We booked the Sian Ka'an tour through our hotel (Luv Tulum). We've been here before and had a bird tour with Miguel and so thought we'd venture for longer into the jungle/rain forest area this time.
The trip was sold via their website as including many exciting things from exotic birds to dolphins. We are glad we went and for us the dolphins and the turtle made It worthwhile, however, it is more accurately described as a 5-6 hour round trip to see dolphins, a turtle or 2 and snorkel. The bird watching element was sitting in the mini-bus on the road, we did stop once to stretch our legs and we saw a few birds but do NOT imagine that you will see anything more exotic than you see on Tulum beach. If you do it is a bonus.
8am pick up from hotel
Then the worse road that you can ever imagine - seriously do NOT consider this if you are pregnant; have a bad back; know you're waiting for a hip replacement or get car sick ... take sickness tablets if you can. The condition of the road is blamed upon many factors but mainly that there is too much traffic, no-one will take responsibility and that if it were fixed there would be more destruction. I do wonder whether tour companies have to pay any tax or toll. A toll may fix some issues.
The driver DAVID was a genius at trying to get around the pot holes, of which there were more than flat road. We ached like mad the next day.
Anyway ... about 1-2 hours after being picked up expect to stop and take photos for 10 minutes.
Then back in for 2 or so hours and finally you go to the public loos and get changed and walk to the boats.
Then a 5 minute fast ride out to sea with 5-15 other boats to see if you can find a few dolphins. There are many pods there (dolphin family units) and at times I felt concerned that we were far too close to them, especially those with calves. In most waters you can be fined for going so close to them. Anyway, they were there and lovely to see.
Then off to see birds in trees on a small island - lots of them - nice.
Then off to the edge of the coral reef to snorkel. I didn't go in as I was aching from the drive but the others did. I asked 2 of them what it was like and they said not up to much, but I guess it's hit and miss as much as it is luck.
Then back to the village for a lovely lunch and then .... 3 hours of being thrown around a tin can in the heat, dark and then rain.
The only reason we would not go again is the drive and that is why I go on about it. Be prepared but do not dismiss the trip because of it.
We had a woman whose name we cannot remember (our group split into 2 and she took the French speaking half) and Miguel the younger or bat man (as opposed to Miguel the bird man as we call him). Miguel was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable and for me made the trip far more interesting than if we'd gone without him.
Some of this sounds negative; it is just honest but we do still say 4 out of 5 and would recommend it and the company.
One little note to the guides: the laminated sheets that you showed to use were great. We would have bought 1 of each of you'd had stock in a bag in the van but are unlikely to make a special trip to Tulum (and another 300 pesos) though, just to buy them.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
December 20, 2013
Martina is the guide´s name you don´t remember and it´s great to know that she and Miguel (batman) made your trip better than if you had gone on your own. This is one of our priorities, to have qualified and knowledgeable guides to be part of your one-life-time adventure!
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About the road to get to Punta Allen, it is a really bad one and I would had wished that you where given this information before you booked the tour. Of course this is also part of the adventure, but it is not for everyone and it is really important and convinient that our clients know this, before taking the tour.
Thank you very much for your opinion, because it will help us make sure that all the receptionist from every hotel that we work in, tell their guests about this before they book.
As for the birds that you get to see this is not a specific bird watching Tour, you do see different types of birds, but to know and see even more we have another tour in a different area of the same biosphere, called Bird Watching. It is great that you actually got to take this tour even before going to Punta Allen, because you got to see Sian Ka´an Biosphere from different perspectives.
Hope to have you back soon in a different adventure with us! Thank you.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.