New Bus and Train Station Coming to Bacalar as Tourism Continues to Increase

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Built in the early 2000s, Bacalar’s bus station is due for a major refit for the sake of both comfort and safety. Photo: Courtesy

Grupo ADO has announced the construction of a new bus terminal in Bacalar.

The new facility will replace the nearly 20-year-old station, which is not much more than a ticketing booth. 

Currently, buses to and from Bacalar park on the side of the highway to load and unload passengers — a situation that has become outright dangerous.

The new terminal will have dedicated passenger loading zones and amenities like free WiFi, benches, and bathrooms. 

The location of the Tren Maya terminal in Bacalar is yet to be officially disclosed, but President Lopéz Obrador recently stated that it would cover 7.5 acres. 

Given the difficulty of laying train tracks along Quintana Roo’s coastline, the Maya Train’s Line 6, which includes Bacalar, will likely be the last to be open to the public — likely not until next year. 

The Tren Maya’s Route 6 will run from Tulum to Chetumal, but the extremely porous and cavernous nature of the terrain is making construction relatively slow. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The small town of Bacalar and its stunning so-called “lagoon of seven colors” are popular with travelers wanting to get away from crowded resorts such as Cancún and Playa del Carmen. 

Earlier: Valladolid’s Tren Maya Station to Open in January 2024

Bacalar’s main attraction is its gorgeous lagoon, nicknamed the  “lagoon of seven colors.” The colors are bands of different hues (though not always necessarily seven), which range from clear blue to turquoise. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

Aside from hotels, the lagoon’s shores are also full of luxurious private residences, some of which are available for rent. 

But not everyone is happy with the boom in tourism Bacalar has experienced over the past decade.

Motorized boats on Bacalar’s “seven-color” lagoon are almost entirely used for tourism and recreational activities. Several areas in the lagoon are off-limits to motorized crafts, but that has not stopped tourists and locals from venturing in. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht

In 2020, countless dead sea snails began to wash ashore on the lagoon’s banks. The death of the snails is particularly concerning as they are an important source of food for the many birds in the region. 

“A decade or so ago, Bacalar really started to grow. All of a sudden, it went from being a sleepy little town with a gorgeous lagoon to a major attraction with tons of hotels and restaurants. And now, the lagoon itself is paying the price for all the activity. It’s still nice, but it’s not quite the same,” said Raúl Lopez of nearby Chetumal.

The rapid growth of Bacalar has also brought with it an increased strain on the power grid, which in recent years has been more prone to fail. 

Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy, and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway.
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