Did you actually know that pink flamingos are not naturally pink but they become like this based on the food they are eating? Pretty amazing, isn't it?
I will start with something that fill instantly catch the eye of any Spanish speaker reading this: Reserva de la Biosfera Ria Celestun. Normally in Spanish you would call a river = rio. In Celestun on the other hand you actually encounter the word "RIA", why? Simple as it mixes fresh water (from the underground) with salty water from the sea, this makes the Biosphere Reserve a unique example of a natural wetland in the area.
From Merida you can catch an Oriente bus (second class of ADO) and it will bring you right at the entrance, but this is taking long.
We booked a private car as we wanted to squeeze Uxmal also in the same day. We paid 2600 pesos for the private transfer.
I don't think I saw actual opening hours, but you can easily assume it's regular times. Based on best habits, it is better to be there in the morning. What you need to consider is that they have boats of 6 or 7 people. One boat is 1800 pesos. The way it works if you are not 6, you need to wait for other people to form the group or pay the full 1800 yourself. It went pretty fast for us (15 min since we arrived).
Important to know is that the lighter the boat the closer you get to the flamingos, still don't imagine you can touch them.
When to visit
"The best time to visit is during the winter months between November and March, but small numbers of flamingos can be seen year round" (Source). Our boat driver/guide told us that best best would actually be February to March. We were there end of Jan and there were about 2000 birds on the Ria.
How does Climate Change impact Flamingos in Celestun
Normally Flamingos like not to deep waters, so about 20cm, but due to climate change the waters here are higher now (30 cm) and so the flamingos had to adapt for new conditions, which make their life more difficult.
Close up picture from the distance - trick
Unless you have super professional cameras with great lenses, then the trick for close up pictures of these cuties is with a binocular. Also no worries if you don't have one, the guide will normally have one with him. Zoom your phone/camera to the max and place it where your eye would go...tadaaa :)
Other living beings we saw
Mangrove of Dzinitun
This small trip to the forest looks like it is haunted, it's absolutely incredible how nature is
Ojo de Agua
There is a place where you can take a swim, but Luis (our driver recommended against it)
Going to the beach
It was windy and the currents were strong so we could not properly enjoy the swim in the sea. Still what stoke me (positively) was the huge amount of shells you can find. So many that the decoration of the restaurant (apparently best one on that beach) was mainly done out of shells. Even Jesus had a shell wall behind him :)