The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage Site just south of Tulum. And makes for a wonderful day trip from Cancun, as travel time is approximately 90 minutes.
The reserve encompasses 1.3 million acres, which includes tropical forests, mangroves, savanna grasslands and coral reef, and is home to many conservation projects. Hundreds of bird species claim the territory – making it perfect for bird watching enthusiasts – and there are many types of mammals, including jaguars and pumas.
But the reserve is best known as a home to 23 archaeological sites and some of the most pristine and untouched beaches of the Riviera Maya. Most families visit Sian Ka’an on a guided tour, that typically features a kayak adventure or a two-hour boat ride across an expanse of water to reach canals that were once an important part of the ancient Mayans’ trade routes.
Be sure to pack sunscreen, and keep an eye out for dolphins and sea turtles during your tour.