Bacalar, known as the Lagoon of 7 Colors, is a quiet, lakeside town in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico and is home to one of Vía Raíz's newest designers, Daniela Corzo, founder of Textitlán.
Unlike nearby Cancun and Playa de Carmen, the town of Bacalar is tranquil with the main attraction being its lagoon - a freshwater lake, fed by nearby underground cenotes, in a stunning array of shades from aquamarine to turquoise making it a place like no other. Most unique is what is found amongst its crystalline waters - stromalites: rare rock formations that are among the earliest life forms on earth. In recent years, Bacalar has experienced a significant growth in tourism, putting in danger both the lagoon and stromalites.
With Bacalar being on my wishlist, for places in Mexico that I would love to visit, I asked Daniela for her local insider recommendations.
HER SPOT: A public dock that overlooks the lagoon. The color of the lagoon, the temperature and the view is incredible from there.
MUST SEE: Rancho Alegre - It's along a road,in the middle of nowhere. There is an area with a dock and the lagoon is amazing.
NATURAL ADVENTURE: Paddling on the Canal de los Piratas (Pirates Channel)
CULTURE: Galeón Pirata hosts and promotes weekly cultural and artistic activities and events.
From left to right: El Manatí, Mango y Chile
BREAKFAST SPOT OF CHOICE: El Manatí - a vegetarian-friendly restaurant, garden, gallery, and shop
LONG LINGERING LUNCH: Mango y Chile. Their vegetarian hamburgers and mango smoothies are delicious.
DINE OUT: Sisimite Caverna Moderna
HIDDEN FOOD GEM: Madre Masa
STREET FOOD: In the Zocalo you'll find food stands that sell the famous Yucatecan Marquesitas - crispy crepes that are rolled up and traditionally filled with melted shredded cheese and a sweet filling of your choice.
MUST DO: Take a sailboat out on the lagoon to watch the sunrise.
VISITOR TIP: Please be a conscious and informed traveler. Be respectful and kind to Bacalar's locals and ecosystem. Ensure that you wear reef safe sunscreen, avoid single-use plastics as much as possible and opt for sailing and kayaking instead of motorboats.
Photo by Cameron Murphy
For more information regarding the threats that Bacalar is facing due to tourism please read "In Mexico, turning the tide for Bacalar's threatened Lake of Seven Colors" - an article that appeared in the Washington Post last year.