Active Nature invites you to tours into the Heart of the Costa Maya.

KAYAKING

On our kayak tours you will get to know the magnificent Laguna of the Seven Colors and especially the undeveloped side with its unique mangroves, silence, and pure unspoiled nature.

PADDLE SAILING

Our paddle sailing tours are for nature lovers that can handle a little spray in their face, but are also willing to paddle to become faster or to move forward if the wind has died down.

BIRD WATCHING

Mexico is one of the most biologically diverse places on earth. And the Yucatan Peninsula is high on the list of unique areas for birdwatchers to visit, a home to hundreds of bird species.

JUNGLE WALKS

Just a few meters outside the gates of Ecotucan you are in the Jungle. You will learn about trees, plants, insects, and animals that inhabit our area along the paths and jungle road.

DISCOVER

the diversity of Southern Quintana Roo and explore the magnificent Laguna Bacalar - Mexico's second largest freshwater lake. Visit this historically important part of the Mexican Caribbean with its cultural and natural treasures, away from mass tourism.

Come for a day and go on tour with our experienced guides or stay in one of the lovely cabins of Villas Ecotucan or just pitch a tent on the lakeshore and listen to the sounds of nature.

TOURING

Nothing lets you get to know the lake and the area better than one of our tours. We offer you a variety of adventurous activities to explore this unique area around the Laguna of the Seven Colors.

Kayak to the mangroves in the sunrise, go Sailing in our new traditional Outrigger Canoe, go Bird watching and learn about the jungle ecosystem or even find hidden lagoons.

TOUR TIPS

  • Small group sizes of 8 or less people will give you more intense experiences and limit our impact on the fragile environments we visit here in this special area.
  • Most of our tours are suitable for all ages and to make it a family experience children under 14 years pay only half of the price and kids under 10 years join the trips for free.
  • Guides speak Spanish, English, and German.

Stranded in paradise was basically the beginning of Active Nature.

ACTIVE NATURE

started in 2006 when our trip from Alaska to Patagonia was interrupted by our van breaking down.

While thinking about plan B we found Ecotucan and met the owner Arturo, got to know his project, and we loved his idea about living in harmony with the environment. So we decided to stay for a while and started exploring this beautiful lake and the surrounding jungle by kayak, bikes and walking.

Having done this...and still doing it Active Nature was created, and with our tours we want you to discover the Beauty of this amazing lake.

VISIT US

Active Nature is located at Villas Ecotucan, a small ecological resort 5 km north of the town of Bacalar at KM 27.3 on Highway 307, the Chetumal - Cancun Highway.

EASY TO VISIT

  • You can take a taxi from Bacalar or coming by Mayab (second class bus), the driver can drop you off at the turnoff 27.3 and from there it is only 1 km to the entrance.

We found this beautiful place here at the Laguna Bacalar and wanted to discover all it offers, and now we want you to discover it too with our tours.

Jacqueline & Gunnar

To make a reservation for one of our tours please contact us or give us a call at + 52 1 983 120 5742

KAYAK TOURS

On our kayak tours you will get to know the magnificent Laguna of the Seven Colors and especially the undeveloped side with it's unique mangroves, silence, and pure unspoiled nature.

If you want to celebrate a special occasion during your holiday or to spend a romantic evening with your partner look at our Sunset - Full Moon Candlelight Dinner Tour.

Small group sizes of 8 or less people will give you more intense experiences and limit our impact on the fragile environments we visit here in this special area. Most of our tours are suitable for all ages, to make it a great family vacation experience.

KAYAK TOURS INCLUDE:

Kayaks, paddles, life vests, dry bags, drinking water, snacks, guide, and return transport on one-way tours.
Tours 6 hours and more include lunch. Overnight tours include all meals as well as accommodation either in tents or cabanas.

Tour BASE PRICE in Pesos per Person
3 Hrs. Sunrise / Sunset 375
6 Hrs. Hidden Lagoon 585
8 Hrs. Hidden Lagoon via Pirate Channel 795
2 Days Rapids, Island, Cenotes with Camping 1500
2 Days to Chetumal via Rio Chaac and Hondo w/Camping (Cabana) 2150 (2350)
4 Days Manatee Tour to Laguna Guerrero with Camping 900 per day
Sunset / Full Moon Tour follows with Candlelight Dinner at the lake 425

Click for Details

3 Hrs. Sunrise / Sunset Tour

SUNRISE

Imagine - before sunrise, nature is slowly starting to wake up, and your kayak or canoe is gliding silently over the calm lake, the fog mystically drifting over the water's surface and the soft light of the sun warms the cool air - then you might feel like being in a fairy tale.

This outstanding tour offers you excellent photo opportunities of the Laguna of the Seven Colors and its flora and fauna, like watching the nighthawks last morning hunt or the river otter searching for his breakfast between the mangroves.

Once you are back at Villas Ecotucan a hearty breakfast is waiting for you.

Group Size: max. 8 persons Tour start: 15 min. before Sunrise at Villas Ecotucan

SUNSET

In the evening hours we will paddle out into the Laguna Bacalar to enjoy the changes of light with the ending of the day. From your kayak or canoe you will experience nature's unique light show over the lake When returning to Villas Ecotucan you can take a night bath from the pier.

Group Size: min. 2 to max. 8 persons Tour start: 2.5 hours before Sunset at Villas Ecotucan

6 Hrs. Hidden Lagoon

This 18 km round trip will first lead you to the other side of the Laguna Bacalar and after about 1 hour paddling you will enter the mangroves of the Hidden Lagoon.

While gliding silently through the small channels you have a chance to observe the birds that live in the mangroves and may see snakes, tapirs and the shy morelet's crocodiles.

After about 2 hours of paddling the channel widens into a big lagoon from where we head back for Laguna Bacalar. Right at the inlet a beautiful white small beach with turquoise clear water welcomes us. Here you have plenty of time to swim and play in the crystal clear water while your guide prepares lunch.

After enjoying this little piece of paradise we paddle along the lush jungle shore of the Laguna of the Seven Colors back to Villas Ecotucan.

Group Size: min. 2 to max. 8 persons Tour start: 8 a.m. @ Villas Ecotucan

8 Hrs. Hidden Lagoon via Pirate Channel

The 8 hour tour will lead you the same way into the Hidden Lagoon but once in there you will paddle southwards instead of North.

This route is about 23 km long and you will return into Laguna Bacalar via the Pirate Channel or Rio Chaac that is right across Bacalar's town center with the Fort San Felipe de Bacalar.

Here at the Pirate Channel you will have lunch and time for swimming and relaxing. From there you are heading north along the undeveloped side of Laguna Bacalar, back to the hotel where you can relax after this active day.

Group Size: min. 2 to max. 8 persons Tour start: 8 am at Villas Ecotucan

2 Days Rapids, Island, Cenotes with Camping

With light paddling strokes you follow the current of Laguna Bacalar southwards. Explore the lush jungle shore, small islands where Limpkins and Herons hide between orchids and bromeliads. You are passing the Fort San Felipe which towers in the center of Bacalar town and cross endless deep seeming cenotes along the populated shore of Bacalar and always watch out for one of the shy Morelet's crocodiles.

Slowly the mangrove shores move closer together and the town lays behind you. Only the call of the kingfisher might interrupt the silence here.

After your lunch break you paddle into a small creek where the roots of the lush jungle vanish deep into the blue of the water and leaves of waterlilies seem to float weightlessly underneath you.

Then you reach the narrowest and southernmost part of Laguna Bacalar. Let the current carry you through the rapids and discover colorful fish that hide behind rocks and in little crevasses.

On the shore we pitch our tents, enjoy a delicious dinner, the beautiful sunset and listen to the creatures of the night. Here you have the chance to go on a night walk into the jungle and look for the kinkajou or armadillos. After a hearty breakfast we start paddling north through small islands surrounded by the crystal waters until we reach the Rio Chaac or Pirate Channel. Here you can refresh and dive into the deep clear water.

For a short while we are following the current of the Pirate Channel, crossing through the mangroves into the back lagoons. Along the quiet undeveloped shore of Laguna Bacalar we you may see Tapirs, River Otters and a wide variety of herons, egrets and many other birds. Via a small man made channel we are heading back to the main waters of Mexico's most beautiful lake and reach Villas Ecotucan before sunset where a cold drink is waiting for you.

This 2 day / 1 night guided tour includes:

Kayak or Canoe, paddles and life jackets, gear, camping and cooking equipment, lunch and dinner on 1st day, breakfast and lunch on 2nd day, drinking water (soft drinks and alcohol not included), snacks and fruits, secure parking at Villas Ecotucan, inexperienced people will get an introduction before the trip.

For this tour we prefer arrangements as far in advance as possible, at least 2 days in advance are required.

Group Size: min. 2 to max. 8 persons Tour start: 8:00 a.m. @ Villas Ecotucan

2 Days to Chetumal with Camping or Cabana

With light paddling strokes you follow the current of Laguna Bacalar southwards. Explore the lush jungle shore, small islands where Limpkins and Herons hide between orchids and bromeliads.

At the Pirate Channel right across from the Spanish Fort in Bacalar you will have a break, snack and time to swim. Following old Mayan trading routes and the waterways that pirates used to come from the Caribbean to raid the area surrounding Bacalar we continue our way south eventually reaching Laguna Milagros where we stay overnight.

On the second day we will follow the Rio Chaac noticing the change in vegetation along the shorelines, big Ramon and Zapote trees forming a nice canope and then we enter the deep dark waters of the Rio Hondo, the natural border to Belize.

Paddling the Rio Hondo is a delight, a real jungle River, only interupted by the bridge and official border to our neighboring country. Coming closer to the Bay of Chetumal, we feel the water pushing in from the bay and then we see the line where the waters start to mix. Back to civilization we will return to Ecotucan by car.

This 2 day / 1 night guided tour includes:

Kayak or Canoe, paddles and life jackets, gear, camping and cooking equipment, lunch and dinner on 1st day, breakfast and lunch on 2nd day, drinking water (soft drinks and alcohol not included), snacks and fruits, secure parking at Villas Ecotucan, inexperienced people will get an introduction before the trip.

For this tour we prefer arrangements as far in advance as possible, at least 2 days in advance are required.

Group Size: min. 2 to max. 8 persons Tour start: 8:00 a.m. @ Villas Ecotucan

4 Days Manatee Tour with Camping

This tour is something special for adventurers who would like to discover more than just the beautiful Laguna Bacalar but also the other lagoons in the lake system.

Our fully equipped camping trip leads you to the northern end of Laguna Bacalar on the first 2 days. In a side lagoon we paddle through the mangroves where you can discover waterfowl and raptors like the various herons and egrets, cormorants, as well as Ospreys, and Common Black Hawks. And with some luck even a tapir or crocodile, Spider Monkeys jumping in the canopy, or Keel Billed Toucans. All in the lush jungle vegetation along the shore.

We spend the first night in Buenavista and as your guide is preparing a delicious dinner you can relax and enjoy swimming after a long day of paddling in the sun.

Goat Island is our rest stop on the second day, where we walk around the island on a jungle path before we head to our campground Laguna Azul in Pedro Santos, an area that is also called home for river otters. Here you have hot showers available and of course a cold beer (not included). In the evening we will do 2 hours of sunset paddling by going to the north end of the lake and entering a small narrow river covered by sea lilies and surrounded by mangroves, where you encounter bats, roosting in the mangroves and flying low over the water and you might see a moorhen climbing through the mangrove branches. When returning to the campground delicious homemade dinner is waiting for you and you can try one or two of their famous Margaritas (not included) at your choice.

After a hearty breakfast we continue our journey southeastwards, leaving Laguna Bacalar and dive into the vast swamp area between Laguna Bacalar and Laguna Chile Verde following tiny creeks and channels where lining sometimes is necessary, depending on the water level.

In this area we spotted Jabirus, Reddish Egret, Boat Billed Heron and White Ibis on previous trips.

We float about 4 hours with the current until the mangroves open up and we enter Laguna Chile Verde. From here it is another 2 hour paddling until we reach our next jungle camp. After dinner you may join the guide for a night walk to look for the creatures of the night like owls, foxes, anteaters or armadillos.

Our last day is a shorter day of paddling but with some excitement since Laguna Chile Verde narrows into the river Raudales, where you encounter some tight bends and rapids before reaching Laguna Guerrero, which is part of the Southern Quintana Roo Manatee Reserve. Around lunchtime we reach our final destination, Daniel the Manatee that was found by some kids as a lonely baby and the University of Chetumal raised him. Today he lives in his own large corral and a local family lovingly takes care of him. Here you can learn more about this endangered mammal and have the opportunity for closer contact.

After this exquisite experience and lunch we will pack up our equipment and a transfer will bring you to the nearby less known but very beautiful and interesting ruins of Oxtankah where you can stroll around before heading back to the Villas Ecotucan.

This 4 day / 3 night guided tour includes;

Kayak or Canoe, paddles and life jackets, gear, camping and cooking equipment, lunch and dinner on 1st day, all meals on 2nd and 3rd day, breakfast and lunch on last day, drinking water (soft drinks and alcohol not included), snacks and fruits, transfer back to the Villas Ecotucan, entrance fee to archaeological site, secure parking at Villas Ecotucan, inexperienced people will get an introduction before the trip.

For this tour we prefer arrangements as far in advance as possible, at least 2 days in advance are required.

Group Size: min. 2 to max. 8 persons Tour start: 8 a.m. @ Villas Ecotucan

Sunset / Full Moon Tour with Candlelight Dinner

A perfect gift, a way to celebrate a special occasion or just a romantic evening with candlelight dinner including our Sunset - Full Moon Paddling Tour.

Around sunset time we will paddle into the Laguna Bacalar to enjoy the changes of light with the ending of the day. From your kayak or canoe you will be surprised how the nature comes alive with nightfall. You will be on the lagoon when the majestic full moon climbs up the horizon on the opposite lake shore. The glaring light on the water surface leads you through the lagoon.

The shine of the torches that are lit up on the pier shows you the way back to Villas Ecotucan where romantic candlelight awaits you.

Once you got out of the boat and changed, you can make yourself comfortable at your table and enjoy our aperitif to start your Caribbean Dinner with. 3 courses will be served to you, an appetizer, a delicious main dish and an exotic dessert. You have a choice of drinks as well as red or white wine you can add to your meal.

After your dinner you are welcome to enjoy the beautiful night on the pier as long as you want and have more drinks if you like

To keep a romantic atmosphere this tour suits only 2 tables for a maximum of 2 persons each.

For this tour we prefer arrangements as far in advance as possible, at least 1 day in advance is required.

RECOMMENDATION:

Sunblock, hat, sandals, swimsuit, sunglasses, bug repellent, and towel.
Overnight tours: in addition to above, bring your personal toiletries bag, change of clothes, light walking shoes, and a flashlight.

OUTRIGGER, DOUBLE HULL CANOEING & PADDLE SAILING

From Madagascar off the East Coast of Africa, all the way to Easter Island, the Outrigger or Double Hulled Canoe like our 'Malolo', 'Cangreja', and 'Kaikaina', is one of humankind's most useful tools and it remains in use today throughout the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The traditional design of these canoes is beautiful, elegant, lightweight, functional, efficient and fast. Compared to other types of canoes, outrigger canoes can be quite fast, yet are also capable of being paddled and sailed in rougher water.

'Malolo', 'Cangreja', and 'Kaikaina', are made by hand. The builder and your captain Gunnar will show you the beauty of Laguna Bacalar and teach you about the geology, flora, fauna and customs of this breathtaking region of Mexico.

Our outrigger sailing tours are for Nature Lovers that can handle a little spray in their face but are also willing to paddle to become even faster or to move forward if the wind died down.

CANOE TOURS INCLUDE:

Life vests, paddles, dry bags, drinking water, snacks, guide, and return transport on one-way tours.
Tours 6 hours and more include lunch. Overnight tours include all meals as well as accommodation either in tents or cabanas.

Tour BASE PRICE in Pesos per Person
5 Hrs. Pirate Channel with Cenote 530
6 Hrs. Hidden Lagoon 585
2 Days Rapids, Islands, Cenotes w/Camping 1700
2 Days Pedro Santos, lake's north End w/Camping (Cabana) 1800 (2350)
2 Days to Chetumal via Rio Chaac and Hondo w/Camping (Cabana) 2150 (2680)

RECOMMENDATION:

Sunblock, hat, sandals, swimsuit, sunglasses, bug repellent, and towel.
Overnight tours: in addition to above, bring your personal toiletries bag, change of clothes, light walking shoes, and a flashlight.

Introduction to Tropical Birding Tour

Mexico is one of the most biologically diverse countries on earth. It is home to more than 1000 bird species, 439 mammals, 989 amphibians and reptiles, and about 26.000 plants. The Yucatan Peninsula is high on the list of unique places to visit for birders

Altogether 543 bird species have been registered within the three states of Campeche, Quintana Roo and Yucatan. The already diverse local bird fauna is enriched by the fact that more than 250 species spend winters here or migrate through. There are also regular summer visitors which fly north from South America to nest during the northern hemisphere's spring and summer months.

Another unique fact is, that the Yucatan Peninsula region has 14 endemic bird species. It would be a shame to leave the region without seeing at least some of its spectacular forest birds such as parrots, trogons, toucan, orioles, or tanagers.

During large portions of the day the forest is mainly quiet with few birds noticeably active. Many birds are not immediately seen or heard. Birds are often present but many are inconspicuous.

FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO NEED HELP LOCATING BIRDS, DON'T KNOW WHERE AND WHEN TO LOOK FOR THEM, NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE BIRDS AND THEIR BEHAVIOR, VOICES AND CALLS, THE ACTIVITY OF BIRD WATCHING ITSELF AS WELL AS IDENTIFYING THE ANIMALS YOU HAVE SEEN...WE OFFER AN EARLY MORNING BIRDING WALK AND TALK THAT INTRODUCES YOU TO TROPICAL BIRDING FOR THIS AREA.

Tour Tour Start Group Size Pesos per Person
3 hour Tropical Birding Around sunrise @ Villas Ecotucan 1 to max. 6 persons 270

RECOMMENDATION:

Binoculars, sunblock, hat, mosquito repellent, light long sleeve shirt, light closed shoes.

You may prefer to travel light but, whatever you do, don't forget your binoculars. Most of the birds, indeed most wildlife, that you see will be a considerable distance away and hard to study with the naked eye. Light compact binoculars brings nature closer to you and they are essential to bird viewing. Experiences with Mexico's birds will certainly provide some of the most memorable naturalistic moments...

2 hour Jungle Walk

Just a few meters outside the gate of Villas Ecotucan you will be in the middle of the jungle.

On our jungle trail you may not see any big mammals or reptiles like the the puma or boa constrictor but the jungle is a treasure chest of nature's smaller jewels such as insects, beautiful butterflies, birds, snakes and plants.

Observe closely fallen trees, under leaf litter or among the leaves of a shrub and you are bound to find something. You will learn more about trees and plants as well as animals that inhabit this area and how everything interacts with another.

This 2 hour guided Jungle Walk tour includes Snacks and Water.

Tour Tour Start Group Size Pesos per Person
2 hour Jungle Walk All day till 4 pm @ Villas Ecotucan 2 to max. 8 persons 160

RECOMMENDATION:

Light walking shoes, light long sleeve shirt, long pants, mosquito repellent, sunblock, and hat.

On our tours you discover one of the most beautiful lakes in the world, in a quiet, low impact way. A special treat for your vacation.

Jacqueline & Gunnar

ENJOY OUR TOURS

KAYAKING     PADDLE SAILING     BIRD WATCHING     JUNGLE WALKS

ACTIVE NATURE

Hwy 307 at KM 27.3
Bacalar, Q.Roo, Mexico 77930

English, Español, Deutsch
Contact: Jacqueline & Gunnar
Cell: + 52 1 983 120 5742

Email: info@activenaturebacalar.com

VILLAS ECOTUCAN

Hwy 307 at KM 27.3
Bacalar, Q.Roo, Mexico 77930

Cell: + 52 1 983 120 5743

Email: ecotucan@yahoo.com
Website: www.ecotucan.com

SAY HELLO...

Visit our Facebook page, review us on Tripadvisor, or Tweet our website to your friends.
We look forward to seeing you in paradise! Gunnar & Jacqueline.

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