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June 2013
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Swimming Bacalar

Another Great Sporting Event in the Yucatan or Why You Might Want to Go To Bacalar

Swimming in a race at Bacalar Quintana Roo YucatanYou might remember our article about the race across the Yucatan Channel, from Cancun to Cozumel. You probably will not be surprised to hear that there is another popular water race held in the Yucatan. The VIII Open-Water Marathon Bacalar was held on the 22nd and 23rd of June at the beautiful lagoon of seven colors in the magical town of Bacalar.

This event broke all previous attendance records. Over one thousand two hundred swimmers in various categories came to swim in these beautiful waters, exceeding by far previous entries in other years.

Among the most prominent participants this year were four Olympic swimmers from the Republic of Chile, and of course Tierra Yucatan’s Ricardo Hassey. I could not miss this event! I entered in the 5 Kilometer category, finishing the swimming event with a time of 1 hour 42 minutes.

If you don’t know anything about Bacalar, you should! Bacalar, the town, is located 38 kilometers northwest of Chetumal, on the banks of a lagoon. Bacalar is in the state of Quintana Roo. It was named a pueblo mágico in 2006. The name Bacalar is derived from the Mayan word Halal Bak, which means “place surrounded by reeds”. Just knowing that, however, does not prepare you for the beauty of this place.

The blue of Bacalar Lagoon YucatanThe Laguna Bacalar or Lagoon of Seven Colors, is a huge expanse of shallow water with very soft white sand. The various tones of the sand beneath and the sky above create an everchanging panoply of blue shades in the water, a fascinating show even without all those swimmers.

On one side of this lagoon, clearly identifiable by the substantially darker tones, you can find the natural wonder that is called the Blue Hole, a magical place very attractive for divers. The Blue Hole is a deeper part of the lagoon, which of course creates a deeper blue color on the surface. The entire lagoon is a lovely place for swimming and other non-invasive water sports. The waters are beautiful, Caribbean-clear and calmer than the ocean just a few miles away.

There are hotels and B&B’s in Bacalar, as well as houses and property for sale in that area. Bacalar is an up-and-coming area, and not just for swimming races!