The 1.3 million-acre Sian Ka´an Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, follows the shoreline of the Caribbean and leads into the depths of the Yucatan jungle. Home to 23 known archaeological sites, some dating back 2300 years, 103 mammals and 336 bird species, as well as an important nesting site for both wading birds and turtles, Sian Ka´an is a unique and fascinating window into Riviera Maya´s rich ecological and archaeological history.
A wooden walkway leads through the thick jungle, grassy savannahs, hammocks, wetlands, and dunes before ending in a secluded beach along the Caribbean Sea. Markers identify the many plants including bromeliads, orchids, sea grapes and rare hardwood trees like chicozapote, mahogany, zapote and the eerily named poisonwood tree that line the boardwalk. While exploring look carefully for wildlife such as pelicans, ibis, osprey herons and cormorants as well as turtles and a variety of fish. Take the Sunset Birdwatching Tour aboard a 23 foot, open airboat that traverses the lagoons of Caapechen, Boca Paila and San Miguel and stops at Bird Island. Watch the sunset over the mangroves and lagoon. Enjoy dinner at the biosphere´s restaurant where fish quesadillas and arrachera are on the menu.