Los Rapidos Bacalar: Complete Guide 2023

You’ve found the best place to find out all about Los Rapidos Bacalar, Mexico! I visited Bacalar several times, including spending time at Los Rapidos Bacalar.

Los Rapidos Bacalar, a popular attraction in Bacalar, is a must-do. You’ll get travel tips and the good and bad to decide whether Los Rapidos Bacalar is worth a trip to Bacalar.

What is Los Rapidos Bacalar Known For?

Los Rapidos Bacalar’s Lagoon, with seven colors and electric blue water, is well-known. Stromatolites, some of the oldest life forms on earth, are also found in this Lagoon.

Stromatolites are layered structures formed by microbial mats in shallow water and often near tidal zones. These stromatolites are estimated to be 12,000 years old and are extremely important to the Bacalar ecosystem.


Stromatolites are a unique habitat for many aquatic species, including fish, crabs, and shrimp.

Photosynthesis and filtering pollutants are important for maintaining the water quality in the Lagoon.

Stromatolites absorb energy from waves, which helps protect the shoreline.

Los Rapidos, one of Mexico’s natural wonders, is a place you must visit.

You will see these ancient life forms up close and experience the beautiful blue waters and lush green mangroves that make this region special.

It’s true; I had no idea they existed until I got to Bacalar. But experiencing them was the highlight of our trip!

Where is Los Rapidos Bacalar?

Los Rapidos Bacalar is located in the south of Quintana Roo in Mexico. It is a popular tourist destination within Bacalar’s charming Pueblo Magico (aka magic town).

Los Rapidos is a unique part in Los Rapidos is a unique area of Bacalar Lagoon that could be described as a narrow canal between two lakes.


It’s over a five-hour ADO bus ride south of Cancun and can be reached at mile 8 of Highway 307. They are open seven all week, between 10 am and 6 pm.

Be aware: Don’t arrive before 10 am to attempt to get ahead of the crowds. Should you arrive earlier, you’ll end up caught in a queue of cars and taxis seeking to accomplish the exact thing. The gate to the highway remains shut and locked until precisely 10 am.

How to Get to Los Rapidos Bacalar?

Los Rapidos Bacalar is located 12.5 kilometers outside of the city of Bacalar. Don’t expect to stroll there.

Los Rapidos Bacalar

By Public Bus

If you plan to discover nature’s beauty in Los Rapidos Bacalar on a budget, then getting a public bus is the best option. In this area of Mexico, public buses are fast white vans known as colectivos.

You can wave to any colectivo at Bacalar town and inquire whether it’s headed towards Los Rapidos. When you locate one in the proper direction, get into it and pay the price. It’s usually not more than $30 (1.25 USD).

The shuttle will take you to the highway’s entrance towards Los Rapidos, and you’ll need to walk the remaining 2km to get to the Los Rapidos Bacalar entrance.

I wouldn’t recommend this method, particularly if you’re traveling with children or who are unable to walk for long distances. This dirt roadway isn’t stroller, wheelchair, or walker-friendly.

By Taxi

To get to Los Rapidos Bacalar via taxi, take one from the taxi station in Bacalar town or have your hotel concierge contact you. In general, the price is between 170 and 200 euros (10 USD) for each trip.


If you choose to do this, inform the driver of your taxi when you’d prefer them to take you to the airport.

I’d also recommend exchanging numbers on your phone or WhatsApp if they cannot reach you on time.

Note: A basic understanding of Spanish to travel with will help you here!

By Car

If you want to rent an automobile, Los Rapidos Bacalar is only a 10-minute journey to Bacalar town. Follow the signs on Hwy 307, and you’ll reach the town within minutes.

Parking is free in Los Rapidos. Driving around Mexico is easy. We’ve traveled all over Riviera Maya and the rest of the country.

The Yucatan peninsula is among the easiest areas in Mexico to drive around because roads are generally in good shape and are well-marked.

Ensure you are covered by car insurance and have a valid driver’s license.

How Much Does Los Rapidos Bacalar Cost?

The entry fee for Los Rapidos Bacalar has continued to increase rapidly. The fee was originally 50 pesos until 2021. However, it is now 150 pesos for each person. Kids 2-10 get a discount of 100 pesos. Children younger than two years old are free.

The entrance fee only covers the use of life jackets and accessibility to the river.


Take enough money to pay for the entrance cost and any other items you want to spend there.

Although they claim they accept credit cards, the device was reported to be down with every attempt we made to use the Visa card. Entry fees and food are separately charged.

Things to Do at Los Rapidos Bacalar

There’s more to see and do in Los Rapidos Bacalar than we anticipated, and we spent several hours there.

Marvel at the Stromatolites

This is your opportunity to see the stromatolites vital to Bacalar’s ecology.

Microorganisms produce these odd formations, and you will discover them scattered across the edges of the water in Los Rapidos Bacalar’s River.

They look like huge rocks, but if you examine them closely, you’ll discover they’re living organisms! Ensure you won’t be around them, as even your fingers are infused with natural oils that can damage them.


Float in the Lazy River

The river in Los Rapidos Bacalar is a peaceful natural marvel. It’s among the top points of interest in the area, and it’s not difficult to understand the reason.

The river’s current is extremely gentle, and you can effortlessly float wearing a life jacket. It’s a great method to relax and enjoy nature’s stunning beauty.

It’s also an excellent location to go swimming! The water is crystal clear, and there are many small nooks and crannies along the shoreline where you can catch the attention of other tourists.

Note: Make sure to avoid the stromatolites!


Grab your lifejacket from the entry point and enjoy floating off! We had fun floating around without life jackets because they appeared dingy and worn.

However, this is an individual preference. Make use of one if you need it. There are sizes for kids also available.

Rent a Kayak or Paddleboard

Hire a kayak or paddleboard in Los Rapidos Bacalar if you want something more adventurous.

The price is 200 MXN per hour for one kayak and 400 pesos/hour for a double-seater kayak. Paddleboard rentals are 300 pesos/hour. The staff will assist in setting up your paddleboard.


This is a good option for those looking around your options in the Bacalar Lagoon of Seven Colors. I wouldn’t suggest paddling or kayaking right in front of the restaurant, as many people try to swim.

Do not pose a danger to stromatolites and swimmers if you take a rental at Los Rapidos Bacalar.

Chill in a Hammock

The lovely hammocks in the vicinity and within the lounge area are expensive to use, at the very least during high season and on weekends. They are shaded and comfortable, which makes them an ideal place to unwind with family or friends.

There are also free hammocks on the river for guests to use. They’re also more comfortable when you’re enjoying the cool breeze of the river!

Little Man loved playing in one of the hammocks along the river because he could easily reach the river’s bottom and splash around.

These vibrantly colored hammocks are ideal for taking a break and soaking up the sunshine. Make sure to get up before you get lost in the slumber!

Eat Lunch

Yes, there’s a full-service restaurant located at Los Rapidos. Let me be honest; we also dined at this restaurant, and the food was subpar at most. We returned late afternoon after a half-day tour of the close Kohunlich Mayan ruins. So, we were starving!


Despite our hunger, the food was shoddily prepared, and the service very poor. Also, it was expensive.

If you’re not as desperate as that group of us, I wouldn’t suggest eating there. It’s an option if you love the river enough to stay there all day.

There is no outside food allowed, So I suggest eating breakfast before heading out.

Go Snorkeling

The fish in Los Rapidos Bacalar is pretty; however, the underwater mangroves and stromatolites are the most exciting things! Beautiful!

The staff does not have snorkeling equipment to rent, So you’ll have to take your own. So you can be able to enjoy the beautiful fish, and also take a look at the stromatolites close.


Facilities at Los Rapidos Bacalar

  • Lockers (50 MXN pesos + 50 deposit)
  • Changing rooms
  • River Hammocks
  • Restaurant
  • Showers
  • Bathrooms
  • Kayak (extra cost)
  • Paddleboards (extra cost)
  • A lounge area complete with chairs and sunbeds (extra cost)
  • Hammocks (extra cost)

What to Pack for Los Rapidos Bacalar

If you’re planning a one-day excursion in Los Rapidos Bacalar, there are a few things you’ll need to bring.

It is essential to have an appropriate towel and swimsuit, a long-sleeved rashguard (sunscreen is not recommended because of the harm it can cause to stromatolites), water shoes, sunglasses, sandals, and the requisite sun hat.

Carrying an extra waterproof bag for your phone or other devices that might get wet is also advisable.

Tips for Visiting Los Rapidos Bacalar

The trip to Los Rapidos Bacalar is an unforgettable experience, and it’s crucial to travel environmentally friendly. Here are some suggestions for responsibly visiting the area:

Renting The Paddleboard or Kayak

If you rent the paddleboard or kayak, do not anchor yourself or paddle through the mangroves or the reeds. These areas provide an ideal nesting area for various species of wildlife. Therefore, it’s essential not to disturb the habitats.

Apply Sunscreen

If you are required to apply sunscreen, make sure you use biodegradable sunscreen while you’re in the water. This will keep the Lagoon safe and clean for everyone who visits.

Don’t Walk with the Stromatolites

Do not walk or play with the stromatolites. The ancient life forms are delicate and susceptible to damage!

Do not pick up snails

Be careful not to pick up snails called chivita. These tiny creatures help to keep the water clean, So it’s best to keep them in the water.

Reach Early

Get up early to avoid crowds and lessen any impact you have on the environment. This also allows you time to explore and enjoy the stunning scenery in Los Rapidos Bacalar without feeling stressed.

Trash handle

Be mindful of trash, and don’t forget any! Bring reusable containers to keep drinks or snacks. Ensure that whatever you pack can be properly disposed of after leaving.

Don’t apply mud mask

Avoid using the clay or mud at the bottom of your river or Lagoon to cleanse your body or face. All the exfoliation you do falls back into the fragile ecosystem and can harm it. In addition, it can cause serious skin irritation to you!

avoid walking in the reeds

Avoid navigating, swimming, or walking in the reeds. Additionally, it would be best if you refrained from cutting the reeds. These plants have a crucial function for our ecosystem! Many species use their leaves to nest and even supply food for wildlife.

Buoys Floating in water

Be aware of the buoys floating in the water. They are designated as restricted areas. Don’t attach kayaks, canoes, paddleboards, or other boards to them. Also, don’t venture into restricted areas.

avoid peeing in water

I want to think this isn’t a secret. However, don’t use the Lagoon or Los Rapidos River as your toilet. Human waste can be harmful to the ecology of the area. Be sure to wash your hands before going swimming.

Give respect to locals

Be respectful of local customs and traditions. Be aware of customs or practices different from the norms you’re accustomed to back home, and respect them when visiting Los Rapidos Bacalar.

Here are a few guidelines for those who want to visit Los Rapidos Bacalar in an environmentally friendly way. By following these rules, you can contribute to protecting this stunning region for generations to come!


Pros and Cons of Los Rapidos Bacalar


  • Beautiful scenery
  • Crystal clear water
  • Lovely vegetation
  • Variety of activities
  • Natural lazy river


  • Can be overcrowded
  • Credit card readers often go down
  • Restaurant is mediocre
  • The no walking on stromatolites rule is not always enforced

FAQs about Los Rapidos Bacalar

Do you still have questions about Los Rapidos Bacalar? Here are some solutions to the most frequently asked questions.

Which is your most stunning aspect of Bacalar?

The most striking aspect of Bacalar is the crystal clear lagoons and the lush vegetation surrounding the lakes. The region is famous for its mangroves, stromatolites, and mangroves, making it an exceptional and stunning place to visit.

What is the most suitable time for travel? Bacalar?

The ideal time to go to Bacalar is in the dry time, between November and April. During this time, you will find clean waters and warm temperatures.

Which is the best part of the Bacalar Lagoon?

The most beautiful region in the Bacalar Lagoon is located south of Bacalar town, but the north is Los Rapidos. This is the reason why kayaking across the Lagoon is an absolute pleasure!

Are there any stromatolites present in Bacalar?

The stromatolites found in Bacalar are a unique formation in geology composed of layers of sedimentary rocks created by algae, bacteria, and other microorganisms. They form a significant element of the region’s biodiversity, so it is crucial to take care of them and never walk across the rocks!

How can you tell if Bacalar is safe?

Bacalar is generally safe. However, just like in every other location, it’s crucial to follow the basic safety guidelines, including ensuring that your belongings are not left unattended and being conscious of your surroundings.

What is the most common food of Bacalar?

Bacalar’s typical cuisine is made up of seafood and Mexican cuisine. Most popular dishes include ceviche shrimp tacos, as well as fish fillets. Quesadillas, marquesitas, and churros are all popular food items.

What’s in the Stromatolite?

The stomatolites comprise sedimentary rock created by algae, bacteria, and other small organisms. In time, these layers grow into an elongated rock-like structure. You will find tiny fossils, shells, and other artifacts within the stromatolite.

What should you wear for Bacalar?

It’s recommended to dress in light clothes when visiting Bacalar. It’s likely to get hot in the heat of the day. It is important to have an oversized rashguard, water shoes, sandals, and a cap.

What’s missing from Bacalar?

There are a few options to pay with a credit card or get cash from ATMs. Some restaurants and hotels do not accept credit cards. In addition, the ATM located in the Zocalo was shut during renovations for more than an entire year. If it’s functioning, it often isn’t able to pay.

What type of water do you find in Bacalar?

The water that flows through Bacalar Lagoon Bacalar Lake is pure. The water isn’t salty. Water is typically clear and crystal clear, which makes it ideal for snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking. It is also possible to take boat trips around the Lagoon!

What does Bacalar translate to?

Bacalar refers to a place with many wells’ in the Mayan language. This is due to the numerous freshwater wells found in this region.

What animals reside in Bacalar?

This Lagoon houses a range of native species. Crocodiles are among them, as manatees, turtles, and various kinds of fish. Many varieties of bird species live in the region, including Ospreys and kingfishers.

Which airport is closest to Bacalar?

The nearest airport close to Bacalar is Chetumal International Airport, about half an hour away. From there, you can use a taxi or bus to Bacalar. Bacalar. Bacalar is located approximately five hours away. Cancun airport is about an hour’s drive away.

What is the distance between Bacalar and Tulum?

Traveling between Bacalar and Tulum takes around two hours in a vehicle. It can differ based on traffic. However, it’s generally a fairly easy drive. It is also possible to take an auto from Bacalar to Tulum. It takes about three hours.

What can you Do in Bacalar with a small budget?

You can do many things at Bacalar without spending a great deal of money. Walking down the public Pier, swimming in the Lagoon, exploring the fort’s ruins, and then relaxing in the Zocalo is possible.

What’s the price of visiting the Lagoon of the Seven Colors?

The most cost-effective way to visit this Lagoon would be to travel by bus to Riviera Maya and walk to the open Pier. There you can watch or swim at the beach. If, however, you wish to experience all the various shades of blue that are in the water, then you’ll have to take a boat trip.

What is life like in Bacalar?

The life in Bacalar is peaceful and relaxed. The town has kept its tradition of Mayan culture, and the locals are warm and friendly. Its pace here is slower than in larger Mexican cities, and residents take their time enjoying the outdoors and visiting the many tourist attractions within the region.

What happens in Bacalar?

The primary source for Bacalar is the industry of tourism. The city has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists who want to explore Mexico’s Caribbean coast in a relaxed setting.

Additionally, many local businesses create handcrafted items like pottery, jewelry, and baskets made from woven materials. Local people also raise chickens, fish, cows, pigs, and goats for their own consumption.

What is the reason for the color of the Bacalar Lagoon?

Bacalar Lagoon’s hues are due to the stromatolites found within the area. Stromatolites are microbial cellular structures consisting of calcium carbonate, and the various hues of the lake are created by sunlight reflection off the stromatolites.

How do you take a bath within the Bacalar Lagoon?

The best location to splash at the Bacalar Lagoon is the public Pier. You can dip, snorkel, or kayak through the pure waters. By taking a boat trip, you can dip in a more relaxed group in the lake.

Which is the proper name for this cenote?

There are many cenotes to be found in Bacalar. The two most well-known cenotes found in Bacalar include Cenote Azul and Cocalitos.

Which is the best location for a stay in Bacalar?

Mia Bacalar Resort & Spa is the perfect location to stay in Bacalar. This resort features an outdoor pool, spa, and restaurant. Additionally, it is situated just a few feet from the stunning Lagoon of Seven Colors!

Is there a lagoon with seven colors?

The Lagoon of the Seven Colors lies in Bacalar, Mexico, located on the Yucatan peninsula’s Caribbean coast.

Which is the better option? Towards Holbox instead of Bacalar?

It’s up to you what you like. Holbox is a tiny island laid back with beautiful beaches and many options like fishing and boating. On the other hand, Bacalar is famous for its seven-colored lake colors and an unhurried activity rate.

The most stunning area within the Bacalar Lagoon?

The most beautiful area within the Bacalar Lagoon is Punta Tunich, with various shades of turquoise and blue. In Punta Tunich, you will find an area of the beach perfect for relaxing and swimming.

Final Thoughts on Los Rapidos Bacalar

If you’re seeking a tranquil and refreshing spot to spend your time, Los Rapidos Bacalar is the perfect choice. Its lush, green landscapes, crystal clear water, and lazy rivers are perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Visitors can also participate in activities like kayaking, swimming, and snorkeling.

While it is overcrowded in peak times, the view is well worth the effort. Make sure to bring a waterproof case for your phone, water shoes, and a towel to enjoy your trip there.

Keep looking for vibrant fish and stromatolites as you go snorkeling or swimming!

For those who want to have an unforgettable trip within the Mexican Caribbean, Los Rapidos Bacalar is one to visit.

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