For those who want to experience seclusion within an idyllic beach landscape, yet also enjoy luxe accommodations that make them completely forget they're in a remote nature reserve, the Mukan Resort is where they need to be.
Nestled between a pristine white sand beach and a lush, tropical jungle, Mukan is the first luxury ecoresort in Mexico's Sian Ka'an biosphere reserve, a Unesco World Heritage Site since 1987.
To get to the property is an adventure itself. From Cancun Airport, it's about a two-hour drive past Tulum to the resort's private dock.
On our way to the dock, our driver told us stories of casual jaguar encounters and run-ins with tree-swinging monkeys. From the moment we got out of the car, my eyes were peeled for wildlife. Only later did I find out that Sian Ka'an is home to more than 100 species of mammals, 95 species of reptiles and 300 species of birds. The 45-minute voyage through thick mangrove forests and past the vast lagoon didn't disappoint: We managed to catch glimpses of manatees, a crocodile and a group of graceful ibises.
Mukan features four thatch-roofed, standalone, beachfront bungalows and a main villa with five guest suites, each with its own private terrace. My companion and I and one couple were the only guests, so it's safe to say it doesn't get more private than that.
This experience is perfect for someone who wants peace and quiet, along with the opportunity to do absolutely nothing other than enjoy the canopy beds and palm tree-supported hammocks on the beach.
A suite at the Mukan Resort, which features four beachfront bungalows and five suites.
Plenty to do
Those who'd rather get active can book off-site excursions through the concierge, such as canoeing through mangroves, swimming in the Yucatan's famed cenotes or fly-fishing in world-class lagoons.
Moreover, the Mukan Resort staff offers daily, customized experiences for their guests. For example, our first night we were surprised with a newly dug fire pit for roasting marshmallows on palm frond stakes, while the next day we were invited to a ceviche and guacamole cooking demonstration from the resort's head chef.
In addition, there are complimentary stand-up paddleboards, snorkeling equipment, kayaks and bikes for use at any time. Morning yoga is offered daily, along with sunset wine and light bites on the dock overlooking the glistening lagoon of Sian Ka'an each night.
The attentive staff members manage to always be present when needed, whether to hand you a glass of freshly squeezed juice or a coconut or to escort you to your dinner location. Each night your dinner table is set up somewhere new; sometimes it's at a romantic spot on the beach under the stars, on the rooftop overlooking the jungle or another cozy spot on the property.
The restaurant menu has a variety of local and international cuisine, and each meal can be customized depending on what you like. With locally sourced and sustainable ingredients, you won't find fresher seafood than what you're served here.
Another important aspect of the property is the fact that it's an ecofriendly resort that makes sustainability a top priority. To minimize its ecological footprint, Mukan uses solar panels, a wind turbine, water filtration and local materials for all construction needs.
Rates begin at $420 per night, based on double occupancy.