Punta Allen and Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve- a piece of heaven that must be visited.
Updated: Nov 22, 2020
Who said heaven doesn't exist on earth? Punta Allen is a small fishing village at the end of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Sian Kaan Biosphere reserve. Only 2 hours’ drive south on the coast of Tulum, besides getting there being quite an adventure, the site itself and the village is one not to be missed.
A bumpy ride in a bright lime green coloured truck with blaring music drove us through the bustling beach road of Tulum as our eyes captured smiles of people walking by. We were a party on a moving bus with no windows.
Punta Allen a perfect place for a peaceful getaway from the touristic spots of Tullum, or Playa Del Carmen. It is truly a piece of heaven on earth as it sits on a UNESCO world heritage site of the incredible Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve. Adopting the easy and slow life, there is no rushing in a place like this.
With a stop to see crocodiles sneakily camouflaged in the mangroves and Pelicans too relaxed to move, made a perfect start to our relaxing day.
Our bodies half wet as we walked through the water to the boat a few minutes drive away from the mangroves of course. Every 6 people to a boat which was perfect. We headed out to sea, spotting sea turtles on our way and the occasional dolphin. Usually, Mantis can also be seen but it wasn’t the right season for them.
We reached the milky green crystal clear waters of the biosphere reserve. Even with our trips to the Maldives, we still believe Sian Kaan has one of the most beautiful waters we have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The pictures we took did it no justice.
We all threw ourselves off the anchored boat soon as we were able to. The water just perfect, and from afar flying fish almost rippling above the water.
Fernando our local guide, full of life and laughter, called out Tequila, Margerita, Bloody Mary, as he handed everyone a drink. The vibe of our entire day so far has beenincredible. We had travelled across 4 Mexican states in the last week and this is the first time we had felt we were relaxing and really enjoying a unique experience.
Lunch was served in what looked like Punta Allen's only restaurant. The choice was not great. Boiled rice, fried fish, or fried pork, and bits of vegetables. We were however warned and told that we could order a giant lobster (which would have cost no more than $25-$35). We didn’t listen as we opted to walk around the town and learn a little about it.
By having one of Punta Allen’s own locals guide our trip, Fernando taught us plenty about the village and reason why we love using locals to show us around. It's also a great way to give back to the community.
In this tightly knitted community everyone abides by its own laws. One of which is a 6 months prison sentence for parents if they give their kids any technology. A 4 month prison sentence if parents are seen showing their children anything on their phones.
Residents of Punta Allen must learn 4 languages. Mayan, Spanish, English, and then the 4th either French Italian or German, so that it helps deal with tourists and any potential business.
We absolutely loved Punta Allen as it offers its children opportunities to make a life outside the village with the choice to travel anywhere they wished. The people of the village put together money to pay for flights accommodation and money to help them on their journey. This is done on a trust basis, that they will soon pay it back to the village, soon as they settled abroad and have started making a life for themselves.
On our way back to Tulum, the music again blaring, while the tequila bottle rotated around the guests a shot at a time. Fernando stopped the truck and pulled a large leaf from a green bamboo tree. He quietly sat making something with it. I had to squint my eyes several times to see whether it was real. He made a grasshopper with its finest details out of bamboo leaves.
A day’s trip to Sian Kaan and Punta Allen is certainly not enough, as it will most definitely leave a beautiful mark and it will soon be missed. It’s worth considering a stay in Punta Allen for the night.
After 4 Mexican states, we loved Punta Allen and Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve, we also loved San Cristobel De La Casas for its incredible vibe and culture.