Skip to Content

A Guide to Exploring Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

A Guide to Exploring Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Looking to explore the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve near Tulum? Here’s why you need to visit this nature-filled wonderland.

An area abundant in natural beauty, the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve is a National Park that lies just south of Tulum on the coast of the Caribbean Sea. 

It’s one of our favourite spots in Tulum and an absolute gem if you love perfect beaches and abundant wildlife. 

This 1.3 million-acre haven contains tropical forests, marshes, mangroves, and some of Tulum’s best beaches – and is a must-do if you’re visiting Quintana Roo. 

Ready to explore?

What is the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve?

Sian Kaan Tulum

Boasting thousands of different species of flora and fauna, the park became a Biosphere Reserve in 1986, and shortly after was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Today, the park is filled with plenty of adventurous opportunities, from kayaking and snorkeling to paddleboarding and bird-spotting. Whether you want to get involved in an activity or admire the pretty views from the comfort of a boat, there are so many things to do in Sian Ka’an.

How to Visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Visiting the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve might sound like a bit of a faff, but it couldn’t be easier. You’ve got two main options by car; either follow the coastal road from Tulum or via the Muyil Ruins. It takes around two hours to get from Tulum to Punta Allen.

Of course, booking a tour makes this even easier. Not to mention that it lets you get involved with some of the very many activities the biosphere is famous for. 

This half-day tour from Tulum includes a boat ride through the park, as well as a detour to the Muyil Ruins. While this full-day tour allows you to get up close and personal with the area’s wildlife by snorkeling and swimming in the crystal clear waters.

Where to Stay in Sian Ka’an

If you’re looking to stay in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, your best bet is to book a hotel in Punta Allen, the largest village in the area. Though, remember that this sleepy village switches off electricity at midnight, which is something to consider if you enjoy late-night TikTok scrolling sessions.

Our top recommendations for hotels in Sian Ka’an are:

  • Sol Caribe: A secluded beachfront resort that serves up freshly-caught seafood in its charming restaurants. Rooms are spacious and well equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
  • Hotel Cielo y Selva: If you fancy glamping in Tulum, there’s no spot as indulgent (and beautiful) as this. The tents are stylish and the outdoor bathrooms make the experience extra magical.

Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve Map