Sian Ka'an

Sian Ka'an: Our most recommended tours and activities

Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

1. Riviera Maya: Sian Kaan Boat Trip Adventure

Punta Allen is a picturesque and perfect place to park yourself on a boat tour. Here explore the local lagoons and come face to face with the incredible wildlife of this region. You'll have the chance to see beautiful birds and maybe even the opportunity to see wild dolphins and sea turtles that live in these waters. On the tour, also stop at the 2nd largest coral reef in the world, where you can jump out of the boat and enjoy a pleasant snorkel adventure (subject to sea conditions). You'll be amazed at the colors of this very healthy coral reef and the varieties of fish are absolutely stunning. The reef system is home to more than 65 species of stony coral, 350 species of mollusk, and more than 500 species of fish. Then, head to the beach, where the picture-perfect sandbar awaits. Here enjoy a delicious Caribbean lunch of fresh fish and fruit before heading back out to explore a bit more. The biodiversity of the Yucatan Peninsula is essential and the aim is to share this passion with you and teach you how you can all work to keep this great natural land safe for future generations. It became a World Heritage Site in 1987 and you'll understand why.

From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

2. From Tulum: Mayan ruins & Sian Kaan Nature Reserve Tour

Explore the ancient Mayan ruins of Muyil and the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve on a half-day tour from Tulum. You will encounter a variety of birds, plants, and animals before wandering through the ruins to discover the incredible history of this ancient civilization. After being picked up from Tulum you will be transferred to the Sian Kaan Nature Reserve. Walk through this inspiring eco-preserve to the highest point in the reserve and gaze out at an unblemished jungle filled with hundreds of species of birds, plants, and animal life. Enjoy a small hike before a boat ride through the trading canals of the ancient Maya civilization and visit the Maya temple of Xlapak. You will see the detailed facades of these old ruins, located at the bottom of the river valley. Next, float back down through the canals between mangroves and gently make your way back out into the crystal-clear waters around the peninsula. Onboard, enjoy an assortment of Mexican snacks and lunch as the sun sets over this beautiful landscape. Experience the very best of this region. The food, the culture, the nature, and a bit of relaxation make this a perfect day trip from your home base in Playa del Carmen.

From Riviera Maya: Sian Ka'an Discovery Tour with Lunch

3. From Riviera Maya: Sian Ka'an Discovery Tour with Lunch

Get picked up from your accommodation in Riviera Maya or Tulum and head to Sian Ka’an, a rich and diverse nature reserve south of Tulum. Board a small boat to visit Boca Paila lagoon and spot the local wildlife. Head out a short distance on open water to snorkel, if weather permits, on the Mesoamerican Barrier reef and be delighted by the healthy corals and abundance of fish. If the weather does not permit you to snorkel, visit an open cenote instead. See tropical saltwater canals, mangrove islands, and flooded sinkholes.  Return to the beach where your homemade lunch awaits you. Relax amongst the coconut groves or go for a swim in the sea before going back on the road. Get dropped off at your accommodation and reflect on the unique landscapes you just encountered.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Full-Day Discovery Tour

4. Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Full-Day Discovery Tour

Enjoy the beauty of nature as you explore the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve on this 10-hour excursion. Start with a ride on a small boat in the Campechen Lagoon. See mangroves, endemic birds and other area wildlife. After arriving in Punta Allen, enjoy a refreshment break and then board the boat again and head to the heart of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Be on the lookout for dolphins, turtles, starfish, cormorants, herons, pelicans and osprey in their natural habitat. Get ready for an amazing snorkeling experience that ends near the crystal-clear waters of La Piscina. Head back to Punta Allen for lunch and prepare for the return boat trip.

Sian Ka'an and Muyil Ruins with Transfer

5. Sian Ka'an and Muyil Ruins with Transfer

Join this Sian Kaan tour from Playa del Carmen or Cancun to discover a beautiful nature reserve near Tulum. Enjoy a Muyil Mayan Ruins tour and a Sian Ka'an Lagoon boat ride surrounded by tranquil natural surroundings. Start your day with a Muyil Mayan Ruins tour and discover the ancient civilization that once lived here. This site is dedicated to the goddess Ixchel, a symbol of fertility. Find the flowers along the paths and set on the pyramids as offerings to Ixchel. Your jungle walk brings you to the shore of a Sian Ka'an Lagoon for a serene boat ride across the crystalline waters. Your guide will point out the magnificent birds and wildlife of Sian Ka'an. Float in the canals that the Mayans used in ancient times and watch the clouds float by in this calm setting. Enjoy a small group experience together with your guide and enjoy snacks and lunch to refuel after a full day of natural adventures.

Tulum: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Eco Park Extreme

6. Tulum: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Eco Park Extreme

This thrilling full-day eco adventure of Sian Ka'an begins with a visit to the Muyil ruins, an exceptionally well-preserved site, with structures that date back to the post-classic period of 1200 to 1500 AC. Get privileged views on a zip line over the small lagoon. Then, take a boat ride through the Muyil and Chunyaxché Lagoons. Riding along the crystalline turquoise waters, you will reach the Xtlapak ruins, where you will hop into an ancient canal built by the Mayans over 1,000 years ago. While the gentle current pushes you along for approximately 45 minutes, listen to bird song and the whisper of the wind above. Float down the Mayan canal to Xtlapak, a checkpoint or customs stop where travellers wishing to pass had to pay a tax. Cruise back to the ecological park to hike through the lush jungle. Once you arrive at the cenote (ancient sinkholes), you can enjoy a thrilling zipline ride and a relaxing snorkel in the clear waters of the cenote. Equipment will be provided. Then, it’s time to enjoy a variety of authentic local dishes, such as chicken pokchu, pork, hand-made tortillas, salads, rice and beans. Meals include a drink, coffee, and dessert. With your appetites satisfied, walk through an authentic Mayan village, where the park's inhabitants live and work, and even have their own administration and commissioner.

Riviera Maya or Cancun: Sian Ka'an Jeep Expedition

7. Riviera Maya or Cancun: Sian Ka'an Jeep Expedition

See the wilderness of Sian Ka’an from the driver’s seat of a Jeep. The wilderness roads will take you around the coast of the Caribbean Sea. The park is one of the largest eco reserves in the world at the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an, protected by UNESCO. The tour starts at Boca Paila. Explore the estuary and take in its lovely views, then enjoy refreshments before starting out once more. Upon arrival in Punta Allen, you'll enjoy snacks and beverages and begin the boat ride into the Caribbean Sea. A swim in a tranquil, warm, natural spring pool will be your reward for the hike it took to get you out to the water! Later, arrive on Bird Island—a place to see cormorants, herons, pelicans, roseate spoonbills and osprey, to name just a few. Birders, get ready to check many species off your lists! If this isn’t enough, this tour includes snorkeling along the Mesoamerican Reef. More beautiful eco-system and marine life await underneath the clear, turquoise waters. You'll encounter starfish, sea turtles, dolphins and more! To finish, a buffet is provided, with views overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Drive back along wooded, coastal roads and return to Tulum and your hotel.

Tulum: Sian Ka'an Lagoons and Cenote Escondido Tour

8. Tulum: Sian Ka'an Lagoons and Cenote Escondido Tour

After meeting at the dive store, you will depart to explore the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, which has some amazing lagoons and canals just waiting for you to explore. The beautiful lagoons are connected between various canals, which you will also be free to explore. You can follow a Mayan commerce route from an ancient Mayan city (Muyil Ruins) to a jungle path, and then ride a boat to the lagoons and canals. Later, jump in to the turquoise water and float on your life jacket along the current of a canal. On the way back you will stop in Cenote Escondido for a snack, and can also enjoy some snorkeling and swimming in the nearby pristine waters.

Tulum: Sian Ka'an Bisophere Reserve Full-Day Tour

9. Tulum: Sian Ka'an Bisophere Reserve Full-Day Tour

Explore the unique Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve of the Riviera Maya, and learn more about the Mayan history as you immerse yourself in an underwater world, snorkeling in the sacred waters of a cenote. Following a pick-up from your hotel, head to the reserve to hike through the jungle. Located on the Caribbean coast of Mexico, near the Mayan ruins of Tulum, Sian Ka’an is an ecotourism and education center that provides a good example of sustainable development in sensitive tropical ecosystems. Discover the impressive Mayan temple of Muyil. Cross the lagoon by boat while your certified guide explains more about the reserve's ecosystem and wildlife. You will even have time to swim and float through the channels of the freshwater stream. Discover the different sorts of mangroves and other flora and fauna of the region. A 3-course lunch of typical Mexican food will be served at Restaurant Don Cafeto in Tulúm. Then, it’s time to snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the "El Sueño" cenote, and experience part of the underwater system of rivers that was sacred to the Mayans. Transfer back to your hotel at 16:00, with an estimated drop off at about 18:30.

From Tulum: Sian Ka'an & Muyil Birdwatching & Guided Walk

10. From Tulum: Sian Ka'an & Muyil Birdwatching & Guided Walk

Just 20 minutes south of Tulum, discover a delightful place to birdwatch a variety of fascinating birds. With your local guide, learn about the incredible bird diversity, current Maya culture, and the ancient Maya civilization. As you walk through the village and archaeological site of Muyil look for birds and stop to take inspiring photos. On this tour, it is possible to identify from 40 to 80 species of birds, depending on the time of the year. Along with your specialized tour guide you will explore different habitats in the village with different types of vegetation. From mature semi-deciduous jungle in the archaeological site of Muyil to freshwater wetlands. Walk through the flooded jungle using a boardwalk until you reach a beautiful freshwater lagoon. Read through the itinerary of the tour here: 6:30 AM: the beginning of the excursion from Tulum 7:00 AM: birdwatch in the Mayan community 9:00 AM breakfast with a fruit cocktail, coffee or tea 9:30 AM: bird watching in the Muyil archaeological site 11:00 AM: use a boardwalk to get across the flooded jungle and onto a lagoon 12:00 PM: end of the excursion

Other Sightseeing Options in Sian Ka'an

Want to discover all there is to do in Sian Ka'an? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Sian Ka'an

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 316 reviews

The tour was great: our visit was a good mix between nature and culture. Our guide Luigi was really knowledgable on Mayan culture, trees, and the whole Yucatan region. He was friendly and very helpful. We had a veggie burger and a slice of carrot cake for lunch, as well as plenty of homemade cookies as snacks. The highlight was clearly the crossing of lagoons and floating through the mangrove: so peaceful and relaxing!

It was a very beautiful day and a good mix between nature and visit. We were lucky enough to see monkeys. Our guide Felipe was really great and shared his knowledge of plants, animals, Mayan culture, etc. with pleasure. The lunch was very good and fun and the floating part in the mangrove was so nice and relaxing! We highly recommend this outing which allows you to get off the beaten track.

Lea was an absolutely fantastic guide. She was very knowledgeable in the history, culture of the Mayan civilization and natural preservation of the ecosystem and environment. Swimming in the mangroves was amazing. Highly recommend this tour!

Our tour guide ceesal was so passionate and knowledgeable. He made the whole experience great even though it was raining for most of it. Lunch was lovely and the floating down the rivet was such a unique experience. I highly recommend.

We had the best time. The ruins were interesting and floating and boating in the lagoon was a wonderful experience.