Sian Ka’an | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Sian Ka’an Nature Reserve, Tulum, Quintana Roo, Mexico
WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Watch turtles nest. Open endless coconuts with a machete. Swing a lot in a hammock. Eat lots and lots of fresh and cheap fruits.
HOW TO GET THERE: Best way is to fly into Cancun and then either rent a car (for $18US) per day, and drive down to Tulum (about 2 hours) and then into the reserve. Another option is to take a bus to Tulum from Cancun, and then have a taxi drive you to El Ultimo Maya
WHERE WE STAYED: Sian Ka’an Nature reserve is a little known destination in Mexico. It literally merges with Tulum. Long desolate beaches join with those of the Tulum hotel area. There are few places to stay in Sian Ka’an–ranging from campgrounds (with or without facilities) to $500US per night rooms. By happenstance, we discovered “El Ultimo Maya” a campground with facilities (shower and toilet) and with a Labrador style canvas tent with a queen size bed. The showers have saloon like doors and are somewhat open-air. For tall people like myself, you can clearly see everyone around the campground as you shower. Kinda humerous. As we were usually the only people there, it wasn’t an issue, but I could see it being a tad uncomfortable if you go during Semana Santa (Mexican Holiday)… or if you’re a really tall gal.
For Tulum rates, it’s quite affordable: $600 ($45US) pesos per night in their canvas tent, or $500 pesos per night if you stay the week. Bringing your own tent or hammock and it’s only $150 pesos ($11US) per person per night.
There is a little restaurant who’s patron’s are ready to cut you a coconut, make you some ceviche, or bring you your coffee in front of the ocean. Incredible service. “Cho” (Jorge) or Takyo are some of the most attentive and polite people I have ever met.
Now, on to the juicy part…. this place has it’s own piece of pristine beach right in front of it. We spent many of our 9 nights on the sand, swinging in our hammocks watching the stars and looking for the massive turtles coming onto the beach to nest. The beach is kept clean by the campground– but alas, a few hundred meters down the beach you will find refuse that washes up on shore daily (reality of our oceans.) Still, this aside, the place is jaw-dropping and magical. We lolled away our afternoons kiteboarding in surf and enjoying our incredible private beach, watched for mating turtles….and throughout… fresh coconuts in hand.