Río Lagartos is one of the populations found within the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. From our favorite places on the Peninsula, a beautiful destination for nature and relaxation.

If you are looking for nature and relaxation, the Ría lagartos Biosphere Reserve is one of the best areas in the Yucatan Peninsula. Is about a very local destination with good services for the traveler. One of those areas that combines great ingredients to offer a delicious menu for the traveler looking for trips with calm and local flavor.

We live in the area since 2007, we can help you on your trip

We recommend you to spend several days in the area. Know all the possibilities of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, this place will catch you. Starting with its sunsets 🙂

lizards river


There are 4 populations within the Ría lagartos Biosphere Reserve. In each of these destinations it is possible to carry out different activities and stay. We explain the environments to make it easier for you to plan. Each place has its own particular charm. 

  • LAGARTOS RIVER: It is the most popular town to take tours of the estuary and visit the mangrove area, flamingos and crocodiles. Good services, now we know her thoroughly 🙂
  • SAN FELIPE: It is the most local environment and services port. From here you can't see flamingos, that's why tourism comes less. But at the local tourism level it is a sought-after destination, we like it.
  • THE COLORADAS: the pink ponds of the salt mine have made it a must-see destination for many travelers. Taking your photo in Las Coloradas is almost a law. There is more to see and do than the pink lagoons.
  • WHOSE CUYO: its natural and paradisiacal beach makes it the most relaxing and atmospheric destination Caribbean relaxed. A destination for relaxation, kitesurfing and nature tourism.

In none of these towns are there ATMs. The closest banks are in Tizimín, to 40 minutes drive

lizards river
There are quite a few wooden houses in this area
Rio Lagartos Yucatan
Fausto making friends on the Malecon in Río Lagartos
Rio Lagartos Yucatan
What to do in Río Lagartos beyond the topics 1
Mangrove trail


River Lagartos It is a town of 3272 inhabitants, the town that hosts a large part of the tourism within the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. An ideal destination for the visitor who likes nature and authentic destinations.

This quiet fishing village offers different accommodations and restaurants where you can savor the riches of this sea. Its strategic location makes the most popular excursions in the Reserve depart from here. This has made Río Lagartos has a greater variety of accommodations and services, it is the most developed population at a tourist level.

Rio Lagartos Mexico
Puerto Río Lagartos, Yucatan


From Río Lagartos they offer one of the most complete excursions in the area where you will see flamingos and other birds, as well as local fauna such as the crocodile. You have the opportunity to navigate through the mangrove forest and get to know this beautiful ecosystem. All tours offer the activity of Mayan mud bath.

lagartos river tour
Itinerary map of the tours in Río Lagartos


Cooperatives of fishermen and nature guides are grouped on the boardwalk of Río Lagartos offering their tours by the Reserve by boat. We have done the tour dozens of times, either for entertainment or for work. We know the area well and I am going to tell you something: completely change the experience according to the guide with whom you do the tour. This happens here and everywhere, the guide is essential in the journey.

The choice of the guide is essential for the tour in Río Lagartos and other activities you do

That is why we are going to give you the complete information of the tours in the Reserve, and we are also going to recommend a guide to the area. Make it very clear that from our blog we do not recommend commissions, we recommend what we have tested and valued. It is the only way to protect ourselves between travelers, giving good and useful reviews.

Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.


The tour in Río Lagartos allows you to meet the different fauna of the area, with their two main characters as main course: flamenco and crocodile. All tours offer trying to spot these animals. Same all offer the known as mayan bath: you smear yourself with mud, dry in the sun and then remove the mud in the beach area. It is great for the skin, those who know say.

If for example you do not want to do the Mayan bath you can vary the tour without problem.

What to do in Río Lagartos beyond the topics 2
maya bath ria lagartos
Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve Río Lagartos Yucatan


  • DURATION: el tour conventional lasts an hour and a half
  • PRICE: an average of 1,200 mxn. They are shorter and cheaper.
  • HOW MANY PEOPLE PER BOAT: maximum 6 people per boat

Tour prices are by boat

Other tours for the Reserve they take you to see crocodiles in the night, others to the beach to see the sunset, there are options for all tastes. One tip is to make the tour very early in the morning to enjoy the birds better, or late in the afternoon, for the same reason.

Rio Lagartos Yucatan
Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Río Lagartos, Yucatan
pelicano rio lizards
Brown Pelican
lagartos river tour
flamingos river lagartos tour
Photo courtesy of William Canto


As we explain it is a tour that we have done dozens of times and with different guides. There are several good ones, really yes (you can ask us for other recommendations). We are going to recommend you to William Cantó: he is a biologist, nature guide and expert bird watcher. Also a great amateur photographer.

  • WHY WITH WILLY? The tours with Willy are with the calm of being able to observe nature, as well as flamingos and crocodiles. During the tour he talks passionately about many other birds in the reserve, about their behavior; It is a journey in which you learn a lot. It offers everything from other colleagues and also has an incalculable plus: He takes photos during the tour which he then sends to clients.
  • DURATION AND PRICES: his tours last two hours and half because it gives you time to stop and watch. Tour prices range from 1500 pesos to 1800, depending on the services of the activity. Only private tours, you do not share a boat.
  • HOW TO CONTACT: Contact by WhatsApp at +52 1 986 113 8918 See their reviews on TripAdvisor

They say that to show a button, so we leave you photos of his property. Remember that while you enjoy, Willy takes photos of your day, a great plus 🙂

flamingo rio lizards
What to do in Río Lagartos beyond the topics 3
crocodile rio lizards
What to do in Río Lagartos beyond the topics 4


In Río Lagartos and its surroundings there is much to see and do. Our recommendation is that you stay a minimum night in the area and you can enjoy the place well.

  • CROCODILE TOURS IN LAGARTOS RIVER AT NIGHT: at night is when the crocodiles are best seen in Río Lagartos. A different vision that nature lovers will like very much.
  • SUNSET TOUR IN LAGARTOS RIVER BY BOAT: You can go by boat to the beach to watch the sunset. You can combine it with the complete tour or just take this sunset tour,
  • VISIT THE POPULATIONS NEAR RIO LAGARTOS: there are two other interesting towns nearby. One is San Felipe from where they also do tours of the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. The other The Coloradas, famous for its red salt flats and the pink flamingo that inhabits them.
  • KNOW THE CHIQUILÁ SPA: just 1 kilometer from the center of Río Lagartos is the Chiquilá spa, where there are an eye of water sweet, where the waters flow from the interior to the exterior. This place sheltered by mangroves is Ideal to come to eat, bathe in the fresh water eye and walk on the interpretive trails. Very local and authentic.
  • PETÉN MAC TRAIL: This beautiful trail leads you through the mangrove forest to a waterhole where a crocodile lives. The place is beautiful. Be careful with some wooden plank that is very worn, the place is somewhat neglected. It is located just a kilometer walking along the boardwalk of Río lagartos, in front of the Chiquilá spa.
  • PATH OF PETEN TUCHA: road to The Coloradas, in the 8-9 kilometer, There is an entrance that leads you to an interpretive trail of 2.5 kilometers. You can observe birds, some other animal like the spider monkey.
peten mac rio lizards
Peten Mac trail entrance

You know how we like to discover the local services and people from the community that we believe bring something different and good to tourism. So after knowing the services of the Mototaxi Ávila, we have no other choice but to share our experience and recommend these enterprising women.

We give you the contact of the transport service in the video, you will see that you will like to know them ?


Take advantage of fish and fresh sea products in the entire area of ​​the Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve. Do not order a filet of bases, ask for the fresh fish of the day, eat octopus, shrimp, ceviche, lobster (there are only seasonal products). There are several restaurants in the town, many on the town's boardwalk.

In October the Octopus Festival is held in Río Lagartos, do not miss it

OUR RECOMMENDATION: we like the Perico Marinero restaurant, on the boardwalk. They have also told us well about the Mojarrita Río Lagartos, I hope to try it on the next visit. There are many more in the port, enter, try and enjoy the good. Have a very good profit 🙂

What to do in Río Lagartos beyond the topics 5
Octopus Festival in Río Lagartos


Río Lagartos is the population in this area of ​​the Biosphere Reserve with the most accommodation services, so you will have a choice to suit all tastes and budgets. We love the Hotel Villa de Pescadores, with its beautiful restaurant and breakfast place facing the estuary. You can see more photos in the link.

Villa Pescadores has another plus that it can: the hammocks they have on the dock in front of the hotel. If you want to feel how the rhythm of life and feel the air, treat yourself to these things on your trip .-)

fishing village rio lagartos
Hotel fishermen Villa
Hotel Villa Pescadores Rio Lagartos
Villa Pescadores hotel dock

As you can see it is a very complete area, and there is no shortage Mayan ruins y cenotes on your way to Río Lagartos. If you travel in time and you like to go out on the weekends, drop by this area, you will surely enjoy the good life of the Yucatecan coast, La Esmeralda.

What to do in Río Lagartos beyond the topics 6

Lagartos River, population

LOCATION: Río Lagartos It is located in the state of Yucatán, in the Gulf of Mexico. 219 km from Mérida (two hours, 40 minutes), 53 km from the city of Tizimín (40 minutes), 102 km from Valladolid (1 hour and a half) and 250 km from Cancun (3 hours and 20).
HOW TO GET IN PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION? Public transport reaches Río Lagartos from Tizimín: you can go by bus, combi or collective taxi. The services begin around 6 in the morning and end around 5 in the afternoon. There are more departures in the morning, we recommend that you always travel early by local transport. Tizimín is well connected with the main towns: Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Valladolid and Mérida.
WHAT TO BRING? Comfortable and light clothing, and hat to cover your head. From May to October the heat is hard. So protect yourself from the sun and do not forget your swimsuit.

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.
I am at your disposal for whatever you need. Let's talk.

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