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Bacalar – Mexico – GRANDPAcking Costs



My costs start in Mahahual and include:

  • Public transport from Mahahual to Bacalar
  • 7 nights in a GRANDPAcking Standard Double Aircon Room in an Hotel
  • Food & Drink
  • Mobile Data / Communications


For more detail, read about Bacalar.

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Click here for detailed Travel Information and more Travel Budgets in this country.

Read About – GRANDPAcking Costs if you don’t know how to interpret my figures.



Cost Of Existence (COE):

My costs are purely provided for information purposes.

I do not always follow ‘GRANDPAcking Standards’. In fact, I deviate from them all of the time! But, my costs are real costs and they may help you formulate your own budget.

In Bacalar I was GRANDPAcking.

Accommodation: My Room at the Pata De Perro met ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’; It was clean, had aircon, and a Hot Water Shared bathroom (that was as good as an Ensuite).

I paid a discounted rate of MXP400 / night.

But, I only got this cheap rate due to an error on their website.

Transport: In Mahahual you can walk everywhere.

Communications & Fees: I had a 1 month AT&T Package with unlimited calls & texts and 600MBs of data. AT&T worked fine in Bacalar. Free WiFi is so readily available around town that I hardly needed to use any of my own plan.

Food & Drink:

I averaged MXP154 / day. But, you should totally ignore my figures.

I bought my own groceries for Breakfast (which I tend to do if my Hotel has a fridge) and found myself only needing a snack at Lunch time (a couple of Tacos).

I experimented in different quality (and priced) restaurants in the evenings. But tried to avoid the ones on the lakefront – which are all over-priced.

My ‘Cost of Existing / Day’ was MXP491 / NZ$36 / US$25 / €23 / £21.


My available ‘LIVING Funds’ each day were MXP559 / NZ$42 / US$30 / €27 / £24.

Visa: There is no Visa Apportionment. The 180 Day Visitor’s Visa is free.

Getting There: It cost me MXP75 to get from my Mahahual accommodation to my Bacalar accommodation (walking at both ends to / from the Bus Stop). This consisted of 1 short  distance Colectivo.

Drink / Partying: I averaged MXP52 / night. This was for bottles of beer in the local cafes. A bottle of beer is MXP25-29.

Personal: None.

Entertainment / Trips: I stocked up on cheap cigarettes at Willy’s Store.

Shopping: None.

Other / Gifts: Tips are included in the food prices (they are almost compulsory). Budget on 10-15%.

My actual GRANDPAcking costs came in at MXP601 / NZ$44 / US$31 / €28 / £25 per day. This was 55% of my total budget … I had 45% left to play with.


GRANDPAcking Standard accommodation on the Lakefront is expensive. You can’t afford it.

I suggest that you start looking for hotel ‘specials’ online (with someone like BOOKING.COM, or EXPEDIA.COM, or AGODA.COM) well in advance and compare them with the Holiday Rentals found on TRIPADVISOR. Then, you can pick the best deal for you.

Bacalar is likely to be too expensive for GRANDPAckers in High Season.

Cost Of Existence (COE):

Accommodation: In Mexico, it is hard to find a decent ‘GRANDPAcking Standard’ Double Fan Room with Hot Water Ensuite online for less than MXP500 / night. Under MXP500 you are usually looking at below GRANDPAcking Standard rooms in Hostels and / or rooms with Shared Bathrooms and / or Cold Water Ensuites.

Bacalar is no different. Try and get as close to the central park as you can.

Transport: You shouldn’t need any. If you want to take a trip to Cenote Azul, you will (probably) need transport then – this will have to come out of your LIVING expenses.

Communications: I have included a prepaid 1 Month ‘unlimited’ calls & texts MXP150 Package with 400-600MBs of data from one of the main carriers.

Food: Breakfast is not included with your accommodation. The Pata provides free filtered coffee in the morning and free slices of bread. Target a cheap breakfast in your favourite local cafe (or buy your own groceries). Do the same for Lunch.

For Dinner, I have budgeted for you to have something from the lower quartile of the menu in a budget restaurant. The budget that I have provided is enough for you to NOT have to eat Tacos every meal.

The ‘Cost Of Existence’ of 2 GRANDPAckers is about MXP973 / NZ$71 / US$50 / €46 / £41 per day.


This leaves you very little to LIVE on (i.e. only 11% of your GRANDPAcking budget). This equates to only MXP120 / day. You can:

  • Buy 4 x 330ml beers in a cheap cafe
  • Rent a Kayak for 1 hour
  • Save up for 1 week so that you can both take a motorised boat trip on the lake


Bacalar is nice but, to be blatant, if you are not staying on the waterfront you could be anywhere.

Alas, you will need to ‘dilute’ your Bacalar experience and stay in or around the square. You will still be in Bacalar … but, in my opinion, you won’t be getting the best out of Bacalar. You will not be able to afford a Vacation Rental.

You will be staying in a Hostel or Budget Hotel near the central park. If you go 2-3 blocks north, south, or west from this park you are in backstreets with almost nothing around you.

Bacalar is a quiet and relaxed setting.

Bacalar has made it into my GRANDPAcking Holiday Table … but, it DOES NOT make it into my Retirement REVIEWS.

Come for a week and have a look … some of you will like it. Come for a month and you’ll go stir crazy.

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