The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve is one of the natural lungs of America, an area rich in biodiversity. It is the refuge of the American big cats, the best indicator of healthy life in the jungle.

Of the four Biosphere reserves from the Yucatan Peninsula, Calakmul It is the most inaccessible to visit, this is pure high jungle. The Reservations of Ría Lagartos, Ría Celestún y Sian Ka'anas part of them are in an aquatic environment, they offer the possibility of boat tours.

To know the high forest of the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve We have the road of 60 kilometers that they built to reach the ancient Mayan city of Calakmul. Do not miss this detour on your trip.


How to visit the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve?

All the Biosphere reserves They are natural spaces where nature tries to coexist in the least aggressive way with the human being, the great predator of nature. Calakmul is the highest and most leafy forest in the Peninsula, an almost impenetrable place. Within all this greenness arises a gap through which to enjoy this nature, is the path that runs through the Reserve until the entrance of the archeological zone of Calakmul.

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the most lively jungle 1
The Biosphere Reserve covers the archaeological zone of Calakmul

Where do we locate the entrance to the Calakmul Reserve?

On highway 186 that connects Escárcega and Chetumal, at the height of the small town of Conhuás (in the 95 road kilometer), there is the entrance that leads to the archeological zone of Calakmul. This narrow 60-kilometer paved road runs through the Reserve to the ruins of Calakmul. Along this hallway in full Biosphere Reserve, there is a museum and a couple of interpretive trails that you can walk on your own. They are not long-haul, but they allow you to taste the joy of walking through the jungle.


Fauna Calakmul Biosphere Reserve

This way I recommend you do it as early as possible to be able to see as many animals. the entrance opens to the 6 in the morning. They have seen crossing cougars and jaguars on the road, go lucky!

It will be much easier to see the fantastic ocellated turkeys, toucans, pheasants, skunks, monkeys, coatis ... Be attentive during the journey along the way, the narrow road is to go slowly, to the rhythm of nature when you wake up.

Ocellated Turkey
Saraguatos monkeys

This wildlife show you can continue enjoying inside the archeological zone of Calakmul, where the spider monkeys and saraguatos are the inhabitants of the place now. In most of the archaeological sites that are within or close to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserveas Balamkú o ChicannaYou can enjoy an animal, it is an area very rich in birds, here you feel nature on your skin.

There are people who offer guidance in Conhuás to go see the jaguar. The jaguar It is the emblem of this Reserve, together with the puma. The easiest time to see it is at the end of the dry season, late May to early April, varying with this crazy weather. In this season, the jaguar must go to the few remaining waters to drink, and it is easier to locate it.

Jaguar in captivity

La Calakmul Biosphere Reserve it is populated by grottos, many of them inhabited by bats, as the one known as the Volcán de los Murciélagos, do not miss it

Where to stay to visit the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve?

The entrance to Calakmul It is on the road between Chetumal and Escárcega, at the height of the town of Conhuás. The nearest large population is Xpuhil, which is about 40 kilometers, where there are several options. For years, this area has been developing, now there are several accommodations to choose from, many of them economical.

INSIDE THE BIOSPHERE CALAKMUL RESERVE: The advantage of being inside the Reserve is that the entrance to the Reserve opens it to the 6 in the morning and closes to the 6 in the afternoon, so if you are inside you do not have schedules to be in the Reserve. Several lodgings with own trails to travel, taking advantage of its location within the Reserve.

For high budgets there is the Hotel Puerta Calakmul

El Camp Yaax'che and some very rustic cabin that the inhabitants of Conhuás offer

CLOSE TO THE ENTRY OF CONHUAS: On the 186 road between Conhuás and Xpuhil there are several options to stay. The entrance opens to the general public at 6 in the morning.

Hotels like Bec Dreams River, Hotel Casa Maya Calakmul, Chicanna Ecovillage Resort, the Ka'an House They offer good services and location.

XPUHIL: This is the largest population near the entrance to the Reserve, only 55 kilometers, 35 minutes from the barrier to the Reserve. Here the local offer is varied, sure you find your ideal accommodation.

Places like Hotel Mirador Maya, Hotel Chaac Calakmulplatforms, Hotel Becán, El Ecohabitat or Chaac Calakmul Cabins, and the more campers Cabins and Hostal Zoh Laguna or Natural Valentin

Complete guide to hotels in the area

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the most lively jungle 2

It is an underdeveloped area at the nature tourism level, little by little it will develop more, it cannot be otherwise, it is an area of ​​great potential. Here you will find the most alive jungle of the Yucatan Peninsula, the least touched by the hand of man, the home of the great American cats such as the puma, the jaguar, the ocelot. The Calakmul Biosphere Reserve It is not a place to lose yourself in your trip.

Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, the most lively jungle 3

Biosphere Reserve of Calakmul, nature

LOCATION: the entrance to Calakmul Biosphere Reserve It is located at km 95 of the federal highway 186 Escárcega-Chetumal, in the town of Conhuás. Here you pay the Reserve fee and you have 60 km by narrow paved road that runs through the Reserve to the ruins.
PRICE ENTRY: There are two payments, to the Calakmul Biosphere Reserve, which you pay per vehicle 100 mxn and 56 mxn per person. To the archaeological zone of Calakmul are 70 mxn. On Sundays the entrance to the INAH is free for Mexicans and residents. Access to the archaeological sites is free every day for children under 13 years of age, students, teachers and senior citizens with valid credentials.
SCHEDULE AND SERVICES: The entrance to the Biosphere Reserve, which is located in Conhuás, opens at 6 in the morning. The archaeological zone opens from 8 a.m. to 17 p.m. daily. Sundays are free for nationals and residents with official identification. They do not sell drinks or food inside. There are services at the entrance. There is a museum halfway there on archeology and the natural environment. Hours from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m.
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Unfortunately there is no public transport to the archaeological zone. The options are taxi, agency or private vehicle. Public transport arrives in Xpuhil from Escárcega (2 hours), Chetumal (1'40 ”h) and Campeche (4'30 "h). TO Conhuas Arrives colectico from Xpuhil.
WHAT MORE TO SEE IN THE AREA ?: la cave of bats. It is located on the road about 8 km towards Xpuhil. Sometimes it is closed and not well signposted. The exit of the bats, at twilight, of course. 4 km from Conhuás is the archaeological zone of Balamkú already 12 km of Nadzcaan. On the same road you can visit other Mayan cities of the Bec style.
WHAT TO BRING? Light and light clothes, hat, insect repellent, closed shoes (you are in the jungle and there are many bugs, protect yourself), water and something to eat if you plan to spend the whole day.
TIPS: It has a full gas tank, no gas stations on the road.

Good way,

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Sandra Salvadó Training photographer, traveler by vocation and certified tourism guide by the Government of Mexico. We promote natural wonders and contemporary Mayan culture. Great fan of pre-Hispanic history. Author of the blog and co-founder of The Shortest Path Travel, agency that guides you through alternative paths in Mayan lands. Social and sustainable tourism in the Yucatan Peninsula and Chiapas.
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