East of Yucatan, toward the neighboring state of Campeche, you can visit beautiful bird sanctuaries, rediscover the splendor of henequen (also called "green gold") and enjoy some of the most stunning and relaxing beaches of Mexico. To explore this trip there are two ways: if you want to visit the HACIENDAS, take the highway Merida-Uman (Highway 261) and follow the signals to the town of Muna. Few miles ahead is the indication to visit the HACIENDA YAXCOPOIL (Location of the green poplar) a former hacienda, nowadays a touristic stop and also a private museum. The walls of this place serve as a fence with a monumental MOORISH DOUBLE ARCH at the entrance. In the large rooms, halls and spaces of the HACIENDA can be seen the splendor of the henequen. Among its highlights are the sisal plant shredder with engines Körting 1913, original european furniture and the Mayan Room, which shows to the visitors: vases, sculptures and other relics found in the Mayan ruins were discovered in the old grounds of the hacienda.
MOORISH DOUBLE ARCH AT HACIENDA YAXCOPOIL
Continuing south on the same road is the HACIENDA TEMOZÓN SUR (Place of the vortex) one of the most beautiful and luxurious haciendas. This RESTORED XVI CENTURY HACIENDA has a gourmet restaurant, with delicious food and stunning view of the original decor and arches carved in wood, offering a unique experience in the Yucatan. If you are looking to spend the night in this place and have access to other services such as Hol Be Spa, preview reservation are required.
HACIENDA TEMOZÓN SUR
The route to visit beaches and wildlife sanctuaries in the west start in the Highway Mérida- Caucel, and pass by the towns of Caucel, Ucú and Hunucmá. Here, follow the signals to visit two options: SISAL or CELESTÚN. If you choose to visit SISAL take the road north. Few miles later discover this place, which was a significant import/export zone for the henequen produced in Yucatan, hence its historical significance. SISAL is now a quiet place that has large white sand beaches and the sea is warm and low. As in PROGRESO, bathers can penetrate several meters without finding deeper than 1.50 m, making it a place to enjoy and relax. There´s really good restaurants and hotels if you are planning to stay later night.
SISAL BEACH AND SISAL PEER
If you prefer to visit CELESTÚN, in Hunucmá follow the signals to this wonder of nature. The Biosphere Reserve RIA CELESTUN is a beautiful sanctuary for over 300 different birds and is visited by thousands of people around the world each year. On reaching the main pier located at the entrance of the village or the cooperative that is on the beach, hire a tour of the mangroves and the reserve.
CELESTÚN is a wonderful gift from the Mayan gods to the world. The area is brimming full of natural beauty, the RÍA is a calm and shallow water supplemented with rocks and small islands, home to beautiful mangrove forests, breaches and tunnels made by the machete (regional knives) that will show you the calm, clean, fresh and transparent waters of wells and springs. A memorable ride through a small, safe boat, guided by Mayan sailors always respectful of the environment, so you can see unforgettable thousands of pink and slender FLAMINGOS, taking an hypnotic flight with peace.
FLAMINGOS, ONE OF THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN CELESTÚN
Other places to visit on this tour are the ISLAND OF BIRDS and THE PETRIFIED FOREST ( there´s only two or three in the world) and the beach of fine sand scrap of shells, waves and low-slope depth that will invite you to enjoy, the food of the restaurants , perhaps the tastiest of the coast because of the freshness of its products with good price. Surely, CELESTÚN will make you feel in paradise.
PETRIFIED FOREST IN CELESTÚN
TIPS >>> In Celestún the cost for the tour ( 8 persons) through the estuary average between 800 and 1,200 pesos.
WHERE TO EAT?
Km. 11 over the highway 261, Umán – Muna, Yuc.
Ph. (999) 900 1193
Hacienda Temozón Sur
Km. 182 Highway Mérida –Uxmal, Temozón, Yuc
Ph. (999) 923 8089
El Muelle de Sisal
Next to the main pier, Sisal, Yuc.
Ph. (988) 912 0176
12 St no. 120 between 15 and 17, Celestún, Yuc.
Ph. (988) 916 2628
Photos: courtesy of Secretaría de Fomentu Turístico del Gobierno del Estado de Yucatán