodie favorites at the end of the post where you may go nearby! I recommend Bacalar Cafe, Mango y Chile, and/or Picaflor!



Sunrise Stand Up Paddle Boarding with What SUP Bacalar

What SUP Bacalar in Bacalar, Mexico



 

Walk and/or Bike Around Bacalar

Bacalar is a much smaller town than Tulum, Mexico. I found it easy to walk around town and nearby Cenotes. I recommend after you eat, you walk to Fort San Felipe, Bacalar Sign, and 22nd Street where you will find El Manati and other photo and Instagram Worthy Spots in Bacalar, Mexico!



Bacalar, Mexico




 

Cenote Cocalitos

Cenote Cocalitos is one of the most beautiful Cenotes I have visited. It is open air with clear water. It is easy to see why Bacalar gets the name the Maldives of Mexico when you visit. You may easily take a taxi for about 50 pesos. If you love to walk or bike like me, it is about 5km / 3 miles.


I visited Cenote Cocalitos and walked both times! In August 2021, the price is 50 pesos / about $2 - $3 USD!







 

Sailing at Sunset

Just when you think it can't get any better in Bacalar, it does. The BEST way to end your day in Bacalar, Mexico is to go sailing at sunset.


On your sailing experience in Bacalar, you visit Cenote Negro, Pirate Channel, and Bird Island.

It is absolutely breathtaking, and one of the best expeirences you will have in your life!


I went sailing with What SUP Bacalar at sunset and absolutely loved it! You will too!



Sailing at Sunset

 

Foodie Experiences

There are countless options for foodie experiences in Bacalar you will love!


Mr Taco

In the center of town is Mr Taco! I loved their mushroom taco and fresh Pithaya juice!





Bacalar Cafe

Right around the corner from Mr Taco and near the Bacalar Sign is Bacalar Cafe.

They have excellent coffee and Chilaquiles.



Bacalar Cafe


El Manati

Keep walking past Bacalar Cafe and you will run into 22nd Street. Go left on 22nd street, and you will find the hidden gem El Manati which is a shop, restaurant and outdoor garden with a beautiful tepee!



El Manati




Mango y Chile

Mango y Chile is beautiful and yummy spot at the top of the hill across from the military compound, across from the Fort, and nearby the Bacalar sign!


I loved their Tumeric Latte, and 3 Taco combo!

The views from here are amazing for sunrise and sunset!







Enamora

Enamora is a beautiful garden spot located on the first street to the right of Mr Taco. If you turn on the first street to the left and walk a block down, you will find Enamora on your right.





Picaflor

Last, but definitely not least, is Picaflor! Picaflor is closer to the public pier 36. I got to work with Picaflor on their digital marketing for their brand with wellness, business, and influencer marketing.


They have incredible avocado toast, breakfast, and smoothies in their beautiful open air restaurant and secret garden in Bacalar! A must in Bacalar, Mexico!



Bacalar, Mexico Secret Garden



Reasons to Stay in and near Bacalar, Mexico

It is easy to see One Day in Bacalar, Mexico is not enough!

If that is all you have, enjoy it to the fullest and make plans to come back!


Beyond the spirit, nature, lagoon, sunrise and sunset experiences, Instagram spots, and food, there are countless places to visit nearby too!



Day Trips near Bacalar, Mexico

Although I have visited Mexico four times before this trip, I knew I wanted to experience Bacalar, Mexico to the fullest. As I explored places around Bacalar to visit, I found countless options for Day Trips in and near Bacalar.



Tulum

If you didn't know, in 2021, I spent 3+ months in Tulum, Mexico in a Jungle Cabana! There is so much to do in and near Tulum, Mexico! Whether you spend one day in Tulum, or more than a month, you will love it!



Tulum, Mexico Ven a La Luz

One Day in Tulum, Mexico

Top 10 Tulum, Mexico Things to Do




Holbox Island

My last time in Mexico in 2019 before this trip, I visited Holbox on a Airbnb Adventure. Even if you have a little bit of time, this is high on my list of worthy day trips in Mexico!






Valladolid

Valladolid is a beautiful colonial town that is walkable, nearby Cenotes, and one of the 7 Wonders of the World. On my last visit, I spent a day in Valladolid. I went back in 2021 for longer to Valladolid to experience nearby Cenotes and Chichen Itza!



Chichen Itza

Playa Del Carmen

Playa Del Carmen has grown so much! I love to visit for the day to see the church, Fundadores monument, walk 5th avenue, and listen to the ocean! From Tulum, it is easy to take a Collectivo all day for 50 pesos, or an Ado Bus for about 100 pesos (as of July 2021).




Isla Mujeres

I visited Isla Mujeres in 2019 and loved it. The island is small, walkable in many parts, and Playa Norte is amazing! I highly recommend adding Isla Mujeres for a day trip or longer in Mexico!





Cancun

I visited Cancun for the first time in 2001. When I recently visited in 2019, it has changed a ton! Depending on what you love, you may love One Day in Cancun!



Coba

Tulum Ruins may be a great option with oceanside views and a private beach. It isn't the only option. If you want to explore Coba Ruins, it is easy to take an Ado Bus or rental car within 30. to 40 minutes from Tulum!


The ruins here are larger than Tulum ruins and they include the tallest pyramid in the Yucatan! Prior to the pandemic, you could climb the pyramid too! In July 2021, climbing was not permitted!


I loved biking around the ruins! Speaking of biking, ruins are not the only adventure you may have in Coba! Within 3 miles of the ruins are 3 off the beaten path Cenotes! I loved visiting Choo-Ha Cenote in June 2021!


Visiting Coba Ruins and the Cenotes nearby are a great Day Trip near Tulum, Mexico!







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Bacalar, Mexico One Day Travel

As you may clearly see, Bacalar, Mexico has limitless options for One Day and more!

Why do you think I spent 2 weeks in Bacalar?


Whether you want to immerse yourself in nature, adventures, and foodie experiences,

you will love it!


Have you visited Bacalar before?

Is it on your bucket list?


If you haven't, what activity here interests you the most to do in One Day in and near Bacalar, Mexico?



Travel Guides

Mexico Travels

One Day in Tulum, Mexico and my Top 10 Things Tulum, Mexico Things to Do


Guatemala Travels

One Day in Antigua, Guatemala and my Top 10 Things to Do in Antigua, Guatemala

Costa Rica Travels

One Day in La Fortuna, Costa Rica and my Top 10 Things to Do in La Fortuna!

One Day in Monteverde, Costa Rica and my Top 10 Things to Do in Monteverde!

One Day in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica and my Top 10 Things to Do in Manuel Antonio!

One Day in Escazu, Costa Rica & Top 10 Things to Do in San Jose, Costa Rica!



Not to mention our Inspiring Travel Now & in the Future Project &

Costa Rica Retreat coming in August 2021!

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