Explore the pristine natural beauty and ecological wonders of the Sian Ka'an Reserve – a 1.5 million acre protected Unesco World Heritage site, the largest protected area in the state of Quintana Roo.
Travel by boat throughout various habitats of the Reserve and learn about ecosystems, tropical birds and plants, and Mayan culture and history. CESiaK's friendly, knowledgable, and experienced naturalist guides will lead you to discover:
- the freshwater inland trade route used by the Mayans over 1200 years ago
- abundant flora and fauna unique to the Sian Ka'an habitats and eco-systems
- an unexcavated Mayan ruin site
- the natural and Mayan history of the Reserve
The tour begins at the CESiaK ecological center with an introductory orientation and discussion of the objectives of the Reserve. From the rooftop of the center visitors will be able to gain a sense of the vast expanse of the Sian Ka'an Reserve, with stunning views of the ocean, reef and lagoons.
After boarding a 23', 6-seater "ponga" boat with captain/guide, traverse the lagoon and pass a small Mayan ruin and mangrove islands - nesting areas for many indigenous birds found within Sian Ka'an.
The tour continues south along the costal peninsula to the lagoon of Boca Paila to head inland through the narrow 11 km freshwater canal which runs through the expansive mangrove wetlands and savanna grasslands located in the interior of the Reserve. These habitats allow for viewing of red, white, and black mangroves, orchids, bromeliads, termite mounds, fish, and birds.
The canal ends at Lake Chunyaxche, formed by thousands of small cenotes (sink holes), where the tour will disembark to explore a Post-Classic Mayan Temple with a well-preserved inner sanctum.
After a snack and refreshments enjoy a relaxing float down the canal using a life jacket and the canal's current to witness the beauty of the reserve from a different perspective.
The tour then travels to the ocean outlet of the Lagoon, the "Boca", to view the wide sandy flats, rays, predatory birds, and many fish which congregate in this area to take advantage of the mix of freshwater and saltwater.
Upon returning to CESiaK, enjoy a delicious lunch prepared by the CESiaK restaurant and inspired by local cuisine. Then, take the opportunity to swim in the ocean and relax in the sun before returning to your hotel (or Sian Ka'an office) by shuttle.