In addition to having countless white sand beaches, incredible archaeological temples, fabulous coral reefs and delicious cuisine, the Yucatan Peninsula has a large number of natural areas that you cannot miss.

Today in our blog we bring to you the 3 best natural wonders in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Sian Kaan Biosphere

The Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, whose name in Mayan means Heaven’s Gate, is a protected natural area with more than 528,147 hectares.

Sian Kaan virgin beach

With a humid climate, the reserve presents a very peculiar ecosystem formed by virgin beaches, coral reefs, mangroves and petenes. The petenes are large masses of trees over 30 meters high that grow in swampy areas and make this paradise something unique with unbeatable views.

A peculiar feature of the reserve is its flatness, with a surface consisting mostly of limestone that favors the creation of the famous cenotes (fresh water wells) and springs.

Sian Kaan canals and lagoons

In 1987, Sian Kaan Biosphere attracted the attention of UNESCO for its biological diversity and cultural wealth and it has been part of the World Heritage Site since then.

Among its wildlife, 4 endangered species inhabit Sian Kaan: the jaguar, tapir, manatee and peccary. In addition, it is home to more than 300 species of birds and approximately 100 mammals.

Family of manatees

Inside the reserve, you can enjoy activities and excursions such as snorkeling, a speedboat tour ride, fly fishing and etc. If you are looking for a unique experience in nature during your holidays, a visit to this paradise in the Mexican Caribbean is highly recommended.

Boat tour in Sian Kaan

Contoy Island

This small island known as “Bird Island” is next to the famous beautiful Isla Mujeres, approximately 30 kilometers away. It has an area of ​​8.75 km long by a width of about 500 meters on average, which extends beaches of crystalline waters.

Contoy island aerial view

It is considered one of the most important refuges for seabirds, thanks to the fact that it has a lagoon surrounded by mangroves that serves as a home for more than 152 species of birds, among which are frigates, cormorants, brown pelicans and sea swallows.

Frigatebirds in Contoy

Due to its location, it receives waters from the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico generating a wealth of nutrients that feed more than 234 marine species including the famous whale shark.

Since 1961, Contoy Island has been protected by the Mexican government and was declared a national park in 1998.

Few of the lucky ones can visit this paradise as the government controls the flow of visitors in order to keep ecosystems intact.

Whale shark underwater

Rio Lagartos

Also known as ” Ría Lagartos Reserve Natural Park “, Rio Lagartos is a protected natural area located in the northern part of the Yucatan peninsula.

Rio Lagartos aerial view

Its extension covers a total area of 56,999 hectares that serve as a home for countless birds, reptiles and fish.

It receives salty waters from the Gulf of Mexico and fresh waters from the springs of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Rio Lagartos lagoons aerial view

It is one of the natural wonders with the most historical documentation, since a large number of 16th-century European conquerors and explorers passed through here.

In 1986, Rio Lagartos obtained the Ramsar certification, being considered as a wetland of international importance.

Pink flamingos in Rio Lagartos

One of its maximum attractions is being the home of the Pink Flamingo of the Caribbean, which to this day reaches its fullness in the reproductive cycle due to the optimal conditions of the reserve. It is also home to crocodiles, different species of migratory birds, sea turtles, armadillos, raccoons, spider monkeys, ocelots, white-tailed deer, panthers and jaguars,

Within the reserve, we find 4 settlements/towns (El Cuyo, San Felipe, Ría Lagartos and Las Coloradas) of which its inhabitants make riverside fishing and salt mines their main economic income.

Pink waters in the salt mines of Rio Lagartos

If you would like to visit one of these incredible 3 nature wonders with the help of an experienced nature professional, do not hesitate and contact us. We will be delighted to show you these incredible natural wonders on one of our adventures!

Destino Riviera


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