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“Only one flamingo but plenty of adventure....” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Celestun Wildlife Refuge

Celestun Wildlife Refuge
Mexico
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Visit Celestun Wildlife Refuge like an insider
Top Rated
$69*
and up
Day Trip to Celestun: Flamingos, Mangrove Boat...
Activities: Birdwatching
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Attraction details
Owner description: This preserve is important as a main area in the migratory and reproductive cycle of pink flamingoes, and other coastal birds.
Sydney, Australia
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Only one flamingo but plenty of adventure....”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 1, 2013

We went on the Mayan Heritage tour of the Celestun estuary with our guide Gabriel. There were fourteen of us and we paid 600 pesos each without lunch, (700 with, if I had my time again, I'd pay the extra 100 pesos). Essentially, you get driven to the Celestun estuary via some very interesting Mayan villages, with Gabriel giving us the good oil in both English and Spanish. We arrive at the estuary and then its a tour of the mangroves, with a number of stops to look at the wildlife. Sadly, the flamingos weren't in residence, but we did see a number of our remarkable feathered friends, including some bright pink spoonbills. The highlight however, was a walking tour through the mangroves in which we were taken to a fresh water spring, feeding into the estuary in which we could swim. Even more amazing was the fact that we were sharing the spring with a couple of alligators, who, thankfully, seemed more or less disinterested in feeding on us. High adventure indeed! Our guide assured us we were safe and it turned out to be true. Then it was back in the car for the short trip to Celestun itself. Along the way, we saw a flamingo! But only one and he was a very long way away. But nonetheless, mission accomplished. At Celestun we ate in a very enjoyable beach side restaurant, with everyone getting deeply into the spirit of the day, drinking cervezas and tequila and generally having a great time before a quick dip in the Caribbean. . Gabriel was brilliant the whole way and made sure we had an excellent day. Highly recommended.

Visited June 2013
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111 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Greendell, New Jersey
Top Contributor
141 reviews 141 reviews
57 attraction reviews
Reviews in 59 cities Reviews in 59 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Don't miss this experience!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

There is nothing else like this anywhere! This was my favorite piece of my Yucatan tour with Trafalgar. We went out in motor boats to where the Flamingos feed in the wild- and there was somewhere between 25-50,000 of them! I have never seen anything like it before and probably never will again. It was SO BEAUTIFUL! The boat ride was fun (and scarey). after we left the feeding grounds, we went to the cenote and it was cool & refreshing there on the boarkwalk in the woods. After that we went thru the mangroves in our boats and then back to port. All in all, it was a wonderful way to spend a morning doing something you could't possibly do anywhwere else! LOVED IT! Thank You UNESCO for preserving this site.

Visited February 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nanaimo, Canada
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Enjoyable boat tour, but expensive”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2013

Was expensive for my wife and I (about $100 total), as we didn't share a boat with anybody else, which I'd do if we went again. We did see lots of birds, but not the thousands of flamingos that are here at other times of the year. Saw about 100 flamingos, many pelicans, frigates, stilts, and cormorants. Took a little tour into the mangrove swamp, which was eerily beautiful.

Visited March 2013
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Weymouth, Massachusetts
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Incredible experience”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2013

We visited the wildlife refuge in March, and there were lots of flamingos to see. You come over abridge into Celestun, the boats are immediately on the left. We quickly found a French couple to share a boat with us. The four of us took the two hour trip. The flamingos were truly amazing, a bsolutely the most beautiful graceful of birds, standing in the water and occasionally flying. There were hundred of them. This was an unforgettable experience. Besides the flamingo's, there were pelicans, something the guide called a kingfisher although very different from what I know by that name, and some other birds I will have to look up. Celestun was also an interesting Town, very windy but lots of restaurants and a few interesting looking places to stay.

Visited March 2013
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Sudbury
Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
“A wild and somewhat dangerous ride to get to the Flamingos”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2013

We learned the hard way that when approached by a young "boat captain" on the main street after lunch that we could have a longer more interesting trip than paying more when leaving from the government docks. When the motor wouldn't start and we are in a fishing boat rather than the flat bottom boats the wild and pounding ride to get to the estuary seemed to take forever! If you have any neck or back problems etc ( as my wife does) avoid this choice. If you want to experience racing close to shore for about 45 mins more to get to the same place then you might consider this "alternative" despite motor problems we did see the wonderful wild life close up but the traumatic ride to get there will be a lifetime memory.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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