Sian Ka’an Biosphere Overview


‘Where the sky is born’ or Sian Ka’an is what the ancient Maya called this area. The Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, created by presidential decree the 20th of January 1986, was the first of its kind in Mexico. It was immediately placed into the Man and Biosphere program of the United Nations and the following year it joined the elite list of natural World Heritage sites.


Located on the Caribbean Sea on the southeastern coast of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, the reserve is a place of stunning beauty and biodiversity. Its 1.6 million acres includes 68 miles of the Mesoamerican or Palancar Reef, the second largest barrier reef in the world.


The coral reef, coastal dunes, extensive wetlands composed of mangroves and seasonally inundated savannahs, and humid, tropical forest make-up the balance of this unique reserve. Punta Pájaros, a private reserve within Sian Ka’an, extends for 25 miles between the two great bays of Ascension and Espiritu Santo in the middle of the Sian Ka’an coast.