Bacalar is situated near 18°40' North Latitude and 88°23' West Longitude, on the shores of the lagoon which bears the same name, to the south of the present-day State of Quintana Roo. Given its geographical location and its possibilities of communication with the see and the surrounding area, Bacalar is a place of strategic importance from the pre-Hispanic period until the end of the 19th century.
From the lagoon, going through the Chaac swamp in small boats with shallow hulls, one can enter the Rio Hondo and through this river, penetrate the forests of the southwest or come out at the sea in the current Bay of Chetumal. Sailing along the 42 kilometers over which the lagoon extends, one avoids crossing the thick low jungle of the region. In the rainy season, the flooded lowlands between the north side of the lagoon and the bay form canals which offer another access to the sea.