Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve

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February 22nd 2009
Published: March 3rd 2009
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Today we went to the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve for a birdwatching tour in kayaks. There were just Steve and I in one kayak, and two other fellows in single kayaks, along with our guide, Miguel, in his own kayak. We paddled past mangroves out into the lagoon, which is the largest protected area in the Mexican Caribbean, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was windy, from the side, so we fought the wind both out and back. It was worth it though, as we saw many types of herons, pelicans, cormorants, and even roseate spoonbills. We sat in our kayaks and watched the sun set over the water, then went back to the centre for a delicious fresh fish dinner. All the people who work here are passionate about saving this place and its inhabitants from the growth of tourism and development. Only about 2 percent of the many hectares of land here is occupied, and mostly by decendants of the Mayan people who fish for their livelihood. You can rent places to stay, but they are far from the shops and all-inclusive reorts that characterize the rest of the Mayan Riviera. These places use renewable resources, and are more like camping out in a hut on the beach. There are miles to explore, without the press of people. This is one place that I would definitely come back to again.

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