In Yucatán there are no true rivers above ground, only formations called rías, which are entries from the ocean to the coast, forming canals with abundant aquatic vegetation called mangroves. It is worthwhile exploring them; it is a unique experience. Declared “Biosphere Reserve,” with 60,000 hectares, Ría Lagartos, located 2.5 hours from Mérida (230 kms) and from Playa del Carmen, and 1.5 hours from Chichén Itzá, hosts the largest American flamingo population in México. They build their nests in the spring and summer. Its coastal lagoons are areas of seasonal rest and winter territory for flocks of migratory and local birds, with a current record of 388 different bird species in the area. The beaches offer habitat for nesting of Carey and white marine turtles.
The cooperative Río Lagartos Adventures is led by Diego Nuñez, naturalist and birding and fishing guide. The cooperative offers bird watching by boat and on land, Flamingo tours, crocodile night tours, and sport fishing / fly fishing. Diego Nuñez pioneered eco tourism in Río Lagartos. The cooperative is made up of the Nuñez, Marfil, Canul, Contreras, and Vallejos families, 100% local people. At the pier of the La Torreja restaurant, they have comfortable boats, kayaks, mountain bikes, and trained & certified guides, ready for you to enjoy the various tours offered in English, Spanish, or Italian. To find their services, when entering Ría Lagartos continue on Calle 10 until you get to the malecón and veer left along the malecón looking for the only lighthouse (unusually square) of the port, and 50 meters beforehand you will find them at the only palapa restaurant, LA TORREJA, with fresh Mexican seafood cuisine, on Calle 9 No. 105 x 14. This is the only place where you'll find their services! Reservations: Cel. 986 100 8390 or www.riolagartosnaturetours.com  Ask us about our posada: Diego & Matildé's Posada in Rio Lagartos  It is located behind our house on a quiet street in Rio Lagartos. It is not on the water but it is just a short walk to the waterfront. We have 4 rooms. We built them as a service to our birding and fishing customers. They have all the modern conveniences including wireless, cable TV and air conditioning.
On Malecon Av., Rio Lagarto's best spot, is Hotel Villa de Pescadores 12 room, owner-operated hotel. All its rooms have: private, furnished balconies overlooking the sea, AC, cable TV, bathroom w/ hot & cold water, ceiling fan, & mosquito netting. Standard rooms have 2 full size beds. Superior rooms, on the top floor with the best view, have 1 king size bed. The hotel has a rooftop terrace on the third floor where guests enjoy spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Villa de Pescadores Hotel has a restaurant-bar, "Buddha Rio Café", overlooking the sea, that serves outstanding "catch of the day" fish specialties, seafood & vegetarian dishes, plus the best tasting organic Chiapas coffee in Rio Lagartos. The hotel provides free WiFi Internet in the restaurant area and in some of its rooms. Villa de Pescadores Hotel can arrange boat tours to see the flamingos and crocodiles at the Ria Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, Sunset tours, Bird Watching, and Fly-fishing or bottom fishing trips. The hotel provides free vehicle parking to its guests. Villa de Pescadores Hotel is at the corner of Malecon Av & Calle 14 in Rio Lagartos, Yucatan, Mexico. Reserve now: Cel 9992 422595, Ph. 986 862 0020 or by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org  www.hotelvilladepescadores.com 
Hotel Punta Ponto is situated facing a spectacular view of the lagoon. They offer accommodation, food, and tours of the Biosphere Reserve. The rooms are excellent quality with competitive prices, and include a/c, double beds, private bath, hot water, parking, free wi-fi, and complimentary Continental breakfast. The tours are given by certified and professional guides. Calle 9 diagonal, Hwy. to the Balneario de Chiquilá No. 140. Tel. 986 862 0509. cel. 986 100 1695. email: email@example.com  Web: www.hotelpuntaponto.com 
How to get there :
You can get to Río Lagartos via a travel agency, in a rented car or by bus. By car from Mérida drive east to Tizimín and then go north to Río Lagartos. There are a few hotels here, including the ones mentioned above, or you can stay at the Hotel San Felipe, in the quaint fishing town of the same name, 9 km. west of Río Lagartos: Tel. 986-862-2027. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Hotels in Río Lagartos:
Hotel in San Felipe:
- Hotel San Felipe
9 km. west of Río Lagartos
Tel: (986) 862 2027
Email: email@example.com