The Sian Ka’an biosphere is a protected ecological reserve of jungle, lagoons, ocean and ancient ruins, south of Tulum. It is home to and a ancient canal system used as a trade route by the Maya.
We had hoped to do a boat trip through the canals from Punta Allen, but after our mis-adventures and poor planning, we didn’t quite make it.
You don’t have to drive all the way to Punta Allen to do the boat trips, however. While plenty of tour agencies in Playa del Carmen and Tulum do organised tours to the reserve, there is also an information center inside the reserve called CESIAK (Centro Ecologico de Sian Ka’an) who provide tours, accommodation and more.
Full day canal tours of Sian Ka’an depart from the Cesiak center and cost US$78 including transport to and from Tulum hotels. Some tours include a visit to the little-known ancient ruins of Muyil.
I’ve heard good thing about the tours which are some of the least expensive around. Tours from other agencies can cost upward of US$120.
I have heard it’s possible to take tours with some of the local fisherman in the area, though unfortunately I don’t have experience with this myself.