The Riviera Maya extends along the eastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula from Puerto Morelos to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Once home to small fishing villages, the Riviera Maya coastline has since been developed into a modern tourist corridor offering the very best of high-end luxury resorts, fine dining, nightlife, spa retreats, shopping and golf. An ideal sun destination, the Riviera Maya is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Mexico with expansive stretches of powdery white sand caressed by the clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea.
In addition to all of these things to do in Mexico this region offers a unique, exciting experience: an encounter with manatees! Manatees are large, fully aquatic, mostly herbivorous marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. The West Indian manatee that lives in this region measures up to 4 meters, weighs as much as 600 kilograms and has paddle-like flippers.
Manatees are herbivores and eat over 60 different freshwater (e.g. floating hyacinth, pickerel weed, alligator weed, water lettuce, hydrilla, water celery, musk grass, mangrove leaves) and saltwater plants (e.g. sea grasses, shoal grass, manatee grass, turtle grass, widgeon grass, sea clover, and marine algae). Using their divided upper lip, an adult manatee will commonly eat up to 10-15% of their body weight (about 50 kilograms) per day. Consuming so much food requires the manatee to graze for up to seven hours a day.
Given their gentle nature this is an ideal activity for the entire family. To swim with manatees is definitely an unforgettable experience!