Bacalar, Mexico

Boca de Agua

Price per night from$365.43

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (inclusive of taxes and fees) available in the next 60 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (USD365.43), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Carved out a niche

Setting

Lagoon of many hues

There’s a real magic to Yucatán retreat Boca de Agua, and it’s not just about having Pueblo Mágico Bacalar close by or sitting on the banks of a psychedelically hued lagoon, which guests have privileged access to for exploring prehistoric rock formations, pirate wrecks and lush cenotes. There’s wonder in the untouched jungle all around, the treehouses whose design draws on Japanese wabi-sabi traits and Mexican Modernism, the spider monkeys swinging by, tropical birdsong, Mayan feasts… And they’ve pulled off the trick of caring deeply for the land while keeping things luxurious – magic.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A welcome drink and free kayak and paddleboard hire

Facilities

Photos Boca de Agua facilities

Need to know

Rooms

30, including 28 suites.

Check–Out

Noon, but flexible for up to two hours (after which a charge applies), subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 4pm, also flexible if the room is ready.

Prices

Double rooms from £257.98 ($333), including tax at 8 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 10% per room per night on check-in and an additional local city tax of $1.34 per room per night on check-in.

More details

Rates don’t include the Continental breakfast (US$32 a guest). A minimum two-night stay is required.

Also

Boca de Agua’s wild untamed terrain and stilted hideaways unfortunately make it unsuitable for guests with mobility issues.

At the hotel

Acres of jungle, access to the Laguna de Bacalar, pétanque court, concierge, and free WiFi. In rooms: air-conditioning, minibar with Mexican products, French press and organic coffee, and Laguna Cyprien bath products. Please note, rooms are intentionally screen-free to make them all the more serene.

Our favourite rooms

Something as immensely fun and exciting as a treehouse – especially the ones here, swathed in grown-up sophistication – shouldn’t be bound by boring technicalities. But, these jungle-buffered stays, set on four-meter-high stilts to let nature go on doing her thing around them, aren’t technically in or attached to a tree. Not that this matters, because architect Frida Escobedo has used her signature latticework to not only add a touch of Japanese-style minimalism, but also make the border between indoor and out all the more ethereal, so you feel like you’re floating in the treetops anyway. And, these aren’t the low-frill hideouts of youth, thanks to sleek eco-friendly furnishings by Memo design studio, air-con and luxurious linens and towels – but no electronic screens, you’ll have friendly spider-monkey sightings to distract you. Book the Master Pool Treehouse and you can cool off in seclusion (the Master King Suite and Double Queen Suite have to share their strip of pool).

Poolside

There’s a cenote to swim in on-site. You can also swim out into the clear waters of the lagoon – the sides are rocky, but there’s a jetty leading out to a deck lined with large lounger cushions.

Spa

A spa and wellness center will be set next to the cenote pool, offering solo or couples treatments with Gaia-approved Laguna Cyprien products and more holistic therapies: sound baths, icy dips, meditation… For now, guests can enjoy massages, facials and more to a soundtrack of rustling leaves, bird song – and perhaps the odd spider monkey roar – in their treehouse.

Packing tips

Help the hotel look after the lagoon and ensure your sunscreen and mosquito repellent (and any other lotions and potions) are all-natural and green as can be.

Also

The hotel has a dedicated star-gazing deck.

Children

While not strictly adults-only, these treehouses are for guests aged 12 and over.

Sustainability efforts

Boca de Agua is built on strict sustainability principles designed to protect the Laguna de Bacalar’s delicate ecosystem. Around 90 per cent of its 82 acres is left to run wild as part of conservation and regeneration programs. The stilted ‘treehouses’ are built with minimal intervention to the surroundings, using locally sourced tropical hardwood from tree farms certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Water is treated on-site to be used in bathrooms and for irrigation (no waste goes into the lagoon), and all mangroves were mapped when the elevated walkways were built around them, so not a single one was cut down, and two acres of a nearby mangrove ecosystem were replanted. Furnishings are made from recycled natural materials; beds have organic, biodegradable latex mattresses; and bath products are all-natural from Laguna Cyprien. The hotel works with local NGO Con Mono Araña, which monitors the spider-monkey population, electricity is supplied by a renewable-energy supplier, and staffing and activity programs are all engineered to bolster the local communities.

Food and Drink

Photos Boca de Agua food and drink

Top Table

Noted architect Frida Escobedo used to soothe her anxiety with long spells out in nature, and designed Boca de Agua to do just that, so take every alfresco opportunity.

Dress Code

Synthetics begone – this retreat is all natural baby… And you should follow suit (fabric-wise, we mean).

Hotel restaurant

You’ll be asking ‘Maya have more?’ at Flora restaurant, where chef Carlos Bordonave celebrates local tradition on the plate with centuries-honed Mexican cuisine and native ingredients. You might have dzikilpak (a tomato and pumpkin-seed salsa), ravioli stuffed with huitlacoche, refreshing aguachile, and churros to finish. 

Hotel bar

The bar serves up Asian-inspired cocktails.

Last orders

Breakfast is from 7am to 10.30am, lunch from 12.30pm to 4pm, and dinner from 7pm to 10pm. Drinks are served till 10pm.

Room service

If you want breakfast in bed, order the night before.

Location

Photos Boca de Agua location
Address
Boca de Agua
Chetumal-Cancun Kilometer 4.5
Bacalar
77963
Mexico

Boca de Agua sits on a swathe of pristine jungle by the Bacalar lagoon, in the Quintana Roo state of the Yucatán.

Planes

Chetumal Airport is the closest, a 30-minute drive away: most arrivals will connect from Mexico City (about a two-hour flight). Transfers can be arranged for an extra charge, but must be booked in advance. Or you could cruise along the coast – Cancún Airport is about a five-hour drive away; or cross the peninsula from Mérida International in about the same time.

Automobiles

A car will come in handy for independently exploring the area. You can pick up wheels at the airport, and the hotel is beside the Federal Highway, a 10-minute drive from downtown Bacalar (directions are mapped out on Waze if needed); there’s free parking on-site.

Worth getting out of bed for

Boca de Agua has a privileged position on the Yucatán Peninsula, set over 82 undisturbed jungly acres, right by the Laguna de Bacalar, a mystical spot of spectacular beauty due to its seven shades of luminous blues and greens. It’s home to some of the oldest organisms on Earth, stromatolites that look like clusters of rock formations, which you may spy on gentle paddleboard, kayak or sailing expeditions (be sure to keep a wide berth). The waters are swimmable too, made of collapsed cenotes, but some have held fast and make scenic spots to dive into: Negro, Esmeralda, Cocalitos, and Azul. However, there are no beaches surrounding the lake (for those you’ll need to drive around an hour to Quintana Roo’s Caribbean coast. The lagoon was a magnet for unseemly sorts too, but today, the Pirate’s Canal, once an attack route, is now popular with those who want to wallow in its mineral-rich mud, or to spy its shipwreck. Staff can arrange sound healing, meditation and ice baths; send you on culture-led treks (inland there are the Mayan ruins of Ichkabal and Chacchoben, and 18th-century Fort San Felipe); Bird Island is a nature reserve with colorful feathered residents; and Bacalar town is a Pueblo Mágico with 18th-century churches and vibrant murals. 

Local restaurants

In lieu of saying grace at Macario in Bacalar, why not leave the gods a small offering at this hip eatery’s Mayan altar. It may not be a wholly authentic monument, but you’ll still be thankful for lobster risotto, cured-cactus tostadas, tres leches cake and cocktails combining zingy local flavors. Also in Bacalar, Finisterre’s wood pergolas have lagoon views by day and are romantically lit at night – enjoy with generously topped pizzas, pastas and just-caught seafood. At Bote de Leche, tuck into barbecued meat and fish, and unique veggie dishes (the ‘burger’ is a favourite) under brightly hued papel picado banners. Barril Grill’s name gives a clue to its preferred cooking method (go for the handmade sausages and burgers); and Maíz Azul flies the flag for traditional Mexican fare (as well as being part of a collective dedicated to preserving types of heritage corn). 

Local bars

Swing into inaction at laidback Los Aluxes, where you can sip cervezas on swaying perches suspended over the lagoon waters. Lagoon-side Beach Club Blú has views worthy of its name and demands little of you beyond lounging, cocktail sipping and perhaps dipping off its deck for lazy swims.

Reviews

Photos Boca de Agua reviews

Anonymous review

Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have swung down from their eco-friendly treehouse by laguna de Bacalar having given their mental health a bit of a boost, a full account of their tropical time-out will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Boca de Agua in the Yucatán Peninsula…

Who needs 50 shades of such a dour color as gray? Bacalar’s lagoon has made itself a far more seductive prospect using just seven naturally neon-bright shades of blue and green. And it’s by this natural wonder, close to Quintana Roo’s Caribbean coast, that Boca de Agua has erected seriously stylish treehouses (set on four-meter stilts to give nature some breathing room) – which harness Japanese wabi-sabi aesthetics and Mexican Modernism to playful effect. Designer Frida Escobedo has crafted latticework walls and invited the outside in, so you can converse with cheeky spider monkeys, watch hummingbirds dance and get a mental-health kick from jungly immersion. And the resort is as eco-friendly as can be, so you can build a healthy respect for the land with privileged access to the lagoon to discover its pirate lore, cenotes and prehistoric rock formations; untouched greenery all around; and meals that derive from ancient Mayan tradition; before snoozing atop an Earth-kind mattress. It’s both sexy and sustainable, with no shades of gray. 

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Price per night from $333.23