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“The guide with the eye!”

Rio Lagartos Adventures
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Experience The Natural Beauty of Rio Lagartos Bio-reserve,Yucatan with"Rio Lagartos Adventures". We specialize in Birdwatching,Flyfishing,Flamingo Tours,Crocodile night trips. Located at the Restaurant RIA MAYA , certified nature guides specialize in low impact eco-tourism to provide access to this beautiful wilderness. Our experienced guides are skilled in identifying the wildlife here. Flamingos,crocodiles, All time of birds . English, spanish and Italian speaking guides are available " the best in Nature Tours & eco tourism "
Reviewed 5 September 2017

We drove up to Rio Lagartos from Cancun the night before our tour. The roads were in good shape and signage was fairly good, but fine when complemented by our phone GPS. Our tour started with two cups of coffee brought to us at 7 am before the restaurant opened. Our boat took us to the far side of the canal where most of the birds were feeding. The full food chain was on full display. The small fish were swarming above the water being chased by tarpons under water and targeted by hungry cormorants, frigate birds from the top. We are interested amateurs and ended up seeing at least 4 birds that were new to us all pointed out by our guide Diego. Diego is the owner and main guide for the Rio Lagartos Adventures. His expertise in his field was notable. He combines his love of nature with knowledge of the local culture and historical influences in the region. Superb!

Thank Elton S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (261)
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6 - 10 of 261 reviews

Reviewed 13 August 2017

After asking around the jetty for a boat & a guide with reasonable English we were directed to Jorge Nunez with his boat "Jorge & Diego". His English is near perfect, his gentle humour wonderful and his tour was excellent. Thoroughly recommend.

4  Thank Wayly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 August 2017 via mobile

We arranged a tour on Saturday for the Sunday morning at 6:30. The sun was just above the horizon and we were the only boat on the water. We spotted lost of different birds starting their day with eating their breakfast. Then the guide spotted a crocodile swimming in the water just two meters away from the boat. We really like seeing the crocodile swim instant of laying on the bank. We continued the tour to the flamingos. Our guide Diego Jr. was very respectful to the flamingos. He kept a certain distance to the birds so we wouldn't scared then. Unfortunately an other guide of another tour organization wasn't so respectful and scared the birds so the flew away. We were glad to have a tour guide who is respectful to nature. So if you care for nature, Diego Jr is a top guide.
The mud was really nice to do and our little son enjoyed rolling in the mud like a little pig. Diego Jr. was so kind making pictures for us, because our hands where full of mud. And when we washed ourselves in the sea, Diego was cleaning our seats so we could return to the hotel on clean seats.

Thank Michel d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2017

When we first arrived in Mexico we were not even sure if our rooms for the night and our tours were booked. Despite several emails and phone calls we didn't receive a definitive reply that we were indeed booked. Fortunately the places we stayed prior to our visit at Rio lagartos phoned and confirmed our reservation and our tour bookings. From that point on everything else was truly memorable. (mostly)
Our first tour in the late afternoon was to see the Flamingo's ....We were lucky enough to have Francisco (Paco) as our guide. As with other parties that have already commented in the reviews Paco was an excellent guide. He was spotting and pointing out several birds along the way and was certainly knowledgeable as we asked our questions. As well as the flamingo flock that we managed to see we too stopped off at the salt flats and the mud beach where a lot of fun was had by a couple of very boisterous teenagers. As we headed back the sun was setting to end a glorious evening ...... A quick change and a bite to eat at the restaurant (shrimp was the winner here) alongside the glorious setting of the sun disappearing over the horizon we were back out on Francisco's boat again for a crocodile hunt. Once again his quick eyes soon spotted a croc and before we knew it he was out of the boat and in the water catching the croc for a closer look!! After we had all held it it was released back in the water so that we could go in search of bigger ones. Francisco certainly knows the waters well as we travelled back (at speed) in near total darkness with the fish jumping out of the water.
We stayed at the dockside lodges and our only gripe was that you can hear the noise from early morning sunrise tours and the guides preparing their boats for the days work other than that the rooms did their job and we were rested enough to travel to our next destination

1  Thank Richzooie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2017

Our vacataion planning experience with Rio Lagartos Advanrtures was quite disappointing. We'd visited their website and thought we'd like to stay in their lodgings a couple of nights, dine at the restaurant, and take the tour. Well, I don't know what's going on with Diego Nunez--recent reviews here suggested there were some hard times and snafus in his operations--and so we went ahead and booked at a different hotel, intending to set up our tour when we got to Rio Lagartos.

Well, by luck, we went to their Ria Maya restaurant on our first night there, and we were able to arrange the tour we wanted with the staff in the resrtaurant at that time., They informed us that we could have our tour guide pick us up at the dock in front of our hotel (Villa de Pescadors), and so on Wednesday morning at 8:00 the boat pulled up and we were helped on board.

We got lucking two ways. First, the weater was pretty nearly ideal--mostly overcast but not raining, cooler than average for a Yucatan summer. But mostly our luck was our tour guide.

I can not write enough positive things about Francisco, or "Paco" as his friends call him. This young man is gifted with sharp eyes, deep knowledge, good English skills, and a mastery of his outboard engine and fiberglass boat. Within minutes we were deep in the estuary, where he knew the flora and fauna in depth as well as the geology. We got up close to the various mangroves, saw kestrals, terns, roseate spoonbills, wood storks, pelicans, frigate birds, rosy ibis, ospreys, woodpecker, and more.

When it's flamingo time, your boat gets grounded on the sand near a dike that surrounds a couple of lagoons where the flock dwells. You'll need to get out of the boat ande scramble up a steep five-foot bank to see the flock at distance--they'll offer binoculars to allow you to see them with magnification. Also of interest, the beach you land on it littered with the shells of little horsehoe crabs that seem to proliferate in those waters.

Our luck was once again good after we got back int he boat to motor away from the lagoons. Headed back out the estuary, a half-dozen flamigos had decided to leave their crowd and see if pickings were better on the other side--and they didn't mind much if our boat followed them at relatively close range. The photos are thise range were exceptional!

Now, it seems that the tourist season is November through March or so, when people try to escape winter and they think the Mexican weather would be mellow. But I'd say that off-season is a great time for Rio Lagartos. The morning hours make the tour in a mellow time of day, temperature-wise, and when your guide opens up the throttle and goes full speed across that estuary the breeze will refresh you.

So my final critique is this: it may be hard to make reservations in advance. But when you're looking for a tour of this nature preserve, you want to get on with Rio Lagartos tours--and ask for Francisco! Frnacisco, if you're reading this, eres magnifico!

2  Thank TR26
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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