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See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun, Mexico

by Tsvete Popp

This post is part of the series Mexico

Other posts in this series:

  1. Is Cancún Worth a Visit or It Is an Extremely Overrated Tourist Trap?
  2. Things to Know Before You Visit Chichen Itza in Mexico
  3. The Best Cenotes Near Valladolid You Can’t Miss ~ Mexico

Have you ever seen a flamingo in flight? Before travelling to Mexico I had seen flamingos only in Vienna’s and San Diego’s Zoo. But the chance to see them in their natural surroundings excited me A LOT! Next to the Mayan ruins, seeing flamingos in the wild was at the top of my wishlist for our trip to Yucatan. There are two main biospheres in Mexico where you can see thousands of flamingos and the two are in the Yucatan Peninsula. The first place is Celestun (1h 45min drive from Merida) on the west Caribbean coast of Yucatan, and the other is at Rio Lagardos on the north coast (1h 30min drive from Valladolid). I have read in some travel blogs that you can also see flamingos on the island of Holbox.

 

Flamingos are probably my favourite bird kind, so seeing thousands of them at once seemed like a brave thing to dream about. The best thing about dreams – you can make them come true!

 

We decided to visit the flamingos in Celestun. The fisher village is considered as a “back to nature” attraction for travellers. And we were not disappointed! Celestun is heaven to observe the elegant pink creatures and many other birds! The village has more to offer to its visitors than the beautiful flamingos at Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún – here is a great place to relax on the beach, explore the mangroves and enjoy the great food of Celestun.

 
See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

When to Visit the Flamingos in Celestun

 

Flamingos migrate throughout the year. The best time to see them in Celestun is in the winter months from November to March. This is the time for their courtship rituals. Another useful tip is that flamingos are most active during low tide when they come out to feed.

 
See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

How to Get to Celestun Mexico Boat Tours from Merida

 

The easiest way to get to Celestun is by car. From Merida it took us about 90 minutes on Highway 281. The boat tours are well indicated. The place for all cheaper boat tours is called Parador Resort Celestun. Parador Resort is located on the left side on the road, when travelling from Merida, about 1.5 km before you reach Celestun’s beaches. Here is the exact location of where you can catch the boats for the Celestun flamingo tour:

 

 
See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

Celestun Flamingo Boat Tour Options

 

There are two options for boat tours of the flamingos in Celestun: Parador Resort Celestun or all tours that you can book on the beach. I recommend booking a tour at Parador Resort Celestun as the distance from here to the lagoon is shorter and the prices of the tours are cheaper. This is the official tour station which is also government-sponsored.

 

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See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

How Much is The Tour?

 

The cost for a tour from Parador Resort Celestun is 1500 MXN (only cash!) for the whole boat. The boat seats usually 6 to 8 people. If you want to reduce the price you have to share the boat with other travellers.

 

As we wanted to start the tour as early as possible, I wrote in the German group for travelling to Mexico on Facebook if somebody wants to join us on this tour. Only 5 minutes later we already had 2 girls from Germany who wanted to join us on the next day. We met us at Parador Resort at 9 am and luckily us – a Mexican couple joined us too!

 

So, we shared the boat and reduced the cost to 250 MXN per person (ca 11.5 €). The guide was not that good in English, but the Mexican couple translated everything he told us about the flamingos and Celestun’s biosphere.

 
See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun MexicoSee Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

 

At 9:15 we made it south to the entrance of the lagoon. I noticed that the water began changing colour from a deep blue to a deeper shade of pink in the lagoon. It was really early in the morning and I could already tell that this time is the best time for bird observation! The temperature was about 23° and there were absolutely NO boats in the lagoon. We started seeing all sorts of birds: flamingos, pelicans, woodpeckers, seagulls, cormorants, ospreys, vultures and egrets.

 

All flamingos I had ever seen before in the zoos of Vienna and San Diego were living in captivity, so they all had clipped wings. Not here in Celestun! This was the first time I saw flying flamingos and the feeling was amazing!

 

As already mentioned above, visiting Celestun during low tide ensures thousands of flamingos that come here to eat algae, crustaceans, brine shrimp, diatoms, and aquatic plants. The brine shrimp in Celestun has a pinkish colour. Therefore, the water and also, the flamingos, have pink colour too! Without the brine shrimp, flamingos would have grey feathers! Actually, flamingos are born with grey feathers – they get the pink colour from eating brine shrimp and blue-green algae.

 

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See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

The Mangroves of Celestun

 

After observing the flamingos for about 25-30 minutes, our boat continued out of the lagoon and drove into a mangrove forest tunnel. If you are lucky enough you might see a crocodile or two! … We didn’t. We stopped at Ojo de Agua Baldiosera, where we get out for a short walk. We saw some people swimming in the hole – probably these were the bravest people of all! Swimming with a possibility of an accompanying crocodile is not the adventure I’m looking for 😀

 

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See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

The word “mangroves” refers to a special community of plants and animals occurring in tropical and semitropical zones. I have seen Mangroves in Thailand, Bali and Cuba. The Mangroves grow in places where the salt water is mixed with saltwater from the ocean. This ecosystem is very rich in species and they are very important to the ecological balance in the biosphere. However, mangroves are also very fragile. Unfortunately, in many tropical countries, including Mexico, mangroves are being destroyed to make way for e.g. hotels.

 
See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

Playa Celestun

 

The beach of Celestun is not the best beach you will see in Yucatan. The water is not turquoise and the sand is not as white and soft as the sand in Tulum or Cancun. Anyway, the beach of Celestun is still nice and wide. Along the beach, you can choose from many local fish restaurants serving up freshly caught seafood. The best thing about the beach here is that you can actually enjoy the sunset as the beach is westward facing. In Tulum, Playa or Cancun you can only enjoy the sunrise.

 

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This post is part of the series Mexico Other posts in this series: Is Cancún…

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See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico

See Thousands of Flamingos in Celestun Mexico
 

Mexico Accommodation:

 
Ready to visit Mexico? Start looking at your Mexico accommodation now while it’s fresh in your mind.
 
Want stylish accommodation you can afford?. Find the cheapest prices for the best accommodations possible:



Booking.com


 

Mexico Flights:

 
If you are flying to Mexiko it is beneficial to use a flight comparison site to find the cheapest flights. I recommend and use Kiwi.com.
 
Click here to compare and book cheap flights to Mexico
 

Rental Car in Mexico

 
RentalCars.com searches all the big car rental companies in Mexico and finds the best price for you. This is probably the easiest way to rent a car in Mexico and around the World.
 

Mexico Tours

 
If you are the type of person who prefers joining a tour, there are all kinds of guided tours around Mexico including Chichen Itza.
 


 
Enjoy the day!
 
*This post contains Affiliate Links. I only recommend high-quality items and services I am confident about. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

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