Sian Ka'an, Costa Maya

In the Caribbean coast of Mexico, in the state of Quintana Roo, an 1.3 million acre protected area is known as the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka'an. Sian Ka'an extends along 120 km of coastline, from the middle part of the state south from Tulum, towa

As part of the UNESCO´s Man and Biosphere program, Sian Ka'an was established in 1986 as a world´s heritage site. Within the Biosphere Reserve, 23 archaeological sites have been identified. According to studies, the eldest of them are 2300 years old. The purpose of the designation of this reserve is to protect the rich biodiversity as well as the Mayan cultures that have been living here for centuries. In addition, south of Sian Ka'an, an area known as Uaymil with 200 thousand acres was declared also protected zone, enhancing, thus, the surface covered by Sian Ka'an.

Sian Ka'an is a great place to admire and to enjoy nature. It represents the largest marine natural protected area in the country. More than 103 mammal species have been classified together with 336 different birth species.

There are three core zones with human presence and activity in Sian Ka'an. These zones are Muyil, Uaymil, and Cayo Culebras. A population of around 2000 people is established in the coastal regions.

Four Maya cooperatives have made an alliance to serve tourism. Thus, a visit to Sian Ka'an will count with Mayan guides through undisturbed vegetation and nature, and away of crowds and urbanization. Tours can include, for example, the Muyil forest together with swimming in a lagoon and visiting Mayan ruins; or an ecological tour to Punta Alllen is also recommended since snorkeling at the reef and watching wildlife could be what you want.

A light walking tour could take you to discover hundreds of bird species in Sian Ka'an or, perhaps, you may like a fishing day. Fly fishing is a great option at Ascension Bay; different fish species such as tarpon or bone fish can be caught during the journey.

An increasing number of tourists visit Sian Ka'an every year. There is small fee to go through any of the 5 entrances to the reserve, which are Chac Mool, Chunyaxch, Santa Teresa, Chump, and Pulticub; and in everyone, guards are present to enforce regulations.