Things to Do

Bacalar on a Budget: Tips for Affordable Travel

In the realm of travel, the quest for affordability often leads to surprising discoveries and Bacalar is no exception. This gem offers a blend of serenity and adventure, proving that a limited budget doesn't mean limited experiences. Here, the natural beauty takes center stage, with the iconic Lagoon of Seven Colors offering a canvas of turquoise and azure that changes with the light of day.

Traveling to Bacalar

Affordable Transit: Reaching Bacalar is surprisingly budget-friendly. The ADO bus line serves as a lifeline for those traveling from major hubs like Cancun and Playa del Carmen, providing a comfortable journey without the hefty price tag. Roundtrip fares hover around $75 USD, making it an accessible option for those looking to explore on a dime.

Driving Insights: For those inclined to take the wheel, car rentals offer the freedom to roam the Yucatán Peninsula at your leisure. While the open road beckons, travelers are advised to plan for tolls and refuel when possible, as gas stations are few and far between. Despite these considerations, the journey to Bacalar is straightforward, with clear skies and open roads setting the stage for an adventure.

Where to Stay

Hostels : Bacalar's hostelling scene is perfect for budget travelers, where affordability meets the waterfront. Hostels like YAK Lake House and Yaxche Centro offer more than just a place to rest; they are gateways to the local culture and hubs of activity. From communal kitchens to waterfront access, these spaces provide a backdrop for connection and relaxation.

A Touch of Luxury: For those moments when a splurge is in order, Bacalar presents options like Mia Bacalar Luxury Resort & Spa and Casa Shiva. These establishments blend luxury with the natural beauty of the lagoon, offering amenities like spa services and fine dining. While these choices come at a higher cost, they offer a glimpse into the more indulgent side of Bacalar.

Activities and Experiences

Exploring by Water: The heart of Bacalar lies in its vast lagoon. Boat tours cater to all budgets, offering group excursions to hidden cenotes and secluded spots. For a more intimate experience, sunrise paddleboarding sessions provide a serene start to the day, with the water's mirror-like surface reflecting the awakening sky.

Land-Based Adventures: Beyond the lagoon, Bacalar's surroundings beckon. The town itself is ripe for exploration, with bike rentals offering an eco-friendly way to navigate its streets. Cenote Azul, with its minimal entry fee, offers a refreshing respite from the heat, inviting visitors to plunge into its clear, cool waters.

Culinary Delights

Local Eats: Bacalar's culinary scene is a mosaic of flavors, where local eateries like Mango y Chile stand out for their plant-based offerings. The town's markets and street vendors provide a taste of the region's bounty, from fresh fruits to savory snacks, all at wallet-friendly prices.

Dining with a View: For those looking to dine with a backdrop, waterfront restaurants dot the lagoon's edge, offering fresh seafood and traditional dishes. While some establishments cater to a more upscale crowd, there are plenty of spots where the view is complimentary, and the prices are down-to-earth.

Smart Travel Tips

Seasonal Strategies: Timing your visit can make all the difference in Bacalar. The dry season, from December to February, offers sunny days and cool evenings, though it's wise to book ahead as this is peak travel time. The rainy season brings its own charm, with brief showers often giving way to clear skies.

Getting Around: Bacalar's compact size makes it ideal for walking or cycling, with many accommodations offering bike rentals. Taxis provide a reliable option for longer journeys, though it's recommended to arrange these through your hostel or hotel to ensure a fair price.


Bacalar's allure lies not just in its azure waters but in its ability to enchant visitors on any budget. From the warmth of its people to the cool depths of its cenotes, this destination offers a rich tapestry of experiences that invite exploration without the need for extravagance. In Bacalar, the true luxury is in the simplicity of its natural beauty and the myriad of affordable adventures it offers.