Rio Lagartos vista faro

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, Río 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.

Río Lagartos is famous for its flamingo colonies and variety of bird species. To sum it up, this is a great place for bird watchers and adventure ecotourism.


Rio Lagartos pelicanos

What to do in Rio Lagartos?

Flamingo Observation Tour and Mayan Bath
Bird Watching Tour
Crocodile Night Tour
Sport fishing
Fly fishing
Enjoy the wonderful and desolate beach all for you


Rio Lagartos Adventures:

The cooperative Río Lagartos Adventures is led by Diego Nuñez, naturalist and birding and fishing guide. 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. The cooperative Río Lagartos Adventures is led by Diego Nuñez, naturalist and birding and fishing guide. Diego Nuñez pioneered eco tourism in Río Lagartos.Rio Lagartos manglarThey are located at the Ria Maya Restaurante and Posada,their 3 most popular tours are: boat tour to observe flamingos, night tour to observe crocodiles, and bird-watching tour (boat or land). Reservations: Cel. 9861 00 83 90. or

You can also enjoy delicious seafood here, and with their second story palapa roof terrace, it’s the best spot to watch the sunset. To find them: you will enter Rio Lagartos on the main street. As you cross the 4th speed bump (tope) turn to the left. There is a sign. Follow this street (Calle 19) and it will bring you directly to them.


Jaguar Sightings

Diego Nuñez of Rio Lagartos Adventures nature tours with the guide Francisco “Paco” Machain and a French family had a rare and fascinating opportunity on July 17, 2015. A very unusual sighting of a Jaguar Phantera onca. The Jaguar has been reported seen around the Reserve but never along the mangroves. The bright lamps that are used to find the Crocodiles by the red reflections in their eyes is what illuminated the jaguar: a female feline about two meters long. This is his experience captured in photos and video:


Near Rio Lagartos

San Felipe
Las Coloradas

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.


San Felipe is a quaint fishing town, 9 km. west of Río Lagartos.

Hotels in Río Lagartos and San Felipe:

Hotel Villa de Pescadores 
Calle 14 #95 Malecón Costero, Río Lagartos
Tel. (986) 856 4796
Whatsap: (986) 106 9579


Hotel San Felipe
Calle 9-A x 14 y 16, San Felipe, 9 km west of Río Lagartos
Tel: (986) 862 2027
Email: [email protected]


– Río Lagartos
– Peninsula de Yucatán 

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