Muyil float in the Sian Ka’an reserve – Mexico

The Sian Ka’an reserve is a natural reserve at the ocean with different lagunas to observe dolphins, turtles, birds or just the beautiful water. However, if you want to do a trip in the reserve you have to reach deep into your pockets. An organized day trip to see the dolphins will cost you about $130 USD. Yes, crazy prices compared to the other activities in Mexico (except diving). There is another option to visit a small part of the reserve for much cheaper and possible to DIY. I’m talking about the channel float in Muyil.

What to expect of your visit of the Sian Ka’an reserve at Muyil

You will see beautiful, crystal clear green and blue water surrounded by mangroves. You will ride through this scenery for about one hour and in between you will have your floating experience for about thirty minutes. This costs 600 pesos per person and is not negociable. They first wanted 700 pesos of us but we knew that the going rate was still 600 (which is too much if you ask me) and in the end, that’s what we paid.

The Muyil ruins

To get to the shore of the laguna you can walk through a small archeological site. Although the ruins here were restored and not entirely original, the pyramids still looked cool.

The Muyil boardwalk and observatory

For 50 pesos you enter a wooden boardwalk and can climb up a quite hand-made looking observatory to get a good view over the laguna. That was fun and exciting but it’s just another stop of this tourist trap if you ask me.

The channel floating

That’s probably what you have heard of and why you are reading this blog post. In the reserve there are different channels between the mangroves. Some are man made and some are natural. With high Speeds, your boat man will ship you through the channels and across the laguna to bring you to a natural channel in which a slow but steady current pushes the freshwater toward the ocean. You are handed lifewests which you can use to lie on or wear normally. However, they recommend to us to wear them like pampers, so that we’d flote like corks.

The water is refreshing and can even become a bit cold since you can’t get out of it until you reach the end of the floating after about 30 minutes. Therefore, be sure to only do it on a warm and sunny day. The clarity of the water is amazing and it’s nice to experience the serenity of nature while doing nothing but being slowly pushed along the channel. We didn’t see anything but the mangroves, a few small fish, the sky and sometimes the people from the group before or behind us if it was a long, straight part.

My opinion of the floating at the Sian Ka’an reserve in Muyil

It was nice and special but all is over within one and a half hours. For that it’s much too expensive. If $30 dollars for a boat ride without much to see but nice water and then the special experience of the floating are worth it to you, you find directions for the DIY trip below.
If you now think that is a bit much, check out my post about the 2 hour boat tour at Rio Lagartos. It includes seeing pelicans, other cool birds, flamingos, a pink lake and a Mayan mud bath for 200 pesos per person if you are at least four.

How to get from Tulum to Muyil and the Sian Ka’an  floating

Take any ADO express toward south and tell them that you want to get off at Muyil. This will cost about 30 pesos and the bus stop is 15 meters past the entrance to the ruins. I believe they cost 35 pesos to visit but I’m not sure because we didn’t have to pay 🙂
There is a dirt road opposite the bus station that leads straight to the boat dock (10 min walk). After the boat tour, you can walk back across the boardwalk, past the observatory and the ruins. Since they think that you already paid the entrance when you arrived, they don’t check for a ticket 🙂

One last tip: Don’t take a collectivo to get to the ruins. The ride only takes 10 minutes and we paid 70 pesos. Plus we first had to wait about 20 minutes until it was full). ADO or Myab are the better option here. Myab for sure will stop for you if you wave it down on your way back.

Do you have any stories to share of cool river floating experience?