My first trip to Mexico had me wishing I’d visited much sooner. A roomy, direct flight with Interjet got me from Toronto to Cancun in what felt like no time, revealing just how perfectly accessible paradise is.
After landing and beelining it towards the south end of the easternmost Mexican state, I could immediately appreciate that I had stumbled upon an idyllic Caribbean oasis. We arrived in breathtaking Bacalar, tucked away on a striking blue lagoon, left to thrive largely untouched by the expanding infrastructure of the sought-after Mexican Caribbean. If you’re looking for a convenient destination that truly feels like the most splendid escape, you will surely find that in Bacalar.
On Lake Bacalar, we had blue skies and a warm breeze to explore the Laguna de los Siete Colores by boat, passing over sandbars, open cenotes that turned azure with great depth, and the most gorgeous spectrum of blue-green waters I’ve ever seen. Under the hot sun, the temptation to swim was irresistible, and under the shallow waters we scooped up clay within the sand to indulge in our own natural exfoliating treatments while we lounged in the lagoon. With smooth, glowing skin, we boarded the boat once more and set off for a delicious meal of seafood.
Stepping onto the property of the Hotel Akalki holistic center felt like visiting yet a higher stratum of paradise. A reclining Buddha statue surrounded by calm, crystal-blue water assured us that we were in a peaceful place. The intimate grounds have a private temazcal sweat lodge, a visiting shaman, regular yoga classes on their floating gazebo, and everything you need to purify your body and cleanse your soul. Guests benefit from the privacy of beautiful thatch-roofed suites, many with their own decks that hover above the stromatolite-pigmented lake, lush gardens, ponds and hammocks suspended over the water. We were treated to a gorgeous meal of the Mexico Caribbean’s finest local cuisine while we overlooked the lagoon and watched the clouds change forms on the horizon.
Later, we paid a visit to the secluded Rancho Encantado, where the beautiful whitewashed suites back onto private patios surrounded in mangroves, leading you down towards your personal access to the tranquil waters. You don’t have to stroll far for some of the region’s most delectable dishes, with the restaurant Los Hechizos serving guests and visitors on-site. The tables are arranged with a view of the dock and the lake, providing great access to a moonlit swim before retiring to your peaceful apartment.
In all, I felt like I was ahead of the trend in visiting the charming little town of Bacalar, and the idyllic and luxurious retreats that surround the enchanting blue lagoon. The relatively undiscovered paradise of southern Quintana Roo, Mexico is a short drive from the airport of the capital Chetumal, and a journey more than worthwhile from the excitement of Cancun for a few days of deep rest and relaxation.