Skip to Content

9 BEST Sian Ka’an Tours & Excursions [2024]

Looking for the best Sian Ka’an tours? Check out this guide to find the different excursions that take you to this beautiful Biosphere Reserve.

Sian Ka’an is a gorgeous Biosphere Reserve and one of Mexico’s largest protected areas. It’s also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.

Containing tropical forests, mangroves, and marshes, it’s home to a great diversity of wildlife. There’s even a barrier reef with plenty of marine life to snorkel with!

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.

It might, unfortunately, change in the near future as they’re planning to build an airport here. I know, I know…

You can also trust me to bring the best tour recommendations to the table. 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 & excursions. They offer great experiences and have even greater reviews from previous travelers – including the tour I personally went on.

Many excursions visit the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve from Tulum, Cancun, or Playa del Carmen / Riviera Maya.

⚠️ 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 coral reef and stunning beaches. 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.

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

I personally use and trust Viator and Get Your Guide to book tours all over the world. I especially recommend them for their fantastic cancellation policy. If your plans change, you’ll receive a full refund if you cancel most tours or experiences at least 24 hours in advance.

Not enough time? These are the ultimate tours 👇

THE BEST TOURSian Ka’an Adventure Full Day Trip to Punta Allen
HALF-DAY TOURHalf-Day Tour Discovering Sian Ka’an with Lunch
PRIVATE TOURSian Ka’an Adventure (Private, Full Day)

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

The Sian Ka’an Adventure Full Day Trip to Punta Allen is a 10-hour excursion. It enables you to marvel at the site’s immense biodiversity and explore its most stunning spots.

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 have lunch at Punta Allen.

A professional guide will introduce you to the fauna and flora of Sian Ka’an, and explain its history.

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

👉 Why this tour? This is one of the best Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve tours (in fact, we think it’s the very best one!) It’s the exact same tour I’ve personally taken a few years ago. Not only did I absolutely love it but it was the highlight of my time in Tulum.

Everything from hotel transfers to lunch and activities is covered by the tour fee. You’ll visit the most beautiful places in Sian Ka’an, and learn in-depth about its beautiful ecosystem.

Read what the reviews say 👇

 What a fabulous trip, the guides are very knowledgeable and can’t do enough to make sure your day is the best it possibly can. We went on this trip with the hope of seeing a Manatee, which actually happened, along with dolphins, crocodiles and assorted of fish and birds. If you love nature, this trip is a must.

ChrisPerkins – Read more reviews

📝 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 from Tulum. It takes you to Muyil, once an important Mayan trading post that now sits amid the mangrove forests of Sian Ka’an.

Learn all about the Maya civilization and ecology of the area from your guide. You’ll also walk along a natural trail, take a boat ride to Muyil Lagoon, and indulge in a delicious lunch. It’s 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, a picnic lunch, and a tour guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Kayaking Tour in Sian Ka’an

Looking for some of the most active Sian Ka’an excursions? The Kayaking and Snorkeling Experience through Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve might be for you.

Snorkeling and kayaking in crystal clear waters will be your means of exploring the mangrove forests and open cenotes. It’s 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. It’s a great trip for nature lovers!

🚐 This Sian Kaan tour departs from Tulum.

📝 This tour to Sian Ka’an includes: Snorkel gear, kayaks, snacks, a box lunch, and photos and videos. Transfers are available for an extra fee. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sian Kaan Birdwatching Tour

If you’re interested in birds, check out this Sian Ka’an Birdwatching and Muyil Ruins Tour. You’ll walk through the jungle with a knowledgeable Mayan guide.

Keep your eyes peeled to find the numerous bird species in the area, and listen to an expert tell you all about them.

You’ll also visit the Muyil archaeological site to learn about the history of the area, and the civilization that inhabited it.

🚐 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 with Lunch is perfect if you have limited time. You’ll go on a boat trip around the reserve to explore the wetlands and meet the wildlife in its natural habitat.

Go snorkeling at the beach, and enjoy a scrumptious Mexican lunch by the sea. You’ll also visit the stunning Boca Paila before returning to your hotel. A guide will enlighten you with facts and history bits about the Biosphere Reserve.

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

📝 This tour includes: Transfers, a boat tour, water, snacks, and 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. It’s exactly the same tour but departs from Cancun. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Sian Ka’an + Cenotes

The Sian Ka’an Lagoons Tour is an amazing day trip to enjoy the reserve’s natural beauty. You’ll get to swim in beautiful lagoons, and discover the biosphere’s canals.

Explore the Muyil archaeological site, one of the earliest inhabited Mayan cities in the region, with a professional guide. Finally, you’ll get to cool off in the natural sinkholes known as cenotes.

Snorkel equipment will be available so you can explore the depths of the cenote and lagoons!

🚐 This tour departs from Tulum.

📝 This tour includes: Transfers, a guide, snacks, water, and snorkeling gear. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Private Sian Ka’an Biosphere Tours

▶️ This full-day Sian Ka’an Adventure (Private, Full Day) is perfect if you want to go on a trip with your friends or family. You’ll be taken into the heart of the natural reserve to explore the Mayan ruins of Muyil.

Meet the local wildlife, and learn about the history and culture of the Mayan people from a very knowledgeable guide. Enjoy a local-style lunch surrounded by beautiful scenery, and munch on snacks during the day. Don’t forget your sun glasses, and your sense of fun!

🚐 This private tour departs from Tulum and Akumal.

📝 This private Sian Kaan excursion includes: Hotel pick-up and drop-off, entrance fees, a guide, snacks, lunch, coffee/tea, and water. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

▶️ The Private Tour Sian Ka’an Adventure is a full-day excursion. Travel to the Biosphere Reserve, where you’ll explore the ecosystems that live in the area and meet the wildlife.

Snorkel in the stunning reef among colorful fish, sea turtles, and manatees, and enjoy a boat trip along the coast. You’ll also get to visit the town of Punta Allen, an authentic fishing village. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch in town before heading back.

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

📝 This tour includes: Transfers, entrance fees, snorkeling gear, boat tours, snacks, and lunch. ➥ 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

▶️ The Private Sian Kaan Muyil Lazy River Tour is a unique alternative. You’ll travel to the Biosphere Reserve with a professional guide, and explore the ruins of Muyil.

Discover the history of the Mayans who lived in the ancient city, which is one of the longest-inhabited in the region.

Then, go on a delightful cruise along the Chunyaxche River. Relax as you take in the stunning passing views. It’s a laid-back, exclusive tour for you and up to 13 friends.

📝 This tour includes: Transportation from Cancun/Playa del Carmen, entrance fees, a river cruise, and a guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE


What are the best tours to Sian Ka’an?

In our opinion, these are the best Sian Ka’an tours from Tulum or other destinations:
Sian Ka’an Adventure Full Day Trip to Punta Allen
Sian Ka’an and Muyil Archaeological Site Tour from Tulum
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 with Lunch departs from Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Riviera Maya.
• The Sian Ka’an 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.