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Bacalar is the municipal seat and largest city in Bacalar Municipality (until 2011 a part of Othón P. Blanco Municipality) in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, about 40km north of Chetumal, at 18° 40' 37" N, 88° 23' 43" W. In the 2010 census the city had a population of 11,084 people. At that time it was still a part of Othón P. Blanco, and was its second-largest city (locality), after Chetumal.The name most likely derives from, meaning "surrounded by reeds", the name of the locality attested at the time of the 16th century arrival of the Spanish.Bacalar is also the name of the lagoon, Bacalar lagoon on the east side of the town.Bacalar was a city of the Maya civilization in Pre-Columbian times. This was the first city in the region which the Spanish Conquistadores succeeded in taking and holding in 1543. In 1545 Gaspar Pacheco established the Spanish town here with the name Salamanca de Bacalar. The region of the southern half of what is now Quintana Roo was governed from Bacalar, answerable to the Captain General of Yucatán in Mérida.After the town was sacked by pirates in the 17th century, the Fortress de San Felipe Bacalar was completed in 1729, and may still be visited today.In 1848 Bacalar had a population of about 5,000 people. In 1848 during the Caste War of Yucatán rebellious Chan Santa Cruz Maya conquered the town. It was not retaken by the Mexicans until 1902.Bacalar is in Quintana Roo. Take a look at our Mexico trip planner to refine the details of your trip to Bacalar.
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Top Bacalar tours
Costa Maya Shore Excursion: Chacchoben Day Trip BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $64
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
1 Day Tour Chacchoben Mayan City + Bacalar Lagoon (includes Certified Guide) BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $112
Duration: 5 hours 50 minutes
CHACCHOBEN – Mayan Ruins Excursion with transportation from Costa Maya BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $67
Duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
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1 day in Bacalar BY A USER FROM FRANCE October, teens, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: October, teens, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 23 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM January, popular sights PREFERENCES: January ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 14 days in Yucatan Peninsula BY A USER FROM SLOVENIA July, teens, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 18 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA December, popular sights PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES March, popular sights PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 7 days in Mexico BY A USER FROM MEXICO March, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: March ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium