Laguna Bacalar

Our last stop in Mexico. And a goodie.

The lagoon of seven or seventy, depending on who is describing or who (like me) is listening and translating, colors. Mostly blue colors, however. All gorgeous.

This, as much if not more so than all of the recommendations we’ve received in Mexico, lived up to the hype. It’s a Caribbean ocean in a lake. Ivory sandy beaches. Encompassing tropics. Gentle surf. Turquoise and sapphire and emerald and indigo and so on blue waters. Yet fresh water.

Hostel Crowd

But nice.

We’ve seen the hostel herds on this trip — mostly trekking the cities in their hipster clothing and with their I’ve-got-a-pocket-for-everything backpacks — but we hadn’t shared campgrounds with them. Until here. The campground keeps a dozen tents semi-permanently erected. Hostel-ites rent them for about $15 USD per night. They charged us more for parking in their lot….

I stayed up late — like old-man dad late, so like 10:30pm — one night playing cards with three travelers from the UK. Two coworkers from the Ministry of Defence. One recently divorced and liquidated (sold his business) father. It was entertaining just listening to them talk, first trying to guess, based on accent alone, precisely where each one lived in the UK, second about the inadequacy they share with us United Staters about not being forced to learn a second language, and third about how to get rid of ISIS (we’d had a few beers). They taught me the universal card game for hostels. %&^#head. Or Poophead, as I later told Everett.

You’d dig this place, if only for the conversations.


We traveled for a few days — the last day at Xpu-Ha and two days here — with a cool family from Montreal, Martin, Cathrine, Margaret, and Beatrice. Margaret and Beatrice are beautiful, spunky kids with golden, curlicue locks — they reminded our kids of their cousin, Lucy. The kids entertained themselves so the parents could tend to more pressing issues, like relaxing. They drove from Montreal to Nicaragua and are now heading back in a pimped-out Toyota 4Runner.

Paddle Boarding

The wind is similar to an ocean. Nonexistent to slightly offshore in the early morning. Onshore from mid morning on. By the time I got around to paddle boarding, it was mid morning.

I’d paddle directly into the wind and waves to cross, mostly so I wouldn’t fall off the board yet partly for the exercise. The first time I crossed to the uninhabited side of the lake, I felt intrepid, like a pirate discovering a new bay to stash their plunder. I even thought at one point that I was paddling toward a Mayan ruin — it turned out to be just a very rectangular-shaped tree.

Pink sand from sulfur streams lined a few sections on the opposite side. I’m guessing these streams help keep Laguna Bacalar that near perfect temperature, just cold enough to cool you but not warm enough to remind you that you’re taking a bath with thousands of people.

Lake House

The American Dream: a lake house or ocean cottage. Here, at Bacalar, you can get both. It was one of several (likely hundreds if you ask Andrea) times that I’ve stated: I can see us owning a vacation property here some day. A simple place. You know, thirty to forty rooms, so all of my family and friends can vacation with us simultaneously. Oh, and a large fridge for Mexican beers. Several jetskis. Three pingpong tables. A margarita machine. Bowls of Sour Patch Kids. A bowling alley. I guess. Private chefs. Toucans that deliver messages from one side of the property to the other, you know, since it’s so huge. Pools. Many. Servant monkeys. A water slide that goes from the fourth story of the house to the lagoon. Meat sticks galore.

Or, I suppose, if I can’t afford any of this, which I can’t, I’ll just rent a tent.

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