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11+ Best Day Trips From Bacalar


Are you ready for the best day trips from Bacalar Mexico?

Nestled in the heart of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula is Bacalar, a stunning lagoon known for its striking shades of blue. The Lagoon of 7 Colours, as it’s often referred to, offers visitors an array of activities to indulge in, from swimming and snorkelling to kayaking and visiting some of the incredible cenotes near Bacalar.

If you decide to make Bacalar your holiday base and stay in one of its incredible resorts, you will be spoiled for the choice of all the amazing activities and places to visit near Bacalar. We loved staying here, and exploring the lagoon on SUPs was our favourite pastime!

Best day trips from Bacalar Lagoon.

From nature reserves and stunning cenotes to archaeological sites and pristine beaches, here are the best day trips from Bacalar for an unforgettable vacation!

Best Day Trips From Bacalar

If you’re in a hurry, here are my TOP 3 recommended day trips from Bacalar:

⛵ Take a boat trip and visit the highlights of Bacalar – The Pirate’s Channel, its best cenotes and Birds Island ➡️➡️ BOOK YOUR TOUR.

🛕 If you love exploring off-beaten track ancient ruins, visit Kohunlich and Dzibanche Archeological Sites on a combined tour ➡️➡️ BOOK YOUR TOUR.

🛶 Visit The Rapids, a section of the Bacalar Lagoon home to the unique stromatolite rocks ➡️➡️ BOOK YOUR TOUR.

#1 Tour Bacalar Cenote By Boat

boat tours bacalar, catamaran bacalar

If you’re looking for a unique and exciting way to explore the best of Bacalar, why not take one of the Bacalar boat tours?

This 4-hour excursion will whisk you away on a boat journey through the stunning Pirate’s Channel, where you get to see the lagoon’s iconic shipwreck and try out a sulfur mud mask, which is believed to have some beauty and medicinal properties.

Here you will also get to admire the stunning stromatolite rock formations. These unique and fragile organisms are believed to have formed over 3 billion years ago and are one of the earliest forms of life on Earth.

Along the way, you will be able to enjoy tasty snacks and an open bar with unlimited soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, as well as a friendly crew.

The boat will also take you to Cenote Negro Bacalar, which is only accessible by sea, before visiting Cenote Esmeralda and Cenote Cocalitos for some swimming and snorkelling.

The day trip ends with a stop at Bird Island, where you can admire the wildlife.

Book this top-rated boat tour Bacalar has to offer:

#2 Whizz On A Zipline At Tirolesas Kan Kin

Ziplining is one of the best day trips from Bacalar.

OPENING TIME | Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 3 pm

WHERE | Location on Google

Are you looking for an adventurous and thrilling Bacalar day trip? Look no further than Tirolesas Kan Kin!

Located just 10 minutes away from Bacalar, the park features a range of zip lines, including its longest line, measuring a kilometre and a half! The ziplines are running over the lush Mayan jungle, and while zipping through them, you will also be able to admire incredible views over the Bacalar lagoon.

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or simply want to enjoy some breathtaking scenery of the natural surroundings, Tirolesas Kan Kin park is a perfect place for an exciting Bacalar day trip.

The park offers packages ranging from 2 to 4 hours experiences, including different ziplines and hiking trails along the shore of Bacalar lake. Prices start at $44.

#3 Sail Through The Channel Of Pirates

Pirates channel bacalar lagoon

The Pirates Channel is another excellent destination for a Bacalar lagoon day trip. Located just across the lagoon from Bacalar town centre, this body of water was once a natural border between Belize and Mexico and served as an important trade route. The channel was often raided by pirates, hence its name, the “Pirates Channel”.

Nowadays, the channel is a popular destination for Bacalar tours, and it can be explored by kayak or on one of the many boat tours Bacalar is renowned for.

When cruising the length of the channel, you’ll be able to see various shades of blue, as well as an abandoned shipwreck in the channel’s centre! The water here is very shallow with no strong currents, so it is possible to come off your boat or kayak and explore the channel on foot.

You can also climb onto the abandoned ship for some great photo opportunities – or even jump from its platform into the cool waters below.

The best time to visit the Pirates Channel is early in the morning. Bring along a life vest (just in case), sun protection such as hats and sunscreen, and plenty of water, as you will be exposed to direct sunlight during most of your trip.

Book your spot on this highly-rated eco tour:

#4 Kayak Akong Los Rapidos Bacalar

bacalar los rapidos and drift snorkeling bacalar.

ENTRANCE | 150 MEX or $8.20

OPENING TIME | 10 am to 6 pm every day

WHERE | Location on Google

For an unforgettable adventure, head to Los Rapidos Bacalar! Located in the narrow section of Bacalar Lagoon, a 14 km drive from Bacalar downtown, this is a great destination for those looking for a relaxing Bacalar excursion.

Here you can take part in a range of activities, such as kayaking and swimming through the lagoon’s famous turquoise waters, and explore its unique stromatolite rock formations.

Stromatolite formations are some of the most captivating and unique sights in Bacalar. They are rocks that have been forming for over a thousand years and were one of the first oxygen-producing organisms.

Los Rapidos has a large colony of them and offers a unique opportunity to get closer to those fragile giants. Make sure you follow the rules of the park and do not step on them. To safely explore the stromatolite, you can either rent a kayak or walk along the shore on the wooden bridge.

Los Rapidos Bacalar offers a range of facilities so that you can easily enjoy the entire day here. The park has a restaurant and picnic area, loungers and hammocks available for restaurant customers, as well as kayaks, paddleboards and snorkelling equipment available to rent.

It also boasts an observation deck that provides stunning views over the lagoon’s unique stromatolite formations. You can even take part in guided tours with experienced local guides who will show you around the best spots!

Book this top-rated boat trip Bacalar:

#5 Hang At Cenote Cocalitos

Cenote Cocalitos Bacalar.

ENTRANCE | 50 MXN ($2.50)

OPENING TIME | 10 am to 5 pm every day

WHERE | Location on Google

If you’re looking for the best easy day trip from Bacalar, Cenote Cocalitos should be on your list. Located a short bicycle or taxi ride away from the town centre, Cocalitos is best known for its beautiful turquoise water and remarkable stromatolites colony.

Stromatolites are ancient rock-like structures that can only be found in a few places worldwide and are believed to be the first organisms that produced free oxygen on Earth! Some of the rocks took over 1000 years to form, so make sure you enjoy them reasonably, only swim in the designated area and never step on them!

Cocalitos offers the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing afternoon. You can take a dip in its shallow and warm pool, enjoy its swings and hammocks or simply stretch out your towel on its specious picnic area and soak up some sun.

The cenote also boasts crystal clear water, which is ideal for snorkelling, with plenty of marine life on show if you bring along your snorkel set.

In addition to this, it also offers facilities such as bathrooms, showers and changing rooms as well as an onsite restaurant and bar where you can grab a light bite for lunch or simply enjoy an ice-cold cerveza while soaking up the chilled vibe.

We visited Cocalitos mid-afternoon and really enjoyed chilling on a blanket and swimming in the warm water of the cenote! If you only have the time for one day trip, visit this cenote!

#6 Swim At Sac Ha

Sac Ha bacalar, kayak rental bacalar.

ENTRANCE | 40 MXN ($2)

OPENING TIME | 10 am – 6 pm 

WHERE | Location on Google

Sac Ha is an incredible spot for kayakers and swimmers who want to explore the Bacalar Lagoon in a more peaceful and tranquil way. Located just a few kilometres before The Rapids, Sac Ha is significantly less crowded than its popular neighbour and much cheaper. While renting a kayak at The Rapids will cost you 350 pesos ($18) per hour, at Sac Ha, you can rent one for only 100 pesos ($5).

If you’re looking for an affordable option but can’t resist exploring the renowned Los Rapidos area, you can start your adventure from Sac Ha and paddle against the current until you reach The Rapids. Keep in mind that this route requires some experience since the currents can be pretty strong. Once you get to The Rapids, getting back is much easy since the currents will push you back towards Sac Ha.

If paddling and swimming against currents isn’t your thing, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at Sac Ha without having to worry about getting lost or being pushed back by the currents.

Swimming and relaxing on the shore offers visitors a perfect opportunity to take in the peaceful atmosphere of the lagoon while basking in its beauty. Despite having limited facilities, Sac Ha is a perfect spot for a Bacalar day trip.

#7 Swim In Cenote Azul

Bacalar Cenotes.
Aerial shot of Cenote Azul in Bacalar.

ENTRANCE | 30 pesos ($1.50)

OPENING TIME | 10 am to 6 pm

WHERE | Location on Google

Cenote Azul, located on the outskirts of Bacalar, is a must-visit spot for any cenote lovers. With its stunning deep blue waters reaching depths of up to 90 meters, this cenote offers an incredible and unique swimming experience.

Cenote Azul is not only a beautiful site but also a great place to spend the entire day! Visitors can rent out kayaks or life vests to explore the cenote safely, while experienced swimmers are free to venture its entire length along a designated, with robe, area.

If you own a drone, then you’re in luck as this cenote makes for great aerial photography, as the sinkhole is completely shielded from the main Bacalar Lagoon, creating a perfect circle shape from above.

After exploring Cenote Azul, travellers can enjoy a refreshing meal at the onsite seafood restaurant with plenty of seating overlooking the natural pool. Also, check out their swing with the colourful cenote name! There’s also plenty of space around the cenote shore to set up towels and picnics.

If you’re looking for one of the best, easy day trips from Bacalar, then Cenote Azul should undoubtedly be at the top of your list!

#8 Visit Kohunlich Ruins

Kohunlich ruins

ENTRANCE | 90 pesos or $4.50

OPENING TIME | 8 am to 4.30 pm

WHERE | Location on Google

Kohunlich Archaeological Site is one of the best day trips from Bacalar, and if you are an explorer looking for a Mayan ruin that’s off the beaten track, then this is the place for you! Located in the middle of a dense jungle surrounded by a colony of howler monkeys whose grunts can be heard during your visit, this prehispanic city will transport you back through time.

The city was inhabited between 500 BC and 1100 AD, and today we can still find many of its political, ceremonial and residential structures as well as artefacts, pottery pieces, tools and other objects.

You’ll also see stucco masks on its facade – some of which measure over 2 meters tall – that have survived to this day with red paint marks still visible. Unfortunately, only 5 out of 8 masks remain today.

What makes Kohunlich ruins so special is that it is one of few sites where visitors are still allowed to climb atop the temples to get a bird’s eye view of the surrounding areas. Another archaeological site that allows climbing the pyramid is located in Coba.

If you’re into exploring ancient ruins, then make sure to include Kohunlich in your itinerary! It’s truly a mystical place that cannot be missed out on!

Book this day tour Bacalar has to offer:

#9 Explore Dzibanche Archeological Site

Visiting Dzibanche Ruins is one of the best day trip s from Bacalar for history lovers.
Visiting Dzibanche Ruins is one of the best day trips from Bacalar for history lovers.

ENTRANCE | 75 pesos or 4$

OPENING TIME | 8 am to 4.30 pm

WHERE | Location on Google

One of the best day trips from Bacalar for ancient history lovers is a visit to Dzibanche, which are Mayan ruins near Bacalar. Located 1 hour and 15 minutes away from Bacalar, this unexplored ancient Maya site was one of the most important cities and civilisations in this part of Yucatan.

The name “Dzibanche” means “writing on wood” in the Mayan language, and the city covered an area of 20 square kilometres with a past population estimated at 40,000 inhabitants.

Despite being relatively unknown compared to other sites such as Chichen Itza, Coba or Tulum ruins, Dzibanche is a fantastic place to visit if you enjoy learning about Mayan heritage and less-touristy sites.

When you visit, you will most likely enjoy the pyramids of Dzibanche by yourself as well as the lush rainforest and its wild inhabitants, such as monkeys and tropical birds.

You can also combine a visit to Kohunlich and Dzibanche ruins in one day by taking a guided day tour from Bacalar. This is a particularly good option if you want a hassle-free day. Plus, you’ll get to find out a lot of interesting information about both Mayan cities, which will give you a context to what you see.

Book Dzibanche & Kohunlich Ruins tour at the cheapest rate here:

#10 Laze On The Beach At Mahahual 


WHERE | Google Location

Mahahual is a beautiful beach village located just an hour drive from Bacalar. It’s best known for its white sand beaches, swaying coconut trees and turquoise sea with its coral reef teeming with fish.

If you miss the coast, head to Mahahula for the day. The best way to get here is to hire a car and drive here independently.

One of the best things to do in Mahahula is exploring its underwater marine life, so make sure you bring your snorkelling mask with you. Here you can spot various species of colourful tropical fish and, with a bit of lack, giant manta rays.

There are plenty of sun beds for daily rent, beach bars and restaurants along the shoreline serving up delicious seafood dishes to enjoy while you relax in this paradise spot.

If you’re looking for souvenirs to take home, there are also various boutiques selling unique items crafted by local artisans.

#11 Climb The Coba Piramid

Coba Mexico
Coba ruins.

ENTRANCE | 100 pesos ($5) + 60 pesos ($3) parking

OPENING TIME | 8 am to 4 pm

WHERE | Location on Google

The ruins of Coba are located in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, 3 hours and 20 minutes drive and are one of the best adventure day trips from Bacalar.

This ancient Mayan settlement is a complex network of structures and monuments spread over 56 square kilometres, surrounded by two large lagoons that give the city its name, “Coba”, which in Mayan means ‘waters stirred by the wind‘.

Coba was an important Mayan settlement during its peak period, with more than 6,000 structures believed to have been built within this vast city. Home to some of the best-preserved archaeological artefacts in Mexico, Coba is best known for its impressive main pyramid – Nohoch Mul.

Nohoch Mul is the tallest pyramid in all of the Yucatan Peninsula, measuring 42 meters high! This spectacular structure still stands tall today, and visitors can climb up to 120 steps to take in breathtaking views from the top.

Here, you will not only learn about ancient Mayan customs and history, but you will also get to admire lush greenery and exotic wildlife that inhabit this archaeological site.

Exploring such a large site can be overwhelming but don’t worry! The best way to see Coba’s ruins is to hire a bicycle or join an organized tour. Visitors should arrive early in the morning before it gets too hot.

Visiting Coba is one of the best things to do near Bacalar for ancient history lovers and explorers! You can hire a car and visit the ruins independently or go on an organised tour, which is the best option for those wanting a guided tour of the site.e

How to get to Bacalar Mexico?

excursion bacalar

Cancun To Bacalar

The most convenient way of getting to Bacalar is by a rental car, which you can book in advance and either pick up at the airport or get delivered to your hotel. I recommend using a reputable car rental comparison website, such as DiscoverCars, to browse the best deals and avoid scams.


Get the best deal on car rental Bacalar here:

You can also take an ADO bus from Cancun to Bacalar. ADO terminal is located in the Cancun city centre, and you can either pop into the bus station to get your ticket or book online. 

If you have a Mexican payment card, you can use the ADO website, and for the rest of us, the best way to get your ticket in advance is through the BookaWay site. 

The Cancun Bacalar trip takes 5 hours 40 minutes, and there are multiple departures per day, starting from 6:10 am until midnight. The tickets start at $35. 

Tulum To Bacalar

ADO buses also operate in Tulum, and a bus from Tulum to Bacalar takes just under 3 hours, and there are 16 departures per day starting at 9:00 am. A one-way ticket starts at $22. 

ADO terminal in Tulum is located in the city centre on the main road number 307 that runs through town. Again, you can either pop into the bus station or book in advance through the BookaWay site. 

Day Trips From Bacalar: FAQ

Sunrise over Bacalar Lagoon.
Sunrise over Bacalar Lagoon.

How many days do you need in Bacalar?

How many days in Bacalar is enough will depend on what you would like to do during your stay. If you are wanting to visit all of the Bacalar cenotes and explore only the nearby area, then two or three days should be enough.

However, if you would like to take it at a slower pace and enjoy activities like swimming or kayaking in Lake Bacalar, then I suggest spending four or five days.

What is there to see between Tulum and Bacalar?

There are several stops you can make when travelling between Tulum and Bacalar. Along the route, you can visit Gran Cenote, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, known for its abandoned wildlife, the city of Felipe Carrillo Puerto with its small church and Mayan museum, and the small town of Pedro Antonio Santos. Other possible stops if you’re willing to get off the route are Coba ruins and the beach town of Mahahula.

What is there to do between Valladolid and Bacalar?

When travelling between Valladolid and Bacalar, possible stops include Chichen Itza, nearby cenotes such as Dzitnup and Cenote Oxman and the cenote of Saamal. You can also take a detour to visit Ek’ Balam, located north of Valladolid, where you will find more pre-Hispanic ruins from the Mayan era.

kayak bacalar

Is Bacalar worth visiting?

Yes, Bacalar Lagoon is definitely worth visiting! The iconic, beautiful turquoise-coloured water is home to several stunning cenotes that you can explore and enjoy. There are also many activities available such as swimming, kayaking, sailing, and snorkelling. With its chilled, small-town vibe and stunning natural landscape, Bacalar is one of the best places to visit in Mexico!

Tour from Tulum to Bacalar

Yes, there is a tour available from Tulum to Bacalar! It is the perfect option for travellers with tight schedules as it only lasts 10 hours and includes round-trip transportation, lunch, snacks and drinks. The boat takes you through the best Bacalar cenotes, the Pirates Channel and a colony of stromatolites so that you can enjoy the highlights of the lagoon in one day.

Is Bacalar safe?

Yes, Bacalar is generally a safe place to visit. The town is super small and quiet, and, as with most places, it’s best to use common sense when visiting it. Always keep your valuables close, be aware of your surroundings and take a taxi home after a night out. It’s also wise to book tours through trusted tour operators for activities such as swimming in the lagoon or visiting nearby cenotes.

Can you swim in Bacalar?

Yes, you can swim in Bacalar! Although there are no beaches in Bacalar, there are several areas where you can take a dip in the lagoon. The best spots include Cenote Cocalitos Bacalar and the public area called Balneario Municipal.

What is the best time to visit Bacalar?

The best time to visit Bacalar is during the dry season, which takes place between November and May. During this period, temperatures are more bearable and rainfall minimal. The rainy season takes place from June to October, and while there are fewer tourists at this time, heavy rains can make some outdoor activities, such as sailing, more tricky.

Best Day Trips From Bacalar Final Word

I hope you found this guide to the best day trips from Bacalar helpful. Whether you opt for one of the organized Bacalar excursions or visit independently, exploring this beautiful lagoon will be one of your best memories of Mexico.

Bacalar is a unique destination in Mexico that offers unparalleled beauty and adventure. With its stunning cenotes, kayaking opportunities, and crystal clear waters perfect for swimming, it’s the ideal alternative to the more popular and often overcrowded and sometimes overrated holiday places.

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