Bathe with the Pink Flamingos
- Nature / Eco
- Price from:
- 67 GBP /person
- 01273 322046
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- Credit Card
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Last updated: 02/19/2009
See beautiful wildlife on the boat trip through the mangroves of the Rio Lagartos. The sky turns pink with the thousands of flamingos that reside here. Have a mud bath and watch the fantastic sunset.
Playa del Carmen (or Cancun) - Rio Lagartos - San Felipe
Refreshed and revived after a few days on the beach, pick up your rental car in Playa del Carmen around 9am and set off on the road inland. Once you're an hour out of Cancun, don't take the toll road to Merida but the 'Libre', a smaller but comfortable road through little Mayan villages and settlements. You're immediately confronted with Mexico's most menacing infrastructural feature, the "tope", basically a speed bump of which you'll encounter at least one (wittingly or unwittingly) in every village you pass through. After about two hours you'll arrive in Valladolid, a picturesque Mexican colonial town where you can stop off for a coffee on the main plaza. From there it's another hour north along a flat road to Rio Lagartos. Park your car at the 'restaurant Rio Lagartos' directly on the water. You'll have time for some lunch (try the shrimp tortilla) before your boat trip.The little motorboat is moored at the jetty in front of the restaurant. After lunch, kitted out with life-vest and binoculars, local guide and helmsman you head out onto the water. Other visitors that may have booked for that day may be joining you (up to 6 people).The estuary, where the salt seawater mixes with the sweet river water is rich in wildlife. Along the riverbanks you'll spot spoonbills, their flat pink beaks clearly visible in the undergrowth. In the distance you'll also see bright pink swarms on the water; the swarms are in fact hundreds of flamingos standing in the water feeding on shrimp.Pelicans and ibises fly overhead and eagles peer at you from the treetops.
After an hour you'll reach a small checkpoint.In 2002 hurricane Isidoro caused major damage to the wildlife here and the 20 pesos admission fee goes towards conversation of the nature reserve.Past the checkpoint you soon reach a large salt-lake where you can float in the warm salty water. The high salt content keeps you afloat, just make sure you don't shave that morning...Then slap on some of the mineral-rich mud, a free mud pack provided by Mother Nature. It needs to dry of course so, perched in the little boat looking like you've just been dragged from a swamp you may feel a little embarrassed as you pass other boats and tourists. Your humiliation is however duly rewarded when you stop off at a small freshwater lake and wash off the mud to reveal peachy soft, rejuvenated skin. In the restaurant you can freshen up with a drink before the last 10km to San Felipe.San Felipe is one of those fishing villages with brightly coloured wooden houses where little old ladies sit on the porch in creaky rocking chairs watching the day go by. Because it's by the sea you'll find lots of fish restaurants along the boulevard. Few tourists come here and the accommodation is expectably old-fashioned but comfortable enough. From the lobby you can walk straight out onto the pier. We always ask for a room with sea-view for you, with air-conditioning and a balcony.Around 4pm you can see the fishermen returning with their catch. The sunset is one you won't easily forget, as is the taste of the freshly-caught lobster, ceviche or any other seafood dish you try here.
Driving distance: approx 4Â½ hours excl. stops.
Rio Lagartos, departure
The module ends after your night in San Felipe.
- Inclusions -
- Accommodation and boat trip with guide
- Exclusions -
- Transportation, meals, admission fees parks (approx. USD 2 per person and 20 pesos local nature reserve conservation tax)
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