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8 BEST Sian Ka’an Tours & Excursions [2023]

Looking for the best Sian Ka’an tours? Check out this guide to find the different tour options with which you can visit this beautiful Biosphere Reserve.

Sian Ka’an is a gorgeous Biosphere Reserve and one of Mexico’s largest protected areas, containing tropical forests, mangroves and marshes, as well as a barrier reef and plenty of marine life. In the ancient Mayan language Sian Ka’an means ‘Origin of the Sky’, and you’ll understand why once you’re there.

I’m a bit of an expert in this area of Mexico, having spent a few months here in the past years. So listen to me when I tell you that Sian Ka’an is one of the last hidden gems of the region and one of the very best day trips from Tulum.

Don’t skip Sian Ka’an, it might, unfortunately, change in the near future as they’re planning to build an airport here. I know, I know…

There are many tours that visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve from Tulum, Cancun, or Playa del Carmen / Riviera Maya. It can be a bit stressful to find the perfect one or to be sure that the one you choose is trustworthy and offers a good service, especially since tours to Sian Kaan don’t come cheap.

For that reason, I’ve put together for you some of the best Sian Kaan tours that offer great experiences and have even greater reviews from previous travelers – including the tour I personally went on.

⚠️ First, you need to understand this. When it comes to Sian Kaan excursions, there are two different types of trips. Some take you to the coastal area of the reserve, visiting the reef and stunning beaches, while others go to the floating canals of the lagoon, and the Muyil ruins. Both options are great, but they are very different from each other. You’ll find both on this list.

🚐 Most of these tours depart from Tulum, but you’ll also find Sian Ka’an tours from Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya, and Cancun. Often the same tours that depart from Tulum will pick you up from other locations for an extra fee.

I personally use and trust Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours all over the world. This company offers 24 hours cancellation policy, which means that you will receive a full refund if you cancel most tours or experiences at least 24 hours in advance.

Now, let’s check out the very best Sian Ka’an Biosphere tours!

The VERY Best Sian Ka’an Tour from Tulum, Cancun, Riviera Maya

The Sian Ka’an Adventure excursion takes you on a full-day trip to tour Sian Kaan and marvel at its immense biodiversity. You’ll get to snorkel on the Mesoamerican reef, spot the manatees at Boca Paila Lagoon and come across the wildlife that lives there. You’ll also enjoy a Sian Ka’an boat tour and lunch at Punta Allen.

This is one of the best Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve tours (in fact, we think it’s the very best one!), and it’s the exact same tour I’ve personally taken a few years ago. I absolutely loved it! In fact, it was the highlight of my time in Tulum.

🚐 This tour departs from Tulum, and provides transportation from Cancun, Riviera Maya, and Playa del Carmen for an extra fee.

📝 This tour includes: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, Sian Ka’an boat tour, snorkeling equipment, lunch, fruit and snacks, and a local guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Muyil Ruins & Mangroves

For a more educational Sian Ka’an tour, check out the Sian Ka’an and Muyil Archaeological Site Tour, which takes you to the Muyil ruins, a place that once was an important trading post and now sits amid the mangroves of Sian Ka’an.

You’ll walk along a natural trail before taking a boat ride to Muyil Lagoon, and learn all about the Maya civilization and ecology of the area from your guide. One of the most comprehensive Sian Kaan Biosphere tours.

🚐 The tour departs from Tulum, Cancun, and Playa del Carmen, although fees may vary if your departure point is not in Tulum.

📝 This tour includes: Transfers, bottled water, picnic lunch, local guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Kayaking Tour in Sian Ka’an

If you’re looking for some of the most active Sian Ka’an excursions, the Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience might be for you.

In this tour to Sian Kaan, snorkeling and kayaking will be your means of exploring the mangrove mazes and open cenotes – if you ask us, this is the best combination to get to see the dynamic marine life of the reserve from all its angles.

On this excursion to Sian Ka’an, you’ll also learn educational details about the wildlife and the reserve.

🚐 This Sian Kaan tour departs from Tulum.

📝 This tour includes: Equipment for the snorkeling and kayaking activities, snacks, a box lunch, photos and videos, and transportation for a fee (or you can follow with your rental car). ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sian Kaan Birdwatching Tour

If you’re interested in birds, this Sian Ka’an Birdwatching and Muyil Ruins Tour is definitely the one for you. You’ll walk through the jungle with a knowledgeable Mayan guide that will point to the birds you encounter along the way. You’ll learn about the species that live in Sian Ka’an, and visit the Muyil archaeological site to discover the history of the area.

🚐 This tour departs from Tulum, and includes pick-up from Riviera Maya resorts for an extra fee.

📝 This Sian Ka’an excursion includes: Bottled water, breakfast, and transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sian Ka’an Half Day Tour

The Half-Day Tour Discovering Sian Ka’an is a perfect option for those with little time. You’ll go on a boat trip around the reserve to explore the wetlands, meet the wildlife, and snorkel at the beach. You’ll also enjoy a Mexican lunch and enjoy a quick visit to Boca Paila.

🚐 This tour offers hotel pick-up and drop-of and departs from Tulum. Transportation from other locations is available for an extra fee.

📝 This tour includes: Boat tour, water, snacks, a local guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

👉 If you’re not staying in Tulum but would still like to enjoy this day trip, you can book the Biosphere Reserve Half-Day Tour, which is exactly the same tour but departs from Cancun. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sian Ka’an + Cenotes

The Sian Ka’an Lagoons Tour offers a great opportunity to enjoy the nature of Sian Ka’an and swim in its beautiful lagoons. You’ll discover the biosphere’s canals, explore the Muyil archaeological site, and cool off in a natural sinkhole. Snorkel equipment will be available so you can explore the depths of the cenote and lagoons!

🚐 This tour departs from Tulum.

📝 This tour includes: Water, snacks, snorkeling equipment, and transfers. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Private Sian Ka’an Biosphere Tours

▶️ This full-day Sian Ka’an Adventure is perfect if you want to go on a private Sian Kaan excursion with your friends or family. You’ll be taken into the heart of the Biosphere Reserve and you’ll get to explore the Mayan ruins of Muyil, meet the local wildlife, and learn about the history and culture of the Mayan people.

🚐 This private tour departs from Tulum and Akumal.

📝 This tour includes: Snacks, water, lunch, tea & coffee, and hotel pick-up and drop-off. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ The Private Tour to Sian Ka’an is a full-day excursion in which you’ll explore the ecosystems that live in the reserve and snorkel in the stunning reef. You’ll meet the marine life, from colorful fish to sea turtles and manatees, and enjoy a boat trip along the coast.

You’ll also get to visit the town of Punta Allen, where you’ll have lunch. This tour is for a group of up to 6 people.

🚐 Hotel pick-up and drop-off is available both in Tulum and Playa del Carmen.

📝 This tour includes: Water, snacks, lunch, boat tour with snorkeling equipment, and transportation. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

👉 If you’re looking for the same tour but from Playa del Carmen and Cancun, you can book the Sian Kaan Private Biosphere Tour. It includes the same activities as the previous one, with transfers from Cancun for an extra fee. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


What are the best tours to Sian Ka’an?

We think that the Sian Ka’an Adventure and Sian Ka’an and Muyil Archaeological Site are the best Sian Ka’an tours from Tulum or other destinations. The first one takes you to the reef area of Sian Ka’an, while the second tour takes you to explore the lagoons and Mayan ruins. Both tours depart from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Cancun.

Can you suggest a Sian Ka’an half day tour?

These below are fantastic half day tours to Sian Ka’an. Both offer the same activities, but depart from different locations in the Riviera Maya.
• The Half-Day Tour Discovering Sian Ka’an departs from Tulum, Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya.
Biosphere Reserve Half-Day Tour departs from Cancun.

  • Stefania Guglielmi

    Stefania Guglielmi is the founder of Every Steph. Originally from Bologna, Italy, she's been traveling full-time since 2016 and has visited over 50 countries across 6 continents. She believes sustainable travel and luxury travel can go hand in hand and has been advocating for responsible tourism since 2014. Stefania's advice and travel experiences have been featured in important publications such as Business Insider, Refinery29, and Yahoo Money.

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