Journey from the Cabanas Tulum Hotel into the Wild Beauty of Sian Ka’an
South of the Cabanas Tulum Hotel lies one of Mexico’s greatest natural treasures. Along the southeastern edge of the Yucatan peninsula, where the Riviera Maya empties into the sea, is an explosion natural beauty.
The Mayans honored the area’s beauty by naming it Sian Ka’an, which means “Origin of the Sky.” In 1986 the Mexican government set aside over 5,000 square kilometers of the coastline and surrounding wetland were as a biosphere reserve. The following year, UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site. Since then many people have come to experience the untamed beach and lush wilderness.
The journey into the reserve from Tulum, Mexico, can be something of an adventure. The parkland is mostly in its natural state, without “grooming”; the road into the park is similar. Along the three-hour trip, you will see some impressive potholes. However, Sian Ka’an itself is well worth the journey.
Sian Ka’an teems with a fascinating variety of wildlife. This includes hundreds of species of birds and fish, crocodiles, dolphins, manatees, jaguars, rays, sea turtles, and tapirs. The land itself holds stunning sights as well. Sian Ka’an has an abundance of cenotes, the stunning cave-lakes that dot the Riviera Maya. Many tree-covered islands, called “petenes,” rise out of the marshes. Then there is the ragged, fossil-strewn coastline. Sian Ka’an also contains 23 different Mayan ruins. You will pass by Muyil, perhaps the largest of these, on your way to the reserve from your hotel in Tulum.
If you’re looking for a base of operations for a longer stay in Sian Ka’an, consider Punta Allen on the tip of the Boca Pailapeninsula. A tiny fishing village with only a few hundred inhabitants, it is nonetheless the largest village in the whole area of Sian Ka’an.
Because this beautiful region is so large, and trips here have become so popular, a good guide is important. To make the most of this amazing park, ask your hosts at Cabanas Tulum Hotel for information on the best tours and sites to visit.