Bacalar is a hidden jewel of the Yucatan Peninsula, boasting its Lagoon of Seven Colors and its mesmerizing electric blue water. This tranquil town, situated in the south of Quintana Roo, is home to one of the Yucatan’s most memorable activities - Los Rapidos, Bacalar’s very own natural lazy river. If you are looking for a day of leisurely floating down a river of warm, turquoise water with the backdrop of swaying palm trees, then Los Rapidos Bacalar should be on your bucketlist. Here is all the information you need to plan your visit to Los Rapidos Bacalar.
In my view, Los Rapidos is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Bacalar. Despite the fact that this spot (and the entire town!) has largely gone unnoticed by the vast majority of tourists, let's take a step back and look at the bigger picture. This hidden gem is a fantastic opportunity to experience something truly unique and extraordinary.
Frequently Asked Questions about Los Rapidos Bacalar
What is the Lagoon of Seven Colors in Bacalar?
If you're exploring the Yucatan, you've almost certainly heard about cenotes, sinkholes created by the porous limestone bedrock which have filled with groundwater. It is believed that the cenotes may have been caused, in some way, by the asteroid that hit the Yucatan, leaving the Chicxulub crater and leading to the extinction of the dinosaurs. For thousands of years, cenotes have been essential to the people who lived in the Yucatan - they were a dependable source of freshwater for the Mayans and were used in religious ceremonies, including those that included human sacrifice. Nowadays, they are used for less extreme activities, with travelers flocking to the cenotes near Tulum and across the Yucatan for scuba diving, cliff diving, and just cooling off in the hot Mexican sun.
What is Los Rapidos Bacalar?
What are stromatolites?
You'll find these peculiar rocky shapes along the border of the Bacalar Lagoon, adding to the beauty of its vivid colors. But these formations aren't rocks at all - they are actually the oldest living organisms on the planet, known as stromatolites. These ancient creatures have been around for millions of years, and still exist today, a testament to their remarkable resilience.
Stromatolites are one of the oldest living organisms on Earth, and they are incredibly important to our planet. While my husband Justin and I were taking a road trip around the Yucatan, I had never heard of these microbial reefs before. They are formed by tiny photosynthesizing organisms called cyanobacteria, and as sand and other sediment move and settle in shallow water, the cyanobacteria binds the particles together, until a rock-like formation is created.
Bacalar is one of the few places on Earth where you can see these stromatolites, and they produce a large amount of oxygen, making them just as important to our environment as forests.
How to Get to Los Rapidos Bacalar
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Things to do at Los Rapidos Bacalar
1-Once you pay the entrance fee to Los Rapidos Bacalar, you can spend the rest of your day in a variety of entertaining ways. For example, you can take advantage of the long wooden boardwalk that runs alongside the river and enjoy a leisurely float down the river. It's a great way to relax and take in the stunning turquoise water. Plus, you can do it over and over again - it's so much fun! If that isn't enough, you can also explore the area and enjoy the various sights and sounds of the natural surroundings. No matter what you choose to do, you're sure to have an unforgettable day at Los Rapidos Bacalar!
The canal is shallow in most areas and the current is rather tranquil, but it is still wise to don a life jacket, which is included in your ticket price! This way, you can truly just drift along and enjoy the beautiful scenery. Wearing a life jacket ensures that you stay safe and can relax and take in the sights without worry.
2-Grab your snorkel gear and dive into the depths of that crystal clear water. You may not find a treasure trove of sea creatures, but the underwater landscape of mangroves and stromatolites is a sight to behold. Even if you don't spot a single fish, the experience of gliding through the tranquil waters is an unforgettable one. So don your gear and explore the mysteries of the deep - you won't regret it!
3-Experience the thrill of kayaking or paddleboarding here! Rent a single kayak for 200 MXN, a double for 400 MXN, or a paddleboard for a similar price. Set off and paddle upstream, admiring the stunning crystal turquoise water and the awe-inspiring mangroves and stromatolites. Then, let the current take you back to the beach club, feeling the breeze on your face as you drift along.
4-Soaking up the sun, the beach club offers a great selection of hammocks, lounges, and tables with views of the canal to sit back and enjoy the warmth of the sun. You can pay for the more comfortable lounge chairs, daybeds, or hammocks if you want a place to stay for the day, but there are also plenty of other seating areas at the restaurant where you can relax, sip on a Corona, and take in the beautiful scenery.