Some possible activities that you might enjoy when visiting and staying at a Hoteles en Bacalar and the Costa Maya area:
- Visit the wonderful Mayan Museum in Chetumal. It is a great first stop before visiting the nearby ruins. It is a world class museum and well worth the visit. You will learn about the history of the Maya, their interaction with nature, how they lived, their homes, what they ate, what they thought about life and death, their trade, and more. The Museum of Mayan Culture is located at Avenida de los Heroes between Colon and Avenida Gandhi. Currently they are open Tues-Thurs 9am-7pm; Fri-Sun 9am-8pm , Closed Mondays. Of course these times and days can change.
- Visit any/all of the Mayan ruins that are nearby. We are lucky to have so many near us easily reached and toured in a day. Close to Bacalar you will find Chacchoben, Oxtankah, Dzibanché, Kinichná and Kohunlich which is a lovely park-like ruin known for its special palms and unusual masks. A little further west you will find the ruins of the Rio Bec area.
- Visit the Costa Maya beach areas of Mahahual or Xcalak – an hour and half drive from Laguna Bacalar. Enjoy snorkeling, diving, boating, fishing, shopping and much more. The Bahia Blanca cooperative of Xcalak will be happy to help you arrange the water experience of your choice.
- Drive north an hour and a half to the village of Muyil and take a magical boat ride guided by Sian Ka’an Community Tours
- Take a boat ride on the lake – either motor or sail.
- Rent a kayaks to explore the laguna or take a sail or boat ride on the lake.
- Go birding, add to your life list, observe the many birds that we have here. Visit the birding section of Villas Ecotucan for more information on birding.
- Rest, relax and enjoy.
To learn more about the local activities visit the Activities page on the Bacalarmosaico or the Chetumalmosaico.
Some things you might want to bring — depending on what you plan to do — while visiting Laguna Bacalar and the Costa Maya area:
- In Bacalar your ATM card is the easiest way to get pesos and usually offers the best exchange rate.
- Sun screen and sun glasses. You will especially need sun screen if you visit the Costa Maya and when you go to the ruins. It is important that you use biodegradable sunscreen if swimming near the reefs (it is a must in the National Park of Xcalak) and a good idea all the time when going into the water.
- A hat
- Walking shoes for the ruins or casual walks
- Sandals or open shoes for heat and water
- Bug stuff of your choice. If the winds dies down the mosquitoes can sometimes get bothersome. In Bacalar you will find them typically only at dusk and dawn. They are not bad at all during the rest of the day and evening; in fact, often there are none around. There are usually more in Mahahaul and Xcalak because of the mangroves.
- Warm or rain clothing for cool or wet weather
- A long-sleeve shirt/blouse and long pants; sometimes it can be cloudy and windy and, if there are showers, it can be cool (mid-fifties) – not often though especially in summer.
- Swim suit
- Snorkel gear
- Binoculars for bird or wild life watching
- A few books to read. Some of the Hotels in Bacalar will have books to exchange but there is no book store of library here.
- Favorite game, puzzles, etc
- You will need a passport
- You can rarely use a credit card in Bacalar. There are stores, hotels and restaurants in Chetumal and at the Plaza de las Americas Mall where you can.
- There are 3 ATMs in Bacalar; each has a daily withdrawal limit of 5000 pesos a day per card; your ATM daily limit may be less.
- There are a variety of banks in Chetumal, where you can cash traveler’s checks or get credit card cash advances, if your credit/debit card is not supported by the ATM. There is often a long line so be prepared to wait.
- Debit cards, not ATM cards, may be blocked in Mexico; ATM cards may need to be “authorized” for foreign use. In either case, you might want to check with your bank before departure.
- May through October is considered the rainy season so expect some showers. These are often dramatic but quickly over. On the other hand, it may not rain at all while you are here. Or, it may rain some in November and December.