It has its
origins in pre-Columbian times. Between the years 415 to 435 AD, the Itzáes
from the south founded Siyan Ka'an Bakhalal today Bacalar, in the place
remained about 60 years, because in the year 495, the Itzaés leave the
Bakhalal was the most important point of the Uaymil cacicazgo (one of the 16
provinces in which the Yucatan peninsula was divided, before the arrival of
the Spaniards) that was dominated by the Chactemal cacicazgo, since it was
the exchange point of Diverse goods brought from Central America,
particularly from the region of Ulúa, in Honduras.
In spite of being an important commercial site, the political and
administrative instability of the casicazgos made the Spanish conquest easy.
In 1531 Francisco de Montejo (father or "the adelantado") assigned the
conquest of the area to Alonso Dávila, who arrived in Tulum and Bakhalal
founding a population that he called Villa Real, but had to abandon it by
the surprise attacks of the Mayas.
In 1543 Francisco de Montejo y León "El Mozo", son of "el adelantado", gave
him the task of subjecting Gaspar Pacheco and his son Melchor to the
population of the Bacalar area; Subjecting a good number of Indians.
In 1544 Melchor Pacheco founded the current population, giving it the name
of Salamanca de Bacalar, however populating the place was complicated
because it was very distant and the communications with Mérida Yucatán, then
provincial capital, were deficient.
With the intervention of the Spaniards in the 16th century, Bacalar became
one of the most important settlements on the eastern coast of the Yucatan
peninsula. With only 30 settlers, it was the middle point on the route to
the distant provinces of Guatemala and Honduras.
In the seventeenth century, Bacalar is again attacked but now by pirates who
came through channels to disembark to the lagoon.
Piracy arose due to the conflicts between England, France and Holland
against Spain for the possession of the colonies in America, this ambition
marked the life of Bacalar, since its development was frequently limited by
these disastrous incursions for the life and economy of the town .
In 1640 a Scottish pirate named Peter Wallace settled to the south of the
present state of Quintana Roo, was dedicated to the exploitation of the dye
stick; With that it gives rise to the first English settlement south of the
Hondo River and that was precisely the origin of what today is Belize.
In 1652 Bacalar was devastated by the Cuban Diego the Mulato, which caused
the almost total abandonment of the east coast. British, French and Dutch
pirate attacks continued until the eighteenth century, as they wanted to
control the traffic of the dye stick and on the other hand the Maya who were
not conquered and retreated to the jungle also attacked.
This situation made the decision to fortify the city, which is how the fort
of San Felipe de Bacalar is erected on the banks of the lagoon, it was
completed in 1729.
Once fortified, Bacalar prospered and exported mahogany, dye stick, sugar,
some fruits and goats and pigs.
By 1848 the population of Bacalar continued to grow in all areas, its
population was then about 5,000 people, however that year exploded in the
Yucatan peninsula called the Caste War; The Maya rebelled against the
Mexican government and one of its first objectives was Bacalar. The
population was attacked and devastated, the inhabitants who could survive
fled to the British colony of British Honduras.
Bacalar remains depopulated until it was reconquered by a Mexican military
column commanded by Rear Admiral Ortiz Monasterio in 1902.
Othón P. Blanco, commissioned by the Government of Mexico to secure the
border, peacefully managed to get close to the Maya and make them recognize
the government of the republic.
Since its repopulation, Bacalar has been growing both in population and
economically, it is even a development center for many other communities
located in its surroundings and neighborhoods.
Today is considered by the Ministry of Tourism as the Magical Town of Mexico,
denomination granted October 2, 2006.