Muyil and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Muyil Ruins and Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Mexico’s covered with ancient Mayan ruins. Chichen Itza is the most famous of them all. But venture of track and you’ll find smaller gems such as Muyil (“Place of the rabbit”).
El Castillo Temple in Muyil
Muyil’s El Castillo – The Castle
Only 25 minutes from Tulum, the relaxing and quiet walk through the forest is worth a few hours of your time. It also encompasses the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve.
There are over 20 pre-Hispanic Mayan sites on the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Muyil was the most important one of all.
Muyil Ruins near Tulum Mexico
Structure 9K-1
Muyil dates back to 300 B.C. and by 250 A.D. had become a major city. After going in to decline around 600 A.D., it had a resurgence around 1200 A.D. Although there’s no evidence to suggest it was still populated at the time the Spanish came to conqueror.
Entering the site you’ll follow a figure eight path, taking you past the remaining temples:
  • Structure 7H-3
  • Structure 81-13 (El Castillo)
  • Structure 9K-1 Structure 9K-23
Of most significance is the 17 metre high El Castillo.
Beyond El Castillo is a nature walk to the Sian Ka’an Biosphere reserve. It’s easy to spot as you follow the signed Sacbre (Mayan for “path”). Here you pay $50 for entry to the boardwalk path.
Boardwalk at Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reswerve
The Boardwalk through Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve
The sign says it takes 40 minutes, but its more like 20. Keep your eyes out for birds, butterflies and ant colonies marching across branches!
There’s an observation tower which gives great views. You climb at your own risk, but if you hold on, it’s not too dangerous. Unless you have a fear of heights!
Observation Tower Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
It’s steep up there…
Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve
…but the views are worth it!

 Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve Observation Tower

…just watch your feet on the way down!
At the end of the path you’ll find boats which can take you on a tour of the Sia Ka’an waterways. We didn’t do the boat tour as it’s relatively expensive compared to many activities available in the area. $700 MXN will get you a two hour boat tour and also the chance to swim in the crystal clear waters. We hear it’s incredible!
Muyil Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve Boat Tour
This incredible site greats you at the end of the boardwalks

How do I get Muyil and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve?

It’s easy from Tulum. The ADO bus terminal on the main street has regular departures for a cost of $28 MXN pesos. The bus is  comfy, has air con and only takes 20 minutes.

Collectivos depart just a few yards from the station but they seem to charge a firm $70 MXN. (That price is ridiculous!)

How much does Muyil and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve?

  • Entrance to Muyil is $45 MXN per person.
  • The Sia Ka’an boardwalk is $50 MXN per person.
  • A boat tour will cost $700 MXN per person.

If you’re interested in a boat tour, travel bloggers ‘Roaming Around the World‘ have written a truly exceptional post about it.

How long should I spend at Muyil and the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve?

Muyil only takes a leisurely 40 minutes to walk around. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere boardwalk is one hour there and back.


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