Rio Lagartos

Rio Lagartos is located on the Gulf of Mexico in the north east corner ofthe state of Yucatan and near the state border with Quintana Roo.  

Itis a 30 minute drive north from Tizimin which is about the half waypoint north from Valladolid and about a three hour drive northeast fromMerida using Highway 180 to Valladolid and then north on 295.  Itis approximately a four hour drive from Cancun following the samehighways but coming from the east.

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SanFelipe is another fishing village 9km. west of it. Both villages areequally as picturesque and equally worth visiting although Rio Lagartosis a bit bigger and gives the visitor more choices in hotels,restaurants and tours.

The Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve is themain destination of the American Flamingos heading east from Celestunand points in between.  It is home to an estimated 90,000Flamingos and nearly 400 other bird species.

Both villages siton the southern edge of the estuary and ecotourism is rapidly becomingincreasingly important to the local economy.  Having been declareda Biosphere, this pristine ecological wonder will be protected forfuture generations to enjoy.

Even with these protections, it isin a precarious position.   Due to its lowness to sea level,this area is very susceptible to damage from Nortes, North wind storms,and from hurricanes.  This area is in the path of hurricanescoming in from the Caribbean and through the Yucatan Channel and oftenbears the brunt of these storms.

Both villages are reminiscentof the old days in Key West or the Bahamas with the brightly paintedwooden houses lining the streets.  They have a few hotels and theseafood restaurants are excellent.  Due to the area being so smalland undeveloped it is best to make reservations for tours and hotelsprior to your trip.

The estuary is like that of Celestun withits Mangrove swamps, tens of thousands of Flamingos andcrocodiles.  Taking a tour is highly recommended.  Whiletouring the estuary your guide can take you to one of the petenes whichare basically a spring or cenote/cave entrance that brings fresh waterto the surface and creates a fresh water environment in the middle of asalty one.  These are definitely an experience worth your valuabletravel time.
Fly fishing in the area is beginning to catch on and the fishing is excellent.


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