Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve, México
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is one of the largest protected area in Mexico -almost one third of the Caribbean coast of Mexico- and comprises 1.3 million acres of tropical ecosystems located south of Cancun in the mexican state of Quintana Roo. Consisting of lowland forest, flooded savannas, mangroves, and a portion of the world's second largest coastal barrier reef, the Reserve is home to 800 plant species and provides habitat for 350 species of birds, as well as jaguar, puma, ocelot, crocodiles, and many types of turtles. Additionally, the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve is home to 23 different archaeological sites of pre-Columbian culture.
Sian Ka'an, a Mayan phrase for "Where The Sky Is Born," was one of the first established Biosphere Reserve in Mexico. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage site and remains a high priority of protection for the state of Mexico.
Discoveries of human remains, ceramic pieces, and other artifacts have been dated up to 2,300 years old. The northernmost section of Sian Ka’an contains what is thought to be an ancient trade route through lagoons and mangrove channels between the cities of Tulum and Muyil. Parts of what is now the Reserve were once areas of chicle production and trade through the middle of the twentieth century, and the fishing industry is still one of the most important economic activities of the Reserve’s population.
Sian Ka'an is also the most beautiful natural treasure of the Yucatan peninsula that is accessible to tourists. Community Tours Sian Ka'an, a local tourism alliance between four Mayan cooperatives, presents to you the Mayan Riviera as it once was and as it should be experienced: untouched by urbanization, undisturbed by mass tourism, and guided by local Mayan community members who know the reserve best.
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