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.
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