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Bacalar

November 27th, 2011

P1040271

After some very nice days in Tulum I moved on south towards the border of Belize. All the places I have been to since I left Mexico City were full of tourists and busy. If you don’t spend your time on the beach it’s hard to find some time on your own. In Tulum it wasn’t easy to find a spot to read since the hostel area was crowded and loud especially in the evening. That probably would change when I’d be in Bacalar, a small city close to Chetumal, which is next to the border to Belize.

Every two hours a 2nd class bus is leaving to Bacalar for a bit more than a hundred pesos. After 3h I arrived in this small village that is or wants to become one of those ‘pueblos magicos’. I’m always happy to have a GPS with me, otherwise I probably would never know where I would be when going by bus. The bus stops do not always tell where you are!

I just had to walk down the street Calle 30 until I crossed Calle 3 where I found the hostel I wanted to stay. The very cheap Ximba Li was listed in the Lonely Planet, but not in Frommers. It’s always a pity that the really cheap ones are often not listed in those books and here it would have been a difference of 400 pesos! So for 70 pesos I had a bed in a dorm which was much bigger than those in the Weary Traveler in Tulum. Simple but nice and the family, who runs the hostel was kind. Two little girls often came by and chasing themselves with curious looks what I’ve been doing. Cute!

A few minutes after my arrival it started to rain heavily for a few minutes. There still is a bit of the rain season going on in the middle of November. When the rain ceased I went to the center of the village, walking along the road filled with puddles for 500m. The center had some supermarkets and restaurants (I can recommend the ‘Laguna de Bacalar’) while around the square free wifi was offered. A well preserved fortress looks out onto the lagoon and can be visited, but I guess it’s enough to adore it from the outside.

It’s worth to visit the Cenote Azul which is around 5km away from the city center (don’t believe the guides who say it’s just 1 mile!!!). I wished that I had some snorkling gear to enjoy this place even more. The store unfortunately didn’t have any for buying or renting. 90m deep and very clear water let you see dozens of fish at least from the outside. You don’t need to pay any entrance fee for it. From the restaurant you can access it and can have a snack or big meal before, after or inbetween.

I liked to stop by this quiet little place where I had some time to read and write. On my first night there were some Americans, which annoyed me a bit, but there also were some Mexicans staying here, whose dog kept barking quite a lot. The second night however I had the whole place for myself, thanks to the off-season, which soon is going to end.


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