Sian Ka’an or Origin of the Sun, as the Mayans used to call this place, is a beautiful natural attraction in Yucatan Penisula. We wanted so much to visit the Sian Ka’an reserve, the ruins and the jungle from Muyil and float through mangroves forest, in a Mayan canal, on a self-guided day trip, but we couldn’t find much information about it.
The tricky part was that nobody seemed to know how to get there, although we asked some locals and one ADO driver. We were sent to book a tour through a travel agency, and I must say the prices were considerably high. After some research, we realized it was quite easy to organize a self-guided day trip to Sian Ka’an and Muyil, not to mention affordable!
HOW TO GET TO SIAN KA’AN & MUYIL RUINS
You can get to Sian Ka’an reserve from Playa del Carmen or Tulum by Colectivo, by bus or by car. Renting a car is a common way to visit the Yucatan Peninsula. We got there by bus, from Playa del Carmen and came back by Colectivo.
Playa del Carmen – Muyil: 83km, about 1hour and 20minutes drive
Tulum – Muyil: 23km, about 20 minutes drive
If you choose to get to Sian Ka’an by Colectivo, make sure the direction is Felipe Carrillo Puerto( 75km south-west) or Chetumal( further south).
We wanted to book tickets online, on the ADO website, but we couldn’t find the destination: Muyil. Later we found out that the bus station calls: Chunyaxché, which is the name of the Lagoon near Muyil. At the ADO ticket office, in Playa del Carmen, we were able to buy tickets to Chunyaxché.
ADO from Playa del Carmen to Muyil/Chunyaxché: 95-pesos (4.86US$, 4.31€) per person
The bus station is just near the entrance. There is also a small parking lot, free of charge. We just crossed the road, paid for the entrance fees and we were on our own. This Mayan archaeological site has not been rebuilt, but it is still well kept. We walked along the trails, saw the ruins, took some photos. The place was so quiet and lovely, no tourists at all but a lot of mosquitoes, so make sure to bring repellent (biodegradable since you are going to float lately).
Muyil entrance fee: 45-pesos (2.30US$, 2€) per person
Time spent: about 30 minutes
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SIAN KA’AN RESERVE
Behind the ruins of the Castle (El Castillo), after 4 minutes walk, we came across a gate, which is the entrance gate into Sian Ka’an reserve. We paid another fee and followed the path.
Suddenly everything changed, and we found ourselves in the middle of the jungle. A boardwalk, about 500 meters long, led us to an observation deck. At the top, we were over the jungle canopy, and we’ve been rewarded with gorgeous views of the jungle and the lagoons in the distance. After that, we just followed the path until we reached the Chuanyxche lagoons.
Sian Ka’an entrance fee of 50-pesos (2.50US$, 2.30€) per person
Time spent: 40 minutes
At the first lagoon, we paid for the boat that took us to the mangroves forest. The price was per person and, not negotiable.
After crossing the first lagoon at high speed, we’ve reached a narrow and beautiful canal that took us to the second lagoon.
FLOATING DOWN A MAYAN CANAL
Now comes the highlight of this trip: floating down an ancient Mayan canal, through mangroves, in crystal clear water. The boatman provided us with a lifejacket, and we left our belongings inside the boat.
Usually, the float takes about 20 minutes, for the 1-kilometre ride. We spent 40 minutes into the canal, grabbing the mangroves, taking lots of photos and enjoying the ride — such a fabulous experience.
By now, the boatman was expecting us, looking not so happy, since we’ve spent too much time floating. He took us back to the boat, on a beautiful boardwalk and back to the docks.
Boat ride: 1.000-pesos (51US$, 46€) per person
Time spent: 2 hours
From the docks, it’s about 5 minutes walk on a small road till Muyil bus station. We didn’t buy a return ticket to Playa del Carmen so we waited for a Colectivo to show up. After 5 minutes of waiting, one came and picked us up to Tulum.
Colectivo from Muyil to Tulum: $35-pesos (1.79US$, 1.63€) per person & Colectivo from Tulum to Playa del Carmen: $40-pesos (2US$, 1.86€) per person
Our self-guided day trip to Sian Ka’an reserve, Muyil ruins, boat tour & float, and transport to/from Playa del Carmen: $1.265 pesos (65US$, 59€) per person.
All in one, our SELF-GUIDED Day Trip To SIAN KA’AN & MUYIL was a great and funny experience, once in a lifetime, easier to do than expected so I strongly recommend doing one when in Mexico!
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