Rios Lagartos, Mexico
Rios Lagartos is a sleepy little town on the northern coast of the Yucatan peninsula. It has a huge nature reserve with a beautiful lagoon populated with flamingos and other wildlife.
There’s not much to do there besides take a boat ride on the lagoon, which is easy to do. You just head to the shore and several men will ask you if you want to see the flamingos. The boats are all the same, so it probably doesn’t matter too much which one you pick. There is a little tourist ‘office’ there where you can book the boats, but it’s not really staffed- one of the men hanging around will just duck into it as you approach.
There are a couple different options for the boat rides. The morning ones range from 1.5 to 3 hours long, and leave around 7am generally. We were lazy and didn’t get going until 8am, and they warned us it would get hot. We went on the shorter boat ride anyways, and even though it was very sunny, it wasn’t too hot since we were moving. The boat rides consist of slowly circling the lagoon which watching the numerous flamingos, pelicans, and other water birds. If you’re lucky you’ll see an alligator.
Then they’ll take you to what they called the pink lagoon (but it wasn’t the good one!) and you can slather yourself with the mud (questionable health benefits). We didn’t do the mud part, I think our guide was a little disappointed. On the way back he fished out a big horseshoe crab and showed us how to wear it on our head for a photo. Another opt out. We thought this was unique for us, but then we saw another guide doing the same hat trick. 😏
Where we stayed: Yuum Ha Boutique Hotel. This is a new modern hotel, right on the lagoon. We got there late at night, and they didn’t seem to know we were coming. The clerk spoke no english and she had to call someone to figure out what to do. It was pretty funny. We were in our room quickly though, and it was nice and clean, with a gorgeous view over the lagoon.