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Celestún

City Code: 988

Altitude: Sea Level

Population: 6,000 (the flamingos out number the people!)

Celestún is the quintessential Gulf of Mexico fishing port, with calm blue waters and wide sandy beaches, dotted with open-air restaurants, small hotels and the homes of fishermen. At the end of each day they drag their boats to safe haven on the shore, completing the postcard view tourists come here to see. Slow moving and tranquil, Celestún rests now at a balance point between its traditional fishing lifestyle and a new existence as an ecotourism destination. The placid sea calms you instantly and your first words in Celestún might likely be, “I could stay here forever.”

Founded in 1718, Celestún means "painted stone" in Maya and is located in the southwest corner of the state, just north of the border of Campeche on the Gulf of Mexico. An overnight stay is worthwhile—Celestún is just far enough from Mérida to make a day trip a tough sell, though doable. The star attraction is the Reserva de la Biosfera Ría Celestún, an estuary bordered by a mangrove forest that shelters flamingos numbering in the tens of thousands, fresh water springs and a petrified forest. The simple majesty of the estuary and its animal life moved Hector Ceballos-Lascurain in 1983 to coin the word ecotourism.

Before ecotourism arrived Celestún depended solely on a robust fishing industry and the production of salt, as it has since Mayan times. Grouper, dogfish and king crab are caught here, among others, and the annual octopus harvest is exported as far away as Japan.

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Other places nearby Celestún : Cancún, Ticul, San Felipe, Tulum, Chetumal, Santa Elena, Mahahual, Valladolid, Escárcega and Kabáh.







By George Nunes
Mayan archeology and culture are my passion and I've visited over 20 sites so far. My career path has encompassed being a professional dancer and...
23 Nov 2009

Adventure Mexico Tours
Today, Yucatan Tours display a land of beaches and surf, fun and adventure for all tastes and budgets.
www.adventure-life.com/tours/mexico-tours/
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