The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve on the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula, south of Cancun, was established in 1986 and is one of Mexico’s largest parks. Covering over one million acres of coastal jungle, the reserve became
part of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere programme in 1986 and in 1987 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Complete with wetlands, flooded savannas, dunes, mangroves and lagoons the reserve is ideal for not only nature lovers but also sports enthusiasts. The reserve also includes part of the the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef, the world’s second largest coastal barrier reef. Home to a huge range of animals and plants, it is also home to over 350 species of bird and is the nesting ground for two species of endangered sea turtle and for many different species of wading birds. Species of birds found here include white-fronted parrots,roseate spoonbills, belted kingfisher,egrets, blue and boat-billed herons, frigate birds and jabiru stork, along with more than 300 species of butterfly. Animals found here include puma, jaguar, ocelot, margay, jaguarondi, Caribbean manatee, spider and howler monkeys, Central American tapir, white-tailed deer, collared
anteater, crocodiles and four species of turtle. The reserve has more than 20 known archeological sites where relics, human remains and ceramic pieces that are more than 2,000 years old have been found.
The reserve covers about a third of the Caribbean coast of Mexico and is home to more than 2,000 inhabitants, a mix of wealthy landowners and poor campesinos. Fishing and tourist boat trips to the reefs and lagoon system are the main industries of these inhabitants.
Here at Sian Ka’an (Mayan for ‘where the sky is born’) you can observe the reserve from an observation tower, kayak in the wetlands, explore the jungle on foot and go snorkelling in the crystal clear waters of the Beh Ha cenote (a sinkhole with caves).
Many environmental groups are involved with research and the protection of the reserve including the World Wildlife Fund, the Ecotourism Society, the Smithsonian School and many more.
A visit to the Sian Ka’an Reserve provides a great experience on your last minute holidays to Mexico.
There are many holiday deals to Mexico on offer throughout the internet that can include a visit to this intriguing diverse reserve.