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Ría Celestún [Biosphere reserve] Yucatán Mx

Ría Celestún natural sanctuary and biosphere reserve, the pink flamingo (phoenicopterus ruber) rests in these warm waters during the winter, this migratory bird flies from other parts of the world (mainly from the United States, Cuba and Venezuela). The large size of this reserve located in the coastal zone allows the ecosystem to be diverse and abundant.

Boat rides are offered within the reserve, you can see mangroves, observe pink flamingos and other migratory birds; if you are lucky you will observe small alligators resting or sunning at the roots.

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How to get

How to get to Celestún by public transport:

From the center of the city Mérida takes a bus towards Celestún in the NORESTE terminal, located on 67th street between 52 and 50, 7 blocks from the central park.

The journey takes approximately 1h30min to Celestún, you must remember the driver you want to get off at the tourist hostel that is a couple of kilometers before reaching the town, if you pass to the town you must take a motorized tricycle (motorcycle taxi) to the tourist hostel. The return is the same way.


How to get to Celestún by car:
Drive from the city of Mérida on the Itzaes avenue towards Campeche, follow the signs to Umán, upon reaching the town follow the signs to Celestún through the town of Kinchil, ending the journey in Celestún.
Before arriving at the town you will find the tourist parador on the side of the road.





Boat tour

Price: $1,250 by boat 6 people

Schedule: 9:00am – 5:00pm (Mon- Sun)


Take a boat ride through the waters of this coastal wetland, between mangroves and the lower jungle you will observe birds, flamingos, and aquatic species such as crocodiles and fish. You will also swim in the spring within the reserve.


We recommend doing the walk very early in the morning to find more people who want to get on your boat and complete the spaces, otherwise you must pay $ 1,250 among those who go with you.



Very close to the ecotourism center where you take the pass by boat is the beach.


Take a motorized tricycle (mototaxi) to go to the beach from the ecotourism center.

About of

Destination | Attraction
Ría celestún


Meaning of the name
Celestún means: horror of stone in Mayan language.


It is a stretch of water in the coastal area resembling a river, better called coastal basin, with brackish water (sweet and salt) and a wide mouth to the sea. This basin is surrounded by mangroves on the banks, and it is important to mention that it is considered a reserve.

This biosphere reserve has 81,482 hectares of protected area, included in the municipalities of Celestún in Yucatán and Calkiní in the state of Campeche. Its importance is due to the abundant biodiversity that this area represents (the zone includes: mangroves, petenes, coastal dune, coastal savanna, floodplain forest and a fauna of 304 species).

One of the most distinguished species in this area is the pink flamingo (phoenicopterus ruber) that reaches a population of 23,000 to 28,000 between December and February in the Yucatan peninsula.


(Related to the Mayan culture) There is no precise information about the ancient inhabitants of the town of Celestún. However, it has been established that Celestún -in pre-Columbian times-, more than a settlement, was a place to supply marine products that belonged to the province or cazicasgo of Ah-Canul.

The town of Celestún was founded according to reliable data, in the year 1718, as a locality of the Party of Sisal. Later, in 1872 when the Political Party of Sisal was abolished, Celestún became part of the Party of Maxcanú, until becoming the head of the municipality of the same name in 1918.

Prices for tickets, activities and transportation may vary over time.



Weather Celestún

Predominant warm subhumid with regular rains in summer. The average annual temperature is 26.6 ° C and its average rainfall reaches 61.9 millimeters.