One of my favorite experiences I had was on a trip to Mexico’s Yucatán Coast a couple of years ago. It was in January so a great getaway from the cold east coast winter. We stayed in Cancun for most of the trip, enjoyed the beach and pools, but also did some day trips exploring. On one of the days we were driving to see Ek Balam-a Yucatán Mayan ruin that is lesser known than Chichen Itza. (Which we had also toured). My daughter wasn’t too interested in seeing another ruin so we were looking for something along the way. We spotted the flamingos on the sign for Rio Lagartos and looked it up. It was further and in a different direction than Ek Balam. We decided to take the drive and see what we could find.
Rio Lagartos is approximately 3 hours and 20 minutes from Cancun. We drove on the route that takes you from Cancun to Valladolid a charming town with a beautiful Cathedral and town square. Then it goes to Tizmin, also charming. Next we arrived in the coastal town of Rio Lagartos. As we left a little later in the day, it was late afternoon when we arrived. Immediately we were approached by a man asking if we wanted to get a tour of the flamingos. We negotiated a very reasonable price for a boat tour. He let us park at his house. I grabbed my camera and we went out on the motor boat. Just a quick ride off shore and we began to encounter groups of 20-30 flamingos. Each group would let us get quite close and then they would start to fly up. Some seemed to be walking on the water as they started to fly. It was an experience that I will never forget. Our guide took us by some marshes and small islands close to their nesting sites. The sun was starting to set so we returned to shore.
The guide told us that if we returned in May-June, it’s mating season so thousands of flamingos flock to the area. I hope to go back one day and experience this as well.
There is a biosphere park that gives tours as well. The Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve.
All photos are copyright @cjsthought (Connie Frisch-Cherniak)