Despite its remoteness, Shipstern NR is not particularly difficult to reach, even by public transport. Visitors are not numerous, as the Reserve does not lie along the main routes. However those tourists who take the time to visit are rewarded by the discovery of a pristine wilderness, with many unique traits. The unpaved road leading to Sarteneja through San Estevan and Chunox is almost always passable.
In 1997 Shipstern Nature Reserve was instrumental in creating the first B&B accommodations in the village of Sarteneja. Visitors are encouraged to stay in the village, although special arrangements can be made for enthusiastic naturalists – it is possible, for example, to overnight in tree-top observatories.
A visit to Shipstern Nature Reserve includes a tour of the Visitor’s Centre & Butterfly Garden, the Museum, the Botanical Trail and the Mahogany Park. The entrance fee contributes to the upkeep of the Reserve. Visits to other areas, such as the Shipstern Ruins to the south, or the Bacalar Chico National Park and Marine Reserve to the east, can be combined with a trip to Shipstern NR.