Drive to the village of Celestun, located just 60 miles (98 km) southwest of Merida, after morning pickup from your hotel by your guide. Get acquainted with your small group aboard the comfortable minivan before you reach Celestun Wildlife Refuge.
From the port, embark on a boat ride down the Celestun estuary – where stream currents meet the ocean tide on their way to the sea – inhabited by some of the most diverse bird species of the Yucatan!
Cruise through the mangroves on a 1.5 hour boat ride and witness a spectacular show of pink flamingos – also called Caribbean flamingos – as they fly overhead. Watch thousands of the birds flock on shore as they eat the shrimp-like crustaceans that give the flamingos their unique pink color. The declared Biosphere Reserve is one of the only places in the world to view such numbers of these fascinating birds in the wild!
The estuary is a natural breeding ground for the flamingos and other birds after their long migrations along the eastern coast of the Yucatan. Keep an eye out for the American white pelican, one of the largest birds in North America, with a wingspan reaching up to 9.5 feet (3 meters).
Along the way, your guide will inform your small group about the more than 230 mammal species of the region, including ocelots, spider monkeys and jaguars. Then, stop for a refreshing dip in the ojos de agua (eyes of water) – deep spring-fed pools hidden among natural tunnels of the estuary, formed among the mangroves.
Pay a visit to the Tampeten petrified forest, where tree stumps petrified after a hurricane stand in the brackish water, and complete your day tour at a beach in central Celestun, where sand and sea of unrivaled beauty await you. You'll have time to swim and enjoy lunch (own expense) here before heading back to your Merida hotel.