From Mérida: Ria Celestun Biosphere Reserve Tour
- Pickup available
- Duration: 7.5 hours
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The experience was excellent in terms of the transportation and tour. Here is some information to make it even better. Call the company to get pick up confirmation time, I did not receive notification automatically. Be prepared to pay at least US $25 per person at the gate for entrance (2021) and it goes much quicker if you use pesos not card. Stop to buy water as soon as you get in the gate (yes, everything is more expensive than you may expect inside). The tour is extensive and covers a lot of ground in the heat, so be prepared. Our guide, Balam, was of Mayan heritage, and gave a uniquely Mayan perspective, including background facts on an iPad. He was more prepared compared to some of the other guides I overheard speaking in the same areas. I am grateful we got Balam as a guide. His explanations and detail on each area were far superior to others. You can leave at any time, and cold water is provided for the ride back to your start location, but not on the way to Chichen-Itza.
If I could give this ten stars, I would. Our guide, Alejandro, was excellent. I appreciate the cultural immersion this experience provides and the wonderful people we met; Marcos, Jose, and Lorenzo at the Bakery, Manuel and Ana at their house to learn Mayan life, balance with nature and bee keeping/honey tasting, Gloria at her house for an authentic lunch and great conversation, and Alonzo at the Guayabera Factory (you will know how the shirts are made and buy at a much better price than in the city). All of these people were kind, gracious, and genuinely interested in sharing their lives and culture. We are grateful for this incredible experience and the opportunity to learn more about life in this region of Mexico. The visit to Mayapan Archeological Site, in our opinion, was better than visiting Chichen-Itza. The site is well kept, well preserved, and less crowded, absolutely stunning.
This was an outstanding trip. Our driver and guide Wilbur was excellent. The time for the journey from Merida to Celestun was only about 1 hour and 20 minutes, although we were a little late getting going. The wildlife tour was truly sensational. We saw hundreds of flamingos, many other bird species (our guide pointed out we were especially lucky to see so many), and even two crocodiles. The tour goes through a narrow mangrove forest - quite stunning - insect repellant is important. There is a short hike also and a chance to swim in a spring fed pond. After the wildlife tour, we went to the beach where we had a perfectly reasonable lunch at a restaurant. The beach is very nice and we had plenty of time for a walk and a swim. Mainly due to the wildlife part, this is a great tour. It was pretty expensive compared to other tours we have done in Yucatan but definitely worth it.
Everything went like clockwork with the transportation. We waited a short amount of time to get a bilingual guided group. The tour was great and we learned a lot about Hacienda culture from Guil. This particular place has Cenotes that are connected (I was pleasantly surprised that it was more than a quick dip in the pool) and we traversed from the initial Cenote where we entered, through a cave passage, through a canal, into another Cenote which also had a very large, completely underground area with incredible stalactites and stalagmites. After spending some time in the underground area we returned to the second Cenote and went back to the start via a pathway. This was an incredible experience, much more than we initially expected. Our guide Guil was excellent, full of information about the Haciendas and Cenotes.
It was so beautiful to get to know local people from Tekit’s town and participate in their daily life. We learned so much from Tekit’s community. We recommend this tour so much!