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Beneath the Surface of Laguna de Bacalar

By Sophia Perlstein
Apr 29, 2020

If you ask about the origin of life, the answers will likely vary. Some may say that life began in deep-sea hydrothermal vents while others find truths in the sky. For those who travel far and wide, remnants of our past can be found in the most exquisite corners of our planet. One such location exists amid the coastal jungle of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula near the border with Belize. 

La Laguna de Bacalar stretches out for 26 miles; its shallow, crystalline waters boast seven hues of blues. Its waters kiss white, soft limestone soil, creating these otherworldly colors - from deep turquoise to aquamarine. Beneath the surface, reef-like formations can be found that date back to the beginning of time. 

Stromatolites exist in a small handful of locations around the world. These layered collections of cyanobacteria are still being formed in Bacalar, where the lagoon’s alkalinity allows them to thrive. Educating travelers on the importance of eco-tourism is an effort that many in the region have undertaken as mass travel threatens the fragility of this natural wonder. Locals and businesses alike are ensuring its preservation, promoting the widespread adoption of sustainable practices.  

This is why we love Bacalar. Life in Bacalar dances to the ebb and flow of its natural wonders, creating a calm oasis for those who seek a deeper connection to the planet. The lagoon is the matriarch of this sleepy coastal town. Those who have bathed in her shores believe her to be a living being, much like the stromatolites to which she gives life. As travel continues to evolve, enriching experiences will replace material possessions. We call this luxury for the soul.