Is Bacalar Worth Visiting (and Is It Safe to Swim in Lake Bacalar)?

Lake Bacalar’s breathtaking beauty is reason enough to visit the charming town of Bacalar, in southern Quintana Roo. When you swim in the lake of 7 colors, fed by freshwater cenotes all around, to not visit this charming lake when you’re in the peninsula is a sin.
Is Bacalar Worth Visiting
Table of Contents

With beautiful shades of blue, a limestone lake bed, and alligator-free waters, the beauty of Lake Bacalar will always invite you in for a dip.

Where in Mexico Is Bacalar Lagoon?

Balar Lagoon is located in the eastern state of Quintana Roo in the Yucatan Peninsula. Bacalar is 197.4 km or 122 miles south of Tulum, with 3 hours of travel by road. Bacalar is yet another of the Quintana Roo’s underrated jewels, with an awe-inspiring natural backdrop.

What Does Bacalar Mean?

There few accounts of where and how the name was derived. But, the word is most likely derived from the Mayan word: “b’ak halal”, meaning “surrounded by reeds”. The name of the place at the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century.

Bacalar is not only the name of the lagoon, it’s also the name of the city of Bacalar that sits west of the lagoon. The city of Bacalar is the municipal seat of Bacalar Municipality in Quintana Roo.

How Do You Pronounce Bacalar?

Bacalar, the name of the lagoon and the neighboring city is pronounced as “BA-KA-LAR”.

Is It Safe to Travel to Bacalar?

Bacalar despite being shadowed by other Quintana Roo giants like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, Bacalar is one of the safest cities in Mexico. While it may not receive as much tourism as other cities in the Yucatan, Bacalar holds the official designation as one of Mexico’s “Pueblos Magico”, or magic towns.

Safety and security are never an issue in Bacalar, however, it’s best to be as cautious as you are in your home town. There are no perfectly safe places, and chances are, smaller crimes like pickpocketing or theft still happen to tourists.

Is Lake Bacalar Freshwater?

While it may be famously called a lagoon, the lake in Bacalar is actually a freshwater lake. The lake is fed by underground springs that have enough pressure to keep the saltwater from Chetumal at bay.

Is Lake Bacalar Safe?

Lake Bacalar’s waters are safe, and clear which is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Famous for its stunning beauty, with its pristine blue water that has 7 shades of blue, and a white limestone lake bed.

Are There Alligators in Lake Bacalar?

Lakes can be alligators’ natural habitat, however, as they freshwater dwelling reptiles. Lake Bacalar doesn’t have any. They have never been spotted recently, and people say it’s because the lake doesn’t have a significant amount of marine life like fishes for them to feed on.

Are There Crocodiles in Lake Bacalar?

Crocodiles can be found in estuaries near oceans where the water is salty and brackish. So far, Lake Bacalar doesn’t have crocodile sightings and attacks. Locals have said that the absence of crocodiles in the area has always been the case.

Can You Swim in Lake Bacalar?

With its pristine, clear, 7-shade blue waters, Lake Bacalar is perfect for swimming. Along with other activities like snorkeling and diving are also ideal in the lake. The lake’s relatively fewer tourists make the lake ideal for swimming as it’s not crowded.

Where Can I Swim in Lake Bacalar?

You can swim at any point in the long and narrow lake – especially if your accommodation is close to it. Lake Bacalar is large, yet swimmable, ideal for various activities other than swimming like snorkeling, diving, and even kayaking.

Where Can I Sleep in Bacalar?

Despite being a smaller city in comparison to the bigger players that are Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum, there are still quality accommodations in Bacalar. Arguably, the best area is around the zocalo or the main square.

The central area provides easy access to everything you need. From tours and car rental companies, the central area is lined with them. However, if you like isolation, you can book accommodations right on the lake like lake houses and hostels near the shores.

How Many Days Do You Need in Bacalar?

You’ll only need a day or two to explore most of the city, but if you want to live and experience everything the charms of Bacalar has to offer a good 3 to 4 days is ideal. There are many activities to do not just on the lake but in the cenotes around it and the city as well.

You can rent bikes and tours across town, do your own food tours to the many restaurants that dot the city, and water excursions on the many cenotes that feed the lake.