At Sian Ka’an you can kayak through narrow canals between mangroves, climb an ancient pyramid, float in a crystal clear cenote, or try your hand at salt water fly fishing—all within a lush protected environment on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula south of Tulum.
Undoubtedly, a visit to Sian Ka’an is one of the most memorable things you could do on your trip to Mexico.
Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, on the coast of the state of Quintana Roo, extends over 1.3 million acres. Recognized as a biosphere reserve in 1986 and a UNESCO Heritage of Humanity Site in 1987, Sian Ka’an is home to a variety of habitats including beaches, coral reef, low tropical forest, wetlands, savannas, dunes, cenotes and both freshwater and brackish lagoons. Over 300 species of birds and a multitude of other plants and animals inhabit the reserve.
The Maya first settled in this area in the fifth century A.D. and there are more than 20 archaeological sites within the biosphere reserve. The largest site at Sian Ka’an, Muyil, was a trading post in ancient times. A visit to Muyil is not complete without a visit to the lagoon from which it gets its name, which is located a short walk from the archaeological ruins. Climb up to the lookout point to enjoy the view of the lagoon and the Caribbean Sea beyond.
Savor the sunrise here and you’ll understand why the ancient Maya named this place Sian Ka’an, which in their language means, “where the sky is born.” Reserve a tent/cabin from the Cesiak organization and spend the night. This is truly one of the not-to-be-missed vacation experiences in Mexico for bird watchers and nature lovers of all stripes.