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“Odd experience”

Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
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Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve Day Trip from Tulum
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Mayan Eco Adventure: Sian Ka'an Biosphere Tour
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Sian Ka'an Truck Safari from Playa del Carmen
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Owner description: Sian Ka'an (Mayan for "Where the sky is born") is a 1.3 million-acre biosphere reserve.
Reviewed March 5, 2014

My fiancé and I thought, from reading about Sian Ka'an reviews, that we would be able to just "enter" the reserve (the way you enter a state or national park here in the US). Instead, we found ourselves driving through the craziness of Tulum accommodations and bad roads. There is one word to describe driving in Mexico: TOPES. After we FINALLY came to the end of the Tulum accommodations (all crowded together and with people walking everywhere), we went through the arch that I'd read about. This, I thought, was the entrance to Sian Ka'an Reserve. What I expected was that, shortly after going through the arch, we would find a place to pull over and walk to the beach that we could see was very close. But there was a tall and imposing metal fence to our left for a number of kilometers. After that ended, we were still surrounded by vegetation and could see nothing but the road. A word about the "road" - FULL OF POTHOLES. This I had read about, as well, and they weren't kidding. We drove for about 20 minutes (very very slowly) and never saw a break in the vegetation. At one point we saw a sign that suggested there was something up ahead in about 6 km, but we had already had enough and couldn't picture 6 more km of potholes. So we turned back, disappointed and fed up with that road.
If the Bohemain lifestyle of Tulum appeals to you and you have access to a 4WD tour, then maybe Sian Ka'an will be yours, but we preferred our accommodations up in Paamul and we didn't care for the potholes.

4  Thank debbie645
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 2, 2014

Our trip with iTours consisted of three parts. 90+ minutes rough drive along a terrible road that really needs a health warning if you have any hint of a bad back! There is a theoretical choice of going in an group in an open safari truck or as a group of 4 in a jeep. We were warned off the truck because others had said it was just too uncomfortable but the jeep would have been only slightly more comfortable and with too much temptation to keep the windows closed and use the aircon. (In fact we went in a closed bus which was the worst of all worlds - but that is another story). There is very little to see on the road journey because the tall vegetation is close to the road and wildlife must run a mile from the noise of the vehicles crashing through the potholes. There was no commentary on our journey but it would have been impossible to hear in any case. Phase 2, the boat trip round the lagoon and to the ocean was excellent with lots of birdlife, dolphins, turtles and even manatee (no English speaking guide but the local boatlady explained well by hand signals) and the food at the restaurant at Punta Allen was good but all too soon it was time for Phase 3, back to the land transport for another 90+ minutes of buttock massage.

4  Thank John B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 26, 2014

Our tour included the boat ride thru the lagoons to the float trip in the canal. Our Myan tour guide Pastor Witzil made it much more informative. Also his guide thru the jungle explaining about each tree and the Myan culture from the biosphere. He pulled in some humor. The tourist tree forget the botanical name but they call it the tourist tree because it is red and peeling. Also told us about the ruins read to us the Myan version.
Great place but even better with a guide esp. Pastor.

1  Thank retired27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 24, 2014

My 11yr old son ,teenage son and I ventured out on the Crocorunner truck with four jeeps following closely after being picked up at our hotel at 715am. We were warned about the rough road , maybe not enough had I had a bad back etc. Thankfully I didnt .The road is horrendous and seems to go on forever. Not much is visible from the road as your are surrounded by greenery on each side .Once in the boats our day got better making the road well worth it . Although the visible birdlife ,on our trip, was limited (just by chance) we did find dolphins and sea turtles. The views were spectacular. The light snack was a bit of a let down but put something in our stomachs before hitting the amazing reef for snorkeling . A beautiful reef with many fish ,a few large sized lobster and amazing healthy coral formations for viewing . Lunch was greatly appreciated at this point .It was pleasant but not amazing. Our guide Arturo was a great host .His grasp of the english language ,as he had warned ,was a little lacking but he did his best . He made for a lively entertaining experience .I would recommend this for any true nature lover . Very glad I chose this true wild adventure for my sons and I over Xceret etc .Despite a verylong tiring day my 11yr old was unhappy to head back to our hotel

2  Thank rod24773
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 8, 2014

We decided to venture into the reserve on our own. We stopped at the entrance to pay our fees and then spent the next 4+ hours crawling down one of the bumpiest roads ever. It was a pretty wild experience and one I may even do again someday. Because this area is natural and not maintained in any way, there is tons of garbage on the beaches. In some areas it is so bad and mixed with the decomposing seaweed, the smell is putrid! That being said, we found some amazing, deserted beaches and swam in the most beautiful blue waters. We peaked in at the lagoon when we could and stopped on the bridge to watch the birds feeding on the 'flying' fish. At km 22, the coastline is rough and jagged with tons of fossils everywhere. The waves just slam this area and it made for great photos. At this point, we had been driving for almost 3 hours and so decided to turn back. It was a really cool day and I am so glad we ventured in.

2  Thank jus66
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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