Kayaking

Nichupte’ lagoon – Cancun – a precious gift from Nature

In CANCUN, MEXICO, QUINTANA ROO by Isabella Biava12 Comments

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I have always appreciated Cancun for many reasons as I mentioned in a previous post, however not with the explorer’s eye and the investigating mind that I put in action every time I travel.

One of the great benefits that I find from writing a blog is exactly this.

Curiosity becomes tenfold, I ask myself more and more questions, investigate things that I previously took for granted or I didn’t pay attention to. I do stuff and really look at things, with more mindfulness.

Nichupte'

One of the places that I have always looked upon with respect and admiration and probably also some fear is the Nichupte’ lagoon,  a huge mirror of the Cancun’s Sky, separating downtown Cancun ( where “normal” people leave), from the hotel area, (locally called “Zona Hotelera”) a strip of 30 km which also separates the lagoon from the sea.

The lagoon system is an enormous body of water made up of 5 lagoons, including, Nichupte’ itself, Río Inglés, Rio del Amor, Caleta Nizuc y Bojórquez, and it is the only natural ecosystem that remains after the construction of the Hotel Zone and the entire touristic area.

Nobody thought in the 70s when Cancun was being built, that it would have become one of the most important tourist destinations in Mexico and possibly in the world, nor it was taken into consideration (or at least not enough)  that the rapid growth of the successful entertainment industry would have put in jeopardy that so precious ecosystem.

I don’t want to get into the socio-political implication of the topic but let’s just hope that the government and the competent authorities will ensure that this unique treasure will be kept preserved.

It is a jungle indeed,  a paradise for bird watchers and biologists. Here the sweet water coming from the rocks underneath merges and mixes with the salted water from the sea offering a comfortable, prosperous and protective environment for all the spices of fish to reproduce and to juvenile fishes to grow, before going back to the sea.

Nichupte'

You can even spot dolphins sometimes – or so I was told- and yes there are crocodiles even though they hang out in a specific zone where they can find food,  feel protected and can lay in the sun without being disturbed.

You might have heard of crocodile attacks in the past in the lagoon, but they were situations where the victim didn’t use the necessary precaution and didn’t respect the course of nature.

Crocodiles, just like any other animals, don’t think, they just follow their instinct which basically boils down to defending themselves from the enemy (i.e. humans) and searching for food. So it is our duty to understand how to move around in their territory without invading and disrespecting their space.

That said, there is a way to enjoy the lagoon without risks and this is precisely what I just did today, the very same day I  wrote this post. I was so excited that I had to put it down in words like a sort of plea for forgiveness for such little consideration I have given it all this time.  I knew there were a lot of tours organized in the lagoon, but they were all by motorboats or Jet skies and I am really against those.

I believe they are unnecessary exploitation of nature. So I would have rather stared at the immensity of this pond from the Malecon Tajamar while doing my run or while experimenting with my photography; or perhaps from the Hotel zone, at La Isla shopping center from where you can admire beautiful romantic sunsets across the lagoon.

I was just a silent passive admirer… until now.

KAYAK JUNGLE TOUR

After this morning I’ve changed my perspective. Through word of mouth I found out about this ecotour kayaking around the lagoon and I immediately contacted them to organize the tour.

I was excited at the idea of the morning exercise in the noisy silence of nature. It would be from 6 to 9 am and despite the early rise I managed to convince a couple of friends to join me.

It would have been more fun. I was sure they would have loved it too and I was right.

It would be at that time of the day when the sunrise is magical, especially if you are surrounded by nature,  and in fact, it didn’t disappoint. It was magic, indeed.  We cruised all around the mangroves and stopped to watch the birds flying around, in search of food, or just hanging out.

We were only disturbed by the noise of a couple of boats passing by.

Other than that it was just us and nature, the sunrise colors to the west, the turquoise blue to the east and the clouds mirrored in the water: my perfect shot.

puente

I also found out about a secret beach which I didn’t know before, where we actually took a break from our sitting position which was starting to become a little uncomfortable after 2 hours.

We took a swim and hung out in the cool water for a long while.

It was beautiful, peaceful and refreshing. Then we head back to the hotel by 10.00 am.

Our guide Rodrigo was very knowledgable and patient, he does this out of passion and you can definitely tell. Time is not an issue. You agree beforehand what time you want to leave and the circuit is decided on the spot, according to the currents.

Sometimes you will be able to row a little through the bridge and out to the sea if there is not much current. Otherwise, it will be all among mangroves.

They can also organize tours at different hours of the day and of course the colors and landscape change.

I would also recommend the sunset tour, which we will do soon. Starting around 4 pm until the sun goes down it must be an amazing show of nature.

You can contact them on their facebook page and they will set up the perfect tour in this beautiful treasure.

Nichupte'

Recommendations: Anybody can do the tour, you don’t need to be an expert. Even a beginner can learn instantly. Wear sunblock, (preferably eco-friendly), mosquito spray (also eco-friendly) if you leave early in the morning, hat, sunglasses and if you have a dry bag it is better. Also if you wish to take pictures make sure your phone is protected from water.

Even if you don’t fall you get wet. Oh and don’t forget… lots of good vibes !!!

Nichupte'

PADDLE BOARDING  IN THE NICHUPTÈ LAGOON

Another fantastic experience, if you are an early riser, is paddle boarding, or stand up paddle, or SUP.

You don’t really need to be an expert, as Max, the instructor, will give you the necessary tips for you to find your balance.

He is a professional surfer, who knows the sea and how to respect it and will be with you all the time so that you will feel safe. He will change the itinerary according to the winds and currents.

You will meet in Playa Langosta (km 5) and according to the condition of the sea he will decide whether to stay on the seaside or paddle back towards the lagoon, where the water will always be calm.

Nichupte'

All you need to do is just follow him, relax, paddle and enjoy the beautiful view as the sun is shyly showing up from the sea and slowly changing all the colors around you.

It is an amazing experience, soothing and energizing at the same time as it puts you in full contact with mother nature and keeps you happy all day. Well and if you are happy already, you will get an extra dosis of happiness.

Why not? You can contact Max on his facebook  page where you can find out prices and availability.

Nichupte'

I hope you will follow my tips on eco-watersports on  Nichuptè lagoon so that you will thank me forever. I am sure you will enjoy Cancun even more.

Book Your Trip: Practical Tips and Tricks

Book your accommodation

I use most of all Booking.com. I find it very convenient because it shows all kinds of accommodations, from hostels to villas to hotels. I love the layout of the site and the comments of the previous guests. And they always have great deals.

However, I always recommend to check out different sites and compare them. I come from the travel industry and I know for a fact that hotels agree from time to time with different tour operators to make special exclusive deals. So maybe one day you will find a great deal with Booking.com and the other day with Expedia or Hotels.com for the same hotel. So it is always worth checking them all. Of course, there are many other booking sites, but these are the ones I feel more comfortable with.

Now you have to know that Expedia and Hotels.com belong to the same company Expedia Group, together with many other sites, but they still display different rates as they have different targets. I know it sounds odd, but it is what it is.

Last but not least, always check the hotel web page because sometimes they have a better deal. Even better if you can call the hotel directly and ask if they have a special rate for those dates that you want to book. They might give you an offer in order not to lose a potential client.

I also check the reviews on TripAdvisor, both for hotels and tours. It doesn’t cost a thing and it helps a lot in choosing. You can also check their prices and compare them as well.

Book your flight

For flights, I use both Skyscanner and Expedia as well. The same rule applies: always compare. They are both good because they are aggregators which means that they compare prices from different sites and airlines. However, it’s always good to double check with the airline site directly.

Don’t forget your travel insurance

I couldn’t have one while I was traveling in Mexico because I am a resident there, but as soon as I left I did my insurance with World Nomads. After a research on the web and through friends I found World Nomads to be the most used and the most reliable when it comes not only to sickness but also missed flights, credit cards issues and so on. Whatever insurance you decide to get, that’s fine though, as long as you have one. I just can’t imagine being stuck in a place sick and miserable and not being able to get the necessary treatments because I can’t afford it, or having to ask my parents or friends to support me. That’s inconceivable to me. For me, it is super important and I can never recommend it enough.

GOING TO COBA’ BY CAR

I always suggest to rent a car and drive around because you have the freedom to visit in your own terms, without having the pressure of the tight schedules that groups normally have. I love to drive around a place and find new corners to discover, for as long as I want.

If you are new with driving in Mexico, I have written a useful post with tips and interesting information that might be useful as there are a couple of things you need to know and need to be careful about.

Book Your Trip: Practical Tips and Tricks

Book your accommodation

I use most of all Booking.com. I find it very convenient because it shows all kinds of accommodations, from hostels to villas to hotels. I love the layout of the site and the comments of the previous guests. And they always have great deals.

However, I always recommend to check out different sites and compare them. I come from the travel industry and I know for a fact that hotels agree from time to time with different tour operators to make special exclusive deals. So maybe one day you will find a great deal with Booking.com and the other day with Expedia or Hotels.com for the same hotel. So it is always worth checking them all. Of course, there are many other booking sites, but these are the ones I feel more comfortable with.

Now you have to know that Expedia and Hotels.com belong to the same company Expedia Group, together with many other sites, but they still display different rates as they have different targets. I know it sounds odd, but it is what it is.

Last but not least, always check the hotel web page because sometimes they have a better deal. Even better if you can call the hotel directly and ask if they have a special rate for those dates that you want to book. They might give you an offer in order not to lose a potential client.

I also check the reviews on TripAdvisor, both for hotels and tours. It doesn’t cost a thing and it helps a lot in choosing. You can also check their prices and compare them as well.

Book your flight

For flights, I use both Skyscanner and Expedia as well. The same rule applies: always compare. They are both good because they are aggregators which means that they compare prices from different sites and airlines. However, it’s always good to double check with the airline site directly.

Rent a car

I always suggest to rent a car and drive around because you have the freedom to visit in your own terms, without having the pressure of the tight schedules that groups normally have. I love to drive around a place and find new corners to discover, for as long as I want.

If you are new with driving in Mexico, I have written a useful post with tips and interesting information that might be useful as there are a couple of things you need to know and need to be careful about.

Click here to view car rental options

Don’t forget your travel insurance

I couldn’t have one while I was traveling in Mexico because I am a resident there, but as soon as I left I did my insurance with World Nomads. After a research on the web and through friends I found World Nomads to be the most used and the most reliable when it comes not only to sickness but also missed flights, credit cards issues and so on. Whatever insurance you decide to get, that’s fine though, as long as you have one. I just can’t imagine being stuck in a place sick and miserable and not being able to get the necessary treatments because I can’t afford it, or having to ask my parents or friends to support me. That’s inconceivable to me. For me, it is super important and I can never recommend it enough.

Comments

  1. Flights to Cancun are usually reasonable so I am always looking for more things to do there. This post offers a perfect alternative experience. The jungle tour sounds like a lot of fun.

    1. Author

      Great I am glad it was helpful! let me know should you need more information. happy travels!!

  2. I do love water sports, so it looks like a trip to Cancun could be in order for me! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Author

      Hey Tom! thanks a lot, I am glad you found this article helpful! happy travels to you!

  3. The kayak picture looks so serene. Yes, curious minds are always attracted to the unknown. Although I’ve lived in Pennsylvania my whole life, I still dream of seeing parts of Italy that I’ve never been to. Milan and Venice are two examples. I’ve just recently started exploring my home state more extensively.

    1. Author

      Thank you Brian for your comment, as I mention on the FB page, I realize now that starting from your own surroundings it is always a great choice. it’s like being grateful for what you have and the place you were raised. And a good omen for when you will take off 🙂 happy travels to you

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