1689878186 Why this Mexican destination is exploding in popularity right now | phillipspacc

Why this Mexican destination is exploding in popularity right now


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Mexico is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, receiving more than 38 million tourists in 2022. And the country is on track to receive up to 40 million tourists in 2023.

It is also the most popular international destination for American travelers who continue to flock south in search of Mexico’s incredible beaches, culture, activities, and food.

Quintana Roo is one of the most popular destinations in Mexico. Located on Mexico’s Riviera Maya, this state is home to Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, and more.

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According reportsThe Secretary of State for Tourism of Mexico, Bernardo Cueto Riestra, affirmed that Quintana Roo will receive at least 1.8 million visitors during the summer vacation period of 2023.

This represents a 4.4% increase from 2022, but one destination in particular leads the pack: Chimneyswhich is experiencing an explosive 20% increase in tourists compared to last year.

Here’s why Bacalar is all the rage with travelers right now:

Woman on Pier in Bacalar

stunning natural beauty

Bacalar is not your typical beach destination. In fact, it’s not on the coast, unlike popular Quintana Roo destinations like Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

Instead, Bacalar is actually a long, narrow lake. It is an hour from the nearest beach.

But the lake (also known as a lagoon) is absolutely beautiful. It is known as the Lake of Seven Colors due to the different shades of bright blue, turquoise and green in the water.

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bacalar lake

Boat excursions are popular in Bacalar, and you will hardly believe you are in a real place when you plunge from the boat into the crystal clear waters of the lagoon. The sunsets in Bacalar are also spectacular.

More affordable than other destinations

For travelers on a budget, Bacalar is considerably less expensive than other popular destinations in Quintana Roo, such as Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Tulum.

In Bacalar, you won’t find sprawling all-inclusive resorts or super-expensive restaurants and clubs with the same prices you might find in New York City.

Handsome male tourist relaxing in a hammock at Laguna Bacalar in Mexico during a kayak trip.  Copy

Instead, Bacalar is full of cheap guest houses and hostels. You’ll also find luxurious boutique hotels (even more affordable than those in more touristy destinations), but a trip to Bacalar can be as expensive or cheap as you like.

You can also save money by eating the same foods as the locals. Even the activities in Bacalar (like boat tours and kayak rentals) are much cheaper than you can find anywhere else in Quintana Roo.

Lake Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Less touristy (but for how long?)

Being off the tourist track in Quintana Roo, Bacalar is also still less touristy than the more popular destinations in the region.

It is about 2.5 hours south of Tulum, near the Belize border.

Many people have designated Bacalar as the “next Tulum” and have compared it to what Tulum was like 15 years ago. The question is, with Bacalar’s recent explosion in popularity, how long will it stay that way?

Couple on pier in bacalar

Needless to say, it is best to travel to Bacalar right now, because it could be unrecognizable in a few years if more tourism development comes to this sleepy town.

tons of activities

Bacalar is a great destination for both active travelers and travelers who just want to relax and enjoy the lagoon.

There are so many things to do in Bacalar.

Woman doing paddle boarding on Lake Bacalar, Quintana Roo, Mexico

Apart from boat trips, you can also get on the water by renting kayaks or jet skis. Other adventure activities include zip lining over the jungle and swimming in local cenotes.

There are also several less touristy Mayan ruins near Bacalar (such as Kohunlich, which is an hour away) or you can visit the ruins of the old Spanish fort in the center of town.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com