A day trip to the Biosphere Reserve Sian Ka’an – Mexico

The name Sian Ka’an literally means ‘Origin of the Sky’, according to the Mayan language. This Biosphere Reserve, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage List, is located on the east coast of the region Yucatan in Mexico, close to Tulum and more popular places. It’s a national park since 1986, where you cannot only find tropical forests, but also some Mayan Ruins and a nice area where you snorkel.


If you are in Mexico and would like to explore more of the nature the country has to offer and about the culture, you cannot miss the national park Sian Ka’an. During my time in Yucatan, I went to the national park by group. We stayed in Playacar, from where we were picked up by bus to go to the meeting place.

At the meeting place, the group was complete. We split the group into little groups, because each group would go in an own jeep. This was a very adventurous excursion! By jeeps, we went to Sian Ka’an, via Tulum and many inland roads which were very bumpy. From the jeep, we could explore the real culture of Mexico when we drove through the smaller towns in Yucatan.


After approximately one hour driving, we arrived at our destination. We stopped close to the bridge at Boco Paila, which is a very popular place in the park. After walking around here and making some pictures, we just drove a little further; where we stopped. From here, we went into little boats with which we sailed over the waters of the park.

The environment was amazingly beautiful and I enjoyed every second of it. We passed a place where you could find several types of birds, which was nice to see. At a point, we stopped on the water. This was a great place to snorkel a little bit. On the boat, there was snorkel equipment for everyone so you didn’t had to bring it for yourself.


Due to the fact that the weather wasn’t that great (the water was restless, so it was very hard to snorkel well and to see much) and it was my first time snorkelling, it wasn’t a great success. When I got used to it, it was beautiful, but I was also happy when I was back on board. I would definitely try to snorkel again when the water is a little more quiet. However, underwater world was beautiful and I wouldn’t want to miss it.


After snorkelling, we sailed a little further. On our way, we came across some dolphins. We stopped on the water for trying to make some pictures. It is so beautiful to see the dolphins from nearby! A little after, we also saw a giant tortoise! The turtles stay in the water and ones in a while they come out of the water for a second. The skippers of the boats knew exactly when the turtles came out of the water, so they told us and we could try to make a photo on the right time. Like you can see in the picture above, it kind off worked out well! However, it is very hard to make a photograph of these beautiful animals.

After having a look at the dolphins and turtles, we went to an area with beautifully blue water where we had some time swimming in the undeep water. We sailed back to the mainland, where we had lunch in a small Mexican town and after the lunch we drove back with the jeeps to the meeting point. It was a great day trip!

If you are a nature lover and love to explore many types of flora and fauna, you’re at the right place at Sian Ka’an! There are many tours organized to this Biosphere Reserve. However, if you rather visit the park individually, take into account that the park covers a large area of Yucatan. It’s best to start at a central point, like Punta Allen or Muyil.

Do you have any questions? Don’t hesitate asking them in the comment section below!

Author: Tamara

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a day trip to sian ka'an -Mexico

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