Located in southern Mexico, and approximately one hour from the Caribbean coast, Bacalar offers affordable lakeside living with all the amenities of the Caribbean. Only in Bacalar you won’t have to deal with crowds, mega-resorts and higher real estate prices. With a small population, family run hotels and restaurants, Bacalar offers retirees the benefits of small town tropical living at real estate prices well below other Caribbean waterfront areas. See the following article from International Living for more on this.
You gaze from your swaying hammock at the clear blue sky and the turquoise waters lapping against the shore. A gentle breeze off the water keeps you cool despite the tropical heat. The scene looks and feels like the Caribbean. But there’s something missing: the salt on your skin and sand in your bathing suit. If you love the beach but hate washing off the salt, Lake Bacalar is worth a visit.
Located an hour from the Caribbean coast, Bacalar enjoys a tropical climate. In certain lights, its waters also look like the Caribbean—that same neon turquoise. But Lake Bacalar has fresh water. And instead of sand, much of the lake bottom is a fine, soft limestone silt that rises in gentle puffs around your feet.
There are no chain hotels, mega-resorts or fancy restaurants here. Instead, you find small family-run hotels and restaurants and a community where people know each other by sight if not by name. It’s the kind of place where, when hotel space runs out, folks start phoning their friends to find visitors a spare room to rent.
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Long sacred to the Maya, Lake Bacalar still casts its spell on visitors, including a growing number of expats.
Jim Bacon and his wife, Polly Gropen, moved to Bacalar more than six years ago. Leaving behind Minnesota’s winters, they settled here full-time and haven’t looked back.
“We decided we could either take a chance, come here and retire a few years early or stay in Minnesota longer and play it safe,” says Jim.
He nods toward their lakefront house, their dock and the two sailboats that lie anchored just offshore to indicate which option they chose. “Fortunately, it all worked out.”
Like most of the expats here, Jim and Polly love the water. And there’s plenty to enjoy: On any warm, sunny day (which, at Lake Bacalar, is most of the year) you’re likely to see dozens of swimmers, several sailboats and a number of kayaks on the lake. One hotel in the area is also trying to popularize windsurfing.
Low home prices drew Jim and Polly years back. Prices have risen since. But a house here—even lakefront—still costs less than what you’d pay for a beachfront house as little as an hour away.
You’ll find both lakefront homes and townhouses for sale in Bacalar. Houses along the 3-mile stretch of shore known as the Costera Bacalar tend to be pricey; expect to pay $250,000 and up for houses here. Away from the water, prices drop dramatically. A three-bedroom house in town, for instance, generally runs well under $100,000.
This article has been republished from International Living.