5 Jul 2017
Day trip: drive through the Sian Kaan Biosphere reserve to Punta Allen. Up for an adventure? Here’s a trip off the beaten path. A drive down the Riviera Maya coast on a sandy coconut road just 50 kilometers long (±30 miles) through the NE Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve past incredible beaches, pristine mangrove estuaries, finally to arrive in the little fishing village of Punta Allen (about a 2½ hour drive).
For this trip you will need durable transportation (jeep recommended), plenty of drinking water and snacks, your beach stuff, camera, binoculars and anything else you like to take on day trips. Very few people make the drive all the way to Punta Allen because the road is very rutted in places after the Boca Paila bridge and sometimes before. You can test your own tolerance but know that if you do make it to the stone archway that marks the entrance to the Sian Kaan you are only 3 kilometers (±2 miles) from a nice beach that’s quite evident on your left.
Birds we saw along the way in the Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Because we get so many inquiries from birders we decided to make a log of the birds we sighted on this trip:
- A Yellow Tailed Oriole (Icterus mesomelas)
- Brown pelicans (Pelicanus occidentalis)
- Gray-Headed Kite (Leptodon cayanensis)
- Yucatan Jay (Cissilopha yucatanica)
- Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura)
- Magnificent Frigatebird (Fregata magnificens)
- Boat-Billed Fly Catcher (Megarynchus pitangua)
- Red-Vented (Yucatan) Woodpecker (Centurus pygmaeus)
- Yellow-Lored (Yucatan) Parrot (Amazona xantholora)
We used Peterson’s “A Field Guide to Mexican Birds” for identification. Since we are not experienced birders we may be off on a couple species. If so, sorry about that.
Allowed are: birdwatching, low-impact tourism, fishing, snorkeling, kayaking
Prohibited are: touching the reef, open fires, non-biodegradable suntan lotion, spear fishing or gaffing, hunting, wave runners
The first thing you’ll see in Punta Allen is Los Gaytones, a litte restaurant, fishing & boat rides offered. There’s Xoken restaurant, 2 locations and Muelle Viejo restaurant where we ate lunch. Around the corner is Vigia Grande restaurant/bar Vigia Grande offers eco-tours, fly fishing, snorkeling. Cuzan restaurant, cabañas, eco-tours, fly fishing & snorkeling trips. Continuing on you’ll pass back into the Sian Kaan reserve, through Serenidad Shardon (sorry no photo) and on to the lighthouse, the old one (photo left) and the new one (photo right). There is a trail that goes to a “Miradoor” look-out tower. This is the land’s end. The body of water to the south is the tremendous Bahía de la Ascensión, known for unpredictable seas, great fly-fishing and birdwatching.
Check out some vacation properties in the Sian Ka’an so you can enjoy this paradise for yourself.