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.
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
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.
Cel. 9991 97 92 58
FB: Ziz-Ha Ecoturismo
Cocodrilos Gedeon Sisal
Tours to the mangroves by 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, and shipwrecks. Artisanal fishing, tours to the mangrove, flamingo and bird watching. Hammock or camping accommodation. Services available in English and Spanish.
Cel. 9991 15 43 94
FB: Casa Balam Hostel
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.
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
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
Tours to the mangroves and the “Petén,” birdwatching, cycling, sport fishing, and horseback tours on the beach.
Cel. 9992 10 69 86
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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