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All about Río Lagartos in Mexico

Updated: April 6, 2024

Main Category: Day Trips

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Author: Tobias

The biosphere reserve Río Lagartos is a great place for nature and animal lovers. A boat trip in the lagoon is a highlight. Río Lagartos is about 215km away from Mérida. The journey by car takes about 2h 40min from the city center of Mérida and the place is most of the time bustling.

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Disclosure: This article contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, we get a small provision at no additional cost to you (#Disclosure Policy)

Address:

Río Lagartos, Yucatán, Mexiko

Website:

Category:

Trip

Phone:

+52 986 100 4352

Distance:

215km from Mérida

Travel Time:

2h 40min from Mérida

Admission:

No entry fee

Price Level:

Inexpensive

Since:

-

Google Rating:

average rating is 4.8 out of 5, based on 466 votes, Ratings

Opening Hours:

• Monday: Closed
• Tuesday: Open 24 hours
• Wednesday: Open 24 hours
• Thursday: Open 24 hours
• Friday: Open 24 hours
• Saturday: Open 24 hours
• Sunday: Open 24 hours

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Río Lagartos

The biosphere reserve Río Lagartos is located on the Emerald Coast on the northern tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. Río Lagartos is actually a lagoon, not a river. It was incorrectly named by the Spanish conquistadors and the name then persisted.


Especially for nature lovers, a boat trip in the lagoon is a highlight. If you like, you can rent a boat for a 2-hour trip for about 2,000 pesos.


The exciting thing about the place is that there are different ecosystems, consisting of coastal dunes, wetlands, tropical dry and deciduous forest, savannah and mangroves.


As a result, there is a very diverse flora and fauna. There are more than 400 bird species, including rare toucans, herons and pelicans, falcons, storks, cormorants and sea eagles.


Most visitors look forward to seeing the flamingos, which are at the lagoon all year round. Crocodiles can often be seen as well. In 2004, the region was declared an UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.


Crocodiles at Río Lagartos

The Emerald Coast


The Emerald Coast (Costa Esmeralda in Spanish) is an unofficial name for the the 98 km long coastal area in the north of the Yucatan Peninsula. The name comes from the emerald colored water.


Some interesting figures:


 
Figures about Emerald Coast
Figures about Emerald Coast
 

The Emerald Coast
The Emerald Coast

A few tips


Las Coloradas, a beautiful biosphere area, characterized by it's pink lagoons, mangroves forests and flamingos, is only a few kilometres away, so you should definitely combine the two destinations.


As already written, you should pay attention to the travel time, depending on how important the bird life is to you. Another tip: You should use insect protection, because especially in the mangroves there are a lot of mosquitoes.


If you want to photograph the flamingos (or animals in general), you should use a zoom lens. The boats stay at a safe distance to avoid disturbing the birds.


Without a decent zoom lens, the impressive flamingo will otherwise become just a pink blob on the photo. And on the other hand, an ultra-wide angle lens is a good choice for the landscape shots.


Pink Flamingos at Río Lagartos

How to get to Río Lagartos from Mérida?


Río Lagartos is a long day trip from Mérida. By car, take highway 176 east and at Tízmin take highway 295 north to Río Lagartos. The bus from Mérida to Río Lagartos leaves from the bus station "Terminal de Autobuses Noreste", Calle 67, No. 529 (Calle 67 x Calle 50).

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Best Mérida Day Trips

If you would like to explore the Yucatan Peninsula and Mérida with a guided tour, there are wonderful experiences from Viator. We have selected the three best tours for you.

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Another very special experience

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Not either/or, but also!

Celestun Beach Mangrove Boat Ride from Merida

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average rating is 4.5 out of 5
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