Fodor's Expert Review Rancho Encantado

Carretera 307, Km 24, Bacalar, Quintana Roo 77930, Mexico See on Map Fodor's Choice

Located on the shores of the mysteriously beautiful Bacalar Lagoon, not far from the border with Belize, Rancho Encantado offers some of the most accomplished guestrooms in the whole lagoon area. A gorgeous retreat in the jungle where real connection with nature is possible, and even a few modern luxuries included.


Rancho Encantado rooms offer a fresh decoration of tile floors and white walls. Some cabanas face directly to the lagoon and have a thatched palapa roof. The upper level Laguna Suite Superior includes a terrace with outdoor Jacuzzi, while the lower level comes with a deck with direct access to the Bacalar waters.

YOU SHOULD KNOW Not all suites are equipped with air conditioning and during the summer months it gets too hot and humid. If usually a ceiling fan is not enough for you, make sure to book the right kind of room for you.


The bathrooms are clean, modern and simple, with pink marble accents and white walls. Some suites include walk-in closet, others may have an outdoor moon shower or even a Jacuzzi.


A long, narrow fountain directs to a big palapa that functions as a welcoming lobby for arriving guests.


A medium-sized circular pool is one of the most popular public areas. Surrounded by loungers and lush vegetation is the perfect spot to loosen up and relax. A large outdoor Jacuzzi is another good option. There are also few suites that include private plunge pools too.


How about a relaxing massage in a thatched palapa hut over the healing waters of the Bacalar Lagoon? Or an antioxidant ritual that uses fiber from the tequila agave for therapeutic purposes? A professional, well-run spa in the middle of the jungle is always worth of recognition.


The world is your gym. Nature the best personal trainer. Work on your legs strength while trekking through the jungle, or exercise your upper body resistance in a kayak across the lagoon. Sorry guys, not an actual gym in here.


Los Hechizos is Rancho Encantado only restaurant and its location couldn’t be better as it offers some of the best views of the Bacalar Lagoon. A variety of Mexican dishes inspired by the Mayan culture and prepared with local ingredients, are enjoyed by guests on a daily basis.

If you are vegan, talk with the waiters or directly with the Chef and he will gladly prepare special vegetarian dishes just for you.


Los Hechizos doubles up as the only restaurant and the only bar in the hotel. So, this is the place to unwind after a day of wild adventure in the jungle, and enjoy a drink by the lagoon.


Getting Around

The Bacalar area is situated in the less-frequented part of the Yucatan Peninsula, and it comes with a price. You may get there through the Chetumal International Airport but their connection with the world is limited. Cancun International Airport will probably be your best option but get ready for an almost 5-hour drive. Most Bacalar attractions are within walking distance.


La Playita (55-minute walk) is an ideal restaurant to eat, swim, and relax in a hammock. A perfect spot to admire the seven colors lagoon of Bacalar. Add great food and great music, and you shouldn’t get disappointed. La Piña (55-minute walk) looks more like a street stand than a restaurant but you will be surprised by the quality of their Mexican dishes and excellent service. And it’s not pricey at all.


Budhas Bar Bacalar (10-minute drive) is a good place to stop by and get some cocktails. It’s a nice garden bar, with good (although sometimes too loud) music and splendid lagoon views. What else can you ask for? Time Out Sports/Music Bar and Grill (6-minute drive) is a place you will go to see a sports event. Nothing pretentious, and you may even make a drawing on their wall.


The natural surroundings are extraordinary and Rancho Encantado makes the most out of them. We love the fact that you can actually disconnect from the real world, but still feel comfortable enough and with a certain degree of luxury.


On the beach
Local Flavor


Phones: 998-884–1181;983-834-2488

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