SIAN KA´AN ADVENTURE
Traveler´s Chronicle: Diego Muñoz
Excursion: SIAN KA´AN ADVENTURE
Mexico Kan Tours Guide: Aida
Our adventure began on a hot summer day, the majestic blue sky above us, the sun high at the center of the sky telling us it was going to be one of those perfect days.
We’d heard stories about the place we were about to visit, but nothing really prepared us of what was coming, as it truly exceeded our expectations. We started the tour cruising on a van with our guide Aida from Mexico Kan Tours. After a 30 minutes ride while listening to Aida´s great recommendations and information about the Biosphere Reserve of Sian Ka’an, in the municipality of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico, we met Mario, captain for the boat that would take us through the Campechen lagoon into the wetlands of the Biosphere.
After pouring enough bio-degradable sunblock on our skin, we set off for the adventure. We navigated through the wetlands and its incredible landscapes made of lagoons with lots of mangroves, towards a couple of fresh water springs that Aida wanted to show to us, so we could understand a little bit more of the hydrology of Sian Ka´an. This is where one of the most amazing things happened… we got to see a couple of manatees enjoying the cooler water of this area!
As we got closer to Ascension Bay, a spot preferred by fishermen for its biodiversity we started spotting a lot (and I mean A LOT) of different species of wading and sea birds. Our captain Mario (who by the way was a native from Punta Allen, the largest village of the Reserve) told us that, although it looked like there were many birds, it had no comparison to the migratory season which is between November to March; Birds come to Sian Ka´an to breed, so during the winter months the amount of specimens and species raises drastically.
A couple of bottlenose dolphins came close to the boat to say hi! They were swimming next to us and performing their best air twists and jumps, it felt like they were welcoming us to their home… truly an incredible experience The water was so clear that we could see sting rays, sea stars, jellyfish, and many fish during the boat ride.
As we got closer to Punta Allen, Aida told us about the importance of the lobster catch industry to the local people and of course, we started getting hungry, so as soon as we landed, we headed to a restaurant. After a walk through the sandy streets of the picturesque town of Punta Allen while admiring its small but beautiful main attractions such as the church overseeing the turquoise Caribbean sea and the main central square. By the time we reached the restaurant, the friendly people working there were already waiting for us with a buffet lunch which consisted of vegetables, rice, mashed potatoes, salads, and the most incredible fresh fish I´ve ever had!!!
After a very enjoyable table talk, we walked towards the boat that would take us to the Mesoamerican reef, which by the way is the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, where we dove into the water to snorkel amongst the most colorful fish and amazing rays, some crabs, and even a giant sea turtle that was passing by! To have the opportunity to observe such an impressive prehistoric creature face to face is simply something that I will never forget.
Finally, for the last part of the tour, we were taken to a sand bank where I felt like being inside a postcard! It was the perfect spot to relax, take pictures and enjoy, but also to reflect upon what I just had lived. After all the mesmerizing landscapes and the creatures that we had the chance to admire, this experience with Mexico Kan Tours made me feel that responsible tourism is possible, and that to “Travel with intention”, as the slogan of the company reads, is about being a conscious traveler, to get the most benefit not only for a customer but also for the natural wonders visited, their natural inhabitants and the communities involved.
The right to travel comes with great responsibility, by choosing correctly we can contribute to the conservation of this astonishing but fragile ecosystems and receive all the benefits of being in contact with nature. I’m glad I chose Mexico Kan Tours for this was an eye-opening experience. I’ll definitely be coming back!