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ECO ATTRACTIONS IN THE YUCATAN PENINSULA
Isla Mujeres: The Island of Women is located 11 km off the coast of Cancun and is known for its relaxed tropical setting and turquoise blue, bathtub warm water. Ferries leave from five points of isla Cancun. You can catch ferries at Punta Sam, Puerto Juarez, Playa Linda Terminal, Playa Tortugas and the Club Nautico Dock. Bicycles and Mopeds can be rented on the island. Taxis are available and there is an infrequent local bus service.
For Isla Mujeres information including ferry schedule see:
Isla Contoy: From Isla Mujeres it's possible to take an excursion by boat to tiny, uninhabited Isla Contoy.
The beautiful island of Contoy lies just north of Isla Mujeres. This tiny island is under 4 miles long and only 20 meters wide at its widest point. It was declared a National wildlife reserve in 1961 and is renowned for its flora, fauna and particularly for its birds.
Over 70 species have been counted including large nesting colonies of Brown Pelicans and Magnificent Frigate birds, along with Roseate Spoonbills, Herons, Egrets, Terns, Kingfishers, Cormorants and an occasional Flamingo. Bring mosquito repellent, and beware of the boa constrictors and small crocodiles that live in the island's ponds.
For tours to Isla Contoy visit "Gaitan Tours".
Rancho Loma Bonita: Horseback ride through the jungle mangroves, lakes and the Caribbean Sea. You can also ride a 4-wheeler, snorkel, bicycle or kayak around lagoons or swim in the pool. There is also a restaurant. Located at km 45 on the Cancun-Tulum highway.
Tres Rios Ecopark is located 10 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Explore nature in this tropical reserve.
Xcaret is an Eco Mayan theme park. We just love this place. It is a paradise for children and you can spend the whole day there. Some of the attractions include a re-enactment of a traditional Maya ballcourt game, butterfly pavilion, traditional Mexican dance and music, small zoo and much more. The swimming here is excellent and the water theme parks rival Disney World; in fact we think they are better.
Xel-Ha is a great place to go snorkeling or swimming. It is a fresh water bay that meets the ocean. Many sea creatures make their home in the bay and its tributaries and a snorkel around the bay will simply blow your mind if you are not an avid diver or snorkel. It is well worth the price of admission and a great place for kids. There are many well-trained lifeguards on duty.
Aktun Chen: Beautiful underground dry caves with stalactite and stalagmite formations and a spectacular fresh water cenote. You might even be lucky enough to see spider monkeys. Poisonous and non-poisonous snakes can be seen at the serpentarium. Located in the jungle between Akumal and Xel-Ha.
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve: Just south of Tulum, the reserve has an abundant amount of flora and fauna and several distinct natural ecosystems. The reserve contains unexcavated Maya ruins, freshwater canals, cenotes, mangroves, lagoons and inlets. The fishing village of Boca Paila is within the reserve. The town of Punta Allen is the end of the Maya Riviera found at the southern tip of the reserve.
NOTE: The roads in and out of Sian Ka'an are treacherous. When you rent a car, quite often the clerk will ask you where you are planning on taking the car. Some car rental agencies will not let you take a car to Sian Ka'an because of the possibility of damage being inflicted on the car due to the rough road conditions.
Xaman-Ha Aviary: Home to exotic birds including scarlet macaws, flamingos and herons. Xaman-Ha is in Playacar which is right next to Playa del Carmen.
Punta Laguna: Spend time with spider monkeys and howler monkeys in their natural habitat. You can trek in the jungle and travel Punta Laguna by boat. Birds, deer, turtles and crocodiles are among the other wildlife to be seen. Punta Laguna is northwest of Coba. There is also a Mayan ruin site here.
Nohoch Jungle Crossing: Snorkel into one of world's largest discovered subterranean river system. In this ancient natural miracle, you will experience its spectacular geological formations and crystal clear fresh water.
Jardin Botanico del Dr. Alfredo Barrera: Beautiful botanical gardens located a few minutes south of Puerto Morelos on the eastside of highway 307. Experience exotic species of tropical fauna displayed in the natural settings of the tropical rainforest.
These attractions are located near Merida:
Komchén de los Pajaros
To learn more about the Komchén Bird Sanctuary visit:
Calakmul is a biosphere reserve located 318 km from the City of Campeche. In this area jaguars, howler monkeys, deer, pumas, wild cats and many other mammals have their home, together with many kinds of spiders, reptiles, insects and more than 800 plant species.
The Royal Highway was the road used to link the two most important peninsular cities, Campeche and Merida during the Spanish conquest. Driving along the highway, you can shop for hammocks, wooden handicrafts, liquors and syrups made from local fruits.