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Celestún, love at first sight

by Yucatan Times
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Whoever rejects the hypothesis of love at first sight has probably not visited the Ría Celestún Biosphere Reserve. It is enough to tour the mangroves of the area to understand this statement and perceive the symptoms of feeling of “falling in love”. To look at the pink flamingo in its natural habitat, roaming free across the lagoons, and fill your lungs with the cleanest air in the Yucatán Peninsula is an unparalleled experience.

The arrival to the Biosphere, located 90 kilometers northwest from Mérida, increases the expectations, but also brings doubts. Flamingo sighting season goes from November to March (so keep that in mind).

Mosquitoes, could be a big issue for many travelers, so repelent is essential when entering the area, just remember that if you’re using repelent you can’t go in the water.

A service station for tourists equipped with craft shops and souvenirs is the first stop of the day. From here you have to walk a few steps to reach a small concrete pier that, painted pink and white, houses different boats that alternate service to visitors.

You feel the wind on your face as the boat advances at full speed through the Reserve. The view discovers the mangrove trees that rise imposing, like a part of a labyrinth perceptible only from the sky, Celestún Ría Reserve invites to its own secret world.

Flamingos at Celestun Lagoon, with the Mangrove in the back (Photo: Google)


When the boat stops by one of the mangrove banks, your heart beats with strength in your chest, as the long-awaited encounter finally becomes reality. Suddenly, a pink flock is in sight. In the distance, some of the flamingos remain still and with one leg bent, forming the shape of a triangle, some of the flamingos take off in unison and seem to float at water level, in perfect synchrony. In the distance, travelers hold their breath while following the movement of the birds with their heads.

The observation of the flamingos takes place in the stutter of those who try unsuccessfully to describe the beauty of the moment amidst the sighs of the crowd. However, the silence shared by the group is adapted from space, a greater understanding of that privileged environment of Yucatecan geography and the birth of an irrefutable truth: these fantastic beings, almost dreamlike, have captured the heart of the visitors.

Then, the boat heads to the other end of the mangrove area, where crystal clear waters are part of the environment. It is an idyllic corner that rests among ancient trees, inviting visitors to forget the heat by immersing in its fresh waters.

Flock or Flamboyance of American Flamingos, Riá Celestún Biosphere Reserve

The return to earth after this celestial vision, or rather, the return to the port after the sight of the flamingos allows to breathe fully the air of this unique ecosystem, as a group of pelicans glide close to the boat and a couple of ducks pass by the boat flying at low height, oblivious to the wind that caresses your face gently.

TYT Newsroom with information from eleconomista.com.mx

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