The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is one of Mexico’s most impressive natural wonder, a place with an immense diversity of flora and fauna, where different species of animals and birds share peacefully the same paradise.
Thick Yucatan jungle, freshwater marshes extended through lagoons, 1000 years old man made canals and spectacular Mayan ruins all can be discovered in a day trip to Muyil, a small village located in Riviera Maya.
How to get there?
The best way to explore the wildlife, swim in the crystal clear waters or just float alongside the canals is by hiring a tour, able to provide you useful information about the reserve and the mayan ruins located nearby. Tour groups to Sian Ka’an are limited and often require to be booked a few days in advance to secure a spot.
Choose the right tour
For my trip to Muyil I chose a travel agency based in Tulum, the same one responsible with all the beautiful experiences that I had while I was visiting Mexico and I highly recommend it to you.
This eco friendly agency is specialized in private/group tours and focused on sustainable, recreational and educational tourism keeping in mind the importance that environment holds in our life.
For more informations and prices you can contact them on instagram at Ecoculturexperiences or through their website www.ecoculture.com.mx/
Mayan ruins of Muyil
I started my day in Muyil with the ancient ruins, believed to be one of the earliest and longest inhabited Mayan site and an important trade route of the Caribbean due to the easy access through man made canals. Among the most commonly traded goods were Jade, obsidian, chocolate, honey, feathers, chewing gum, and salt.
Yes you got that right! Apparently Maya population was the first one to discover the chewing gum, harvested from the white colored resin of sapodilla, a native Mezoamerican tree. They believed that chewing gum will keep their breath fresh and helped them to combat the hunger and the thirst.
We leave behind the beautiful pyramids, charged with positive energy and ready to explore the other treasures that this small town has to offer, including the lookout tower, the highest spot from where you can admire the lagoon meeting up with the jungle. Sian Ka’an name was given by the ancient maya meaning “the place where the sky was born” but also “a gift from the heaven to earth”.
After 15 minutes sail throughout the lagoon we stop in the most spectacular location of Sian Ka’an reserve, the floating canals, where gentle currents “push” us along the river, surrounded by surreal landscape of mangroves and savannas.
We were provided life jackets which should be wear like a diaper and even if it looks silly or impossible to sit on it its actually the best way to experience the 40 minutes of tranquility.
More than 300 species of birds, crocodiles, jaguars and endangered mammals
My moment of relaxation was interrupted often by the movements of the wind whistling around the savanna and the scary stories shared by the other tourists regarding crocodiles and other predators living in the area, keeping me alert until the trip was over. Luckily none of my “friends” were around that day and even if attacks on the humans were never reported I prefer to avoid swimming in the same waters with the crocodiles.
At the end of the river, our shoes were waiting on the dock ready to take us on a long, pleasant walk to the other side of the savanna, the meeting point with our Captain.
Sailing through 1000 years old mayan canals we head back to Muyil, greatful for another day spent in Paradise.