Day Trip To Celestun: Flamingos, Mangrove Boat Ride And Tampeten Petrified Forest - Merida

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From USD 69
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Tour Information

Tour Details


Get up close to thousands of pink flamingos and other incredible wildlife species on a boat ride through the estuary of Celestun Wildlife Refuge. This official Biosphere Reserve is home to more than 225 mammal species and youre sure to spot some of them on this day trip from Merida! Your knowledgeable guide will point out pelicans and other birds as you coast through the mangroves, with a visit to Tampeten petrified forest and a local beach in Celestun. Enjoy personal attention on this small-group tour, limited to 25 people.


  • Family friendly
  • Free hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Informative, friendly and professional guide

Know More about this tour

Drive to the village of Celestun, located just 60 miles (98 km) southwest of Merida, after morning pickup from your hotel by your guide. Get acquainted with your small group aboard the comfortable minivan before you reach Celestun Wildlife Refuge.

From the port, embark on a boat ride down the Celestun estuary where stream currents meet the ocean tide on their way to the sea inhabited by some of the most diverse bird species of the Yucatan!

Cruise through the mangroves on a 1.5 hour boat ride and witness a spectacular show of pink flamingos also called Caribbean flamingos as they fly overhead. Watch thousands of the birds flock on shore as they eat the shrimp-like crustaceans that give the flamingos their unique pink color. The declared Biosphere Reserve is one of the only places in the world to view such numbers of these fascinating birds in the wild!

The estuary is a natural breeding ground for the flamingos and other birds after their long migrations along the eastern coast of the Yucatan. Keep an eye out for the American white pelican, one of the largest birds in North America, with a wingspan reaching up to 9.5 feet (3 meters).

Along the way, your guide will inform your small group about the more than 230 mammal species of the region, including ocelots, spider monkeys and jaguars. Then, stop for a refreshing dip in the ojos de agua (eyes of water) deep spring-fed pools hidden among natural tunnels of the estuary, formed among the mangroves.

Complete your day tour at a beach in central Celestun, where sand and sea of unrivaled beauty await you. You'll have time to swim and enjoy lunch (own expense) here before heading back to your Merida hotel.

Inclusions for Day Trip To Celestun: Flamingos, Mangrove Boat Ride And Tampeten Petrified Forest

  • Professional English- and Spanish-speaking guide
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
  • Boat ride

Exclusions for Day Trip To Celestun: Flamingos, Mangrove Boat Ride And Tampeten Petrified Forest

  • Food and drinks (available for purchase)
  • Gratuities (optional)

Additional Info

Confirmation will be received at time of booking

Cancellation Policy
  • If you cancel within 3 calendar days (72 hours) of the scheduled departure time, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel between 4 to 7 Calendar days before scheduled tour departure,the cancellation charge will be 50% of the undiscounted tour price.
  • If you cancel at least 8 calendar days in advance of the scheduled departure time, there is no cancellation fee. You will receive Full Refund for the paid amount.
  • Please note that in case of No show, the cancellation charge will be 100% of the listed tour fare.
  • Please note tours booked using discount coupon codes will be non refundable.

Write A Review

20 reviews by the users

  • The boat trip was good and our guides were pleasant and knowledgeable, but in comparison with other trips we've taken it feels like very little is included for the price. In hindsight we should have just hired a car for the day and paid for a guide when we got there.

  • The trip was pretty good. We did get to see some flamingos, but unfortunately it was too early to see a large number. There had been a rise in the water and much of the wildlife was driven further into the mangroves . We did see lots of birds- cormorants, herons, Mexican pelicans and frigate birds. Our guide was good at naming the birds in both Spanish and English. The boat ride into the mangroves was good. Some swam and on our way out we saw a baby alligator. That was really cool. The beach break was a bit long for us although others in the party enjoyed it. In all a pretty good day. FYI lunch is not included in this tour as with other Viatours and we thought maybe it was a bit pricey for what we got. The boat ride area is very touristy.

  • A long story but this was a nightmare and all on my Birthday. Barely any birds, no food options, my food didn't come with the 69 ticket but everyone else's food did. They didn't give an option so i expected food. Was embarassed to find out I needed cash and didn't have me then the company took me through a series of hoops that were mortafiying to get 250 pesos. Also they were very late picking me up. Just an unprofessional company and it wasn't what I expected at all.

  • Excellent time even though it was the off season for the birds. Nice lunch on the beach and enjoyed the ride through the mangroves.

  • There was only one other person with me on this trip other than the guide. He did speak English but the other person spoke only Spanish, so that he was going back and forth between the two languages...not a huge problem but the trip was described as one in English. Also, this is actually OFF-SEASON for viewing flamingos and although you can see some......the time to go is Nov. through March when there are thousands. Our guide was a bit of a pest, insecure and kept asking me what I thought of the trip.....seriously....about 10 times. I told him that the description of the trip included going to a cenote and swimming. He pondered this, then paid the motorboat guide and later asked me to repay him half of the money!! The cenote was refreshing but tiny and nothing like any cenote I have seen in fact it is part of a mangrove swamp where a fresh water spring is bubbling up and therefore....qualifies, I guess as a cenote. After our return, he took us to a restaurant which was not included in the trip for me. During our meal, he said he brought us there because the agreement is that he gets a free meal if he does so. The food was typical Mexican fare which means......substandard by any experience I have had in other countries...they claimed the fish was fresh....afterall the restaurant is perched right on the ocean! But i wasn't even close to fact, they piled rice on top of the fish!!!!!! to cover it up!!!
    Then, our guide said we could enjoy relaxing or go in the ocean which I did. He then disappeared for about 1 1/2 where we had no clue. I did see a few dozen flamingos but for the cost 69.....the trip is WAY over-priced and the guide needs to demonstrate much more professionalism....he must have known I was disappointed because he kept asking me...'What do you think'?

  • The highlight of this tour was definitely the flamingos. We got to see hundreds and hundreds of them and it was quite breathtaking to do so. Our boat driver did a great job of finding us spots to get nice views of the flamingos. When either our guide or boat driver would see something like a crocodile or perched blackhawk during the boat ride, they would get us to within a safe distance to watch and take pictures.

    After we were done with the boat ride, we went for lunch. The stop here was for a couple of hours. After lunch we basically had a good amount of leisure time to walk around the beach or do some sunbathing.

    All in all a great tour!

  • I took two teenage daughters who loved riding the boat out to the flamingos and getting to swim in the cenote. We even saw a couple of baby crocodiles sunning within feet of the walking deck. I wish I had brought a stronger camera with zoom lens. The ecological reserve was great but I was a little disappointed in the beach itself, as the village is rather undeveloped and not spruced up for tourists. Discarded plastics were a problem.

  • This trip was terrific! Our guide, Wilbur, was very knowledgeable and friendly. We saw thousands of flamingos on the boat ride, and we got quite close so we could take photos and enjoy the experience. When we went through the mangroves, Wilbur proved he was good at spotting birds and wildlife: we saw coatis, a green kingfisher, and a black and white warbler. Lunch was also good--because you purchase it separately from the tour, you get to order whatever you want. Try the ceviche.

  • Beyond my expectations. We saw thousands of flamingos in large flocks just like the picture. No petrified forest but we had a delicious lunch.

  • The tour of the Celestun Flamingos and the Mangrove Boat Ride was very good. However, Mayaland's tour guide informed us that the
    Tempeten Petrified Forest was in a different area and did not form part of this tour, even though we had paid for it. Mayaland, yet again,
    misrepresented what had been sold to us. This marred what would have been a very nice day.

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USD 58.58