On the north coast of Yucatan is Rio Lagartos (alligator river), a small town within a 118,00 acre nature preserve – the Biosphere Special Reserve – that’s home
to more than 200 species of native and migratory birds and other wildlike, including flamingos cormorants, gigantic white pelicans, seagulls, herons, egrets, maybe a few spoonbills and an occasional alligator.
The village of Rio Lagartos is a small fishing village and offers the same hospitality as in antiquity when the Mayan name for the town meant "Head of the Kitchen". During that time it was a popular stopping point along the ancient trade route and known as a place for sustenance and a tranquil atmosphere, something you can still find there.
The area is the home to Mexico’s largest American and Caribbean flamingo population. It estimated that over 8,000 pink flamingos live within the now protected canals and mangroves just up the river from Rio Lagartos. Wild flamingos eat many different foods but their favorite is shrimp. The more shrimp they eat, the pinker they get. The birds nest here from April to August, building their odd, conical mud mound nests in the shallows, each containing one egg.
As well, one can see cacti growing on sandy dunes by the sea, heavenly palm trees, alabaster mountains of salt near the banks of the river which contrast beautifully with the peculiar red color of the water, a lush and verdant jungle with natural fresh water wells surrounded by bare land, and mangrove forests on the edges of the waterways.
The first 18 photos below were taken along the rural road that leads to Rio Lagartos.
East of town there is a large salt processing enterprise (photos 74-88) that collects salt from dry lake beds and ships it all over South America
For more than 2000 years, before the Mayans, salt has been gathered from the shallow lakes in the area and traded as a valuable commodity. It is bulldozed into huge mounds then processed, cleaned and packaged in the factory here. .
Despite the creation of the Biosphere Special Reserve, people from the population centers, San Felipe, Las Coloradas and Río Lagartos,
have negatively impacted the delicate ecosphere along this coastal area. See report 1 and Report 2.
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