A brief (but beautiful) guide of bird watching in Mexico

ave cotinga azuleja en la biosfera naha selva lacandona

Mexico is one of the most megadiverse countries in the world. According to UN data, the nation ranks fifth on the planet in terms of biodiversity and eighth in terms of bird concentration; in fact, it is estimated that more than a thousand different varieties fly in the skies of this territory, which makes this country a perfect place to practice bird watching.

The greatest concentration of these animals is found along the Gulf of Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula, where there are 116 different types of birds. In that sense, to see them you have to look for the exact spot on the map to get a better sighting.

That said, here is a brief (but beautiful) proposal of places where you can do this activity:

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A Little Guide to Birding

Bird watching in… Celestun, Yucatan

In the first place, there is Celestun Biosphere Reserve, a paradise full of different species of birds with more than 1,120 birds. Like ducks migrating from Canada, pelicans, pink flamingos, among others.

Of course, its not the only attraction on Celestun; while you enjoy the site’s fauna, you can also swim, walk through natural tunnels formed by branches, taste typical food, or simply enjoy the beautiful beach.

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Bird watching in… Nahá, Lacandon Jungle, Chiapas

Nahá is the heart of Lacandon Jungle, located in the Montes Azules Biosphere Reserve close to the frontier with Guatemala. During your trip, you will have tours guided in the day and at night where you will be able to see species like Blue cotingaCeratopipra mentalisMicrocerculus philomela, Tucán pico iris, owls, among a variety of others.

In addition, you can also participate in activities such as clay workshop, bow and arrow workshop, Lacandon gastronomy, a tour in the Nahá and Amarillo lakes, among many others.

pajaro cabecirrojo saltarin en la biosfera naha selva lacandonaExplore the Lacandon Jungle with an Expert Guide

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Bird watching in… Into a Lost World, El Triunfo, Chiapas

In the depths of the Sierra Madre of Chiapas, it’s found El Triunfoa cloud forest unique in the world and the most biodiverse ecosystem in Mexico, also one of the last places where the quetzal lives.

First, along with a guide, we will explore the forest where clouds of fog envelop the vegetation; during the tour, you must be highly alert to your surroundings to see the amazing birds that inhabit this enchanted forest, hopefully, be able to photograph them.

quetzal in the mountain in el triunfo chiapasImmerse in the enchanted forests and discover a paradise between the fog.

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Birdwatching in …  Calakmul Biosphere Reserve

Located in the south of the Yucatan Peninsula, its found the largest tropical forest in Mexico and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering more than 1.7 million hectares with a diverse range of Neotropical and Nearctic bird species as well as situated among Mayan ruins.

Certainly, an extraordinary place inhabited by birds such as heronsCurrucas even some Papamoscas Real. Also, while touring this site, you can enjoy a pre-Hispanic environment and learn about Mayan culture.

birdwatching bird papamoscas real in yucatan

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Bird watching in…Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve

Likewise, Sian Kaan is included in UNESCO’s list of Natural Heritage; this reserve count with tropical forest, wetlands, savannahs, and marine ecosystems. It hosts more than 345 species of birds, including more than one million nesting migratory birds from the United States and Canada.

Of course, on this site you not only enjoy the diversity of birds also you can swim, practice kayak, visit the archaeological site and do many other activities. 

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Bird watching in… San Felipe, Yucatan

San Felipe is a small fishing community, also known as the island of birds, because it stands out for having one of the most diversified bird populations like hummingbirds and species that leave you amazed.

Furthermore is the access to Rio Lagartos Biosphere Reserve, where you can go on excursions through the region or just relax.

birdwatching colibri sur de mexico san felipeBirdwatching with a local birding expert

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Bird watching in… Isla Arena, Campeche

Isla Arena is a site where you get in touch with vibrant nature; located between the biospheres of Celestun and Los Petenes, you will enjoy impressive colonies of pink flamingos that have made famous this island; also, you can see cormorants, frigates, pelicans, seagulls and more, a paradise on Earth.

In addition to bird watching, you will also experience sleeping in cabins in front of the sea, visit a crocodile farm where you learn about their conservation, mangrove exploration and if you are a fan of the famous artist Pedro Infante you will be able to visit his museum, located on the island. 

cormoranes aves al sur de mexicoWalk around Isla Arena and admire the variety of fauna that exists there

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Definitely, there are many wonderful places in the world for bird watching, and Mexico is among the best; if you are planning to come, we will design a tour that suits your tastes and needs to give you an unforgettable and personalized experience.


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Victoria O.

September, 2022
Two Weeks in Mexico
Seamless transfers, excellent hotels particularly in Mexico city and Puebla, combined with various cultural and food tours. Particular highlights were the cultural/food tours in Mexico city and Puebla (also including the anthropology museum in Mexico city), and the rural tours in Oaxaca where we visited textile workshops, mescal producers and participated in a cooking class using traditional equipment. Also, although we didn't need it, the on call remote assistance was reassuring. I would definitely recommend Rutopia.
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Kris S.

April, 2022
Enjoyed using Rutopia
Enjoyed using Rutopia (Marisol and Melina) to plan my trip to Mexico. Marisol helped me figure out the best options fand booked everything. Melina was my in country support. Rutopia (the company through Kim Kim) is great and would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take the burden out of vacation planning. My son and I truly enjoyed the trip knowing everything was taken care of and we just had to have fun. Thanks!
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Melissa W.

July, 2022
Adventures in the Yucatán!
Such an amazing time in the Yucatán! Between floating in the mangroves to visiting Chichén Itzá to spending a whole day on the beach in El Cuyo, I couldn’t have planned a better trip without their help. Thank you so much for an unforgettable birthday vacation!! Simply amazing! Don’t think twice about having them help you plan your next vacation!
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April, 2022
Great experience with this agency, totally recommend!
Great experience with this agency. Our tour in Mexico was perfect and organised with great passion and precision. Special thanks to Mel (our direct contact during the trip) for being super responsive and to Jorge Barbosa (our tour guide in Mexico City). Totally recommend this tour operator!
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Sue G

June, 2022
Mayan Site Tour in Yucatan Penninsula Mexico
Rutopia did an outstanding job with the arrangement and execution of a 9 day tour of Mayan sites in the Yucatan peninsula. We provided Rutopia with the general parameters of the trip we wanted and they suggested an itinerary. After our approval, they set up the hotels, transportation within Mexico, and site tours. The hotels were good quality, and all of the drivers and tour guides showed up on time. We were very impressed with the quality of the tour guides and learned a lot on the trip. Jorge handled setting up the itinerary, and Melina handled the execution of the trip and was readily available via WhatsApp throughout the trip for any questions or issues. Melina was particularly helpful in changing our transportation arrangements to the airport at the last minute per our request. I would recommend Rutopia and would use them again for future trips.
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July, 2022
Fantastic Will do it again
My wife and I had a fantastic holiday in Mexico thanks to Marisol, Ana, Teresa and their colleagues & partners. The entire itinerary and arrangements were put together in less than 4 days. What we really liked about Marisol & her team was that they were only a message or a phone call away for any query/suggestion, etc. The trip was bespoke to the extent that Rutopia had kept in mind about our interests, food habits & executed bookings, tours. They were also very flexible in catering to last minute changes/requests. The team took upon them to ensure that our entire trip was comfortable & safe by taking care of even small stuff that one normally finds out post getting to a place. We would definitely like to use their services again!!
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Elena R.

April, 2022
A literally perfect trip to the Yucatan peninsula
Tom and I knew we wanted to go to Mexico. We knew we wanted a little bit of culture, some wildlife, and maybe a splash in the ocean. That's it. With the vague and minimal information we gave them, Rutopia was able to put together a perfect trip for us. We had a flawless itinerary. It's so clear that Rutopia really cares about the communities (animals and humans) in Mexico. Everything we did and everywhere we stayed felt like they were helping us experience Mexico as authentically and respectfully as possible. It's almost impossible to pick a highlight, but top of the list has to be the day we shared with Enrique, a Mayan host who was unbelievably generous with us. He shared the community gardens, including history and background about the families that live in Nuevo Durango and other nearby communities. He showed us the neighborhood cenotes, Punta Laguna, Uma Nojoch Keej (a wildlife reserve), and more. We picked and prepared the plants as Enrique and his wife Blanca showed us the best way to cook them (and rescued us when we were pricked by the nopales!). We saw howler monkeys and spider monkeys in the wild which was very cool. That had to be the very best day, but every day was amazing. Sian Ka'an reserve was lovely, the Mayan ruins were spectacular, the snorkeling in Puerto Morelos was fabulous, the bicycle cenote tour was jaw'droppingly gorgeous. I'm waxing superlative but it really all was like a dream. Beyond the activities, the scheduling and pace was perfect for us. We felt like we really made the most of our six days, but with enough downtime to explore and enjoy at our leisure. From picking up our car at the airport to finding our accommodation, the logistics were very smooth at every interaction. Special shoutout to Melina who pretty much instantly helped us when we had any questions about the trip. We've never used a travel planning service like this before. But after this trip, we'll never go back to the old way!
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July, 2022
Journey to Mexico City, Cholula and Cuetzalan
We had a wonderful time. We started out in Mexico City with a 2 day tour filled with museums, food, and beautiful sights. We then went on to Cholula to experience the culture in a smaller town, see a local market, and eat traditional food. We finished the tour in a small town called Cuetzalan, where most people speak an indigenous language. All of our guides were great. Thank you for a memorable vacation!
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March, 2022
Just wonderful!
We had an amazing trip excellent organized by Jorge and supervised by Melina from Rutopia. We spent 10 days in Mexico, starting in Ciudad de Mexico where we visited the amazing Teotihuacan and then we flew to Yucatan for the amazing sites of Chichen Itza, Uxmal, Ek Balam, Tulum, Merida, Valladolid and the great Island Holbox. The trip was perfectly organized, the hotels were very good, and the guides were carefully chosen. We highly recommend Rutopia and especially Jorge!
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Bikø J

November, 2021
Chiapas, Neri and her family
I traveled to Chiapas for an ecotourism experience with Rutopia and I liked it very much, the team responds very quickly to all questions and accompany the traveler throughout the experience, I missed my flight and they were very flexible to accommodate the entire itinerary, My destination was the lakes of Tziscao, where I was received by Neri with his family in very nice cabins next to a lake with incredible views and a magnificent tranquility, with them you make experiences of beekeeping and coffee and tours to nearby lakes, Montebello is a must! 100% recommended.
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March, 2021
Super local agency
We have worked with Rutopia for several tours in Mexico in the Yucatán and Chiapas and we have never been disappointed. Authentic experiences, with locals, in magical places and off the beaten tourist track. Our contact Marisol was always super available and responsive, understanding and anticipating our desires. And she speaks very good French. I highly recommend Rutopia!
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Mikel D

April, 2021
The best moment lived in Mexico
We were traveling as a group of friends with nothing organized. We like to improvise and be able to find alternative plans to the conventional tourist routes. We arrived in Puerto Escondido - Mexico's paradise - and started looking for options. A Mexican friend recommended us to contact Rutopia and we did. We explained our way of traveling - which they quickly understood - and in a few hours they came to us with a perfect selection of activities. We chose one of them and the next day we found ourselves galloping through beautiful hills, crossing a small lagoon in canoes, bathing on an unspoiled beach at sunset and sipping freshly picked coconuts with some mezcal. We had dinner in the only hut on the beach, eating fish that had been caught that day from the lagoon. Then we went to see the luminescence of the placton with paddle canoes until we were surprised by one of the biggest and reddest moons I have ever seen in my life. We ended up sleeping in bamboo huts a few meters from the waves. There were no more than 5 huts on the miles of beach that we could see. And at ALL times with an exquisite treatment - sympathy, kindness and attention. This is just one of the plans we booked with Rutopia, which definitely changed the course of our trip. Without a doubt, I would repeat this experience in any place I would like to visit in Mexico. Viva Mexico!
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Claudia A

September, 2020
Super organization, great accommodations and nice team
The trip was perfectly organized, we were always exclusive or in very small groups and had freedom to do our own activities. All accommodations were fantastic and sustainable, the food almost always local and very good, we could always fill our Rutopia water bottles and travel as plastic free as possible. We were met at the airport and had assistance getting a rental car. After that, we traveled independently but had our fixed dates and reservations with Rutopia. It was the perfect mix!
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March, 2020
Circuit in Yucatan
Discovering wonderful and surprising sites, Mayan communities with an unforgettable welcome, breathtaking landscapes, a very pleasant climate in the middle of March...and smiling people! A big thank you to Rutopia and his team for the elaboration of this ideal circuit, alternating nature, city life, simplicity and comfort. Thanks to Mélina for the follow-up during our trip. We don't speak Spanish well enough, and we appreciated having a French-speaking contact person who could be reached if necessary. We still have a lot to discover and hope to come back very soon, and with Rutopia without hesitation!
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Sabrina N

March, 2020
For those who don't like to manage logistics like hotels, rental cars, activities. And above all, to have someone who speaks fluent French that we can reach at any time for the unexpected... You are in the right place! Thank you to Chloe for the preparation of our trip, to Melina our Ariadne's thread and Teresa for her welcome and help at the arrival and departure. A big thank you to Enrique and Blanca from Nuevo-Durango for their welcome, their smiles, their family, a lot of emotions at the time to leave you. Thanks to Mémo for your teaching of Mexican customs (Sian Ka'an) The Yucatan is a magnificent region. And the population is very pleasant. Only downside Holbox... Too much dust, too much smell of fuel oil, too much tourist. I will keep in memory these wonderful moments!
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