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Los Rapidos Bacalar – Everything You Need to Know

Los Rapidos Bacalar – Everything You Need to Know

By now, you’ve seen Instagram pictures of the famous Bacalar Lagoon, but have you heard of Los Rapidos Bacalar? 

You might be less well-acquainted with a specific part of the lagoon. Most of the Laguna Bacalar is a wide lake, but it narrows at Los Rapidos, and the shallow, crystalline channel gives way to unique stromatolites.

los rapidos bacalar view of rapids narrow channel with stromatolites

Stromatolites are formed from layered deposits of sediment in the water, creating unique rock formations. These stromatolites aren’t just dead rock. They act as filters for the water and are a critical part of the lagoon’s ecosystem. Look out for signs that show the areas where you cannot walk or stand.

The channel feeds right into the main lagoon, and the rapids aren’t actually all that fast. Instead, it’s like a real-life lazy river like you’d find in a waterpark.  

man swimming in the current of Los Rapidos in the Bacalar Lagoon

Los Rapidos Info

Los Rapidos is a naturally occurring narrow point in the lake system where current flows between the bodies of water.

You can enjoy Los Rapidos by visiting the private “beach club” for a small entrance fee. This is really the only way to see this unique feature of the lagoon.

Los Rapidos runs about a half-mile from the main entry office. You can float and swim around but be warned that the current moves relatively quickly, so floating in place isn’t always possible. To return to the entry area, you will have to swim or paddle against the tide.

Los Rapidos Bacalar Hours 

Los Rapidos is open every day of the week from 10 am to 6 pm.

Los Rapidos Entrance Fees

Entry into Los Rapidos is $150 pesos for adults, and kids 2-10 are $100 pesos. If you ask us, it is a small price to pay for such an amazing experience in some of the clearest water in the world.

Credit cards are accepted, but a weak mobile signal can sometimes affect whether the card terminals are working. Have cash on you, just in case. We used our card on our last visit and had no issues.

Life jackets are available for an extra fee. The water is pretty shallow, but because it can move quickly, it’s a good idea to have a life vest just in case.

boy in red swim suit paddle boarding at Los Rapidos Bacalar

Activities at Los Rapidos in Bacalar Lagoon

There’s so much more to do here than just swimming or walking. Take a kayak out onto the water, gliding through the crystal clear surface and paddling downstream. Kayaks cost $200-400 pesos for a full hour.

There are also hammocks that hang from trees right into the water, so you can float just inches above the water and relax while you watch others frolic about. 

If you want to take a peek at the underwater life, be sure to bring snorkeling equipment. With such clear and shallow water, it’s the perfect place to snorkel. 

If you are spending a few days in Bacalar or just only a day visiting, Los Rapidos is a must, after of course taking a Bacalar bout tour. You could spend all day here or just an hour. It really depends on how much time you have. 

Where are the Bacalar Los Rapidos 

The rapids of Bacalar are a narrow channel towards the southern tip of the lagoon, about a fifteen-minute drive from the city of Bacalar. You could also ride a bike (13km); just beware, the roads can get a little dusty. Or, if you’re coming from Chetumal, it will be about an hour’s drive.

You can easily get a taxi from Bacalar to Los Rapidos. The road is a gravel road, but it is totally fine for your standard cheap rental car. Obviously, avoid the potholes and go slow. 

Swimming area and kayak rentals at Los Rapidos Bacalar

Amenities at Los Rapidos 

There is a rustic outdoor restaurant on site. It’s located right beside the water, and the large grassy seating area is so close to the water that you can watch swimmers floating by while you enjoy Caribbean-style food, as well as traditional Mexican food like ceviche and tacos. Finish up with an ice-cold Mexican beer or fresh coconut milk.

The restaurant has bathrooms and showers. Be warned that there are no lockers here. If you’ve come with a tour group or have rented a car, the safest thing to do would be to leave your things in the vehicle. There is a parking lot attendant who is watching over the cars and helps you park. 

Have you been to Bacalar’s Los Rapidos? What did you think?

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woman standing at the enterance to the Los Rapidos Channel in Laguna Bacalar