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  • Writer's picturethesailingcolibri

What you should know about the Bacalar Lagoon and its ecosystem.

The second largest lagoon in Mexico is located in Bacalar, Quintana Roo: The Lagoon of the 7 colors, recognized worldwide for its beauty and important ecosystem. Join me to delve a bit about this paradise.

Quintana Roo is home to endless natural riches, however, the ecosystem of La Laguna de Bacalar is one of the ones that will surprise you the most.

The lagoon of the 7 colors is made up of an area of ​​almost 50km and from 2km to 4km wide. In its waters you will find a variety of cenotes and different depths, which, when reflected with the sun, denote impressive blue colors. Also, this area has a high biodiversity of species such as lizards, fish, snails and multiple birds. At least 9 types of ecosystems have been found, including jungles, savannas, and mangroves. This is also home to one of the largest groups of stromatolites in the world!

Let's get to know a little about its natural riches:


Cenote Negro: The Cenote Negro or Cenote La Bruja is known for its underwater fracture, since with a depth of barely a meter and a half, it drops in free fall to more than 100 meters. It is the deepest cenote in Bacalar, located inside the lagoon in a small bay surrounded by the “Rojo Gómez” normal school.

Cenote Esmeralda: A small cenote also located inside the lagoon, with navy blue and turquoise waters, hence its name. It has an average depth of thirty meters.

Cenote Cocalitos: Known as the Sanctuary of the Stromatolites, as it has a large number of stromatolites, ancient structures that provide oxygen to the planet in a natural way. It has an approximate depth of 40 meters. It is one of the most beautiful cenotes in the area!

Cenote Azul: The most popular cenote in the region, it has a great history; Because this was the earthly means of communication with Chaac, an aquatic deity for the Mayans, who was considered the god of rain. The Cenote Azul is an open cenote, with a depth greater than 90 meters and 360 meters in length. Inside you can snorkel, dive, swim or kayak. It is the only cenote that is not inside the lagoon, but it is very easy to find it.


Stromatolites were the first carbon fixers, nitrogen transformers, and oxygen liberators on the planet. They have been studied by science since 1649 to understand the evolution of the Earth. Their function in the Bacalar lagoon is fundamental since they purify the water and keep it healthy. Its presence in the world is not very common and in Bacalar there is the largest colony. Every year Bacalar receives thousands of visits from people who want to know these ancient formations, scientists and ecologists, as well as locals, seek to protect the stromatolites through dissemination campaigns in favor of their care and a guide to good practices. If you see a stromatolite, DO NOT get too close, DO NOT step on them, DO NOT climb on it, because they die. They look like rocks but they have a lot of life and are of vital importance in this ecosystem.


Of the aquatic vegetation, whose surface has been reduced by human settlements, mangroves predominate (red, white and buttonhole mangroves) and tulares that are located mainly along the entire coast of the entity together with the dunes. The reeds are also known, an emblematic herb of the area and responsible for the original Mayan name "Bakhalal" which means "near or surrounded by reeds"

Mangroves are undoubtedly play a very important role. Among its functions we find:

• Serve as filters for sediments and nutrients, maintaining water quality. 💦 (they keep the lagoon clean)

• They are a source of organic and inorganic matter that sustains the marine food web.😉

• They stabilize coastal lands against erosion, protect the coastline against hurricane winds and other high-impact weather events.

• They are primarily breeding, breeding and feeding grounds for many fish, mollusks and a whole range of other forms of wildlife.

• They have a function of absorbing much more carbon dioxide than other trees. In fact, from an ecological point of view, it is considered the most important tree. 🌳

Thank you mangroves, they are wonderful!


Bacalar has a wide variety of fauna such as the Moreleti Lizard, fish, mammals, local birds (snail eagle, Tóh bird, hummingbirds) and migratory birds (pink spoonbill, American stork).

In the humid jungle we find: jaguarundí, jabirú, boa, coralillo, white-lipped snake, engraved and casquito turtles; gecko and nauyaca. In forests: opossum, weasel, bat, tigrillo, armadillo, ocelot, buzzard, osprey, black pheasant and chachalaca. Mesquite and coastal scrub: owl. Endangered animals: howler monkey, spider monkey, eel, among others.

Definitely Bacalar is a unique paradise in the world, preserving it is of vital importance, therefore, if you visit Bacalar, try to be a responsible tourist and practice good practices in favor of the lagoon ecosystem. If you want to know more about these practices, I invite you to follow the official instagram profile @pueblomagicobacalar and consult the guide of good practices of the Bacalar Ecology Directorate.


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