In 2017, we decided to take our car and drive all the way to Bacalar lagoon, which is about 13,000 km from home. It took us two whole days to arrive, but we made several stops on our way.
We spent our first night next on a camping site next to these mayan ruins. It is an amazing archaeological site inside the jungle. You can camp in this place call Panchan, or you can rent small cabins (which might have been a better idea after driving for 10 straight hours).
RUTA RIO BEC & CALAKMUL
There are dozens of archaeological sites between Palenque and Bacalar. There’s this route called Rio Bec, where you can literally spot sites every few miles. We stopped at two of them on our way to Bacalar and another two on our way back (if you’re Mexican, there’s a free entrance on Sundays, so its a good day to see many of them).
Calakmul is one of the largest mayan sites in the area. It is way deep into an ecological reserve, where you can see lots of animals on their natural habitat (I saw warthogs once!). Beware, you cannot enter the reserve after 2 pm, so if you plan to see Calakmul it’s better to go as early as possible (we had to wait to the next day…).
THE 7 COLORED LAGOON
After a two day drive, we finally got to see Bacalar. We spent our first night inside a very original Airbnb: a sailboat. It was tied to the pier, but nonetheless, a cool experience lit by moonlight and rocked by the lagoon’s tide.
The next two nights, we moved to the northern part of the lagoon, which is less crowded and accesible. There was almost no electricity, so it was great to unplug completely from the outside world.
On our way back, we stopped in the city of Villahermosa, which is about half the way from Bacalar. Its main attraction is an ecological park, where you can see some authentic colossal olmec heads (like the one Mr. Burns gives to the Simpsons).
We stopped to have lunch on this small town, which has a building designed by Gustave Eiffel. This region is known for its coffee, because of its combination of weather, humidity and altitude.