Sian Kaʼan Biosphere Reserve in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo that became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The name “Sian Ka’an” means “gate of heaven”.
The reserve encompasses the mainland, a lagoon, a long peninsula, and the Caribbean Sea with some coral reefs. The reserve has an area of 5,280 square kilometers and includes 23 Mayan archaeological sites, remains of the Decauville railway (1905-1932), and a large selection of animals including crocodiles (check out the video below), monkeys, deer, turkeys, jaguars, flamingos, toucans, vultures, etc.
When we visited we chose to drive all the way down the peninsula to the light house past Punta Allen from Tulum. While this is only about 35 miles it took over three hours due to the extremely poor quality of the road and our bodies ached with all the bouncing we did over potholes. It was totally not worth the effort.
What I recommend instead is to simply drive only as far as the Boca Paila Bridge (about 45 minutes) and check out the crocodiles in the river delta. After that turn around and hire one of the guided boats near the park entrance (just outside the city of Tulum) to give you a 2-3 hour boat tour to see the wildlife. It will cost around $125, but you will see way more animals than on the long drive!!!!!
Just so you know, I am putting together a travel video about our second week in Mexico and Sian Ka’an will be featured in it. We are calling this episode Mayans & Cenotes because we traveled the entire Yucatan Peninsula checking out as many Mayan ruins and cenotes as we can. It will have lots of info plus be lots of fun as you watch Lily and I interact around Mexico!!!! The video will post on YouTube so you can Subscribe to my channel and hit the bell icon to be notified as soon as it airs.
In the mean time you can click the link to watch the first week in Mexico called Beaches & Islands, which features from Cancun to Playa del Carmen. Make sure you FOLLOW me on your preferred social media platform ( Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter) so you do not miss one bit of our travels through Lily’s country of Mexico.