For East Coasters: Tulum Airport is ideal as it’s the closest, however they just started taking international flights so they have fewer flight options. Cancun has the most flights, some direct from Tampa or Orlando. However, it also is the longest drive to Bacalar (4 hours). For West Coasters: Either of the above work but if you can find flights to Chetumal, that would be closest to Bacalar.
Rent a car online if you want to have the freedom to explore. If you want to save some cash, you can share a shuttle or take the bus (below). Either way, we suggest getting in touch with other guests and carpooling. The drive is super straight forward on a major highway. We have done it many times, its easy to navigate (literally straight on one road 90% of the time), well maintained and safe. (Watch for the random speed bumps though)
In order of cost; 1. The ADO bus to Bacalar is around $35 USD and takes a little longer (5-7 hours) but they are nice, comfy and you can sleep. Check ADO.com.mx 2. You can plan ahead to arrive with other guests and get a shuttle with others to share and go directly there and save some cash and time. 3. You can grab a private taxi at the airport and pay $200-250 one way (you could rent a car for this much).
Being that Bacalar is a smaller and less known, less touristy location (for now), you can stay in a luxury hotel or AirBnB for $150-200 a night (and obviously way higher if you'd like). You can also save money and stay in a nice Eco-Hotel on the lagoon for around $65-100 a night. Or you can save all the cash and roll up in a hostel for $15-45 a night. We don't have specific recommendations of hotels, but suggest staying within the town area for convenience, especially if you don't have a car. Bacalar is known for it's welcoming-ness and safety, so there aren't really bad options for hotels, but always check those reviews. If you need further help, we have a concierge that can answer any questions, just message us.