In Yucatán there are no true rivers above ground, only formations called rías, which are entries from the ocean to the coast, forming canals with abundant aquatic vegetation called mangroves. It is worthwhile exploring them; it is a unique experience. Declared “Biosphere Reserve,” with 60,000 hectares, Ría Lagartos, located 2.5 hours from Mérida (230 kms) and from Playa del Carmen, and 1.5 hours from Chichén Itzá, hosts the largest American flamingo population in México. They build their nests in the spring and summer. Its coastal lagoons are areas of seasonal rest and winter territory for flocks of migratory and local birds, with a current record of 388 different bird species in the area. The beaches offer habitat for nesting of Carey and white marine turtles.
The cooperative Río Lagartos Adventures is led by Diego Nuñez, naturalist and birding and fishing guide. The cooperative offers bird watching by boat and on land, Flamingo tours, crocodile night tours, and sport fishing / fly fishing. Diego Nuñez pioneered eco tourism in Río Lagartos. The cooperative is made up of the Nuñez, Marfil, Canul, Contreras, and Vallejos families, 100% local people. At the ISLA CONTOY restaurant, they have comfortable boats, kayaks, mountain bikes, and trained & certified guides, ready for you to enjoy the various tours offered in English, Spanish, or Italian. Río Lagartos Adventures offers nature tours, with 20 years experience guiding trips in the Ría Lagartos bio-reserve. They are located at the restaurant ISLA CONTOY, Calle 19 No. 134 x 14, on the waterfront. Cel. 9861 00 83 90. You can also enjoy delicious seafood here, the best spot to watch the sunset. Their 3 most popular tours are: boat tour to observe flamingos, night tour to observe crocodiles, and bird-watching tour (boat or land). www.riolagartosadventures.com Reservations: Cel. 986 100 8390 or www.riolagartosnaturetours.com  Ask us about our posada: Diego & Matildé's Posada in Rio Lagartos  It is located behind our house on a quiet street in Rio Lagartos. It is not on the water but it is just a short walk to the waterfront. We have 4 rooms. We built them as a service to our birding and fishing customers. They have all the modern conveniences including wireless, cable TV and air conditioning.
Hotel Tabasco Rio is a cozy family run hotel located in Rio Lagartos, Yucatan, Mexico. This lazy fishing village is the perfect base to enjoy the surrounding bio reserve, discover the flamingos, crocodiles, eagles, over 380 bird species and much more. Try floating in the salt lakes, taking a special Mayan Mud bath and in the evenings enjoy the breathtaking sunsets and delicious seafood freshly caught by the local fisherman. A truly unique experience for all the family to enjoy. It is located on the town square just 50 meters from the beautiful waterfront. Its modern and comfortable rooms are incomparable in Rio Lagartos. We are located just 1 hour 30 minutes from Merida and 40 minutes from Tizimin. Our hotel includes free coffee, free parking, free Wi-Fi, and a gift shop. Our rooms include air conditioning, fans, Cable TV and en suite bathrooms with shower. Tours and packages including flamingos tours, crocodile night tours, Kayak tours in the Rio Lagartos Bio Reserve, Bike tours to Peten Tucha trial and Las Coloradas. (Pink Lakes and Salt mountains). Video in English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejR1ts_zcAs  Email: [email protected]  Website: www.hotelriolagartos.com 
How to get there :
You can get to Río Lagartos via a travel agency, in a rented car or by bus. By car from Mérida drive east to Tizimín and then go north to Río Lagartos. There are a few hotels here, including the ones mentioned above, or you can stay at the Hotel San Felipe, in the quaint fishing town of the same name, 9 km. west of Río Lagartos: Tel. 986-862-2027. Email: [email protected] .
Hotel in San Felipe:
- Hotel San Felipe
9 km. west of Río Lagartos
Tel: (986) 862 2027
Email: [email protected] 
Río Lagartos is within the Biosphere Special Reserve and it's famous for its enormous flamingo colony and large variety of other species.