A jewel in the crown of Yucatan's queen, colonial Merida
A Day with the Flamingos at Celestun
This daytrip is a lot of fun and is very reasonably priced. The van picks you up at the front door. It holds about ten people and is air conditioned and very comfortable. You drive out of town through the old Franciscan church town of Uman and in about an hour you are at the enormous nature preserve on the coast, Celestun. First you get into an outboard-motor boat with a canopy that holds six people in swivel chairs and the boatman. Celestun is the intersection of the Gulf of Mexico and a number of underground fresh water rivers. The environment is ideal for shrimp. Shrimp are on the menu for an enormous number of birds. As you zoom across the water in undisturbed wilderness, you will see all kinds of birds, like cormorants, pelicans, egrets and ducks, and then that orange-pink cloud in the distance shows itself as you near it to be flamingos. Lots of them. In January and February, all the adults and their offspring are there, about 25,000, the largest assembly of this pterodactyl-sized, flamboyantly attired birds to be found. Later in the year, the adults ditch the kids and nest about 200 miles away and the kids stick around eating shrimp, turning from white to flamingo-coral, proof that you are what you eat. The boatman will take you into the mangroves and stop at a fresh water spring where an underground river dumps into the estuary. The flight of hundreds of enormous flamingos just over your head is breathtaking, perhaps one of the coolest things to experience in life. Then you are taken to the beach. You eat at an enormous thatched roof restaurant. The tour company gives you an allowance of 50 pesos for lunch, but you can get whatever you want to eat and drink and then just pay the difference between what your bill is and this allowance of 50 pesos. Since someone else is driving, get a pina colada or two. The beach here is beautiful and very swimmable. The sand is white and there are lots of seashells. The changing rooms and showers at the restaurant are clean and comfortable. After a couple of hours or so, the van will take you back to the front door of the b&b. This is really a great time and all of our guests have unfailingly enjoyed it.
casa santiago 562 Calle 63 x 70 y 72, Centro (Santiago), Merida, Yucatan 97000
or 517 Calle 70 x 63 y 65, Centro (Santiago), Merida, Yucatan 97000
(The property is L shaped and hence has two addresses)
Skype (US number that rings in Merida) 1 314 266 1888 Sergio the manager's cell if you call while in Mexico: 999 997 4058 Sergio's cell if you call outside Mexico: 011 521 999 997 4058