Bacalar, Mexico

  • Stayed: February 2019
  • Accommodation: The Yak Lake House and Xibalba Hostel. The Yak Lake House is a party hostel and I had a fun time there. You get a welcome alcoholic drink on arrival at the bar beside the lake and there are daily activities, such as Mojito cocktail making, to encourage the social aspect. The dorm was nice, with a sliding door that opened onto the lakeside deck. They play loud music all day until late though so not ideal if you want to get an early night. Xibalba is better for for those looking for somewhere quiet to enjoy the lake. It is a 30 minute walk from town which makes it a bit inconvenient, but perfect if you want to be away from it all. There are free bikes for guests to use to journey into town and two kayaks that are also free to use. The dock was lovely, a great place to contemplate life by the lake, and this was lit up at night with fairy lights. This place was let down by the showers (the shower upstairs is a joke – it spits water at you in a trickle; the shower downstairs is fine, though its shower head was missing) and uninterested attitude of some of the staff – not what I expected from somewhere that apparently prides itself on giving guests ‘personalised attention’. Feel this hostel is currently coasting on its beautiful lake view and past reviews but if they sorted out the showers and staff, it would be an excellent place.

Bacalar is an open secret – I confess I hadn’t heard of it until I began travelling around Mexico but once in this amazing country, it’s clear that this lakeside town is an essential must-do on any Yucatan coast traveller’s itinerary. Located beside Laguna Bacalar, also prettily known as the Lagoon of Seven Colours, the town itself is cute and compact. There is a fort to visit, Fuerte de San Felipe, which is now home to a museum, and a town square with a few bars, restaurants and shops dotted around. The real star of the show though is obviously the lake – it is absolutely stunning! Find yourself somewhere to stay with a dock, hammocks, and prepare to spend your days watching the light dance on the waves of the lake, enthusiastic paddle boarders and kayakers traverse across the vast multi-hued blue waters, and various boats shuttling tourists around on pricey boat trips.

I made food for myself during my stay at the second hostel as it was not conveniently located to the town but I do have one foodie recommendation for you – Mango Y Chile, a vegan restaurant, that makes burgers, tacos and smoothies. My falafel burger was huge, delicious as well as healthy, and I loved my mango smoothie. Go treat yourself!

Another highlight for me was the street art dotted around the town – see pictures below.

*there are only a few ATMS in Bacalar and they don’t always work so keep that in mind when you come, especially if you have to pay for you accommodation in cash on arrival like I did. There are two ATMS in the town square and one in the OXXO.

Selection of pictures from my stay:

Street art pictures:

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