Sian Ka’an is one of the most richly biodiverse habitats on the Yucatan Peninsula. Arguably the pinnacle of sustainable travel and ecotourism in the Riviera Maya, the reserve is a UNESCO World Heritage site and protected biosphere.
It covers over 1.6 million acres, spanning 90 miles from north to south and comprising almost one third of the Caribbean coast of Mexico. It has many ecosystems, with equal parts lowland tropical forests, wetlands and coastal and marine habitats. The reserve’s boundaries encompass 68 miles of the Mesoamerican Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world.
Being so close to Tulum and its Mayan ruins, you might be surprised to find that the reserve is not a well-known spot, and as such does not draw the masses as do other popular attractions along the coast.
Lagoons, bays, and coral reefs can be traversed by boats, down the long canals as you marvel at the species of mammals and fish. Many of these excursions are all about dolphins, as wild dolphin tours have become primary attractions to the biosphere. The reserve provides a habitat for a remarkably rich flora and a fauna comprising more than 300 species of birds, making it a perfect location for bird watching.
Whether exploring the marshes, flooded savannahs and mangrove forests, taking a jungle tour to learn some facts about jaguars or snorkeling in the vast waters around the coast, Sian Ka’an is possibly one of the greatest places to explore because of its remoteness and absurd abundance of wildlife.