The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve (Reserva de la Biósfera),
a UNESCO World Heritage site just south of Tulum, in Quitana Roo,
Mexico, could be described as paradise. Recently (during week 261),
Scott and I got to spend several days there while staying at the
wonderful Xamach Dos, a collection of unique cabanas on the beach.
beaches, turquoise water, palm trees, jungle, mangroves, iguanas,
pelicans, ospreys, vultures, crocodiles, manatees, some fish, Maya
ruins, snorkeling and, last but not least, amazing sunrises out of the
Caribbean Sea… what more could you wish for during a spring vacation?
only explored a small area of the 5,280 km² bioreserve: the strip of
land with the open sea to the east and the mellower inlet to the west
that leads all the way down to Punta Allen. I suspect monkeys are only
to be found on the mainland part of the reserve or I just didn’t see
There are so many highlights from those few days, but the
two I’d like to point out specifically and recommend to others are:
staying at Xamach Dos and taking a boat ride on the inlet and then
floating down the Maya trade canal (wearing a life vest like underwear
in combination with the current is the best mode of transportation
which is owned by Coloradan expat Dan and his daughter Michelle and
managed by Canadian expat Jo-Lise was the perfect place from where to
start all our excursions and return to for outstanding meals (thank you,
Fernando!) and socializing with the staff, Jo-Lise’s daughter (future
singing sensation) and other guests into the night. The individual and
hand-built cabins with their bathrooms made out of rocks and seashells
must be experienced; some on the beach, some in the jungle, one is in a
tree, one is basically just a big bed with screened walls and a roof,
giving you the experience of sleeping outside.
Have I mentioned
the sunrises you can see from there? Wow! The sunrise time-lapse shown
in the video, I shot on April 25th, my friend Tobias’ birthday, to whom I
sent lots of well-wishes with the sun all the way to Portland.
The boat tour we took with Diamante Maya.
Booking a boat with the very kind captain for just the two of us was a
bit pricier than we had hoped – but turned out to be totally worth it.
And if you book the canal tour for just two people, they add in some
additional time and a trip to the Maya ruin peaking out of the water.
the future, I may release a longer and more inclusive version of this
video; I may also put a video together just of floating down the Maya
canal. But for now, if you want to see more and can’t get away for a
trip to the Yucatan Peninsula, you can check out these other videos from
The song in this video is called “12 Mornings” and was written and performed by Jason Shaw, who made this song available via the CC BY 3.0 license. Thank you, Jason, for all your great and free songs!
|The old Boca Paila bridge
Sian Ka’an Biosphere – Mexico