SIAN KA'AN BIOSPHERE RESERVE
Explosion of landscapes and wildlife, Sian Ka'an, as indicates its name of Maya origin is a "gift from heaven", a gift of 528,148 hectares of forests (tropical, low and floodable), sandy beaches, marshes, mangroves, shallow bays, inner lagoons and an extensive coral reef barrier 120 kilometres long.
The variety of natural places determines an incredible diversity of vegetation where you can appreciate from seaweeds and mosses up to ferns and superior plants.
In total 1048 flora species have been reported with the trees of
mahogany (Swietenia Mahogani), cedar (Cedreta odorata),
and gourd (Crescentia alata), amongst other varieties resistant
to floods, standing out; while on the coastal dunes the chit palm
trees (Thrinax Radiata) jut out.
Regarding the fauna, 339 bird species have been detected with 219 of them residents, 103 mammals, 276 crustaceous, and an incredible number of insects, such as is proven by its 310 varieties of flies and 90 species of native bees.
The Reserve is also the major reproduction zone of the white heron
(Ardea alba) and the dark ibis (Plegadis chihi);
and the second most important reproduction place of the jibarú,
the American stork (Mycteria americana), the white ibis
(Eudocimus albus) and the hairy heron (Egretta rufescens),
all of them species in a situation of risk.
All this biodiversity is complemented with settings of undecipherable prettiness such as the monumental coral reef barrier of 120 kilometres of extension, which is part of the second longest coral system on the planet. Other important marine scenarios are the bays and small isles where hundreds of birds are concentrated. There are also lobster breeding grounds.
Due to its impacting richness and diversity Sian Ka'an was declared a Biosphere Reserve on January the 20th of 1986. A year later UNESCO would grant it with the category of Natural Patrimony of Humanity.
The Reserve is situated on the central coastal zone of the State of Quintana Roo, in the Municipalities of Solidaridad and Felipe Carrillo, 140 kilometres south of Cancun and a few kilometres away from the archaeological compound of Tulum.
You need to be in good physical conditions in order to visit the Reserve and if possible rely on the services of a specialised guide. It is usually accessed from Punta Allen, a simple town located in the midst of the protected area.