Sian Ka’an Biosphere


Sian Ka'an biosphere, canal

Next time you’re in the vicinity of Tulum, organize a day trip to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.

The area is a massive reserve and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

The way to organize the trip is trough your hotel. There are a few companies organizing tours, they’re all pretty using the same lancias (boats) and will take you to the same spots.

We’ve done the tour three times, each time the length was different and we finally realized that the short version is actually enough to enjoy the best that there is to see.

It’s ok for you to tell the boat pilot what you want to do. The organization will try to book a full day, with lunch in a restaurant etc…


Sian Ka'an biosphere

Go for the short version, ask them to take you to:

  1. Flotar (literally float), you’re left in the water, floating with the aid of a life jacket and transported by the current for a few minutes in the pristine waters and surrounded by mangroves.
  2. See the Manatees (they are very rare, but worth the shot, the location were they appear is on the way to the beach).
  3. Take you to the beach behind the ponte (the bridge).

This will make up for a 4 hours boat trip with some stops to swim.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere small Temple

The biosphere is an amazing place, the boat will trough canals, you will see white ibis, herons , pelicans, fish eagles, crocodiles, all kind of fish.
The tour is a lot of fun for kids as well.
The beach they will take you to is one of the best I have seen in my life.

Some facts about Sian Ka’an:

  • Largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean (approximately 1.3 million acres)
  • Established January 20th 1986 as part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Program
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Unique for its geography and wetlands
  • 23 known archeological sites (with relics dating up to 2,300 years old)
  • 103 known mammal species
  • 336 known bird species
  • Nesting ground for many species of wading birds
  • Annual rainfall between 44 and 48 inches
  • Important nesting site for two endangered sea turtle species
  • Believed to be inhabited in the Pre-Classic and Classic Periods in the chieftanships of Cohuah and Uaymil
  • Currently home to over 2,000 inhabitants

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Ibis

Getting there:

The Biosphere is a few minutes by car from Tulum.

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