• Katrina Julia

Top 10 Bacalar, Mexico Things to Do

Whether you will be spending One Day in Bacalar, Mexico, a week, or 2 weeks or more like I did, you will love the small town feel, Lake of 7 Colors, and water adventures surrounding you!

When I glanced at pictures of Bacalar on blogs like Getting Stamped, I knew I wanted to stay a few weeks at least during my travel to 7 Continents. I am so glad I did!

From the moment I arrived in Bacalar, Mexico, I loved the peace and serenity surrounding me. I love how close and walkable everything is in Bacalar, even the best Cenotes nearby!

My Top 10 Bacalar, Mexico Things to Do includes sunrise at the pier, stand up paddle boarding at sunrise. Cenotes, Rapids, sailing at sunset, walking on 22nd street, Fort San Felipe, and foodie experiences!

Bacalar, Mexico

Bacalar, Mexico

For me, Bacalar is better than Tulum, Mexico. Yes, I said it. In some ways, I love Tulum, and i some ways I don't. Everything I didn't love about Tulum is completely reversed in Bacalar.

Bacalar, Mexico and the world famous Lake of 7 Colors Bacalar Lagoon is located about two hours south of Tulum, and hours from Belize as well. Based on 2020 figures, the population is abut 40,000 with about 200,000 travelers annually.

According to New York Times, many are asking is Bacalar the Next Tulum? I say it is better than Tulum. While I do hope Bacalar, Mexico grows in tourism, I hope it maintains its serenity.

I share more on the history of Bacalar, fun facts, and what I like and don't like in my One Day in Bacalar, Mexico Itinerary to Transform and Travel.

Bacalar, Mexico Sailing at Sunset

Bacalar, Mexico Stay

I visited Bacalar from July 26 to August 9. For my visit to Bacalar, Mexico, I got a Workaway digital marketing brand consulting including a hosted stay for five days. Afterwards, I stayed at an Airbnb in a bamboo forest with private access to the Bacalar Lagoon. For the last three days of my 2 week stay in Bacalar, Mexico, I stayed in a tiny house near the center of Bacalar.

For my second stay, I stayed on the top floor entirely on my own in a private room with a common area, and bathroom. Within footsteps of my place, I enjoyed private lagoon

Bacalar, Mexico

Bacalar, Mexico

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

Bacalar, Mexico in Under 60 Seconds

Yes, I may have spent 2+ Weeks in Bacalar, Mexico in 2021. At the same time, I may still condense the experience in under 60 seconds! You are welcome!

Top 10 Bacalar, Mexico Things to Do

You will find so many things to do in Bacalar, Mexico. Before coming to Bacalar, I envisioned hours spent in the Bacalar Lagoon, and all my expectations were exceeded! Yay!

I loved spending sunrise at the public pier, hours swimming in the lagoon, sunrise stand up paddle boarding, walking the streets of Bacalar, Cenote Cocalitos, floating down the Bacalar Rapids, sailing at sunset, Cenote Azul, and many favorite foodie spots!

I am sharing what I experienced, and logistical things to consider in planning your visit. This is something I keep in mind always to save time and money whether you are taking Collectivos or biking around Bacalar.

As of August 2021, the taxis in Bacalar average about 20 pesos to 50 pesos / $1 to $3 USD one way depending where you are coming from and where you are going. Bacalar is a easy walkable and bikeable town!

In putting together the Top 10 Bacalar, Mexico Things to Do, I considered how I would experience the place knowing what I know now, and to make it easy, efficient and enjoyable!

1 Sunrise in Bacalar

A great way to start your day is at sunrise in Bacalar, Mexico at the pier. The sun rises right before your eyes. This is at Pier 36 near the coast near Picaflor.

Bacalar Sunrise

Whether you spend One Day in Bacalar, Mexico or longer, seeing the sunrise at least once is a MUST!


2 Stand Up Paddle Boarding at Sunrise

Seeing the sunrise for free at the pier is amazing no doubt. What may be even more incredible is stand up paddle boarding in Bacalar Lagoon at sunrise. You will paddle from the center of town to Cenote Negro and the Pirates Channel

During my time in Bacalar, Mexico, I experienced stand up paddle boarding at sunrise with What SUP Bacalar. I highly recommend them in every way!

Although my experiences were hosted, all opinions are my own.


3 Cenote Cocalitos

Cenote Cocalitos is one of the most beautiful Cenotes. It may be one of the most beautiful water I have ever seen in the world. It is open air with clear water. It is easy to see why Bacalar is called the Maldives of Mexico when you visit.

As of August 2021, the price is 50 pesos / about $2 - $3 USD! Unreal in every way!

At Cenote Cocalitos, you will see stromatolites all around you. They are groupings of cells in colonies that create large sedimentary rocks. They appeared between 2,500 to 1,000 million years ago. They look absolutely beautiful. Do not touch, sit, or stand on them.

You wouldn't want anyone touching, sitting or standing on you, would you?

Cenote Cocalitos in Bacalar, Mexico


4 Bacalar Rapids

Huge shoutout to Adventurous Kate who I learned about the Bacalar Rapids from. I am so grateful for online communities like She's Wanderful where I connect with incredible brands, creatives and creators!

One of the best days I experienced in Bacalar was the day I went to Bacalar Rapids. The quiet away from the center of the entrance, the immersion in nature, and the color of the water - wow!

Walking all along the coast to then float down the river is absolutely incredible!

Visiting the Bacalar Rapids is an absolute MUST on your trip to Bacalar, Mexico!


5 Sailing at Sunset in Bacalar

I hope you didn't think my water adventures are anywhere near over in life! Sailing at sunset in Bacalar is one of the most magical things I have experienced. It is mesmerizing to see the seven colors of Bacalar Lagoon, Pirates Channel, Cenote Negro, and Bird Island during the 2-3 hour sailing experience.

During my time in Bacalar, I experienced sailing at sunset with What SUP Bacalar and loved it!

Bacalar, Mexico Sunset Sailing

6 Cenote Azul

Less than 2 km away from Cenote Cocalitos is Cenote Azul. You may visit this 70+ meter deep Cenote for 25 pesos / about $1 USD (August 2021). It is super fun to hang out at the shore, and swim across the Cenote!

If you haven't yet, definitely check out my Best Cenotes in Mexico to help you plan your adventures!


7 Walking on 22nd Street

A great way to experience Bacalar, Mexico is walk on 22nd Street. Walking down the street you will find El Manati, I Scream, and more ways to create content like a boss in Mexico!

At El Manati, I ate in a Tepee! So cool!


8 Fort San Felipe

You can't miss Fort San Felipe walking through Bacalar. It is right near the center by Mangoychile restaurant and the Bacalar sign.

What you may not know is the Fort was designated a National Historic Heritage Site in 1975. The views from Fort San Felipe are incredible.

According to Visit Mexico, the fort served the purpose of protecting the Bacalar's Maya community from constant attacks by English, French, and Dutch pirates. To that end, the walls were built with marine and volcanic rocks, as well as limestone.

The Italian architect, Juan Podio, was in charge of the design. It was he who designed it as a star with four points, respectively sheltering the Santa Ana, San Arturo, Santa Maria, and San Joaquin bulwarks.

Fort San Felipe in Bacalar, Mexico


9 Bacalar Sign Instagram Shot

For my Instagram and Instagram Reel lovers, this is a spot you don't want to miss! We did a super fun musical letters video here!