Laguna Bacalar

Vacation water feature #3, Laguna Bacalar, a stunning freshwater lake in 5 shades of blue.  It features submerged cenotes created by meteorites, a canal used by pirates for raiding and Mayans for trading, and sulfuric mud for a "'Mayan Spa".

We used Veleando Ando at the Marina Bacalar and spent half the day on the water in a 14 foot hobi cat with an Argentian hippie captain.

Luis had a comprehensive knowledge of the biology, geology, and history of the lake which he explained to us in great detail.  Almost as good as having my Luis with us to explain the how and why of everything we were seeing.  There's lots of ways to experience the lake, most on crafts with engines.  We went with the mas  tranquilo way of a silent boat powered by wind.  The lake has a lot of sulphur in it (but does not smell of it at all, except for the "Mayan Mud" spa which was like rubbing rotten eggs into the skin) so there is very little fish or animal life.  In other words no predators, crocs, snakes, or other nefarious species.  Just lots and lots of blue clear water.

The submerged cenotes were unique in that they were created by meteorites hitting the lake, so we could stand in the hip deep clear water then step off into a 90 meter deep black abyss.  You can see the ledge going down and down, unnerving!

Evenings here are spent pretty much the same way in every town we visit.  Eat some good, cheap, traditional food then hang out in the town square with a sweet from a street cart and people watch.  We usually add souvenir shopping and a stop in a market for water and breakfast stuff.  I've been making avocado toast with tomato and a boiled egg on torta bread and a side of mango all for $2.

We've been staying in a cute Airbnb, Maria Maria Hotel.  It has four rooms with balconies and a shared common space with small kitchen.  

It's 1 block up from the lake and a public access point which I thought we would use but we ended up going to Cocalitos, enterance fee $1.75, a beach side camping area for families on holiday.  It's a cool place and we weren't the only ones that though so.  There were lots of multigenerational families having their vacation there so the atmosphere was really festive and friendly.  We were even able to just leave our bag on the shore and swim and kayak all day with no worries about it at all. The place also features stramatolites, freshwater coral that creates oxygen as a byproduct of consuming the sulphur and calcium in the water.  

Our guide from yesterday told us about a phenomenon on the lake that happens unpredictability a few times a year where the water becomes glass like and perfectly reflects the sky.  He said it was particularly stunning when it happens at night as the lake mirrors the starry sky and you feel as if you are sailing in a endless sphere of a galaxy.  We didn't witness this event but caught a glimpse of the glassiness.

In the afternoon we visited the Spanish Fort San Felipe built in 1729. We paid $4 to get in and spent about 30 minutes here.  Built with the stones from a destroyed Mayan Temple, it has a good vantage point and a very small museum.  

It is also a virtual stone oven inferno said as soon as we left we got a snow cone like treat where the vendor has to scrape the ice by hand from a block on his cart.

We are leaving Bacalar today on the 11:50 bus for Tulum, our final stop on the small Yucatan loop we are traveling. Just a few more days left where the homestretch is bitter sweet.


  1. Breathtaking scenery Polly! And love the Avo toast. Reminds men of brekkie in Australia.

  2. It's so good but way overpriced at home !