Sian Ka’an boat ride and canal swim across freshwater lagoons using ancient Mayan dug canal systems. All the water is freshwater in these large coastal canals. The current whisks you along at about 2 miles per hour. The boat driver drops you off on one end and you walk back using a wooden boardwalk system across mangrove and flooded grasses.
The area is a biosphere reserve in the municipality of Tulum in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It was established in 1986 and became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.
Once at the lagoon, we take a boat ride into the lagoon for our journey into the clear waters of the Muyil lagoon to a man-made canal on the other side. The Mayans dug out the canal 1,000 years ago as a part of a trade route that linked the Muyil lagoon with its larger neighboring lagoon called Chunyaxche. Ancient Mayans traded salt, incense, gum, honey, wood and animals skins with others from Guatemala and Honduras. On the other side of Chunyaxche lagoon we go into another canal that is natural and much deeper.