Tulum, Mexico

Float down Ancient Mayan Canals in Sian Ka'an Reserve

Just a few minutes from Tulum, spend the day exploring the Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve and float down an ancient canal made by Mayans approximately 1000 years ago. Your expert local guide will take you on a boat trip passing through four different ecosystems, including mangroves, lagoons, natural canals and tropical jungles. You'll spot lots of incredible wildlife, including a very good chance of getting up close with manatees! Then you'll enjoy the beautiful refreshing water yourself while floating in a canal that is 900 metres of fresh water within a world of natural magic. Finally, end this beautiful day by delighting your palate with some typical Mayan food in the local community center.

Right for You?


Full Day

Travel Style

Active Adventure and Connect with Nature


English and Spanish

Physical Activity

Moderate activity


Wetlands and Rural Communities


Wifi: None
Cell: Limited
Starts at:


View Pricing & BookAsk a Question

Speaks: English and Spanish


  • Float in a 1,000 year old Mayan canals
  • Spot manatees and other wildlife during a boat tour of the Sian Ka'an reserve
  • Get some culture in with a visit to the Community Museum.
  • Eat a delicious traditional Mayan meal
  • Pick up and drop off at your hotel in Tulum and surrounding area



Tours every day, 7am to 2:30pm. Afternoon tours 11:30am to 7pm available sometimes, only December to April.


Flexible Departure Date
All year

What's Included


Bilingual guide




Boat and Private van

Traveler Reviews

If you've been here, please tell us about it!  

Highly Recommend! One of the highlights of the trip!

Loved this experience! The tour guide Manuel was fabulous, so knowledgable, and you could tell he loved doing what he did! The people we ended up on the tour with were so nice to us, especially the two ladies. The day was beautiful and the water was so pretty! My favorite part was floating down the river using our lifejackets as seats :-) It was above and beyond my expectations and definitely worth the price. Would love to do another tour with them if I come back to visit.
May 2019

So glad we booked with Community Tours

Our family of 4 had a wonderful experience with Community Tours. We were so glad to experience this beautiful area, see wildlife, float down the canal, and learn more about the Mayan culture past and present. Our guide, captain, and driver were helpful and accommodating. We were happy to have a chance to support the cooperative after seeing the rampant foreign development in the Tulum area. Would highly recommend and hope to do other tours with them in the future.
March 2019

Tour of the Sian Ka'an Mayan and natural canas

We had a lovely experience in our boat and float trip through the Mayan and natural canals of Sian Ka'an.
March 2019

Sian Ka'an Ancient Mayan Canals

A great guide Joaquin and a great tour in Sian Ka'an. Very glad we chose the company using Lokal Travel. The food was also good and Community tours also took care of bottled water and breakfast.
February 2019

Very disappointed

Too much time was spent racing up and down the lagoons and through the narrow channel at high speed with very little attention to the wildlife and culture of the reserve.
November 2018

Best Tour Guide!

We were very impressed with our tour guide, Nubia and the quality of the tour - Sian Ka'an Mayan canal floating! Nubia (who spoke 3 languages fluently! wow!) was delightful and informative from the moment they picked us up. I was pleased to know that the tour was designed to be very community and eco-designed so as to leave the most minimal impact on the community. It was a really great way to see another aspect of the Yucatan outside of the beach.
May 2018

Excellent tour!

The canal tour was beautiful. The Sian Ka'an is breathtaking. Our guide was very knowledgeable and provided a lot of information about the area and the animals that live there. We saw a crocodile, manatee, and lots of different birds. The boats are quite fast and zip through the canals making it exciting. It seems as if the canals are never ending then you come out into gorgeous open water. The food was very good and they had coolers in the boats with water. Highly recommend taking this tour.
March 2018

Must-See side of Tulum

You might think Tulum is just for partying, but this biological reserve is so precious, peaceful, and beautiful, you cannot miss it! The thing is, Sian Ka'an is easy to miss - you need to book with a good tour in order to see all the best parts, including the manatees, the birds, small Mayan ruins, etc. Our Mayan boat driver had a good eye, and would stop the boat for seemingly nothing, only to point out wildlife, like a crocodile sunbathing, or the snout of a manatee poking out of the water. I can't recommend this tour enough!
January 2018

Amazing experience

This is such a fantastic tour -- it allows you to explore a less-frequented area of Sian Ka'an. The tour is extremely well-rounded, you get a bit of adventure, history and some great food. If you're in Tulum, definitely check this out.
January 2017

Your Local Host

Sian Ka'an Community Tours

Locally Owned Tour Operator

Started by a cooperative of locals passionate about sharing their culture and preserving Mayan heritage, Community Tours Sian Ka'an offers unique ways to experience the nature and history of the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve. You can explore the Muyil ruins, learn about Mayan history and traditions, float in ancient canals, see manatees swimming in crystal clear waters and more. All tours are personal experiences - small groups led by a local guide with Mayan heritage. Every experience provides a great adventure while educating about the challenges of conservation.

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Getting There

Transport options

Get picked up (included) and Drive
Pick up from all hotels in Tulum is included in the price. If you are staying elsewhere in the Riviera Maya, pick up can be arranged for a small extra price.
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