Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Kaan 1
Reserva de la Biosfera Sian Kaan 1

Northern Mexico

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Central Mexico

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Southern Mexico

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Campeche

Chiapas

Querétaro

Northern Mexico

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Central Mexico

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Southern Mexico

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Natural asset registered in 1987 on the list of World Heritage Sites. The Historic Center of Querétaro is a cultural heritage site inscribed in 1996 on the UNESCO World Heritage List.. 

This reserve covers an area of 528,147 hectares and over 100 kilometers of the Great Maya Reef. Its name means "Where the Sky is Born".

Sian Ka'an encompasses various ecosystems: tropical rainforest, mangroves, marshes, petenes (large circular swamps), wetlands, savannah, interconnected cenotes by underground rivers, and 110 kilometers of the Mesoamerican Reef, considered the second-largest coral reef barrier in the world.

It is the third-largest protected area in the country. Biologists have found 850 vascular plant species, including 120 woody species, 375 bird species, 115 mammal species, 90 native bee species, 47 dragonfly species, 74 beetle species, 276 crustacean species, 310 mosquito species, 318 butterfly species, and 1,048 plant species.

As for the reef, 84 coral species have been identified, and it's easy to find sharks, tarpons, groupers, parrotfish, barracudas, groupers, and moray eels, among many other reef inhabitants. The wetlands are home to manatees and two endangered crocodile species.

The black chechen, chicozapote, chit palm, tzalam, and chaká are abundant in the rainforests. In the flooded areas, known as "petenes" – patches of jungle that grow on higher elevation islets of soil – logwood dominates. Tapirs, collared peccaries, and jaguars still live in these areas.

Hundreds of turtles arrive each year to nest on the coasts, and the manatee survives in the coastal waters. Between the barrier reef and the coast, a lagoon with shallow waters, gentle waves, and a sandy bottom covered with seagrass meadows is formed, where the pink conch lives and three different species of lobsters seek refuge.

Within the reserve, 27 Mayan settlements have been discovered. There are narrow channels running through the mangroves that were built hundreds of years ago by the Maya. 

The reserve covers the towns of Boca Paila and Punta Allen. This is the only sector of the reserve open to very limited tourism development, and there are private houses as well as small fishing lodges that make up a virgin Caribbean paradise. Punta Allen is considered one of the best fly fishing spots.

At the welcome center at the entrance of the reserve, there's an observation tower where you can enjoy a unique panoramic view of the jungle, mangroves, lakes, cenotes, kilometers of beaches, and the Caribbean Sea.

It's a dreamlike place where you can find deserted beaches lined with palm trees and spot dolphins, crocodiles, turtles, manta rays, and flamingos.

Explore its beautiful mangrove channels by kayak, which are home to hundreds of birds, and enjoy the incredible natural landscapes. Alternatively, you can dive, paddleboard, or snorkel in its crystal-clear waters. 

Activities:

  • Diving
  • Floating in the channels
  • Kayak
  • Bird Watching
  • Boat tour
  • Sport Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Snorkel
  • Stand Up Paddle

Location

Located approximately 162.9 km, about an hour and 20 minutes from Tulum.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

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