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Success A dv en t ur e BEAUTIFUL BACALAR Situated between dense jungle and The Caribbean, and accentuated by a freshwater lagoon of 7 hues of blue, there’s no denying that Bacalar, Mexico, wears its title of pueblo mágico well. TEXT BY FRANCESCA CRUZ PHOTOS BY SAM VASQUEZ The area of the Yucatan that goes by the name of Costa Maya is a small, rustic and eco-friendly place filled with serene boutique hotels that line up on the soft sandy banks of the lagoon overlooking the pristine waters. It’s a natural treasure with white beaches, cenotes, mangroves and a unique ecology. What sets this destination apart is that in Bacalar you’ll find the only formation of living giant microbialites in freshwater in the world. The bed is over 6.2 miles long with a vertical rise of several meters in different areas. Microbialites are the oldest fossils on the planet and contribute directly to the formation of the Earth’s atmosphere and its habitable state. Tourists are allowed to kayak close to them to take in the beauty, and at the Rapidos Lagoon Club, kayaks are not permitted, but visitors can swim in some of the bluest waters and delight in these 3.5 billion-year-old massive rocks. The energy in this place is out of the ordinary, with different pockets of the rapids feeling as if you’ve dipped yourself in a hot Jacuzzi, and others utterly icy-cold and refreshing. Bacalar is the sort of place where you come to understand just how extraordinary Mother Nature truly is. 66