Visit one of the most unique places on the Yucatan Peninsula: the Biosphere Reserve Sian Ka’an, just south of Tulum. Spend an unforgettable time discovering hidden beaches, coral reefs, tropical forests, cenotes and exotic animals!
Sian Ka’an is Maya for “Origin of the Sky” or “The place where the sky is born”, which seems very appropriate once you get there and feel how truly magical the place is. There are many reasons why Sian Ka’an is definitely worth a visit. To begin with, it’s the region’s number one in sustainable tourism and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Covering 10% of the state of Quintana Roo and with about 120 km of coast line, Sian Ka’an is one of Mexico’s largest protected Biosphere Reserves.
Sian Ka’an has an exceptionally diverse ecosystem, ranging from cenotes (natural sinking holes), palm savannas, tropical forests, mangrove swamps, to lagoons, white sandy beaches and dunes. A special phenomenon are the “petenes”, small forested islands that emerge from the flooded marshes. Besides from this area, they are only found in Florida and Cuba. But the beauty of Sian Ka’an’s landscape not only lies in its diversity, but in the fact that the landscape remained relatively undisturbed and the well protected coastline. Its marine area protects a large part of the coral reef, with its rich marine life like sea turtles and manatees.
The diverse landscape is home to an exceptional variety of species, among them animals that are rarely found elsewhere. You’ll get to see tapirs, howler and spider monkeys, crocodiles, jaguars, pumas and pink flamingos to only name a few. Over 300 species of birds fly the sky over Sian Ka’an.
If these aren’t enough reasons to visit Sian Ka’an, it also includes 23 archaeological sites, the most famous being Muyil (also known as Cunyaxché). Muyil was one of the earliest Mayan settlements on the Caribbean Coast, being populated around 330 B.C. It’s situated close to the Muyil lagoon and visitors today can still travel through the lagoons and the ancient canal system that access the Caribbean Sea.
Want to add Sian Ka’an to your Playa del Carmen bucket list? There are several ways to get there. You can rent a car (make sure it’s a 4×4), take the 4 USD entry and explore the site on your own. If you want to be on the safe side, and make sure you’re going to see what you want to see, take a tour. There are several tour options tailored to your interests. These include general, day-long tours as well as tours dedicated to more specific interests, such as kayaking, bird watching or diving. Our staff at Playa Palms Beach Hotel is happy to help you with any arrangements!