The Bacalar of today resembles Tulum the way it once was, but getting here requires some grit: It’s a four-hour drive from Cancun on a good day.
Bacalar is most famous for the Laguna de Siete Colores (Lagoon of Seven Colors), a sandy-bottomed series of shallow lagoons that creates the effect of seeing limitless shades of blue. It’s a major marine habitat, and perfect for swimming or snorkeling (just make sure to use an environment-friendly sunscreen).
We also recommend grabbing a kayak (from your hotel or one of the many beach clubs) to paddle around the extensive shoreline. Otherwise, the pleasures here are simple: yoga, lounging around in hammocks, sampling local fare and sipping drinks.