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Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve - National Park Tulum - Mexico

If Cancún is a place for the hedonist with its loud, late-night bars, American fast food, and over-developed coastline, then the Sian Ka’an Biosphere, two hours to the south, is the antidote. It is a place for the nature-lover, the adventurer, the hopeless romantic, and also where you can still catch a glimpse of traditional Mexico.

Here, you can stretch out on isolated silvery beaches, get close to dazzling wildlife, mix with laid-back locals, and at the end of a long day, kick back with a cold cocktail or two.

Sian Ka’an means “where the sky is born” in Mayan. It’s reached by a five-km dustbowl road south of Tulum. Biospheres were developed in the 1970s by UNESCO to protect natural areas and wildlife, combining scientific research with sustainable development for locals.

Sian Ka’an consists of 1.3 million acres, with 62 miles of coast protected forever in its pristine condition, including the second longest reef in the world, beaches, a lagoon, savannah and rare wildlife. There are no large hotels, no swimming pools or malls. A visit to Sian Ka’an is all about the pleasures of nature, simplicity and absolute relaxation.

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