Situated alongside a stunning blue lagoon, the town of Bacalar is without doubt one of the highlights of Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula. One of the best ways to relax and rejuvenate in this stunning destination is to spend the day in one of its many balnearios – spa clubs which are located along the lake. With that in mind, here is our guide to the very best balnearios the town has to offer.
One of the most popular balnearios in Bacalar, Rancho Alegre boasts an excellent and affordable seafood restaurant, clean bathrooms and a pleasant seating area. Admission costs just 30 pesos ($1.60) and there are also basic but clean cabins available to rent overnight. The crystal clear waters surrounding Rancho Alegre are perfect for swimming, diving and snorkelling. Kayaks are also available to rent if you want to head further out into the lagoon.
Less than a 10 minute walk from Bacalar’s center, the Balneario Municipal is a favorite for visiting families and locals. The well-kept balneario boasts a long, elegant pier and is the perfect place to swim. It costs 10 pesos ($0.55) to enter if you bring a car, but is completely free if you walk. There is also the option to take a two hour boat tour for 250 pesos ($13). Bear in mind that there is no restaurant, so bring some food and enjoy a picnic alongside the famous lagoon.
The first balneario that opened in Bacalar is still the most popular. The Balneario Magico has more of an amusement park feel, with an expansive area for swimming and bathing, water slides, dressing rooms and a seafood restaurant. The shallow lagoon never reaches a depth of more than 1 meter (3.3 feet), so this is a popular spot for families with young children. Entrance costs just 15 pesos ($0.80), but do expect big crowds on weekends and national holidays.
This balneario is famed for its stromatolites – stunning mushroom-shaped mineral structures that have formed in the shallow water of the lagoon. The stromatolites are actually living entities that expel oxygen and support the growth of plant life at the southern end of the lagoon. Admission to Cocalitos costs 50 pesos ($2.67) and the natural swimming pools boast a range of shades, from turquoise to navy. There are wooden swings in the water that offer visitors the chance to sit back and enjoy the stunning view.
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