Lake Bacalar, just 25 miles north of Chetumal, is incredibly close to San Pedro and is incredibly beautiful. Looking out over the lake, it is hard to believe that it is fresh water and not the Carribbean. Bacalar is the second largest fresh water lake in Mexico (the largest is Lake Chalapa southeast of Guadalajara), the bottom is limestone and the lake sparkles. There is definitely a good reason that they call this laguna the Lakes of Seven Colors. It could not be more blue.
The drive to Bacalar is easy. About half an hour along the main highway and we pulled into the small town. There is a small plaza, some restaurants and stores but not too much to see.
The Fort of San Felipe (built in 1733) sits over the lake. You can pay to go inside but there didn´t look like there was too much to see. The fort was built by the Marhsall of the Yucatan to fend off pirates and to shield the region from harassment from traders in Campeche wood. (Or at least that is what the sign said.)
This is not normal camping. As you can imagine, Dani and Cesar have quite a bit of equipment for a year on the road. Their truck is fully kitted out for the trek...from a stove to a roof top tent to a hammock to an extra tent for me...I can think of very few things that are not in that truck.
They are not alone in this sort of adventure. At the same camp site, this family from Belgium (2 parents, 3 young girls and a dog!) are coming north from Argentina and travelling around the world for THREE YEARS! The Americas to Oceania to Asia to Africa...Makes you feel like a stick in the mud, doesn´t it?
The campsite was $70 pesos per person. It was equipped with a bathroom but no sink or shower. It was perfectly adequate...
Get yourself to Lake Bacalar! A perfect long weekend from San Pedro.
Something to skip: On your way into Bacalar, there is a sign for the Cenote Azul. Touted by my guidebook as one of the biggest in the Yucatan and a stop to make, I disagree. It is clearly a place where huge tour groups stop.
Why stop at this swimming hole when one of the most beautiful lakes in the world is within minutes? LOOK AT THIS LAKE!
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