You arrive by car to Boca Paila beach. What do you see? Definitely no spring-breakers on pub-crawls, no group motivators, no activity directors. Yes, these things are a part of the beaches in the Riviera Maya, and there are people who like them, but this is the beauty of the Riviera Maya; in such a short distance you can find beaches that are so entirely distinct in their style.
On top of the louder (and sometimes less desirable) results of tourism just mentioned, Boca Paila also doesn’t have electricity, large-scale development or many roads. In fact, there is one road into the Sian Kaan Biosphere Reserve and that’s it. And that point is really important; it’s in the biosphere reserve.
That means there is nature all around. Besides the dense jungle vegetation reaching almost up to the beach itself, contrasting to the pure, white sand and then the bright turquoise Caribbean Sea, there is also plenty of wildlife. There are bright tropical birds to be watched, fish and many other kinds of animals.
Arriving to the wide beaches stretching out for miles and miles in both directions, along the one road through the jungle recalls something ancient – perhaps what the Mayans felt when they reached the sea in days past. In fact, the whole setting makes you feel a closer connection to the mystery of their ancient civilization.
This is also true of the little Mayan cabins with thatched roofs where you can stay and enjoy this jungle paradise in complete peace for a more lengthy time. Just like you can enjoy the beaches the way they’ve been experienced for hundreds of years even before Europeans arrived, you can enjoy the bright stars in the Caribbean sky as they have been enjoyed in ages past.
The biosphere reserve is 1.3 million acres in size and is one of the world’s most biologically diverse areas, with jungle, swamp, mangrove growths, lagoons and large, natural pools called “cenotes.” Animals include several kinds of wild cats, such as jaguars and ocelots, birds like parrots and toucans, as well as crocodiles and monkeys. There are well over 300 species of birds and butterflies – that have been counted so far.
When you visit Boca Paila, you will not feel like you are near Cancun, Playa del Carmen or Tulum; nor will you feel like you are far from them. You will simply feel like you’re in a different world, like you’ve stepped back in time, or completely out of time!