Unbelievable lake, spectacular weather, relaxing, hospitable people, history, proximity to shopping and Chetamul...pretty much everything... ;)
The majority of the population speaks only spanish so conversing is sometimes a problem without a spanish speaker, also, a lot of the places are without what we would deem modern conviences but the...
Unbelievable! You just need to see it!!!
The fort is well-preserved, even has cannons! It was used to protect the area from the pirates who came past regularly.
The museum at the centre is really interesting and has a great mural on the wall.
Free on sundays to mexican nationals - actually there was no-one there to collect.
Chacchoben Mayan ruins are only 7km off the highway travelling north from Bacalar.
There are 4 pyramids and a ballcourt, really interesting and we were the only visitors.
There were 2 howler monkeys playing in the trees above us as we visited.
There isn't a lot to see around this small village. In the center is the old Spanish fort with great views and a little museum. It does not cost much and is of interest.
This is a simple, workers' restaurant in a thatched roof palapa on 7th Ave in Bacalar. It is known by everyone and is part of the owner's house. The kitchen is open to view, white tiled and reasonably clean for Mexico. Service is erratic but the little dishes of red and green salsas are wonderful (the green is hanero and very picante). There are eggs with this and that at breakfast, chicken breast grilled simply or with an ajillo sauce (slightly hot red chile sauce), cocinita pibil (the Mayan signature rustic dish) and all manner of tortas, tacos, salbutes, etc.
Make sure to ask for ?Que es preparada? which is the prepared dish(es) or the blue plate specials.
Favorite Dish: The simply done chicken breast (pechuga de pollo al plancha) and in an ajillo sauce (pechuga de pollo en salsa de ajillo) and when available as a special her:
pollo en escabeche or in a chilamole sauce.
Prices are about 30 pesos for a meal ($2.80).
Over the past year the Laguna, which had been pleasant, quiet and relatively safe; has become dangerous for any serious swimming. Tours of cruise ship passengers are led through swimming areas in small, high-powered speedboats; the newly affluent Chetumal population has invested in large, high-poered craft and jetskis abound. We recently watched two local boys with big jetskis playing until they collided. One died.
My wife presently recuperates from a partial amputation caused by people who ran her over with their large speedboat due to drunkeness or intentionally.
Orizaba, a simple palapa restaurant for workers, Mexican tourists, and the local middle class has fed me cheaply and pleasantly for years. Exercise a little care about raw foods and it is safe. It is really an extension of the older woman owner's kitchen and she watches it carefully. Sadly, she does not have fish or seafood but the cosas preparado (things prepared) are often wonderful like chicken in chilamole or escabeche sauces. She makes (I am not allowed it) cochinita pibil, the long roasted Mayan pork specialty. My favorite (with my bad heart) is pechuga de pollo a la plancha or pechuga de pollo ajillo. These are skinless, boneless chicken breasts cooked simply or (ajillo sauce) is a chile sauce slightly spicy. Costs are about 34 or 36 pesos ($US3.10) for a dinner with a coke, soup, rice, lime wedge and some sort of vegetables or fried plantains.
There is a channel in the lake that is about 7 mile south from Casa Maya Hotelito and the currents provided by the cenotes and the flow of the water towards the ocean provide just enough speed so you can strap on a life jacket and a snorkel mask, lie on your stomach and let the flow of the water float you down the river. You'll observe amazing little tropical fish and the underwater rock formations are incredible! If you aren't the type to float facedown, just lie back and watch the amazing scenery pass by; last time I floated it there were these little monkeys that ran along the shoreline following us. ;) This is still a fairly unknown secret to the area and I'm not even sure if other hotels offer tours of it, but it is definitly an experience I would not reccomend missing.
The place is overpriced. The beautiful view of the lake has been ruined by homes that block the view. Hotels are overpriced. There is no fish in the lake. Shopping is minimal. Unless you own a boat and just want to go back and forth on the lake there is nothing to do there. We have traveled extensively in Mexico- San Carlos, Guaymas, Mazatlan, Punta Perula, Melaque, Barra de Navidad,Zihuatanejo and on the Gulf coast, Costa Esmerelda, Tampico, Lake Catemaco. We drove from Zihua to Chetumal. Except for the fact that if we hadn't done it we would not have experienced it, it was a big big waste of time and money. We are currently in Catemaco.Go there at your own risk Buena Suerta
Fondest memory: WE do not miss it at all. Read above comments