Laguna Bacalar

The fortress above the lagoon was built in 1733 to protect Spanish colonists from pirate attacks and rebellions by local indigenous people. It also served as an important outpost for the Spanish in the War of the Castes. In 1859 it was seized by Maya rebels, who held the fort until Quintana Roo was conquered by Mexican troops in 1901.

Today, with formidable cannons still on its ramparts, the fortress remains an imposing sight. It houses a museum exhibiting colonial armaments and uniforms from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Laguna Bacalar attractions

1. Laguna Milagros

11.43 MILES

Paddle out on a kayak or simply have a swim in the azure waters of Laguna Milagros, about 23km west of Chetumal, in the town of Huay-Pix. Waterfront…

2. Museo de la Cultura Maya

13.35 MILES

The Museo de la Cultura Maya is the city’s claim to cultural fame – a bold showpiece that's beautifully conceived and executed, though regrettably short…

3. Museo de la Ciudad

13.48 MILES

The Museo de la Ciudad is small but neatly done, displaying historic photos, pre-Hispanic and military artifacts, and old-time household items (even some…

4. Palacio de Gobierno

13.91 MILES

Set just off the waterfront, construction on this government building began in the 1930s and the present-day three-story structure was finished in 1945.

5. Clock Tower

14.02 MILES

An art-deco monument built in in 1943 to honor Mexico's independence and Reform movement heroes.

6. Santa Rita

18.92 MILES

Santa Rita was an ancient Maya coastal town that once occupied the same strategic trading position as present-day Corozal Town, namely the spot between…

7. Fort Barlee

19.54 MILES

At the center of town, this fort was built in 1849 by Caste War refugees for protection from attacks by hostile Maya. Only the remains of the brick corner…

8. Clock Tower

19.61 MILES

This Corozal landmark dominates Central Park.