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

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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.

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  • The flamingo part was great although the boat operator did not speak english, so we couldnt ask questions. The rest of the tour was a rip off, taken to a terrible overpriced restaurant with a pool that was really dirty. Find your own way to the flamingos boat rides and you’ll have a better time.

  • I was all set to give this a one star rating after I got into the bus to go to Celestun. The windows of the bus were painted over with ads so you couldnt see out! Then the TV was tuned into ads for the tour company, Myayland tours. It was a bad start. I paid good money for a fun tour not to be subjected to more ads. However, once we got to Celestun, things got much better. The boat ride was great. We saw lots of Flamingos and other birds as well: Wood Stork, Brown and White Pelicans, White Ibis, Am Coots, White and Great Blue Herons. We passed though a narrow opening in the mangrove, saw a fresh water spring. After the boat ride we spent a couple hours on a beautiful beach and had a great fish dinner not included in the tour package, but reasonably priced. Maybe 3.5 stars overall

  • Knowledgeable English speaking guide, good transportation. Well organised, but expensive. Lunch was not included for us, but the place we went served excellent food with a nice beach in front. Hotel pickup is only within a certain range from the city center.

    All in all this tour is perfect if it was half of the price.

  • The trip and everything we saw was amazing, the only complaint I had is that it could very well have been a half day trip. The afternoon was just a stretch on that if you do not want to swim at the beach, it is a big waste of time.
    The flamingos experience was so nice though you can almost disregard the afternoon.

  • Enjoyed the opportunity to see the flamingos in a bio preserve but really the boat ride was only an hour or so of the day. The better part of the day was getting in and out of Mérida after picking up a number of people at different hotels. Then after the mangrove swamp, we were taken to a restaurant of the companie's choosing where we had to feed 20 ish people before we really had the opportunity to get in the water.
    In truth, it took over 3 hours to get to Celestun and another 2 hours to get back. I might try to find a tour that had less guests so that we weren't spending the better part of a day on a bus.

  • The trip to celestùn was delightful!
    Bring binoculars

  • This was a nice trip to Celestun. The boat ride was excellent. there were not too many flamingos as it was the end of the rainy season. More can be seen in Jan-Feb time frame. The restaurant for lunch not included in price was also excellent. Enjoyed blue crab, local fish and grilled shrimp. Delicious. Watched local fisherman bring their catch to shore.

  • Our guide was amazing and the whole day long experience was one we will never forget. The food at the beach restaurant was very good, but also rich, lots of cheese and cream sauce.

  • 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.

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