The shores are windy and on this northern shore is the sleepy town of Rio Lagartos. Lagartos means alligator in the local language. Naturally, the place is filled with them. This place is a fishing village with the Mexico’s most populous area in terms of the population of the Flamingoes. Records state that there are almost two to three flamingoes per a person in this village. There is also a shelter of 334 other species of the resident and the migratory birds, in this nature reserve. There is a small population of alligators too, the same alligators that gave this village its name.
Beauty is at its best in this area. You can spot bright birds even when you step out in the dark without many lights. So, while the Mayan civilization used to travel from other places to reach Las Coloradas, this village used to be the halt, they badly needed. Tired and famished of their journeys, the Mayans would refresh themselves in this village. This shallow estuary would also be used to extract the salt from the waters here and the place would anyways be the binding spot for many tribes here. Less than a kilometer from the village, the natural spring called the “ojo de agua dulce”, has been converted into the swimming hole. The most important directive that you need to keep in mind is that there are no ATMs here. You have to carry a lot of cash then. Because you would not find an ATM if you run out of money!!
While the Spanish mistook the ria (estuary) for the rio (river), and the spotting of some crocodiles as alligators, the rest is understood. Also, the streets are not too well demarcated and most of the smaller streets run out of one major street only.
When To Go:
This place should be avoided in the winter months from the last week of November to the beginning of February. The rest of the year is just suitable for all excursions and tours. The main attraction here is the wildlife and to take a sneak peak into the lives of the wildlife, one has to visit this place in the months which are suitable to wildlife. Most of the birds and animals in this area hibernate and migrate during the winters. This place is best enjoyed between March till October every year.
Read on to find a list of all the
things to do
Flamingo Boat Tours
This town is the natural hub of Flamingoes. Around 40,000 birds and over 350 species of them have made this location their home. Standardizing the boat
tours for Flamingoes
, the most basic ones are for 2 hours on a boat. This tour would make you see many crocodiles and you can also enjoy a swim in fresh waters after a revitalizing mud bath. The deluxe boat tours take you deeper into the mangroves and you can find better and more amazing species of wildlife and birds. There are also expert camera men with professional cameras who can capture the flutter of the wings of the birds’ right beside you.
The sunset Tour begins just before the sunset and you can see the sun setting slowly in the background while you find yourself amidst thousands of Flamingoes feeding and you can feed them too. This tour does not include the swims and the mud baths simply because the tourists return after the sunset and it’s too dark for this activity. All the boats here are required to carry only 6 passengers at one time and should have all the safety gear at hand in all the boats to ensure the safety to the tourists and locals alike.
A maximum of six people are fit in a boat and one boat ride would cost you around USD 9 only. And each boat would also have a trained instructor and a life guard with it. The deluxe boat tours are priced at USD 119 though and engage you almost for a day of fun filled activity. The sunset tour is ideally two hours long and if the weather permits, you can also get a chance to see the Gulf of Mexico if you wish venture further out into the sea.
If adventure and thrill is on your holiday list, go ahead and book the sunrise tour. There is nothing more mesmerizing than the sun rising in the Far East with the waters turning golden all through the stride.
These boat tours are centered on the flamingoes and can always be seen in late spring which falls in April every year. The flamingoes gather around in thousands and after the nesting season they disperse along the coast for fulfilling their feeding requirements.
Beach and Snorkel trips
Along the 35 miles of the beach in the Bio reserve the favourite activity is snorkeling. There are many spots for picnics and shelling. While you may be enjoying the sun and basking in the glory of the shining clear waters of the coastal strip, you can settle for a quiet camp in the wilderness. The camping here is a delight. The sounds of the leaves swaying with the wind and the gushing waters, turtle watching is what would make you enjoys weeks over here. There are locations specified for snorkeling, a very active and celebrated activity here, snorkeling in such waters is the cherry on the cake. Though the beaches are full of throttle and activity also, the area that has been reserved for the snorkeling is quiet and serene as compared to the other stretches of the beach.
While you may be extremely tired and famished here after a good dive, you can treat yourself to a sumptuous lunch of ceviches and sandwiches. Order some snacks and cold drinks after your outing and feel refreshed again. You also have the leverage to suit your own starting time and ending time of the tours that are being booked here. Prior booking will always leave you satisfied without any delay in the activities.
Mountain Biking at the Rio Lagartos Adventure Rentals
This place is a beautiful piece of nature and has some of the best biking trails. Though the altitude is not that high, this terrain is just perfect for a glorious ride in the mountains. A short ride across the mountains will make you see the best that the nature can offer. Deep Mangroves, birds chirping all through the day, and thousands of species of wildlife, will greet you on every bend and turn of this trail. There are groups that are formed and a huge group starts the mountain biking trails. There are a number of routes that are available and you can choose the ones that suit your physical strength. The mountain bikes and the safety gear is available on rent easily and the instructors and experts that go along with you are trained enough to keep you safe.
The best combination that can be made is the biking trip along with the camping nearby and there are many tour operators who would help you do that. While you are mountain biking, you do come across small shops and local artisans who sell local eateries and traditional clothes and jewellery. You may pick some nice things from them while you are
. The scenic beauty of the small hills and the coasts is breath taking and you might want to spend some time alone clicking the pictures that would be framed at home, making your trip a long lasting one.
Though the entire area is quite cost friendly, the bike rentals start from USD 10 per day and you can keep the bike for as long as you wish. The same fares apply for kayaking also.
A good kayak is available for approximately 10 USD per day and depending upon the kind of expertise that you have, you can rent you r kayak according to your needs and specifications. Kayaking is the best way to take a full tour of the Rio Lagartos Estuary. You can also explore the inner most areas of the estuary even those which cannot be explored otherwise. The paddles and the safety gear are available with the people who are renting out the kayaks. You may even borrow your clothes from them.
is a thrilling experience. And the waters in this place make it even better. While you may like to kayak in groups, the best is individual trips that allow you the peace and sanctum of your mind.
Kayaking is a local sport here. So while you may strive to get your posture right in the beginning, you will also see small children kayaking away to glory. There is something magical about the skies here. They seem to merge with the water. And many people while kayaking are not able to see the difference between the skies and the water. It almost seems that you while kayaking are just in the skies, floating like the flamingoes who will share the waves with you. Red Mangroves and wading birds line up the entire brick bay ecosystem and the peace and tranquility of this place is completely unsurpassed.
Even better is the facility to have this activity included for all your loved ones. People of all ages can enjoy this experience. A short paddle up will merge you with the stretches of deserted coats and you can just bask in the sun here. At just 10USD a day, the kayak sure gives a lot more than the adrenaline pumping up.
Now once you are done with the kayaking and have had a good ride over the bumps and tassels of the mountain biking, let’s turn around and find the reason this place has the word “Lagartos” in its name. The Crocodiles! To an extent the Mayans did mix up the alligators and the crocodiles while identifying which was what, the place still has a lot of area dedicated to the natural habitat of the crocodiles. While the off springs are actually cute and harmless, the large ones do scare the guts out. With their wild monstrous jaws opening and closing, and the click of the teeth being heard clearly, there is not much you can do except freeze at the first sight. The crocodiles here walk and swim around lazily and are completely in sync with their surroundings. From the month of October till the month of June, these creatures can be seen in the mangroves, basking in the sun to regulate their body temperatures. While they may seem inactive at times, they are jumpy and thumpy while catching prey. While the crocodile are inactive, the tour guide along with you will take you closer to them for a sneak peak at them. These trips are always made in the middle of the day. The wee hours of the night and the morning are risky and not suited for the trips due to the carnivorous nature of the crocodiles. A maximum of 6 and a minimum of 2 people are required or for the boat to sail through and would roughly cost you around 85 USD.
These are all day trips and the originality that you may see here is based on the particular condition of that tour that day. To find the best you have to make your tour at the right day and on the right time. This is why it is recommended that you spend a couple of days here at a stretch. This is only how you would be able to enjoy this place freely and comfortably. To make your stay as comfortable as possible many good lodging areas are also in the vicinity of the Bio Reserve.
There is also another option and this is only if you are really game for it- The Night Trip for the
This trip starts at sunset and while you see the orange red hue engulfing everything around you, you can feed the crocodiles and observe them closely. You can book this boat trip for 85 USD and carry big flash lights and make it a wonderful experience. This is not spooky but then being in a boat with crocodiles surrounding you make you a little jittery though. Plus being in the dark just adds to the fear!
Fishing in Yucatan
fishing in Yucatan
is a very common activity for the locals though it would need you to master a certain amount of skill set for it. While the normal fishing techniques make you sit ashore for hours together while some silly fish would come and get stuck on the casting rod, silly because like us the fish are intelligent too. They now really make out the difference between a natural prey and a casted one. Fly fishing involves casting on a fly rod. The entire technique is based on the real and the specific weighted line which is used. Casting techniques are imperative for casting a weightless fly / lure. This is what makes it different from other forms of casting.
This Bio reserve area is very famous for the Tarpon Fishing. Tarpon fishing engages a lot of “Tackle “and all the equipment is available on rent here. The techniques for this fishing are also specific to this particular style of fishing. Tarpons are the only species of the Megalops that are existent today. Very huge in size this fishing skill requires a lot of ground holding .The weight of the fish swimming in the water can pull you in the water too. Here you would find the Tarpons in large numbers. While you may be waiting for a small fish to cross by, your cast may get stuck and pull you down.
In addition to Tarpon Fishing you can also engage in Best Bone fishing. Now this is a kill that needs finesse. Here you do not have a half a million dollar fishing yatches beneath your feet, you are just wading away on a boat which is meant for balance and totally dependent on you. What you need is your fishing rod, your sunglasses and a fly. Leave the rest to the skinny waters! This is thrilling! And there are very few locations in the world where you can enjoy this sport completely. Indulge in a day of fun filled activity and you would know how to spend a sunny day in the best way possible.
Mexico is an old settlement and that shows in almost all aspects of the local lives. And Rio Lagartos is a place that will take you back by centuries together.
Plan your trip now. This estuary along with the whole of Mexico is completely suited to your needs and you would have an awesome family time here. While the days are sunny and bright, the nights are cool and starlit. And the winds so clear that that you can see the smallest of the stars with your naked eye. Start Packing! What are you waiting for!