Visit the Beautiful Sian Ka’an Biosphere. Si’an Kaan is located on the eastern shore of the Yucatan Peninsula, 20 minutes away from Tulum. the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is recognized as an UNESCO World Heritage Site covering 1.3 million acres of land and sea. This is the largest protected area in all of Mexico and is home to a diverse population of species—including some rare and endangered species like the black-handed spider monkey and the West Indian manatee.
There are two main areas of the massive reserve that are best for exploring: Muyil and Punta Allen. Each of these access points will provide entirely different experiences. Since they are over a 2-hour drive apart, it may be best to break up your visit into two separate days. However, with careful planning (and lots of driving) you can see both in one trip.
Muyil is further inland and provides access to the jungle, wetlands, and the freshwater lagoons, lined with mangrove forests, including Mayan-created canals you can actually float down. There are also some notable Mayan ruins here that aren’t technically part of Sian Ka’an, but worth a visit.
Punta Allen is on the coastal side of Sian Ka’an and more challenging to reach. The town provides access to the sea, including snorkeling and wildlife viewing, and of course the coral reef. It’s a great place for spotting dolphins and sea turtles in their natural habitat.
For a detailed description of all the beautiful beaches of the Riviera Maya, visit here. Sian Ka’an vacation planning is simple, just read on and find everything you need for your Sian Ka’an Mexico vacation. Visit all of the best Maya Riviera Beaches on our Pinterest site here.
Sian Ka’an Weather – When to Visit
The best time to visit Sian Ka’an is between November and December. Temperatures fall to around the low 80s as the hurricane season slides away. Plan a trip for the early part of the this season if you want to save money. You’ll get the benefit of post hurricane-season breezes, and hotel prices are reasonable. Not to say that it’s hard to find good room rates at other times of the year – this small pocket of the Yucatán has one of the widest ranges of price points on Mexico’s Caribbean coast. If you’re concerned about crowds, though, avoid the region from January to March. Visit the Beautiful Sian Ka’an Biosphere!
Best Sian Ka’an Attractions
The Muyil Ruins archaeological site is an exceptional place to visit. Located in the northwestern border of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, this historical site is will provide you with a relaxing tour around the fascinating Mayan ruins. Since the lush grounds are simple to navigate, the ruins are a terrific place to explore for nearly all ages and abilities. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve contains the ruins of 22 pre-Hispanic settlements, but the Muyil ruins are certainly the most noteworthy.
This majestic, untouched stretch of sand is surrounded by looming palm trees and rugged cliffs. A popular place for yoga enthusiasts and iguanas, the beach is large enough to ensure that it’s never overrun with people. There are also plenty of restaurants on site to buy food and cocktails and boats offering snorkeling excursions in the warm sea.
Laguna de Kaan Luum
What makes Laguna Kaan Luum special is the color of the water and the fact the center is a deep cenote. Some say the center is about 80 meters (262ft.) deep. You can tell the color contrast between the center of the lagoon and the sides. This is also a not very well known location to go swimming since many of the other cenotes in Tulum are move visited and well advertised.
This cenote adventure can be an all day affair or a quick tour. It is surrounded by the jungle, and you feel you are in your private paradise. This cenote is best for swimming and snorkeling. Siestas are also a perfect activity in this location. Bring what you need, snorkel equipment, snacks and water as there are few services, which makes this cenote idyllic.
Sian Ka’an Beach
The Sian Ka’an reserve is one of the most fascinating beaches in the Riviera Maya. If you love nature, Sian Ka’an has a lot to offer; there are over one 1,400 species of plants, as well as more than 300 species of resident and migratory birds. If you like diving or snorkeling, you will discover an endless show of sponges, pink conch, starfish, sea urchins, and spiny lobsters, just to name a few.
Best Rated Sian Ka’an Restaurants (Nearby Tulum)
Hartwood $31 – 60
Hartwood is a sustainable, organic restaurant where the menu changes daily, based on what the Earth provides. Only local ingredients are used. Solar panels power their lights and music. They are only open Wednesday to Sunday 6 – 10 p.m. for dinner and they are closed during low season (September and October). They welcome both walk-ins and reservations, but if you really want to dine in this enchanting establishment, make a reservation. Web: Hartwood
Arca $11 – 30
This rustic, open-air restaurant in the jungle, lit with candles and twinkling lights, serves Mexican cuisine using fresh local ingredients. If you’re dining with children, they are happy to create something kid-friendly. On the adult end, one of Arca’s specialties is creative, unique cocktails. Telephone: 52 984 111 5379 Web: Arca
Ziggy’s $11 – 30
Dine with your toes in the sand at Ziggy’s, located right on Tulum’s white sand, aqua blue, Caribbean beach. This hip, funky, friendly restaurant and beach club serves everything from breakfast to dinner to cocktails and everything in between. They also feature live music every single day. If you want to spend the day at the beach club, get there early or you won’t get a chair. Telephone: 52 984 871 1145 Web: Ziggy’s
La Zebra $11 – 30
This gorgeous beach-side restaurant is casual and welcoming, but at the same time stylish and chic. They serve authentic Mexican breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Patrons dine in an open-air palapa-roof ambiance, with the Caribbean wind blowing in their hair. Telephone: 52 984 115 4726 Web: La Zebra
El Tabano $11 – 30
El Tabano is a hip Mexican restaurant that serves original dishes inspired by European cuisine. Here, the ever-changing fresh, healthy menu is written on a chalkboard, and the open kitchen allows diners to see their food being prepared. The candlelit, eclectic, jungle feel and live music makes for an inviting ambiance. Don’t miss the Pollo Rojo, the guacamole with pumpkin seeds and oats, and the Passion Fruit Mojito. Telephone: 52 984 134 8725 Web: El Tabano
Best Sian Ka’an Nightlife (Nearby Tulum)
Gitano is a mescal bar and is the place to go for cocktails, dancing and lite bites. Tiny lanterns are hung on overhead branches, along with an array of beautiful chandeliers. Two cocktails not to miss are the Mescal Mule and the Stardust. The mule is mixed with Gitano’s own how made mescal, while the Stardust has mescal, dark rum, and a mixture of fruit juices. Telephone: 52-984-745-9068 Web: Gitano.
Try the expertly mixed mojitos which range from the classic to local fruits like prickly pear, to innovative combinations like cucumber basil. No matter which flavor you order, the sugarcane juice is pressed to order. The kitchen turns out some great Italian snacks to go with your mojitos. Telephone: 52-984-745-4571 Web: Batey.
This is a favorite of the local business owners. You can get an expertly mixed cocktail and chat it up with the friendly bartenders. The ingredients are fresh. Try the Maria Sandia with mescal, watermelon, lime, and worm salt on the rim. You can eat dinner here as well, with grilled seafood, rib eye, and the catch of the day. This has a picturesque open-air jungle setting. Telephone: 52-998-222-2749 Web: Casa Jaguar.
Papaya Playa Beach Club
The Papaya Playa Beach Club throws a major party every Saturday with guest DJs. The drinks here include mescal and papaya or the well-balanced cucumber and lime drink. Great place for dancing. Telephone: 52-984-871-1160 Web: Papaya Playa Beach Club.
Best Nearby Sian Ka’an Hotels (Tulum)
Great article… the tourism just might swarm there now given how informative and comprehensive the article is! Reminds me of the Philippines! There are some pieces worth writing about !
Yes, there are Amar and I do plan to review the beaches of the Philippines as I know it is beautiful too! Glad you enjoyed reading and thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!
Well, no doubt place you mentioned it is beautiful in Mexico. And for sure, sometime in future i would like to visit there, as it has been on my bucket list for quite some time. This is great information for any potential traveler to all the wonderful places you have reviewed. What you think of the immigration process for Mexico from country India ? Any idea?
Hi Ganesh, yes Mexico is beautiful. I started visiting back in the early 90s and have been over 15 times. I actually was very interested in purchasing back then. Boy do I wish I had! Prices were pretty reasonable, and since have skyrocketed out of my price range. I know as an American, I can live there with just my passport. From India, I am not so sure. But, I would check here as this will help you with the process. Thank you for visit BeachTravelDestinations.com
What a stunning looking place! I especially loved the video that you have about the Mayan Route which really gives you an incentive to go there to experience it.
Would this holiday to Sian Ka’an Mexico be a place I could take children? As much as I would prefer to just take my wife to this awesome tranquil location.
It is a great place for kids Matthew! There would be so much for them to learn and see. I know my son loves this kind of experience. I believe that it has a little something for everyone 🙂 Thanks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico.
Great information on another destination in Carribean Mexico. I love Cancun and in my next trip there, I would defiitely seek out Sian Ka’an. Do you know how far Sian Ka’an is from Cancun? I tried to Google map it but it says is outside Google’s driving coverage.
Thanks for your post.
Hi Gigi, Can I make a suggestion? Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is going to be about a 3 1/2 hour drive from Cancun. I would really recommend visiting Tulum or Akumal for a vacation. They are very comparable to Cancun, with gorgeous beaches, great food and entertainment, and Mayan Ruins. I hope you will consider it. Thanks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico.
I would like to travel to Mexico, Barbados and Egypt. Enjoy the sun, beaches and the different foods. I have some relatives in Barbados, so I would probably go there first. But you have given me a lot of food for thought regarding Mexico. The Yucatan Peninsula looks amazing!
All are great places for sure Roger! You cannot go wrong having all three beautiful vacation destinations on your bucket list. Here is the information on my Barbados Island Travel Guide, so you can also plan your time there. Thaks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico!
Wow great information. Looks like a beautiful vacation spot. You reviewed a lot of different things, making it a great add on for my bucket list!
Yes Yvette, it is a great bucket list item 🙂 I think going for 2 weeks to the Yucatan Peninsula is, in my opinion, the minimum that should be done when you do go. That way you can explore the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, Tulum, the ruins, and of course the beautiful Yucatan Peninsula beaches. Thanks for reading!
Love this article! I had heard of Yucatan peninsula and it is on my bucket list, but this is totally new to me. Thank you for sharing!
I am glad you enjoyed reading about Sian Ka’an Mexico Janani. No visit to this area is complete without visiting the biosphere reserve. It is absolutely amazing with so many activities for all different types of travelers. Thanks for visiting!
This looks beautiful! I see to avoid Jan thru March, how are the rates and crowds around June – August?
That is low season for them, so everything is going to be cheaper…airfare and hotel. Thanks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico Matt.
It has always been my dream to visit Cancun Mexico and must say I am saving to visit with my family and we were wondering where else we can visit in Mexico, i am happy you have introduced to me another destination Sian Ka’an am hoping we gonna enjoy a tour there. This is a perfect addition to our Cancun vacation.
Cancun is definitely not too far from Sian Ka’an. Tulum is another area that is very close to Sian Ka’an, with a little less crowds and maybe a hair less expensive than Cancun. Yet, it has all the gorgeous beaches, and Mayan ruins to visit. If you are interested, you can visit Tulum here. Thanks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico.
Great information and thank you for sharing. Never seen such an amazing place and not very familiar with this area. But I have heard about Cancun before. This definitely seems worth visiting. I have added it to my bucket list.
Thank you Peter! Yes, everyone is familiar with Cancun. I like going to the places less travelled sometimes, just for less crowds. This would be one of them. Sian Ka’an is beautiful and really has so much to offer for everyone. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com
I live in Tenerife, but this is just AWESOME!
I would like to go to Mexico one day, these pictures are beautiful.
Wow Mario, I have an aunt in Tenerife and I visited for 3 weeks and stayed with her. I absolutely loved it there. Sian Ka’an is different, more of an eco reserve, but it also has beautiful beaches and all 🙂 Thanks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico.
What a fabulous website and am so impressed by all the information. What a wonderful destination.
You have inspired me to think about my next holiday.
Great Jill, I am glad I inspired you and that you have enjoyed visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment on Sian Ka’an Mexico.
OMG that looks absolutely amazing. I have never heard of this part of Mexico but if I ever save enough money up, it’s definitely on the bucket list. Thank you so much for your inspirational and informative article. Kind regards, Karen
It is definitely a beautiful place worth visiting if you are in the Yucatan Peninsula Mexico, and definitely a bucket list item. Thanks for visiting Sian Ka’an Mexico Karen.