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Wildlife in Sian Ka’an

Wildlife in Sian Ka'an

Observing animals is THE thing to do in Punta Allen area, as this is the area of the nature reserve with the greatest mix of animals. All these animals live in total freedom in their natural habitat. It’s often said that on a boat trip to Sian Ka’an it is impossible to see all the animals but it is also impossible not to see any… In this article, we’ll tell you about the wildlife in Punta Allen, the most diverse area in the Sian Ka’an biosphere. Follow the guide!

What species to observe in the Sian Ka’an biosphere?

The wildlife in the Sian Ka’an biosphère is fascinating. After observing dolphins, turtles, crocodiles, manatees and hundreds of species of birds, you will leave Sian Ka’an with stars in your eyes!

Dolphins in Sian Ka’an

For many travelers, dolphin watching is the main reason for a visit to the Sian ka’an biosphere. Dolphins can be seen in the Birds Island area in the lagoons. To observe them you need a boat ride from Punta Allen or from the very beginning of the reserve (check the DELUXE Tour on our website). It’s strictly forbidden to swim with dolphins, they are protected within a nature reserve. Everything is very regulated, and that’s great for them!

As you can understand, if you want to see dolphins, choose to go to Sian Ka’an to watch them in their natural habitat and living freely… rather than going swimming with them in closed pools of animal centers on the Riviera Maya. 

Turtles in Sian Ka’an

Another highly anticipated animal in Sian Ka’an is the turtle. As mentioned by CONAMP (the National Commission of Protected Natural Areas), there are 3 species of turtles in Sian Ka’an: Tortuga verde (Chelonia mydas), Tortuga caguama (Caretta caretta), Tortuga carey (Eretmochelys imbricata). Turtles can be seen in the area between the reef and the lagoons. When participating on a boat tour, the turtle watching is done just before the snorkeling activity on the reef.

sian kaan tour

Crocodiles in Sian Ka’an

The crocodile can also be found in the biosphere. It is more difficult to observe because it is hiding in the mangroves of Sian Ka’an. During the boat tour we stop at the Boca Paila bridge to go in search of this reptile that fascinates young and old alike. According to CONAMP there are 2 types of crocodiles in the biosphere: the Pantano and the American.

crocodiles sian ka'an

Birds in Sian Ka’an

There are lots of birds on the nature reserve of Sian Ka’an. More than 300 species of birds have been recorded there including:

  • Osprey
  • Common Black Hawk
  • Bare-throated tiger heron
  • Black Vulture
  • Indigo Bunting
  • Black and White Warbler
  • Green Jay
  • Albatross
  • Great egret
  • Great blue heron
  • Magnificent Frigatebird
sian ka'an tour

Is there a best season to see the animals?

This is a frequently asked question. There is no best season to see animals, throughout the year you will have the same chances of being able to observe them. Except for one animal: The crocodile… It is more likely to come out of the mangroves in winter when the water is cold to sunbathe.

What are my chances of seeing animals in Sian Ka’an?

Sian Ka’an being a nature reserve, there is no guarantee that you will be able to see the animals. It’s impossible to see everything and impossible not to see anything. That makes the charm of a visit to Sian Ka’an.

This is a frequently asked question and thanks to our experience we can say that:

  • We can observe dolphins in about 90% of the trips.
  • We can observe turtles in about 90% of the trips.
  • We can observe crocodiles in about 30% of outings in summer and 50% in winter.
  • We can observe manatees in about 20% of trips.
  • We can observe birds in 100% of the trips.

We have already observed other animals such as hammerhead sharks and rays, but rarely.

Read more about Sian Ka’an