15 Best Bacalar Tours (Including Local Experiences) 

Looking for the best tours in Bacalar, Mexico? We have the inside scoop for you!

Mexico is full of tourist spots, so it’s no surprise if you’ve heard of Bacalar and want to add it to your travel list. And rightly so, because Bacalar is a town full of stunning scenery (like the blue and turquoise hues of the Lake), making it a great place to relax on a beach and enjoy all things outdoors.

If you’re visiting Mexico and want to stop in Bacalar, or if you only have a limited amount of time there and want to explore the whole town, then you might want to look into tours. 

The Adventure in You team spent almost a week lazing around in Bacalar and have done multiple Bacalar tours during their time there.

Bacalar tours will help you see everything you want in a short amount of time, and it’s great so you don’t have to worry about any other transportation to get around.

However, with many tour options, how do you know which would be best suited for your trip? That’s why we’re here to help. 

We’ve come up with the best tours in Bacalar, with local experiences, so you can have the absolute perfect time on your vacation knowing what to expect, with no hassle and all fun!

bacalar lagoon mexico

Where is Bacalar?

Visiting Bacalar means you’ll be visiting southeastern Mexico in the Yucatan Peninsula, right near the Belize border (so it’s no wonder why you get those beautiful views), in the Quintana Roo state. 

Bacalar also sets itself on the lake with the same name, also called the Lagoon of Seven Colors. It is within driving distance from major cities in Mexico like Cancun and Playa del Carmen.

To give you an idea, driving from Playa del Carmen to Bacalar takes around 3 hours and a half.

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Best Bacalar Tours Highlights

  • Private catamaran tour of Bacalar– Alternatively, you can also opt to rent out this private catamaran which will take you sailing around the best parts of the lagoon.
relaxing by the lagoon bacalar
Founder of this blog, Anna, chilling in Bacalar Lagoon

Best Tours in Bacalar

We get these Bacalar tour options thanks to reputable guides and locals from platforms like Airbnb and Viator. 

Although some of these tours may seem pricier than others, it’s important to note that these tours may feature everything included, and you just need to bring some cash for any food and souvenirs you feel like purchasing during the excursions! 

It’s important to look at what each tour offers.

Sailing Tour- Bacalar

Rating: 4.87 stars (599 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

Come sail away with this tour that has reviews for “super storytelling” by the host. You’ll meet at the Hotel Villa Esmeralda, aka the “Arab House” before you are introduced to your knowledgeable captain and learn about all the information and instructions as you set sail. 

You’ll begin at the Cenote Esmeralda followed by the Sanctuary of Stromatolites, which represents the “oldest way of life on earth.” You’ll proceed to the Abandoned Hotel where you can explore the area and swim before having some seasonal fruits as a snack. Lastly, you’ll visit South beach where you can enjoy swimming in the warm, crystalline water. 

sailing in bacalar catamaran

Bacalar Lagoon Sightseeing Boat Tour

Rating: 5 stars (667 reviews)

Tour Length: 4 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

You cannot beat a 5-star rating with over 600 reviews, that goes to show just how good and popular this tour is (you’ll even be sure to find the word “amazing” in so many customer reviews)! 

Start by meeting at the Marina, then you won’t need to lift a finger…unless you’re taking sips of your unlimited drinks from the open bar, snacking on the array of goods, or snapping pics of the nature.

This half-day excursion starts by cruising along the Bacalar Lagoon to take you over to the Black Cenote, an open-air cenote and the deepest point of the lagoon, and Cenote Esmerelda, a cenote that shows you different shades of blue in the lagoon. 

While you can enjoy all the drinks and snacks, including a fruit picnic, you also get the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to snorkel in the gorgeous lake. 

But that’s not all, make mud masks out of the sulfurous mud in the Pirates’ Channel and be sure to keep an eye out for migratory birds to the Island of Birds.

Explore Cenotes and Bacalar History 

Rating: 4.98 stars (897 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

The history buffs and environmentally conscious will love taking this tour of Bacalar. This is an inexpensive way to see the town, with Maritime transport, food, and drink all included. 

You’ll learn all about the cenotes and their formation, depth, and structure, and you’ll get to see the snorkeling dives that show you the cenotes’ walls, flora, and fauna. You’ll also become aware of how important it is to care for these natural features.

The tour continues to explain that the mangrove area is important for the lagoon ecosystem, and you then can observe migratory birds in the region, all while enjoying some seasonal fruit. 

You’ll continue to learn more about the naval history that occurred at the time of the piracy in Bacalar, including talking about the construction of the fort that defended the town from pirate attacks. And, you’ll hear about the Spanish and English trade routes. 

If that isn’t enough for you, you’ll lastly visit a wetland area, with an explanation of the importance of conserving it to preserve the habitat of the flora and fauna of the place.

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Sailing Tour Through The Lagoon of the 7 Colors

Rating: 5 stars (431 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

This is a more personal tour, without being private. Being in a small group (with 16 people maximum) gives you all the attention, so you can ask any questions and enjoy that time with your expert captain. 

And what else says tropical besides a trip on a boat? Fruity drinks! The tour provides 3 beers per adult as well as natural refreshing fruit drinks and healthy Caribbean snacks.

On this tour, you’ll enjoy sailing on crystal clear and colorful blue waters of the lagoon. You’ll break at 3 different cenotes as well as the Island of Birds and Pirate Channel, where you’ll get a history briefing of the area. It’s a great tour to learn a little while getting tons of swim time and just be able to enjoy the beauty of the water. 

Private Sailboat + Captain for a Day Experience

Rating: 5 stars (345 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

Learning to sail your own boat in the Caribbean? What a dream! Well, that dream can be a reality with this tour

First greeted with a drink by the crew after meeting at the Marina, aspiring sailors can enjoy the optional sailing class led by the crew. 

For those just wanting to enjoy the boat, you can just go ahead and admire the scenery while visiting Cenote Esmeralda, Black Cenote, the Sanctuary of Stromatolites, which are sediments of ancestral organisms 10,000 years old, Pirate Canal, and Bird Island. You’ll also be granted to opportunity to swim and kayak!

The tour is even accommodating, as one Viator traveler said, “the guides were very friendly, knowledgeable, and respectful. Asked us about our preferences and expectations for the tour. Provided us exactly with what we were looking for! Had an amazing time.”

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Sunrise Stand-Up Paddle Board Tour with Breakfast

Rating: 5 stars (220 reviews)

Tour Length: 2 hours 30 minutes

Why We Recommend this Tour

Families with kids 13 and up can enjoy this breathtaking activity. Meant for the early risers (or those just looking to see the world a little differently), this stand-up paddle board excursion allows you to be on the water, getting in a morning workout, while the sun rises. A different way to see the waters of Bacalar, it can’t get more peaceful than this!

Whether you’re new to stand-up paddle boarding or a pro, you’ll be greeted by your guide at the starting point and go over some safety measurements to make sure everyone is comfortable at all costs. 

You’ll begin your journey watching the sunrise as you paddle board toward Bird Island. Once you’re there, your guide will prepare your breakfast on-site so you can have breakfast right in the water on your board. Once you ate and are ready to paddle again, you’ll head to the Black Cenote, and then make your way back to your starting point. 

paddleboarding in bacalar
Adventure in You founder, Tom, on a paddleboarding tour in Bacalar

Bacalar 101- Private Tour of the Lagoon of the 7 Colors

Rating: 5 stars (365 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

This personalized tour allows you to walk around on the lagoon at your own pace, with the help of experienced guides to tell you everything you need to know about the place, such as their favorite places to swim. After all, wouldn’t you want to get the inside scoop from the pros?

You’ll also be guided towards some of the most important sites of Bacalar, as well as the secret ones! This tour boasts of giving you a comfortable, positive vibe, so it makes sense that this tour got stellar reviews!

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Meet the Mayan Bees with Hydromel Tasting

Rating: 5 stars (54 reviews)

Tour Length: 2 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

This is one of the few tours that’s not connected to being on the water, meaning you’ll get a whole different and unique look at Bacalar. This tour is ranked a “once-in-a-lifetime- opportunity, and the host is also top-rated. 

Nature and animal lovers can enjoy learning about the origin and history of Meliponiculture in the Mayan culture with the addition of learning about different native bee species in the area (which are stingless and are very friendly) in a private spot on the shore of the Xul-Ha lagoon. 

But wait, it gets better! On this tour, you’ll also get the opportunity to interact with bee hives and extract honey and pollen thanks to the provided safety equipment and guidance of your expert guide. 

This will lead to a honey tasting, as well as pollen, wax, and trying Honey Hydromel Mead. 

Bacalar Eco Boat Tour and Visit to Cenotes

Rating: 5 stars (180 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

This public but small group tour will get you to make friends who are all excited to learn about Bacalar and swim in the beautiful waters while getting an intimate experience with personalized attention and service from the crew.

Enjoy fresh fruit and drinks on the tour boats that have ecological engines (making this tour extra-friendly for the environment) all while exploring places full of history and natural beauty, including the “oldest organisms barrier on the planet,” the Stromatolites. 

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Visiting the cenotes in Bacalar

Private Catamaran with Food and National Open Bar

Rating: 5 stars (18 reviews)

Tour Length: 4 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

Although one of the more expensive tours in Bacalar, it is still one of the best tours in Bacalar because of all that it offers on this once-in-a-lifetime trip. 

The tour starts at the iconic Chinese House that has stunning views of the lagoon from its 360° lookout tower. Throughout your entire journey, the friendly and bilingual staff tells stories and shares important facts about the local ecosystem. 

You, as the tour guest, also have the opportunity to choose between a common route or a customizable one, going anywhere from Canal de Los Piratas, the cenotes, and the ancient rock formations. 

Oh, and not to mention, you will have healthy snacks and drinks. But for an additional charge, you can enjoy a premium food and beverage plan to go with your already incredible experience. 

Tour to Dzibanche and Kohunlich with Transportation and 3 Course Meal Included

Rating: 4.5 stars (16 reviews)

Tour Length: 8 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

This all-day excursion will have you enjoying everything there is about Bacalar, and it’s not just about that blue and turquoise water! 

Your certified guide for the day will direct you through the “mysteries of the Mayan jungle” and have you visiting the most important Mayan cities in the southern part of the Quintana Roo. 

Start the adventure by passing by Lake Bacalar and make your way towards the Zona Arqueologica de Dzibanche- Kinichna as your first stop, one of the most important Mayan cities. 

Here you’ll see the Temple of the Owl and the Temple of the Cormorants. You’ll also get the chance to see exotic birds and even howler monkeys, something you don’t get to experience on other tours! Next, you’ll stop at Kohunlich, known for being the only site with large Mayan masks, where you’ll also see the Temple of the 27 Steps and Temple of the Masks. 

Lastly, visit the well-kept secret of the Explorean Kohunlich, where you will be enjoying a 3-course menu and first-class service in a world-class restaurant. Buon appetite! 

Sunrise Breakfast on a Sailboat

Rating: 4.88 stars (8 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

If you’re looking for something peaceful and relaxing to start your day in Bacalar, look no further than this tour. Not only will you be in the calm waters of the morning, but you’d also be able to watch the beautiful sunrise that never fails to amaze even the tour guides…while eating a delicious breakfast, of course. 

You’ll start by leaving from the pier on the way to Bird Island and wait for the sun to rise. You’ll then continue your journey to the Black Cenote followed by the Pirates Canal where you will eat your fruit and sweet cakes and sip on some coffee. 

You’ll seal the deal by sailing past the Emerald Cenote. 

Sunrise in Paddle with Picnic in front of the Bird Sanctuary

Rating: 5 stars (180 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

Another way to wake you up in the morning, this sunrise paddle tour gives you another sense of tranquility (and even gives you a nice workout on the perfect waters). 

Paddle towards sunrise and watch the colors illuminate the water. You’ll break for a picnic in front of Bird Island where you can watch animals and nature do their thing as the world wakes up around you. 

It all starts at the Casa China Bacalar where you’ll be prepped to either do stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking. 

You’ll stretch and warm up before you pedal out into the water and then break for swimming to cool off during your tour. Then, during your picnic, depending on the time of year, you’ll be able to see various endemic and migratory species. 

Live Bacalar on Kayak Transparent 

Rating: 4.87 stars (273 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours 30 minutes

Why We Recommend this Tour

Let you be the captain of your own boat…well, your own kayak, with this Bacalar tour that immerses you in the magical crystal clear and calm lagoon of Bacalar with lush vegetation and casual birdwatching. 

Great for solo riders or families, the kayaks can fit a range from 2 adults or 2 adults and a toddler, or an adult and 2 children, all into one boat. To enhance the experience, the tour company offers photos, videos with GoPro, 

One Airbnb traveler even said, “excellent route, the best way to get to know the Bacalar lagoon. Very attentive, they take care of you throughout the tour and give you lunch after the activity.”

Cell Phone/DSLR/Mirrorless Photo Tour of Iconic Spots

Rating: 5 stars (8 reviews)

Tour Length: 3 hours

Why We Recommend this Tour

This is the best tour in Bacalar for those ready to snap all of the perfect pictures. Get your cameras ready for this photography and creative photo walk where your experienced professional photographer tour guide will show you all of the colorful sights, culture, and natural attractions in Bacalar. 

As a participant on the tour, you’ll be able to learn about manual photography and cover the basics of conceptual photography, learn about how to get the most from a cell phone camera, DSLR, Hybrid, or Mirrorless. Any camera you bring, you’ll be snapping pics like a pro! 

“This photo tour was so much more than that,” one tourist wrote in an Airbnb review. “What I wasn’t expecting was the wealth of knowledge that Pablo would share about the region’s history. 

Pablo is informative, observant, and encouraging. This experience was by far the best use of my money during my visit to Bacalar! Oh, and I wasn’t even traveling with my camera so I only used my iPhone. Still worth every peso.”

Your social media will be buzzing after this tour!

bacalar-tours

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Tours in Bacalar FAQ

How much does a tour in Bacalar cost?

The cost of a tour in Bacalar varies depending on the type of tour you take. Is it a public or private tour? That may affect the cost. Is it a big group of people or a small group? Sometimes, tours can give discounts on bigger groups, or it may cost more because they’re managing a larger crowd.

Aside from the size and type of crowd, prices can also vary due to the excursions and what they include. For example, does this tour have an open bar, or do you have to pay more for alcohol? Does the tour include food? What else is there to do on the excursion? Are you just paying for a boat, or are you paying for an activity as well? 

These are factors to consider when looking up tours. Seeing what each price tag has to offer may help make your decision.

What is the most beautiful thing about Bacalar?

Bacalar has a lot of unique features that make visiting this part of Mexico special. However, you’ll find that most of the popular tours include being on the water, and that’s for good reason.

One of the most beautiful things about Bacalar is the distinct colors of the water; the blues and turquoise hues you’ll find on Lake Bacalar, or the Lagoon of Seven Colors.

With these colors, you’ll be sure to get some stunning photos or have ever-lasting memories with those you’re traveling with. These breathtaking views will make your trip all worthwhile.

What are the most popular tours in Bacalar?

With so many tours to choose from, you have to figure out which ones are the best, and that can be through popularity. 

By looking at trusted sites like Airbnb or Viator, you’re able to see the tours people are raving about, which ones got high ratings, and the ones that didn’t. 

Although some may be rated more frequently than others, you can still get a good feel for how good the tour is based on the reviews written. We’ve recommended a ton of the best tours here so take your pick!


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Best Bacalar Tours | Looking for the best tours in Bacalar, Mexico? We’ve come up with the best tours in Bacalar, with local experiences, so you can have the absolute perfect time on your vacation knowing what to expect, with no hassle and all fun! #mexico #bacalar #bacalartours
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Kayla Garritano

Kayla has been writing for 5+ years with expertise in the food, lifestyle, and travel industries. When she's not writing, she's always looking for her next adventure, which includes lots of road trips, getaways, and vacations near and far.

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