Celestún & Sisal.
Two options for Easter holidays
Among the tourist destinations in Yucatán, Sisal and Celestún are two important choices you can visit during the Easter holidays, or at any other time of year. In these seaside ports you’ll find exotic natural scenery in which you can delight in various eco-tourism activities.
Located on the western shores of Yucatán State, 32 miles (49 kilometers) from Merida city center, Sisal is distinguished as a historical and legendary coastal port with white sand beaches and beautiful migratory birds including the Canadian duck which migrates every year seeking the shelter of the warm Gulf of Mexico.
Historically speaking, it was the main port of Yucatán between the sixteenth and twentieth centuries. Vessels arriving from Havana were unloaded and it was port for the first exports of sisal (henequen) fibers. It was, however, was replaced by the Port of Progreso, a more modern facility that was founded to handle the exports of the sisal industry.
The rise of Progreso resulted in Sisal’s long decline, leaving it only as a fishing port, now known for its tranquility, its beaches, and historical vestiges as Fort Santiago, built to protect the harbor from pirates, as well as the Ex-Customs Maritime The lighthouse and pier are attractions that draw many tourists every year.
The coral reef of “Under Ten,” (“Bajo de diez”) just over 13 miles (20 kilometers) from the coast, offers an ideal habitat to practice basic- and intermediate-level diving. By the same token the spring “Petén Pila” is a renowned place where you can see various birds and even crocodiles. Another major attraction is the “Pecis” mangrove, a place characterized by crystal-clear waters.
Located on the western shores of Yucatán State, Celestún, 72 miles (109 kilometers) from Mérida city center, is a eco-tourist paradise which is part of World Heritage special biosphere reserve of the same name (“Celestun Biosphere Reserve”). Among its natural attractions are the Baldiosera mangrove where you can swim and snorkel, and the Cambay spring that is an source of freshwater from underground rivers.
Another mangrove is the “El Tambor,” or “The Drum,” where the main attraction is pink or Caribbean flamingo. This is the only known population in Latin America and the Ría Celestún population assembles here for feeding and resting. Celestún flamingos have the pinkest plumage than any other flamingos around the world. This is due to the concentration of carotene in the water.
In addition, you can observe ducks, pelicans, herons, albatrosses and 234 different species of mammals that inhabit the estuary. Among them are the ocelot, oncilla (Leopardus tigrinus), jaguar and spider monkey. All these species are classified as endangered, along with three species of marine turtles and two crocodiles in the reserve. In addition, there are a variety of fish and sea birds.