The Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is one of the most coveted natural paradises near the Riviera Maya. Touring the Reserve on your own is a good option for adventurers.

The Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve receives many daily visitors from the Riviera Maya. The Punta Allen fishermen's cooperatives live off the clients that the agencies send on tour.

Tourists are waiting for an adventure day in 4 × 4 with 3 hours boat ride through the mangrove and open sea to see dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat, and with a swim in a natural pool. You don't need a fish or lobster to eat if you pay extra. An adventure where you can drive an 4 × 4 and navigate among Caribbean wildlife.

Sian Ka'an is very attractive for the Riviera Maya tourist, it is one of the best selling tours.

sian ka'an mayan reserve


Despite living on tours, Sian Ka'an welcomes more and more travelers who come by themselves Until the Reserve. It is a good place to enjoy at your leisure, spending the night in one of the hotels of the Sian Ka'an reserve or in a day from the Riviera Maya. If you can choose, I recommend you spend the night in the Reserve.

Many travelers choose visit the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve for free, one of the most captivating coastal natural spots near the busy Riviera Maya.

The road through the Reserve is sandy, unpaved, so not all cars are comfortable to walk on. Watch especially in the rainy season, when constant holes are formed on the road.

Sian Ka'an Tulum Biosphere Reserve


La Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve it is a place for travel by car. From the entrance near Tulum to Punta Allen, the furthest town, there are 50 kilometers of unpaved roadr. In this section that crosses the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, you will find different places to stop and enjoy the Reserve. For this reason the car is ideal, to stop where you want How to visit Sian Ka'an?

  • ON TOUR WITH AGENCY: en Riviera Maya offer a tour in 4 × 4 through the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. Look to hire an excursion with boat tours activities through the mangrove or in the open sea to see turtles and dolphins, kayak or snorkel. Only the jeep is somewhat bland the tour.
  • BY OWN CAR OR RENT: For those of you who do not like to go on an excursion and want to enjoy this earthly paradise at your leisure, you can go by car. Renting a car in Riviera Maya is very simple. For this excursion, due to the road conditions, especially in the rainy season, it is important to have a comfortable car and good shock absorbers.
  • BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT de Tulum to Punta Allen There are combi from Tuesday to Saturday that leave at 4 in the afternoon of the Tulum shark trade union. From Punta Allen they leave towards Tulum at 7 in the morning. The price of the ticket is 200 pesos per person and route. Another way to go is with the van de easy tour that leaves in front of the super Aki of Tulum at 1: 45 in the afternoon. It takes you to the visitor center of the Sian Ka'an Reserve, and from there by boat to Punta Allen. The bad thing about these options is that you miss stopping along the way. Anyway stay in Punta Allen is worth it for lovers of authentic and peaceful places of nature.
  • FROM MUYIL: en the archaeological zone of Muyil there is a path that runs a Interpretive trail of 2 kilometers by the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve and reaches the lagoon. Boat excursions depart from this lagoon: between an hour and a half and two hours it costs about 800 pesos per person. The boats are for 6 people. Wear a hat to protect you from the sun and long sleeves, the boats are not covered (they do not allow it to avoid damaging the mangrove with the roof of the boat, you go through a narrow channel). You can swim in the canal and visit a small archaeological site. Good excursion.
  • CYCLING: I never did pedaling but it seems like the best way to visit Sian Ka'an, someday 🙂
Punta Allen Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve


Since you've come here by car, give yourself life on the way. Stop where you think you will have a good view, walk, look at the beach. be curious. There are many wonderful corners within the Reserve without indicating, discover the place. If you do not go with much time I will indicate the most relevant of the road to Punta Allen.

  • ENTRY TO THE RESERVE BY TULUM: The entrance arch to the Reserve is located near the town of Tulum: follow the signs that indicate Boca Paila. Right at the entrance where you get your ticket there is a cenote that you can visit.
  • VISITORS CENTER: 15 kilometers from the entrance to the Reserve is this center. From here you can rent kayaks and take boat trips. Do not miss the views of the lagoon from the pier and the watchtower.
  • Friends of Sian Ka'an: This association is within the Reserve. It is a non-profit organization that works for environmental conservation and sustainable development throughout Quintana Roo.
  • PUENTE BOCA PAILA: The fishermen come to the bridge to take their luck. A habitual inhabitant is a crocodile that usually roams the area, so as crystal clear and appetizing as you can see the water, better watch life go by from the bridge. Some have had a scare because of the lizard (crocodile).
  • PUNTA ALLEN: es the fishing village at the end of the road, haven of peace next to Riviera Maya, excellent getaway. There are several cheap lodgings to stay, you can also take your tent. Make very cool excursions, from dolphins in the wild, snorkeling and touring the Mayan ruins that dot the Caapechén lagoon. Punta Allen is a peaceful place to stay.

In Punta Allen the local tours leave with one of the cooperatives of the place. EXCURSIONS PRICE: The payment of the excursions is by boat of 6 people, so you can share with other travelers to save. The price for an excursion from 2 to 3 hours by boat from 6 people is about the 3000 pesos.

The tour is a boat ride through lagoons and mangroves to go out to the open sea and see dolphins and turtles in their natural habitat. Pure nature awaits you in Sian Ka'an, the blues fall in love. The boat tour ends in the natural pools of Blanquizal.

Take cash to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, almost impossible to pay with a card in Punta Allen, and there is no ATM.

CONTACT OF THE ORCHID COOPERATIVE, PUNTA ALLEN: It is a cooperative formed by women. Certified cooperatives of an environmentally responsible nature work in this cooperative. Surely you like their offer of kayak, bike and boat tours to enjoy nature and learn.Whatsapp contact, the best way to contact them: + 52 1 984 249 2839 (Ysabel). You give my regards to Ysabel and Mar 🙂

I personally know the contact people we passed you. Like us they are nature guides certified by the Government. Sure you enjoy the destination 🙂

cenote sian ka'an
Cenote at the entrance of the Reserve
sian ka'an
From the Boca Paila bridge
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
Visitors center
Sian kaan biosphere reserve
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve


  • Punta Allen: In this town you can find several lodges and restaurants to taste the fish and seafood of the Caribbean. Very caribeño and calm the population, of those that there is nothing to do and you only want to swing in your hammock. I like Punta Allen 🙂
  • Accommodations on the road: Within the Reserve there are enviable accommodations at the foot of the beach, they are not cheap.
  • Camping area: There is an area enabled for your campaign booth. Sleeping in front of the sea in this area is a joy. Get ready to fight mosquitoes and gnats, but it will be worth it. They inform you at the entrance.

On the way you will see the few privileged hotels that we find inside the Reserve. Most high budget, they are a luxury. In Punta Allen town you find cheaper accommodation.

You can look on this link hotel deals in Sian Ka'an.

El Manglex Eco-Hotel te may surprise. It is located in Tulum near the entrance to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. BOOK from this link.


Bring comfortable and fresh clothes, do not forget your swimsuit, towel and spare change. Sunscreen or better a good hat and long cotton sleeves, and mosquito repellent. A good shoe for the sand and ready. Always carry water with you, in reusable bottles better, so we don't waste so much plastic.

And above all take with you all the garbage you generate.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve


  • Section from your hotel to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve: la federal highway 307 It is the one that runs through the Riviera Maya. All-inclusive hotels are located on this road. Leaving your hotel by car you should go to Tulum Before entering the town, turn towards the coast where indicated Boca Paila. Duration: about 30 minutes from your hotel in Playa del Carmen at the entrance of the Reserve.
  • Reserve Section to Punta Allen: la road is sandy, it's not paved, so in good condition, take between hour and a half and two hours from Tulum to Punta Allen. In bad condition, put 5 hours and a little more, no kidding. After the rainy season (June to November), normally the repair in November. As the weather is changing, better ask how the road is. There is no gas station in the Reserve, or in Punta Allen.


We recommend you book your car online months before, especially if you travel in peak times such as Christmas, Easter or summer. They tend to increase prices as the date approaches, just as it happens with airline tickets.

The excursions that go through the Reserve do it all in cars 4 × 4, it gives adventure and the environment favors it a lot. You honestly do not need an 4 × 4 to tour the area, but it does provide comfort and safety on a road that sometimes gets difficult through the holes. Go to the little step and enjoy the road.

Book from this Rentalcars link, a good search engine that compares prices between companies and gives customer opinions


In Punta Allen there are fish and seafood restaurants. Lunch cost about 180 mxn per person.

On the way to Punta Allen there are lodgings with restaurants open to the public where you can enjoy the beaches. There are not many, it is a matter of being curious, you look, discover when you see a sign indicating accommodation with the open passage.

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve


The entrance to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve opens from 8 to 17 hours. Open every day and the entrance is 68 mxn. Remember that you can sleep inside the Reserve.

Hotel Sol caribe sian ka'an biosphere reserve


As you do not know the road is better than Arrive with daylight at your hotel. In addition, the roads are poorly lit and driving is complicated.

  • In winter time (November to May). During these months the sun sets between 6 and 7 in the afternoon.
  • In summer time (April to October). During these months the sun sets between 7 and 9 at night.

I hope you enjoy and organize your excursion with this information. This is one of the many excursions by car what can you do from Riviera Maya. Drive in a prudent manner and respect the signs.

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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