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Sian Ka'an is a natural reserve located on the Riviera Maya. It is also a Unesco World Humanity Heritage site. Coming to Sian Ka'an is moving away from the many tourist spots of the Riviera Maya. It's also a moment to disconnect from the world for a day, indeed, no mobile network is available. Let us guide you!
The biosphere is located in the south of Tulum, 2h30min by car from Cancun and 1h30min from Playa del Carmen. The beginning of the reserve is right after the Tulum hotel zone. The first part of the route is really nice: you will find a hippie atmosphere with dozens of hotels and shops on the roadside around the Tulum hotel zone. You will definitely want to go back there to have a drink and enjoy the place. Then, you will follow a winding track, it is preferable to use a Jeep or an SUV. As you prefer, you can rent one of these vehicles to access to the biosphere or book a Sian Kaan tour. In any case, we strongly advise against trying the adventure with a compact car or a sedan, you might have a bad surprise.
Sian Ka'an has a special atmosphere, you can enjoy a feeling of freedom. The biosphere has breathtaking flora and fauna. You can observe crocodiles in the mangroves, turtles, manatees… But the flagship animal of the Sian Ka'an biosphere is the dolphin. It is largely present and you will easily observe it on a boat tour.
Sian Ka'an attracts more and more tourists every year, but Punta Allen, the only village of the biosphere, has preserved all it's charm and authenticity. The Maya community living there has a simple way of life, far from modern considerations. One draw in the heart of the village is the famous "iguana rock". When the sun is up, dozens of iguanas have a sunbath on a large heap of rocks, impressive to watch.
The typical excursion to Sian Ka'an is a full visit of the natural reserve by boat with a guide (English, French or Spanish speaker). You will begin the excursion visiting mangroves where you will be able to observe hundreds of bird species and luckily some crocodiles, which most of the time remain well hidden in the heart of the mangroves.
Then, the guides take you further south to observe dolphins, then the long-awaited moment for visitors: the tortoises. It is a sighting-only because Sian Ka'an is a natural reserve and diving is forbidden in this part of the reserve, the wildlife is very active.
After this exciting moment, you will head to the reef for snorkeling activity. You will have the chance to observe the seabed inhabited by fish of all colors. Finally, time will come to have a well-earned rest in the natural swimming pool of Punta Allen. A crystal clear water reaching your waist over a hundred meters, a very photogenic spot!
The funny thing about it is that all tour operators meet around 2:30PM in the only restaurant in Punta Allen to offer a buffet-style meal to their customers. The village turns into a real tourist center.
As you will have understood, you have several options to get to Sian Ka’an. To really enjoy the biosphere, a boat trip remains essential for optimal wildlife observation.
Have a good trip!Back to overview
We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.