Fuerte de San Felipe

The best view of the lagoon unfolds from Fuerte San Felipe. Here, tales of pirates spice up your experience.

This structure encapsulates over 300 years of history. Constructed between 1722 and 1733, Fuerte de San Felipe stands as a vestige of the area’s history involving Mayans, pirates, and Spaniards. Additionally, from the vantage point of the fort there are impressive panoramic views of the lagoon, making it a definite must-see in the Magical Town of Bacalar.

Fuerte de San Felipe: A Tale of Pirates, Mayans, and Spaniards

This beautiful corner of the Mexican Caribbean not only holds nature reserves but also preserves historical remnants of the colonial era. A prime example is Fuerte de San Felipe, erected in response to the relentless attacks and pillaging by English, French, and Dutch pirates who sailed the waters of Bacalar in search of logwood, used for dying fabric.

Interesting Facts about the Fort:

  • The fort was built as a defense against pirates arriving from Mahahual along the notorious Pirate Route.
  • Pirates primarily sought logwood, highly valued in New Spain and Europe for dying wool a range of colors.
  • In 1858, during the Guerra de Castas (Caste War of Yucatan), Mayan rebels seized control of the fort.
  • Italian architect Juan Podio designed the fort, using blocks of volcanic, marine, and limestone rock.
  • When it was functioning as a fort, it boasted 34 cannons; today, only 11 remain.
  • In 1965, one of its four bastions was adapted into a museum. The same year, it earned recognition as a National Historic Heritage site.
  • The museum exhibits Maya archeological pieces, weapons, ammunition, everyday tools, maps, and blueprints.
  • An interior mural by Elio Carmichael depicts the region’s most significant historical events.
  • Currently, guided tours, concerts, lectures, and cultural workshops on music, sculpture, and painting are organized for children and youth.




Fuerte de San Felipe Bacalar, Avenida 3, Centro, Bacalar, Quintana Roo, México

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