For honeymooners interested in ecotourism who want to get close to nature and local cultures, the Maya Ka’an provides a gateway to the world of the Mayan communities in the Yucatán pen-insula. The region is now being developed for eco-tourism by the local communities in partner-ship with the government and private investors including small cooperativas. Visitors will find an emphasis on sustainability and discover local culture, history and traditions
The region includes the stunning beauty of the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, with tropical jun-gles full of life, mangroves and peaceful lagoons. Bird watching is a favorite activity, and kayaking is a good way to sightsee without disturbing the natural environment. Swimming in the channels and cenotes, bicycling and fishing are other popular outdoor activities.
The towns, small villages and artisan communities preserve the rich history and culture of the re-gion. You can visit local families and share a home-cooked meal, see artisans at work and buy their products, and participate in healing rituals. Accommodations are mostly eco-lodges, rustic cabins and small hotels, with a few luxury boutique hotels.
If you’re looking for a honeymoon that’s off the beaten track, full of natural beauty, welcoming communities and ancient traditions, plan a trip to the Maya Ka’an.
About Maya Ka’an
At a Glance
- The Maya Ka’an covers a large area in the center of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, and includes the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve as well as the Zona Maya, the traditional home of the Maya.
- Visitors will find a region is full of natural beauty, archeological remains and Mayan communi-ties where they can learn about traditional culture.
- The towns of Felipe Carrillo Puerto and Tihosuco have been the focus of the history of the re-gion. You can learn more about this and the long Mayan uprising at the Museo de La Guerra de Castas (Museum of the Caste War) in Tihosuco. The town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto was origi-nally named Chan Santa Cruz and was the site of the Talking Cross during the war.
- The ecotourism centers at Síijil Noh Há and Balam Nah combine adventure with relaxation in a natural environment. You can go swimming or kayaking in the blue lagoons, hike the jungle trails, try the zip lines and rent a cottage or camp in pristine natural surroundings.
- The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve has been designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. You can enjoy nature walks amid the wetlands, lagoons and mangroves, marveling at the di-versity of the flora and fauna in the forest and sea. Bicycle and boat trips are also a good way to see the wildlife. You can go swimming or snorkeling in the lagoons.
- The town of Muyil has archeological remains as well as lagoons ideal for bird-watching.
- In the small town of Sir you can meet the Mayan artisans and craftspeople. Learn about plant-ing and harvesting corn and buy local handicrafts as gifts for people back home and for your-selves.
- The Raxalaj Mayab Art and Culture Center in Felipe Carrillo Puerto aims to preserve the mem-ories of the Mayan region. You can witness and participate in their ceremonies and rituals, where a shaman makes offerings at a cenote to Mother Earth and the four cardinal points. You can also experience a temazcal or sweat lodge, for healing rituals to purify mind, body and spir-it. Learn about herbal healing and traditional medicine.
- At Señor, the village elders will introduce you to the life and history of the traditional Mayan community. Try some Mayan honey made by stingless bees and bring some honey and honey products home with you.
- The small fishing village of Punta Allen is located within the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and is a sanctuary for many bird species. It’s also a great location for sport fishing and for a quiet stay in a rustic cabin.
- Stay at a rustic cottage or cabin where you can enjoy your own private retreat amid natural beauty and simplicity.
- Learn about Mayan culture and life through visits with artisans and farmers.
- Shop for handicrafts made by local people that keep Mayan traditions alive.
- Visit the picturesque town of Chunhuhub and treat yourselves to a gastronomic adventure with a meal cooked in a pib, which is a traditional Mayan earth oven. You can pick your own ingre-dients in the garden and enjoy your meal with fresh fruit juice.
- Take a sunset boat trip in the lagoons at Sian Ka’an for an enchanted evening together.
GETTING THERE AND GETTING AROUND: Maya Ka’an is most easily accessed from Tu-lum and the best way to get there and get around is to take a tour. Most tours are run by the local communities with a strong emphasis on sustainable tourism.