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Birding and cultural
tour of Chiapas, Mexico

La Venta, Palenque, Bonampak, Yaxchilán, Las Guacamayas, Lagos de Montebello, Amatenango, San Cristóbal de Las Casas, San Juan Chamula, Zinacantán.

You should arrive in Villahermosa the day / evening before Day 1.

10 Days Itinerary:

Day 1

Welcoming and reception. We will stay at the Holiday Inn which is about 5 minute ride from the airport. If you are coming in at a late hour, we will have a voucher for your meal when you check-in. This night at the Holiday Inn is the first night of the tour and you have already paid for it, as well as the meal. We will pick you up at the Airport.

Day 2

We will start early, after breakfast, by exploring the Olmec park / museum of La Venta. The Olmecs settled in La Venta, the center of the Olmec culture, for nearly 600 years, from 1000 BC to 400BC. The site was moved from La Venta 73 miles east to Villahermosa in the 1950s to protect its many treasures. The park is outdoors in a tropical setting and is quite “birdy”. Three of the giants’ heads, weighing about 20 tons each, are in the park. About mid-day we will leave for Palenque, which is about 2 hours away.

Hooded Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Clay-colored Robin, Wood Thrush, Band-backed Wren, Boat-built Flightcatcher, Ferruginous Pygmy-Owl, Squirrel Cuckoo, Summer Tanager, Yellow-throated Euphonia.

NIGHT 2 – Hotel Mayabell

Day 3

In the morning, we’ll visit the archaeological site of Palenque to observe birds with our guides and the site itself with an archeological expert. In the afternoon, we’ll observe birds on the Motiepa trail.

It would not be unusual to find Blue-crowned Motmot, the Black-headed and Gartered Trogons, the Chestnut-collared Aracari, Keel-billed Toucan, Rufous breasted Spinetail, Sport-breasted Wren, Royal Flightcatcher, the Scrub, Yellow-throated and Olive-backed Euphonians, Masked Tityra, Scaret-rumped and Crimson-collared Tanagers and both the Chestnut-headed and Montezuma Oropendola and of course, many of the outstanding raptors will be flying overhead.

NIGHT 3 – Hotel Mayabell

Day 4

We’ll drive first to the outdoor cafeteria restaurant Yaxlum for breakfast on the way to the Bonampak archaeological site, a site famous for its murals, after which we will continue on to Frontera Corozal.

Collared Forest-Falcon, Green Honeycreeper, Brown-hooded Parrot, White-crowned Parrot, Red-lored Parrot, Mealy Parrot, White-necked Jacobin, Long-billed [Long-tailed] Hermit, Stripe-throated [Little] Hermit, Scaly-breasted Hummingbird, Purple-crowned Fairy, Green-breasted Mango, Collared Aracari.

NIGHT 4 – Nueva Alianza

Day 5

In the morning we’ll travel by motorboat into the archaeological zone Yaxchilán arriving well before the tourists. In the afternoon we’ll travel to Las Guacamayas Reserve, the last area in Mexico where the Scarlet Macaw can be observed in the wild. In the evening, we’ll walk through the small community on Reforma Agraria, spotting the great diversity of birds living in the community itself. At night we could try to find the Black and White Owl and the Mottled Owl around the hotel.

Cinnamon Becard, Green Honeycreeper, Blue-crowned Momot, White-whiskered Puffbird, Dot-winged Antwren, White-collared Manakin, Red-cappped Manakin, Smpky-brown Woodpecker, Chestnut-colored Woodpecker, Black-headed Trogon, Gartered Trogon, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Collared Aracari, Keel-billed Toucan, Great Tinamou, Green-breasted Mango.

NIGHT 5 – Las Guacamayas.

Day 6

Early this morning we’ll bird from a slow-moving motorboat on the Lacantún River and then into the Montes Azules Reserve on the River Tzendales. In the afternoon, we ́ll walk through the small community of Reforma Agraria, spotting the great diversity of birds living in the community itself.

Scarlet Macaw, King Vulture, Great Antshrike, White Hawk, Keel-billed Toucan, Green Honeycreeper, White-necked Puffbird, Slaty-tailed Trogon, Pygmy Kingfisher, Amazon Kingfisher, Green Kingfisher, Red-capped Manakin, Barred Antshrike, Violet Sabrewing, White-necked Jacobin, Crested Guan, Sungrebe and Yellow-tailed Oriole.

NIGHT 6 – Las Guacamayas.

Day 7

In the morning, we’ll travel to San Cristóbal de Las Casas, the magic city of the Highlands. On the way, we ́ll stop in the Lagos de Montebello, an area higher in elevation, having different species of birds and Amatenango del Valle to observe a family working in their shop making pottery figures. The family has received a national award for their work.

Unicolor Jay, Azure-crowned Hummingbird, Blue and White Mockingbird, Blue-throated Motmot, Slate-throated Redstart, Singing Quail, Grey-breasted Wood-Wren, Slate-colored Solitaire, Spot-crowned Woodpecker, Yellow-backed Oriole.

NIGHT 7 – Casa Morada.

Day 8

In the morning, we will meet our cultural expert and visit the indigenous villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantán. After lunch, we’ll visit the textile Museum.

NIGHT 8 – Casa Morada.

Day 9

In the morning, we’ll bird the Moxviquil Reserve (or other area we’ve observed a lot of activity). In the afternoon, you can shop or visit any of the other museums or sites you wish. We will accompany you.

White-eared Hummingbird, Magnificent Hummingbird, Green Violet ear, Cinnamon-bellied Flowerpiercer, Hooded Grosbeak, Rufous-collared Robin, Golden-cheeked Warbler, and migratory and resident mixed flocks.

NIGHT 9 – Casa Morada.

Day 10

We will take you early to the Airport in Tuxtla Gutierrez as your adventure ends… ’til next time.