The Eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula is known as Xixim (pronounced “She-Sheem”), meaning seashell in Maya language, and at the very eastern tip is Hotel Xixim, a unique hotel offering guests multiple ways to explore their surroundings. The 32-suite hotel has a variety of amenities like a wellness center, restaurant and family pool, but its adventurous excursions are the real highlight of this hotel. Take a look below at some of the exciting and exotic ways to spend your day.
Celestun’s Biosphere Reserve
This breathtaking nature tour includes visiting Chunchucmil where gorgeous birds like orioles, motmots, cardinals, woodpeckers, hummingbirds and the Yucatan wren can be found. Next, a visit to Celestun will offer up a boat that will take passengers to the Mayan seaport of Cambalam where pottery remains from the ancient Mayan empire are scattered throughout the beach. A creepy and intriguing visit to the Petrified Forest is the next stop, before finishing off at the inlet where a slew of water and shore birds, including the pink flamingo (50,000 of them!), are located. Then, explore the mangrove forest where reptiles, insects, mammals, crustaceans and more can be seen. The last stop includes a meal at a local restaurant.
Uxmal & Kabah
This tour immerses guests in the 5,000-year-old history of the Mayans. In Uxmal, feast your eyes on sights like the Pyramid of the Magician, the Convent of Nuns and the Palace of the Governor, all which highlight this Mayan architectural wonderland. Then visit the large archeological zone of Kabah where it’s main feature, the Palace of the Masks, is filled with a countless amount of masks representing the rain god Chaac.
Haciendas & Cenotes
The Yucatan is filled with more than 600 haciendas—discover a variety of them on this tour that’s topped off with a dip in a cenote, a limestone sinkhole of refreshing water.
Bait up and catch your fish like the Celestun fisherman used to. The shallow waters are full of mouth-, yellow tailed-, red- and spotted Snappers, Groupers, Sea Trout, Barracudas, Palomets and more. After catching your fish, guests will hand it over to their guide who will use it to make a ceviche—talk about a fresh meal!
Experience a different side of nature on this nighttime adventure where Moreleti crocodiles, Great Horned Owls and more can be seen from the boat. Afterwards, enjoy the calm and serene star-lit sky.
Kayaking in Celestun’s Salt Flats Lagoons
Early morning risers will enjoy this sunrise adventure of kayaking through the Cholul Salt Flats and lagoons where egrets, herons, cormorants and other shore birds are out and about.
Oxkintok, Calcehtok Caves & Cenote
Hike up the only hills in the Yucatan peninsula on this tour that takes participants to the site of Oxkintok, an important ceremonial center that has been inhabited since 300 B.C. Afterwards, explore the Calcehtok Caves where Mayan people sought shelter during the “Caste War,” and where today, various stalactites and stalagmites can be found. Finish off with a swim in a cenote.
Dzibilchaltun & Merida
Discover the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltun where the Temple of the Seven Dolls is located. Next, venture out to Merida, the capital of the Yucatan. The “White City,” as it’s also known, is made up of elegant architecture and an affluent culture. Tour the main plaza, market, parks and several residential areas highlighted by beautiful mansions.
Birdwatching in Chunchucmil
Bird-lovers will enjoy this early-morning adventure where more than 300 bird species and 13 endemic birds of Celestun can be seen.
Float through the coastal lagoon of Los Pilares, a wildlife region that is home to 3,500 white pelicans, which has its largest population in this site. It is also the crossing of migratory birds and the resting area for the pink flamingo. Several species of birds can also be spotted including herons, cormorants, spoonbills, storks, cardinals, kingfishers, ospreys, hawks and more.
For more information, visit: hotelxixim.com/excursions