Day Trips from Xcalak – San Filipe Museum Bacalar
San Filipe Museum in Bacalar is located in San Filipe Fort on the main square of the Pueblo Magico. It overlooks Bacalar lagoon, the lagoon of 7 colors. The fort itself was built in 1733 to defend the town from pirates. I am still not quite sure how pirates got that far inland. But apparently they did. The fort was also key in defending the area during the Caste Wars of the mid 19th century. The last uprising of the Mayans against the Federal Mexican government. The museum itself is rather small, and a little light on actual artifacts but the murals and explanatory signs give you a good grounding on the area’s history.
There is a pretty impressive mural on the back wall of the museum by Elio Carmichael. Hard to get a full shot of it but you can get an idea from the picture of it below.
We were on our way back from Chetumal and decided to swing by the museum. We had driven past Bacalar a million times, but never spent much time there. We decided to have lunch and check out the museum. The museum is on the lagoon side of the main square in town. It has a commanding view of the bay being situated on the top of a hill. The ticket booth is outside the fort proper. Once inside the fort, there are areas where they have old cannon, and carts. Going inside, there are explanatory signs and a few artifacts. We found the history of the Caste War particularly enlightening, although we were a bit confused about the pirates.
After visiting the museum, we decided to walk along the lagoon shore. Most of the places are private restaurants, where you can eat and use their beach and kayaks to go play in the water. We ended up heading up a bit further north and went to the public beach. It was only $10 pesos to enter and they had restaurants, shops, and bars inside. It was also by far the most crowded area of the lagoon. But the water feels great when it is hot outside.
The view of the bay from the walls of the fort. Get a great vista of the lagoon and if you catch a sunny day, you might see all 7 colors.