Sisal paya“Sisal, Sisal, let’s all go to Sisal” is a local expression and an invitation to choose this town as your next destination.

Sisal truly has it all: beach, reefs, even sunken cannons! Also, mangroves, swamps, natural areas with birds, herons, and flamingos wherever you look; a beautiful fresh water spring to swim in, and many adventures ahead.

Sisal is a small beach town with just over 1600 inhabitants which is known for welcoming its visitors with open arms. It’s a place with many natural attractions to visit, admire, and protect; plenty of accommodation options; and a variety of restaurants to enjoy fresh fish and seafood. This plant and wildlife paradise is just an hour from Mérida, and is a natural refuge that will make you want to come back time and time again.

Tours in to the Natural Springs inside the Mangroves

I head to the mangroves with my expert guide Enrique Mex. Enrique has been a certified guide for over 16 years and is also a tireless promoter of ecotourism in Sisal. We drive approximately 5 km and lower the barge we’ll use for the tour into the water. This drive can be done easily in a motortaxi, or in a larger vehicle when working with bigger groups; both are also used to transport the barges or kayaks depending on the tour you wish to hire.

What I can only describe as a “bird paradise” appears before my eyes. I am delighted to see red and white mangrove in every direction; there are grey herons, ducks, and other young birds coexisting, some of which are full-time residents and others are migratory visitors, depending on the time of year. If you look down at the water, you will see small fish swimming along as well. The sheer beauty of the flora and fauna will take your breath away. Take as many photos as you can so that you can remember the little details of every bird and every islet: the scenery is just like a painting with a perfect, blue sky, still waters, and birds that seem to pose just for you.

The next stop becomes clear once we reach the entrance of the natural reserve, and we proceed through the canal, experiencing colors and sounds. The different shades of green and the lull of running water forecast the surprise ahead: a natural spring so clear, that it will be impossible for you to not dive in as soon as you see it. This little paradise is great for small groups. Enjoy it and protect it, and make sure the impact you leave behind is minimal. Respect this natural area by not using sunblock or leaving trash behind.

Downtown Sisal

After your tour, go back into town and visit the Santiago fort, the pier, the Casa del Monifato, and the beautiful beach which is perfect for walks or simply to spend the day under an umbrella or palapa. The beach in Sisal is always a place where you can do nothing at all, and still have a great time.

To find out what activities and tours are available, go to the former Customs office. There you can choose between historical tours on bike or mototaxi; diving and snorkeling excursions to the reef or to the sunken cannons, shipwrecks, and lighthouse; sport fishing for all levels of expertise using different techniques; and of course, tours to see the mangrove, the natural spring, the estuary, and more. The activities will depend on what your travel style is: kid-friendly, adventure-seeking, or nature-loving.

When you’re leaving Sisal, carefully stop at the side of the highway; from the lookout point you will be able to see flamingos, birds, and much more.

Everything is better at the beach, so for your next outing be sure to say “Let’s all go to Sisal.”

 

Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photography by Violeta H. Cantarell and Andrea Mier y Terán for use in Yucatán Today

Directory

 Tourism Services

Aventurismo en Sisal
Spend the day of the estuary, take tours to the “Petén,” mangrove, and spring; snorkel on the reef and sunken ships. Recreational and artisanal fishing; birding and flamingo tours. Service in English and Spanish. Certified federal guide.
Enrique Mex
Cel. 9991 97 92 58
[email protected]
FB: Ziz-Ha Ecoturismo

Cocodrilos Gedeon Sisal
Tours to the mangroves by day and night, diving, and sport fishing.
Jared Flores
Cel. 9992 62 90 46
FB: Cocodrilos Gedeon Sisal

Casa Balam Hostel / Experiencias Balam-Há (water jaguar)
Excursions (one day) and expeditions (two or more days) to the coast, reefs, and shipwrecks. Artisanal fishing, tours to the mangrove, flamingo and bird watching. Hammock or camping accommodation. Services available in English and Spanish.
Walter Printzen
Cel. 9991 15 43 94
www.casabalamhostel.com
FB: Casa Balam Hostel

Descubre Sisal
Tours to the mangroves and natural spring, guided bike tours of the city, artisanal fishing, hiking and bird watching at dawn. Accommodation in private rooms or homes by the day or week.
Leopoldo Puc
Cel. 9993 63 50 14
FB: Descubre Sisal

Ecotours Tiburones de Sisal
Boat tours along the coast and on “bananas,” biking and Centro Histórico tours, tours to the mangroves and dunes, diving, and artisanal fishing.
José Fco. Chan Canul
Cel. 9994 94 76 23
FB: Ecotours tiburones de sisal

Motoventours
Thatched-roof motorcycle rides, kayak tours to the mangroves by day and night, bird watching, and ecotourism activities.
Eduard Cruz
Cel. 9992 35 10 87
FB: Motoventurs sisal

Descubriendo manglares
Tours to the mangroves and the “Petén,” birdwatching, cycling, sport fishing, and horseback tours on the beach.
Wilberth Chuc
Cel. 9992 10 69 86

Adventure Tour
Geovani May
9992606816
FB: Adventure tour

Zotz Balam
Gener Dzib Esquivel
9991014693
FB: Zotz-Balam Tours y Pesca. Sisal, Yuc.

Restaurants

El Muelle de Sisal
FB: El Muelle de Sisal Restaurante

Corsarios
In front of the dock

La Palapa de Soco
Calle 3 Oriente #121

El Comanche
FB: Restaurant El Comanche

El Amigo Chivero
FB: “EL Amigo Chivero”

Hotels

Aldea Pegy Sisal
FB: Aldea Pegy Sisal

Club de Patos
FB: Club de Patos Hotel Boutique

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