Rio Lagartos is one of those sites that deserve a very good look but is mostly off the radar for most visitors. The likely reason it is still a well kept secret is that the reserve is not near a large city or airport. Both Cancun and Merida are more than 2.5 hours away. In order to enjoy an unhurried visit, it is best to allocate an overnight stay, which may deter some visitors. However, even if it is a bit hurried for a one day trip, it should be high on your list if you truly enjoy wild life. The flamingo boat ride is the thing to do when you are visiting Rio Lagartos for one day. If you have more time, the crocodile night tour and the bird watching tour are excellent choices. San Felipe is the nearest town to the Rio Lagartos reserve, where simple but clean lodging is available.
The town of San Felipe and Rio Lagartos lie approximately 42 km north of Tizimin. Mérida is located 250 km southwest. Río Lagartos is located at a lagoon, the Ria Lagartos, which is part of a natural reserve. This makes it an ideal place for bird watching. This lagoon is part of the Petenes mangroves ecoregion, and the Ria Lagartos has been designated as an internationally recognized Important Bird Area (IBA). In terms or size of the flamingo community, Rio Lagartos is possibly more important than Celestún, although the latter is significantly closer to Merida and that is the reason most people seeking the flamingos opt for Celestún.