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Face to Face with Pink Flamingos

Amongst all the biosphere reserves which exist in Mexico, Ría Celestún in Yucatán deserves a special mention, for its large population of pink flamingos and Morelet’s crocodiles.
Designated a protected area in February 2000, this huge 20-km (12.4-mi) long estuary is one of the best places on the planet to admire wild flamingos.

Foto: Dreamstime
México Desconocido

México Desconocido

The protected area is comprised of an area of 146,136 acres. Its most northerly part–an important feeding zone for the pink flamingo–can be reached by boat from the village of Celestún, where there are a number of touristic services and small hotels.

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Here, from a canoe, you will be able to observe groups of flamingos as they feed, communicate and take off into the sky, painting it pink with their feathers. As well as these elegant birds, the estuary is home to Morelet’s crocodiles, 95 species of endemic birds and 75 migratory species such as herons, ducks and ocellated turkeys.

Kenia Pérez SandovalFoto: Kenia Pérez Sandoval

In addition, from the comfort of your rustic panga boat, you can also admire the reserve’s different ecosystems: coastal dune, estuary, mangrove and marchland. There is also a fresh-water lagoon and a salt-petrified forest, which create an unusual landscape. On the reserve’s beaches, loggerhead and hawksbill sea turtles lay their eggs, while the waters are home to octopi, lobsters, grouper fish, blue crabs, shrimp, robalos (snook) and red seabream–which you mustn’t miss an opportunity to taste in one of the local restaurants while you relax on the beach.

Kenia Pérez SandovalFoto: Kenia Pérez Sandoval

When to Go:

From May to July.

Location:

Ría Celestún is one and a half hours from Mérida along highway 281.

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