Bacalar Lagoon (Laguna de Bacalar) is the largest lagoon in Yucatan.
Bacalar Lagoon is situated in Quintana Roo, near the town of Bacalar. It is relatively close to popular tourist destinations such as Cancun and Tulum, making it a convenient addition to a Yucatan Peninsula itinerary.
The place was inhabited by Mayans for centuries.
The name Bacalar means “surrounded by reeds” in the Mayan language. Trails around the lagoon were lined with white seashells because the inhabitants would walk at night when it was cooler and the shells would mark the trails.
Bacalar Lagoon is the second-largest natural body of fresh water in Mexico after Lake Chapala. This is a lake of about 55 km from tip to tip and 2 km at its widest point. The lagoon is fed by underground cenotes.
Because of the porous limestone, Yucatan has almost no lakes. Bacalar is fed by the 450 km underground river that is part of the world’s largest subterranean water cave (tunnel) system, paralleling the coastline.
The lagoon is renowned for its striking blue color and water clarity. Bacalar Lagoon is also called the Lake of Seven Colors because of the white sandy bottom that gives the effect of having so many shades of blue.
The lagoon is surrounded by lush greenery, including mangrove forests, which provide a habitat for diverse wildlife, including birds, fish, and reptiles. Bacalar contains a huge population of the oldest life on the planet.
Bacalar Lagoon is the place to go if you just want to chill out and relax or snorkel, take a boat or kayak trip, camp, or stand-up paddleboarding at sunrise.
The climate in the Bacalar region is classified as tropical, which means warm temperatures throughout the year. The best time to visit the Bacalar Lagoon region is during the dry season, from November to April.
During this time, you can expect warm and sunny weather with minimal rainfall. The average temperatures range from 25°C to 30°C, making it ideal for outdoor activities and enjoying the lagoon’s beauty.
This period offers pleasant weather, clear skies, and ideal conditions for swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding, and exploring the lagoon’s cenotes. The water is exceptionally clear, showcasing its stunning shades of blue.
The rainy season spans from May to October when the weather is still warm.
This period experiences more frequent rain showers and the potential for tropical storms. While the lush greenery flourishes during this time, the lagoon’s water may be less crystal-clear due to sediment runoff.
- Renta car to get to Bacalar.
- Hire shuttle services or tour to Bacalar.
- You can take a bus to Bacalar.
From Tulum or Bacalar
- From Tulum – take a bus or arrange for transportation (2-3 hour drive) to Bacalar.
- From Chetumal – take a bus or a short taxi ride to reach the Bacalar Lagoon.
Getting around in Bacalar
- Once in Bacalar, you can easily navigate the town on foot or by renting a bicycle.
- Taxis and local transportation are also available for getting around the area.
Remember to plan your transportation in advance, especially during the high tourist season.
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