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Rio Lagartos – Untouched Paradise

Pelicans on a fishing boat in Rio Lagartos, Yucatan, Mexico

Simplicity Makes this Fishing Village Paradise

The lack of crowds, the protected biosphere, the hundreds of flamingos, and the pink waters of the nearby salt mines is a gentle mix of life, industry and nature in perfect balance. Life just happens in Rio Lagartos in its truest form. As a visitor you have a precious opportunity to observe life as it is in the Yucatan.

Rio Lagartos is not for everyone. The size of the town could have many visitors turning their cars around and heading to more popular destinations with more things to do. If you want to see life up close, in a small village, stay a while. Explore what makes this Yucatan village tick. We fell in love with Rio Lagartos, something that just may happen to you. Ironically, simplicity is what makes this little village stand out from the crowd.

Birders and Naturalists Paradise

Bird watchers and nature enthusiasts have kept this piece of heaven a secret. With only five small hotels to choose from, birders feel they have the village to themselves. Multilingual guides take pride in their knowledge of bird species, mangrove types, and the best spots to view the hundreds of flamingos that flock to the bay areas. One tour guide has taught himself the names of the various bird species in over languages. Fishing is the main game here but canal tours are arranged when a visitor requests. With over 350 bird species documented in the area, this is one of the most active birding havens in the country.

Every Day Occurrences – Life Just Happens

Unlike other Yucatan and Riviera Maya destinations, it is the everyday occurrences, the unplanned happenings that make Rio Lagartos interesting. Young children create their own way to play. Fishermen gauge the waters and seasons to see if the day is a boat or land day. Restaurants close early and the community gathers on the malecon every night to enjoy the warm evenings. There is a distinct absence of scheduled activity, which makes room for the regular process of living. Immersing yourself into the true culture of the Yucatan, in a village that caters to its community and families not international tourists, is what makes Rio Lagartos different, special, and heartfelt.

Other Small Villages to Explore near Rio Lagartos

Las Coloradas is a salt mining village close to Rio Lagartos. It is here that you can see for yourself, the picturesque pink pools of the Yucatan. The salt refinery located just before the ‘pink pools’ is worth a quick stop. The mountains of salt will blow your mind. Who would have ever guessed?

San Felipe to the west is a great place for lunch and a view of Yucatan living. This is another fishing village that focuses on community and families.

Rio Lagartos is a peek into the real life outside of the popular tourist destinations. The laughter, the conversations, the stolen moments unfound anywhere else is what makes Rio Lagartos a living paradise.

Photos courtesy of Denise Landry

LocoGringo suggests these great vacation spots:

Hotel Tabasco Rio
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Hotel Tabasco Rio is situated in Rio Lagartos and the Bio Reserve, famed for pristine beaches and pink flamingos. Offering 19 rooms with A/C, free Wi-Fi and onsite parking, it’s a great base for...
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