Escape From Tourism – Visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere
Updated: Dec 2, 2021
Architect Rob, and I had planned to drive over to Chitzen Itza on Monday. But our scuba dive excursion was postponed, re-scheduled for Monday. Tuesday was “packing day” so we had less time. Roberto had an idea for a substitute pyramid destination just south of Tulum, Muyil and the Sian Ka’an Biosphere. After our resort waiter Gabriel validated the idea, we headed out. #TLAATulum18 #sponsored & #notsponsored
Upon arrival we learned that Muyil was a UNESCO Site!
See Rob’s post about Muyil at Belles Architecture’s Blog – CLICK HERE.
We had no idea what a special treat awaited us beyond Muyil at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
We were kind of confused about where we were going. We didn't understand that one destination was behind the other and not on the road. We had seen signs for both destinations, but done little or no research. It was a good thing that we found the pyramids first. The Muyil Archeological Site was out by the road (Hwy 307), one of two access points for the Sian Ka’an Biosphere.
They were so happy to see us that they directed us to a parking spot in the shade along with only about 6 other cars and NO tourist busses! We bought our admission, photographed a hand drawn map and set out to explore the Mayan Ruins. All the way at the back of Muyil, beyond the pyramids, was a sign, an additional admission booth, and gate to Sian Ka'an Biosphere. Sure, why not?
For less than $3 USD per person we could check it out.
We passed through the gate and the flora changed instantly!
The hand drawn map from the entrance to Muyil seemed to indicate a lookout tower. Wouldn’t you agree? We wondered if it was coming soon.
Sure enough it was just around the bend. Note the warning in the lower right of the sign.
Needless to say I didn’t need to ask “are we going to do it?” Rob was already climbing (one of the things I love most about him)
Our travel friends Chris and Kristin had been laughing about Roberto’s man bag all week. That was, until Kristin learned that he was carrying our personal WiFi hotspot device in there, when suddenly it was less funny. Kristin has three sons that she was trying to keep in touch with. Solis connects up to ten devices so we shared it with Kristin.
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Using “The roofer’s rule” we ascended the tower keeping 3 points of connection at all times (2 hands and 1 foot or vise versa). At the top we could see the lagoons that connected the land to the sea.
Be safe and adventurous too!
We learned that the Mayans actually dug one of the canals that connects the second lagoon to the Sea – for the purpose of trade. I think that is amazing! The tower seemed sturdy, and is now “Architect tested”. Some may not want to look down.
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Soon a couple from Norway joined us up top. They had been vacationing in the Yucatan for two weeks. They told us that when we reached the first lagoon there was an opportunity to take a fabulous boat tour. Describing it as the best thing they had done so far, they said “They take you across the first lagoon, then through a canal, and another lagoon. Somewhere midway you get to put a life jacket on, like a diaper, and float in the beautiful turquoise water.”
It’s Always nice when others show up and you can do a photo swap!
We descended the tower carefully and continued on. We didn’t have time for the boat tour and “somebody” didn’t have a swimsuit along, but we wanted to make it to the water. The sign said there were banos and food. Curiosity had us.
Just a little further… and there was the first lagoon. We used the bathroom, and thought about a snack at the cart vendor… enjoyed a little sun before heading back.
On the way out of Muyil we found some “Mayan Chairs” to try out. Just some stones neatly stacked against a tree – something simple that anyone can do anywhere.
Always open to design inspiration. I love it – I need one!
This destination was un-spoiled by the masses. In fact, we only saw 3 or 4 other small groups of people. Both Muyil and Sian Ka’an were VERY clean and well maintained as you would expect from any UNESCO Site. If you enjoy a quiet day exploring architecture, the past & the beauty of nature we highly recommend both Sian Ka’an Biosphere & Muyil Archeological Site, a combined pleasure.
To learn more details about the Sian Ka’an Biosphere visit Wikipedia
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