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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,398
Marty Offline OP
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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!

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more FANTASTIC photos on San Pedro Scoop

Joined: May 2000
Posts: 7,051
I loved the museum at the Fort. The town and plaza are really nice and people are very friendly in this area. The cenote azul is cool if you look into how they are formed etc. there is a fantastic restaurant on the cenote bank where you can swim in the cenote and enjoy an amazing meal and lots of yummy refreshing drinks. The restaurant has a neat gift shop with a lot of local art.

Lake Bacalar has some good hotels so you don't have to rough it if you would prefer a few creatures comforts. Last time I was there the hotels were around 3 stars.

We hired a local tour guide for a ride around the lake. He gave us the history of how it was formed, showed us homes and schools etc around the lake (from the boat) etc. I think this was all in Spanish, I can't remember.

Oh thinking back, the fort museum has murals showing the arrival of the Spanish, the enslavement of the indigenous people, the measles epidemic etc.

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 2,461
I love the quirky Laguna Hotel on the lagoon. Decor is whimsical. The restaurant at Cenote Azul is wonderful and always makes me question why we don't have the same array of fresh seafood available in restaurants here. Delightful day.

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Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,046
I love a cenote. LOVE THEM. But that one didn't do it for me. It is free though (unlike so many of them) if it isn't your thing, you haven't lost any money.

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