Sisal is so much more than a picturesque fishing village with one of the most peaceful beaches of the Yucatecan coast. Sisal is a rich history dating back to the Maya, through the colonial period to present times; it’s also natural beauty of spectacular variety with mangroves, beaches, a cenote-like natural spring, birds, flamingos, and many different fish; it’s also the colors you can see on the murals that decorate its streets, and the beautiful tones of blue, pink, and purple of the sunsets you watch from the pier.
Sisal may be less known for its gastronomic offerings but it has delicious and fresh fish and seafood dishes to suit everyone. Additionally, this town offers an unforgettable experience if you’re looking for a unique adventure such as snorkeling around the reef or scuba diving to see old cannons, anchors, and shipwrecks that now line the ocean floor.
Sisal was a point of reference on the coast for the Maya well before the Conquest. In the 16th century, it became the main port for the shipment of merchandise, mainly henequén, as well as an important port of entry for immigrants and visitors to Yucatán, including Empress Carlota.
You will find most of the activity along the main street of Sisal. This street takes you to the picturesque dock, where you will likely see fishermen, and the soft, white sand beach. At the former Customs Office, a historic building which today is home to a library, you will find information on a variety of activities for all ages and interests. You can take part in these activities by hiring the services of certified guides who have years of experience and knowledge in tourism.
Diving, sport and artisanal fishing, bird watching, day tours to the estuary, the mangrove, and the freshwater spring (among my favorites because of its beauty), snorkeling on the reef, tours to see the sunken ships and cannons (unique in this region), bird photography, flamingos (yes, you can also find many colonies here!), crocodiles, interpretive hiking or bike rides, tours of the Centro Histórico on bikes or peculiar mototaxis with thatched roofs, horseback riding on the beach and even banana rides! There’s always something new to see and do. You won’t resist falling in love with Sisal!
On each tour (which can be as short as two hours but can be up to six hours long or even three-day expeditions) transportation by mototaxi, Jeep or van is included; depending on the number of participants and selected tour, these take place in “chalanas” (a flat boat which is propelled with a long stick, therefore avoiding the environmental impact of motors) or kayaks. As a treat for their guests, guides pack a cooler stocked with water, fruit or ceviche, and sodas. I was surprised by the kindness of the people in Sisal, the amount and variety of birdlife, and the stunning natural spring which is ideal for swimming. The association of tourism workers here deserves a lot of recognition for their constant work in showing Sisal’s beauty while respecting nature and spoiling their guests with custom tours year-round.
Whether you’re looking for beach, adventure, nature, history or food, Sisal is a destination for everyone. Get ready to fall in love with Sisal!
Editorial by Violeta H. Cantarell
Photography by Violeta Cantarell and Andrea Mier y Terán for use in Yucatán Today
Ziz- Ha Ecotourism
Spend the day on the estuary, tours to the mangrove and natural spring, snorkeling by the reef and shipwrecks, artisanal and sports fishing, birding and flamingo tours- Services available in English and Spanish, certified guide.
Cel. 9991 97 92 58
FB: Ziz-Ha Ecoturismo
Cocodrilos Gedeon Sisal
Tours to the mangroves by both day and night, diving and sport fishing.
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, shipwrecks and artisanal fishing, tours to the mangrove, flamingo and bird watching. Accommodation in hammock or camping. Services available in English and Spanish
Cel. 9991 15 43 94
FB: Casa Balam Hostel
Tours to the mangrove and natural spring, guided bike tours of the city, artisanal fishing, hiking bird watching at dawn. Accommodation in rooms or homes by the day or week.
Cel. 9993 63 50 14
FB: Descubre Sisal
Ecotours Tiburones de Sisal
Boat tours along the coast and on “banana”, bike 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
Thatched-roof motorcycle rides, kayak tours to the mangroves by day and night, bird watching and ecotourism activities.
Cel. 9992 35 10 87
FB: Motoventurs sisal
FB: Adventure tour
Gener Dzib Esquivel
FB: Zotz-Balam Tours y Pesca. Sisal, Yuc.
El Muelle de Sisal
FB: El Muelle de Sisal Restaurante
In front of the dock
La Palapa de Soco
Calle 3 Oriente #121
FB: Restaurant El Comanche
El Amigo Chivero
FB: “EL Amigo Chivero”
Aldea Pegy Sisal
FB: Aldea Pegy Sisal
Club de Patos
FB: Club de Patos Hotel Boutique
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