Stunning cabanas on lake Bacalar.
Superb views, close to town, restaurant on site, kayaking, pool, free wifi and friendly staff. If you're after romance or a getaway from the rest of the world then this is the place to be.
My husband and I arrived in the afternoon after a 5 hour drive from Cancun (granted we stopped for lunch and two rest stops). The highway to Bacalar was excellent, and the entrance is well-marked from the highway. Granted the road into the cabins is not paved, but that is what makes it a get-away from it all. Upon arrival there was only two more guests enjoying the small natural water pool in front of the restaurant. There was nobody in the reception desk, but eventually we found Elisa, the cook who showed us our choice of cabins. We rolled and carried our luggage into them ourselves. Don't expect a grand reception. We were thirsty and had to go and stick our heads in the kitchen to request something to drink. Nevertheless, once we put on our swim suits, we walked straight out to the Palapa over the water and dove right into the lagoon. The water was refreshing, but not cold, and despite a good breeze blowing on the water, it still wasn't too choppy. Kuuch Kaanil is an eco-resort, so even though you have electricity and hot water, everything is very low key. The cabins are super rustic, surrounded by palm trees and foliage. Birds sings and insects hum constantly. Even with plenty of insect repellent, we had our good share of mosquito and horsefly bites. The bed is pretty standard, a little on the hard side, and the mosquito netting helps. The bathroom is outdoors, and the toilets are "dry" meaning one just puts some wood chips in the toilet (which is a deep hole) after using it. It works surprisingly well! I for one love to shower in the outdoors, looking up at the trees and the sky. As far as activities go, if you really want to relax, you could go and spend all day on the hammock on the Palapa over the water and dip into the lagoon any time you want to refresh. Otherwise, you can go into the town of Bacalar, take a boat ride on the lagoon and explore the canals, the "Canal del Pirata" to a second lagoon, or simply jump off the boat and swim in the canals or the cenotes that are right in the lagoon. You can also explore the lagoon with the kayaks that are available, but be ready to paddle as there is a constant breeze on the lagoon. The scenery is beautiful. Food was adequate. The kitchen tries to please with specific orders, I wouldn't say it was out of this world, but I found it tasty and satisfying. I would definitely recommend this if you like out-of-the-way spots.
We didn't quite know what to expect as we turned off the main highway and drove the narrow, pot holed dirt road toward the lake. We were pleasantly surprised when we saw the very pretty wooden bungalows, lovely landscaping and brilliant views over Lake Bacalar. The bungalows are simple, with comfy beds (with mosquito netting) and extremely clean. The attached outdoor bathrooms add a nice exotic touch and despite being open to nature are very private. My favourite part of resort was the huge palapa built on stilts at the water's edge that serves as a bar/common area. There's a hammock and several tables/ chairs -great for snoozing, reading or watching the sunset. (I'd probably add another table and/or hammock because at times they were all occupied).
It was great to see that the resort makes a real effort to be environmentally friendly with composting toilets, grey water filtration and solar power.
The swimming was absolutely wonderful with really easy access from the dock. It was like one giant, warm swimming pool. The resort also has plenty of single and double kayaks that guests can take whenever they wish. Exploring the coast by kayak is a very pleasant activity. The 2 hour boat tour offered by the resort is a worthwhile excursion and gives you the chance to see the expanse of the lake, and stop at a couple of great swimming spots.
Oscar, the owner is very friendly and helpful. The other staff are also friendly but have very limited english which I wouldn't expect as they all come from the local village. For non Spanish speakers things could get a little amusing/difficult at meal time as there was no printed menu and there were often several choices that were verbally relayed. It might be helpful to have a chalk board with menu items for the meals. Meal quality was generally good. We were disappointed at times that they seemed to run out of vital items at the bar -limes, pina colada mix -not a big problem, but a bit surprising over the holiday season.
If you want peace and quiet, it's a great spot and has one of the prettiest locations on the lake. It's only 8 km from the town of Bacalar, so easy to head out for the day, but we were too lazy to drive the dirt road for dinners. Bacalar in general is a perfect spot to base yourself to visit some wonderful Mayan ruins (we loved Kohunlich and Dzibanche) and a pleasant add-on to a coastal vacation in southern Quintanna Roo.
By the way, children under 16 are only allowed over holiday periods.